A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction

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9781620405369: A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction
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When Europeans arrived in North America, 25 to 40 percent of the continent's birds were passenger pigeons, traveling in flocks so massive as to block out the sun for hours or even days. The downbeats of their wings would chill the air beneath and create a thundering roar that would drown out all other sound. John James Audubon, impressed by their speed and agility, said a lone passenger pigeon streaking through the forest “passes like a thought.” How prophetic-for although a billion pigeons crossed the skies 80 miles from Toronto in May of 1860, little more than fifty years later passenger pigeons were extinct. The last of the species, Martha, died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914.

As naturalist Joel Greenberg relates in gripping detail, the pigeons' propensity to nest, roost, and fly together in vast numbers made them vulnerable to unremitting market and recreational hunting. The spread of railroads and telegraph lines created national demand that allowed the birds to be pursued relentlessly. Passenger pigeons inspired awe in the likes of Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and others, but no serious effort was made to protect the species until it was too late. Greenberg's beautifully written story of the passenger pigeon paints a vivid picture of the passenger pigeon's place in literature, art, and the hearts and minds of those who witnessed this epic bird, while providing a cautionary tale of what happens when species and natural resources are not harvested sustainably.

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About the Author:

Joel Greenberg is a research associate of the the Field Museum and the Chicago Academy of Sciences Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The author of three books, including A Natural History of the Chicago Region, Greenberg helped spearhead Project Passenger Pigeon to focus attention on human-caused extinctions. He lives in Westmont, Illinois. Visit his blog at Birdzilla.com.

Review:

“The first major work in sixty years about the most famous extinct species since the dodo...equal parts natural history, elegy, and environmental outcry . . . A painstaking researcher, Greenberg writes with a naturalist's curiosity about the birds . . . Answering even basic questions about the passenger pigeon requires a sort of forensic ornithology, which gives Feathered River Across the Sky an unexpected poignancy at the very points where it is most nature-nerdy.” ―New Yorker

“Joel Greenberg has done prodigious research into the literature of the passenger pigeon and lays much of it out in this book. For that effort, all who care about the living world owe him a debt of gratitude.” ―Wall Street Journal

“A brilliant, important, haunting and poignant book, A Feathered River Across the Sky . . . will forever change the way in which you think of pigeons (all birds, really) and about the natural world. The book describes, in vivid detail, forceful narrative and handsome illustrations, the history of this species and the factors that contributed to its extinction.” ―Chicago Tribune

“Joel Greenberg, a Chicago-area naturalist and avid birder, has written a new account of the passenger pigeon's demise, A Feathered River Across the Sky. As Greenberg relates it, in calm, measured prose, it's a story of unremitting, wanton, continental-scale destruction.” ―New York Review of Books

“Thoroughly researched and well written.” ―Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

A Feathered River Across the Sky is a parable for our time . . . What a heartbreaking indictment of our species that we treated these animals so thoughtlessly.” ―David Suzuki, author of The Sacred Balance

“The human folly depicted here is as deep as the pigeons were numerous . . . Highly recommended.” ―Library Journal, starred review

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9781620405345: A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. When Europeans arrived in North America, 25 to 40 percent of the continent s birds were passenger pigeons, traveling in flocks so massive as to block out the sun for hours or even days. The downbeats of their wings would chill the air beneath and create a thundering roar that would drown out all other sound. John James Audubon, impressed by their speed and agility, said a lone passenger pigeon streaking through the forest passes like a thought. How prophetic-for although a billion pigeons crossed the skies 80 miles from Toronto in May of 1860, little more than fifty years later passenger pigeons were extinct. The last of the species, Martha, died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. As naturalist Joel Greenberg relates in gripping detail, the pigeons propensity to nest, roost, and fly together in vast numbers made them vulnerable to unremitting market and recreational hunting. The spread of railroads and telegraph lines created national demand that allowed the birds to be pursued relentlessly. Passenger pigeons inspired awe in the likes of Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and others, but no serious effort was made to protect the species until it was too late. Greenberg s beautifully written story of the passenger pigeon paints a vivid picture of the passenger pigeon s place in literature, art, and the hearts and minds of those who witnessed this epic bird, while providing a cautionary tale of what happens when species and natural resources are not harvested sustainably. Seller Inventory # POW9781620405369

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. When Europeans arrived in North America, 25 to 40 percent of the continent s birds were passenger pigeons, traveling in flocks so massive as to block out the sun for hours or even days. The downbeats of their wings would chill the air beneath and create a thundering roar that would drown out all other sound. John James Audubon, impressed by their speed and agility, said a lone passenger pigeon streaking through the forest passes like a thought. How prophetic-for although a billion pigeons crossed the skies 80 miles from Toronto in May of 1860, little more than fifty years later passenger pigeons were extinct. The last of the species, Martha, died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. As naturalist Joel Greenberg relates in gripping detail, the pigeons propensity to nest, roost, and fly together in vast numbers made them vulnerable to unremitting market and recreational hunting. The spread of railroads and telegraph lines created national demand that allowed the birds to be pursued relentlessly. Passenger pigeons inspired awe in the likes of Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and others, but no serious effort was made to protect the species until it was too late. Greenberg s beautifully written story of the passenger pigeon paints a vivid picture of the passenger pigeon s place in literature, art, and the hearts and minds of those who witnessed this epic bird, while providing a cautionary tale of what happens when species and natural resources are not harvested sustainably. Seller Inventory # POW9781620405369

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. When Europeans arrived in North America, 25 to 40 percent of the continent s birds were passenger pigeons, traveling in flocks so massive as to block out the sun for hours or even days. The downbeats of their wings would chill the air beneath and create a thundering roar that would drown out all other sound. John James Audubon, impressed by their speed and agility, said a lone passenger pigeon streaking through the forest passes like a thought. How prophetic-for although a billion pigeons crossed the skies 80 miles from Toronto in May of 1860, little more than fifty years later passenger pigeons were extinct. The last of the species, Martha, died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. As naturalist Joel Greenberg relates in gripping detail, the pigeons propensity to nest, roost, and fly together in vast numbers made them vulnerable to unremitting market and recreational hunting. The spread of railroads and telegraph lines created national demand that allowed the birds to be pursued relentlessly. Passenger pigeons inspired awe in the likes of Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and others, but no serious effort was made to protect the species until it was too late. Greenberg s beautifully written story of the passenger pigeon paints a vivid picture of the passenger pigeon s place in literature, art, and the hearts and minds of those who witnessed this epic bird, while providing a cautionary tale of what happens when species and natural resources are not harvested sustainably. Seller Inventory # BTE9781620405369

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