18 May 2014

Extraordinary Pigeon Roost in Michigan

From Benzie County, Michigan, comes a pigeon story, which beats all that have been told before, either in Scripture or out of it. The roost where the pigeons congregate in such untold millions is called "Betsy River nesting." The tract is about sixteen miles long and three wide. Every bough is occupied by a dozen nests and a hundred birds, and from morning till night the air whirrs with ceaseless wings going and coming. Between 250 and 400 men have been engaged for over six weeks constantly killing and trapping. As the old birds leave or are destroyed as many young ones take their places. There are three regular "flights" a day — two "tom-flights" and one "hen-flight." At early dawn, the male birds set out flying to the East and North to seek a breakfast of seeds and berries, ten, twenty or fifty miles away, and by 6 or half-past 6 the sky is black with the departing birds. An hour later, not a bird is to be seen, but towards 8 o'clock the squadrons return in clouds. The shot-gun and the net are the principal weapons used by the hunter.

July 18, 1874. A pigeon roost extraordinary. Columbia Daily Phoenix 10(107): 2. Also: July 23, 1874 in Anderson Intelligencer.