Just in the nick of time at the end of Martha’s centennial year, a resolution passed the Senate on December 17 calling attention to the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the last known passenger pigeon. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) reported the passage, which was the final act of the 113th congressional session.
Martha, the last of her kind, was on display at the Cincinnati Zoological Gardens until her death in 1914. Immediately following her death, Martha was packed in an enormous 300-pound block of ice and shipped to the Smithsonian by train.
A delegation from Senator Portman’s office visited the Smithsonian Libraries exhibition, Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America, in July (pictured above). Martha is on display in the exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History through October 2015. Read more about the legislation. Read more about Once There Were Billions. Read an article on Martha by Helen James, Curator-in-Charge of the Division of Birds at the National Museum of Natural History.