16 May 2014

Enormous Pigeon Roost in Jackson County

The following account of one of the enormous Pigeon Roosts of the West, is from the Miner's Express, published at Dubuque, Wisconsin:

"A Mr. McDowell came to our office yesterday, and told us that there is an immense Pigeon Roost in the forks of the Musquoketa in Jackson county, such as has never been seen in this country before — it is three miles long, and half a mile in width. There can be no estimate made of their numbers. Their roosting places are about a mile distant from their nests and feeding places, being three in number, and each one covering a section of land! and in passing to and fro, they darken the air with their numbers, and break down young trees with their weight, and hundreds are killed by getting entangled in the falling limbs and branches. The people kill them with clubs, and the noise is so loud that when a gun is fired amongst them, the report cannot be heard — and a person can stand in one place and shoot all day, the birds returning as soon as you can load. They are building their nests, and the people are much alarmed, lest they may destroy their crops."

May 31, 1843. A pigeon roost. Jeffersonian Republican 4(11): 2. Also May 17, 1843 in the New York Daily Tribune; May 27, 1843 in the Sunbury, Penn. newspaper.