Find out about exhibitions, activities, tours and talks at Birmingham Museums
Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall and Soho House provide a choice of spectacular and elegant locations for your dream wedding.
2nd September 2014
An unknown bird found in the stores of Birmingham Museum has recently been identified as an important example of an extinct species called the passenger pigeon. By a remarkable coincidence, curatorial trainee Lukas Large discovered it as the 100th anniversary of the death of the last ever passenger pigeon approached.
The North American passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) lived in huge flocks and was once the commonest bird in the world with an estimated population of 3 billion individuals. The population was reduced by hunting and habitat destruction until the flocks were too small to survive.
By around 1900 passenger pigeons were extinct in the wild. A pigeon called Martha in Cincinnati Zoo was the last survivor. Her lonely death on the 1st of September 1914 marked the end of her species. Unlike Martha, the Birmingham pigeon is a male, which were more colourful.
Birmingham’s natural science collection is the largest in the West Midlands and consists of over 250,000 objects. There are particularly significant collections of birds, shells, insects and plants. Selected specimens are on display in the Wild Life gallery at Thinktank.
For the next month, the rediscovered Birmingham passenger pigeon will be on display in Millennium Point outside of Thinktank Science Museum.
Passenger Pigeon facts;
You can follow news from this museum through the RSS 2.0 feed.