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Yeah…that sounds about right.  It was just a casual conversation, and I
didn’t think to ask for details, but now that you mention it, I do recall he
said it was at a meeting.

 

The circumstantial evidence that they reached north to Ontario is extremely
strong, but so far as I know, there is no specimen proof, and, of course, no
photographic proof.   

 

There are some U.S. specimens in the Royal Ontario Museum, which has the
world’s largest collection of stuffed Passenger Pigeons, and a few Eskimo
Curlews, plus one each of a well mounted Labrador Duck and Great Auk, the
latter from Audubon’s collection, and quite a few extinct species from other
parts of the world.

 

Cheers,

 

Barry

 

 

Barry Kent MacKay

Bird Artist, Illustrator

Studio: (905)-472-9731

http://www.barrykentmackay.ca
[log in to unmask]

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael Rothman
Sent: April-03-15 6:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SCIART] Footage of Passenger Pigeons completely blacken the
sky

 

Hi Barry,

 

I heard the same story from Noel Synder back in l984.  Dr. Synder is the
author of "The Carolina Parakeet - Glimpses of a Vanished Bird"ISBN
0-691-11795-0).  Apparently a movie was shown at a meeting of the American
Ornithologist's Union, possibly in the early 1970's (that detail I can't
recall specifically), depicting what appeared to possibly be some Carolina
parakeets in the
<https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=Okeefenokee&nfpr=1&sa=
X&ei=5wwfVfztDbC1sQSJ3YHwCA&ved=0CBwQvgUoAQ> Okeefenokee swamp in southern
Georgia.  The quality of the movie apparently was mediocre and Dr.
Peterson's skepticism was apparently shared by many of the ornithologists
who were present, who felt the birds were escaped exotics.  Unfortunately
the film was reported as missing, including a copy that RTP had, and it
hasn't resurfaced.

 

As a separate matter, there were supposedly black and while pictures taken
at a wild turkey station near the Santee Swamp in South Carolina in the
1930's by an ornithologist named Melamphy.  It was said that parakeets
showed up at the station at one point to forage on the feed and Melamphy
photographed them.   I tried locating the prints/negatives during the
1980's.   Dr. Synder told me he was in touch with the fellow's family
members and Melamphy died the year before, so he couldn't be interviewed and
his family members had no idea as to the location of the images.
(Ironically, the family members stated he was still "sharp as a tack" until
his death).   The Melamphy sighting certainly contributed to the urgency to
visit the Santee.  RTP and some other folks, including Robert Sprunt and
Ludlow Griscom made to the area in 1937.   (I don't think Noel Synder
mentioned the Melamphy photograph in his book.  But if any of these film
records exist, it might be useful to have them examined under modern
forensic techniques…).  But unequivocal records weren't attained during
forays by such reseachers as and Sprunt and Griscom and they fell into a
dispute as to whether any observations made by local residents of the area
should be given validity.  The area wasn't spared when the Santee River was
damned and the surrounding forest flooded not that long afterwards.

 

Very interesting stuff, for sure.  Synder's book provides ample evidence
that the parakeet survived in extremely diminished numbers in some scattered
locations in the American South ((though not necessarily in the Santee
region per se), until roughly the late 1930's.

Cheers,

Mike R.

 

Roger Tory Peterson once told me that he had seen a COLOUR movie clip of
Carolina Parakeets, only lasting a few seconds, as I recall.  He said it
looked like early colour film (not counting hand-coloured, the earliest film
showing colour dates back, according to Google, to around 1912 or `14), and
certainly he was sceptical, and I’ve never heard of it since. 

 

Barry

 

Barry Kent MacKay

Bird Artist, Illustrator

Studio: (905)-472-9731

 <http://www.barrykentmackay.ca/> http://www.barrykentmackay.ca
 <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]

 

 

 

 

From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-
[mailto:SCIART- <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Michael Rothman
Sent: April-03-15 1:34 PM
To:  <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SCIART] Footage of Passenger Pigeons completely blacken the
sky

 

“Officially” the last wild Passenger pigeon was shot in 1900.   Newer
writing supports a 1901 date for the collection of another free ranging
individual.   Martha, the lone surviving captive died in the Cincinnati Zoo
in 1914.  I have never seen photographs of wild individuals, only captives. 

 

I did a painting based on Frank Chapman’s last specimen of the Carolina
parakeet, collected in Florida in 1904.  (The specimen I actually worked
from is housed in the American Museum of Natural History in New York).  By
odd coincidence, the last captive Carolina parakeet died at the Cincinnati
Zoo in 1914.   I have seen only a few images of captive Carolina parakeet,
no films, and no “wild images”.   I spoke with Mary Boughton Fuertes (Louis
Agassiz Fuertes’ daughter) in the early 1980’s, and asked her whether she
knew of any pictures of Carolina parakeets or Passenger pigeons taken in the
wild.  She was quite old at the time but had an extraordinary clear memory.
She only knew of an unpublished watercolor painting by her dad of a captive
Carolina parakeet.   That watercolor has subsequently been shown on the
Cornell University bird laboratory site.

 

I’m afraid neither Thomas Edison, nor the French scientist Étienne-Jules
Marey ever photographed either of those two species.

 

Mike Rothman

 

On Apr 3, 2015, at 3:12 PM, "Barry K. MacKay" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:





 

 

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