15 May 2014

Innumerable Quantities of Pigeons Collecting

Delaware, (Ohio) Nov. 30.

Innumerable quantities of pigeons have been collecting in this and the adjoining county of Franklin for a few days past. In the neighborhood of Worthington, in particular, in the fore part of last week they were much more numerous than ever before known in this part of the country. Any description of which we are capable would be inadequate to convey an idea of their numbers. For nearly an hour on Tuesday evening last the horizon was darkened with them as far as the eye could extend, in every direction, and immense numbers had preceded this main body. In their flight, and when collected at their roost, (which is from two to three miles southeast from Worthington) they make a noise resembling a distant waterfall, and which may be distinctly heard more than two miles. The most credulous will scarcely believe, without actually seeing, what havoc is made among the trees on the ground they have chosen for a roost. We had the curiosity to visit this ground, and actually saw two trees, (elm and oak,) from 18 inches to two feet in diameter, which were broken down and turned out at the roots by them.

Many of the citizens in the neighborhood of this ground amuse themselves by shooting them at night, and as many as from 500 to 800 have been brought in of a morning — as many as 20 have been brought down at one shot. The ground occupied as a roost is an oblong of about 3 1-4 miles in length, by 2 miles in width, and every twig within these bounds is loaded with them each night. They will probably continue until they destroy a great portion of the beech and oak mast, which is very plenty this season.

December 17, 1821. Pigeons. New Hampshire Patriot 3(51): 2.