18 May 2014

Millions of Wild Pigeons at Maryland Farm

Six Acres of Pigeons - Millions of Wild Pigeons Settling on a Farm in Maryland.

The Birds Piled in Many Places Two Feet Deep.

Cumberland, Md., October 19.

A Mr. Sehley owns a farm six miles north-west of Oakland. Six acres of the farm are covered with alder bushes, or small tree ranging from twelve to fifteen feet in height. They grow very densely on the land, and from this fact have become very generally known as bushes. Some ten days since, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, a large flock of wild pigeons settled down upon the alders. Mr. Sehley say they were to be numbered by thousands, and completely covered the tops of the bushes, hiding them from flight. Another flock followed, and lighted on top of the first. The incoming of pigeons continued until nightfall, at which time they were piled in many places two feet deep upon each other. The bushes were many of them broken down by the weight. and it is estimated that over a million of birds were on the ground. They roosted there till morning, when flock by flock, they flew away, and by nine o'clock the fields were deserted. In the evening they again returned, and they still make this their resting place.

Singular as this story may appear, it is vouched for by many respectable citizens of this city, who have visited the spot and captured hundreds of the birds. After nightfall, it is said. a person may go among the pigeons and sweep them into a bag. The probable explanation of the immense gathering is in the fact that this is the season of their annual visit to the forest regions of the Allegheny mountains in quest of the acorns which are abundant there.

It is a well established fact that wild pigeons have but one roosting place within on very large territory, and that in their transit to warmer latitudes, and during their stoppage by the way, they use one place only as a roost at night. Other pigeon roosts have been known in the glade districts of Maryland, but this one is considered the largest ever seen by the oldest inhabitant.

November 3, 1872. Atlanta Daily Sun 3(746): 1.