The pigeon plagues of the 1800s

Throughout history pigeons have been both a blessing & a curse

In the 1860s, the sky in several eastern Missouri counties was darkened by a preponderance of wild pigeons. The sound of their wings was reported to have been likened to the sound of a steam locomotive.ROM-BirdGallery-PassengerPigeon copy

In 1895, old-timers William Knobel and J.W. Powers remembered the pigeon plague. They told the editor of the Pacific Transcript that they were so plentiful, men would go into the woods where they were roosting and knock them from the trees with clubs, bagging hundreds.

Thousands were killed for mere sport and left where they fell but after all of this effort, their number did not appear to have been diminished.

This went on for days. No one seemed to know what to do about them. Then, they disappeared suddenly and mysteriously and men were puzzled as to what had become of them.

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