Once There Were Billions: 100 Year Anniversary of the death Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon

This post is written by Helen James, Curator-in-Charge, Division of Birds, National Museum of Natural History. Ask Helen a question during our Twitterchat on Tuesday, September 2nd! Martha, the last passenger pigeon, is back on public display for the first time since 1999, this time in an exhibition titled Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America that opened in the Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery of the National Museum of Natural more »

The Fall of a Mighty Empire: The Passenger Pigeon

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.  Two hundred years ago, the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes more »

Modern Extinction: Heath Hen

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. 

Carolina parakeet: A Splendor of Beauty Gone Forever

At this time of year, those of us in the U.S. often find our eyes turned skyward to admire a brilliant array of colors lighting up the night sky in celebration of America’s independence.  Up until about a hundred years ago, a colorful display of another kind filled the North American skies, and not just on the fourth of July. Jewel-colored Carolina parakeets (Conuropsis carolinensis) traveled in huge, noisy flocks from southern more »

Great Auk: Flightless, Social…and Doomed

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. Over the next more »

“Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America” Opens June 24! Join us!

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 »

“Once There Were Billions” opening June 24th

The Smithsonian Libraries invites you to: Echoes of Their Wings: The Passenger Pigeon and its Legacy The exhibition opening for “Once There Were Billions”, featuring a lecture and book signing by Joel Greenberg, author of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction. Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 – 6:00pm Location: Baird Auditorium National Museum of Natural History 10th and Constitution Ave, NW Washington, DC 20004 FREE & OPEN more »

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