passenger pigeon
passenger pigeon passenger pigeon (Zo["o]l.), A once common wild pigeon of North America ({Ectopistes migratorius}), now extinct. It was so called on account of its extensive migrations.

Note: The passenger pigeon presents a striking example of how dramatic a negative influence man can have on other species. The population of the passenger pigeon is estimated to have been at one time as high as five billion in North America, but over a period of about one hundred years large scale hunting for use as food and killing for ``sport'' reduced the numbers below that necessary to sustain existence of the species. At one time over 200,000 birds were shipped to the food markets in one day. The last wild pigeon is believed to have died in 1900, and the last bird in captivity died in 1914. It is a rare example of the date of a man-made extinction being recorded with certainty. [1913 Webster +PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Passenger Pigeon — Live Passenger Pigeon in 1898 Conservation status …   Wikipedia

  • passenger pigeon — ☆ passenger pigeon n. a variety of North American pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) with a narrow tail longer than its wings: formerly abundant, but extinct since 1914 …   English World dictionary

  • passenger pigeon — an extinct pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius, once found in great numbers in North America, noted for its sustained migratory flights. [1795 1805, Amer.] * * * Extinct species (Ectopistes migratorius) of pigeon (subfamily Columbinae, family… …   Universalium

  • passenger-pigeon — passˈenger pigeon noun An extinct N American pigeon that flew in vast numbers in search of food • • • Main Entry: ↑passenger …   Useful english dictionary

  • passenger pigeon — noun gregarious North American migratory pigeon now extinct • Syn: ↑Ectopistes migratorius • Hypernyms: ↑pigeon • Member Holonyms: ↑Ectopistes, ↑genus Ectopistes …   Useful english dictionary

  • passenger pigeon — noun Date: 1802 an extinct but formerly abundant North American migratory pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • passenger pigeon — extinct species of migratory pigeon that once inhabited all areas of North America …   English contemporary dictionary

  • passenger pigeon — noun a migratory long tailed North American pigeon, hunted to extinction by 1914. [Ectopistes migratorius.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • passenger pigeon — pas′senger pi geon n. orn a North American pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius, that once nested in great numbers in hardwood forests: extinct since 1914 • Etymology: 1795–1805, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • passenger pigeon — /ˈpæsəndʒə pɪdʒən/ (say pasuhnjuh pijuhn) noun a species of wild pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius, once the most common bird in North America but reduced to extinction in the 19th century. {French passager to pass by (with reference to its… …   Australian English dictionary

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