The story of the last Passenger Pigeon and the disappearance of the Great Auk, Carolina Parakeet, and Heath Hen reveal the fragile connections between species and their environment. To help tell their story, the Smithsonian Libraries, Biodiversity Heritage Library, and the National Museum of Natural History have curated a joint exhibit entitled Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America which opened June 24 in the National Museum of Natural History.
Once an amazing diversity of birds-some in breathtaking abundance-inhabited the vast forests and plains of North America. But starting around 1600, some species began to disappear, as humans altered habitats, over-hunted, and introduced predators. A notable extinction occurred 100 years ago, with the death of Martha the Passenger Pigeon, the last member of a species that once filled America’s skies. The story of the last passenger pigeon, and the disappearance of the more »
The Libraries has a plethora of wonderful bird images featured on its Galaxy of Images. Here we are highlighting one of the more recent additions.—Elizabeth Periale H. G. Ludwig Reichenbach, Die Vollstandigste Naturgeschichte des In- und Auslandes. Vogel., 1853, Hawaii Mamo, or, the "Drepanis pacifica"
We have already featured the lovely artwork of Genevieve Jones in a previous post. But this delicate rendering of a summer warbler from the Libraries' online show Illustrations of Nests and Eggs of the Birds of Ohio helps make the summer last just a little longer.—Elizabeth Periale Howard Jones, Illustrations of the nests and eggs of birds of Ohio, 1879-1886, Summer Warbler