Our Instagram followers (we’re @SILibraries) may have noticed some extra ornithological action in our feed recently. “Martha”, an origami passenger pigeon, has been in the spotlight the last few Mondays.
Martha, named for the last living passenger pigeon, is a paper bird from Fold the Flock, an effort to make one million origami birds before the end of this year. 2014 is notable because it marks the centennial of the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the year the original Martha died in captivity. Fold the Flock is a part of the Lost Bird Project, which recently installed five bronze bird statues on the National Mall, in association with Smithsonian Gardens and Smithsonian Libraries.
Our own paper Martha has been on a few excursions since she came to the Smithsonian Libraries. She’s toured the Hope Diamond and met a T-Rex, but those are just the start to her adventures. Martha will participate in events to help us promote our upcoming exhibit, Once There Were Billions (in which the “real” Martha, a National Museum of Natural History specimen, has a starring role!). We’ll bring you plenty more information about “Once There Were Billions” and its related events in the months to come.
The exhibit opens June 24th but we hope you enjoy following along with Martha and her escapades in the mean time! You can find her on Instagram with #Marthaonthemove and #Foldtheflock. Plus, you can go to the Fold the Flock website and print a Martha of your very own. Don’t forget to register your pigeon to help reach the goal of one million birds!