05 November 2010

Historic Photos of Extinct Birds

Two sets of historic photographs of two extinct bird species have recently been presented.

The first example are pictures of a young Ivory-billed Woodpecker with James T. Tanner in the spring of 1939 at the celebrated Singer Tract in northeast Louisiana. The bird left its nesting hole, but could not adequately fly, and was captured. It then served as a model for a series of photographs taken by guide J.J. Kuhn.

Only two of these images had been previously published, but eight new negatives were found by Nancy Tanner, and featured in the September issue of Smithsonian Magazine.

A series of 24 photographs of captive Passenger Pigeons was recently placed online by the Wisconsin Historical Society, and came from their archives.

Each black-and-white image includes a description and other curatorial details.

The photographs were taken by J.G. Hubbard in 1896 of pigeons which belonged to the collection of Frank Chapman, as housed in the Chicago aviary of C.O. Whitman, a professor of Zoology at the University of Chicago.

This is an exquisite set of photographs, showing different views of the birds sitting on a perch and squabs.

The 100th year anniversary of the demise of this species will occur in 2013.