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Notting Hill Editions

Pilgrims of the Air

Pilgrims of the Air

The Passing of the Passenger Pigeons

by John Wilson Foster

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This is a story of scarcely credible abundant flocks of birds so vast they made the sky invisible. It is also a story of a collapse into extinction so startling as to provoke a mystery. In the fate of the North American passenger pigeon we can read much of the story of wild America—the astonishment that accompanied its discovery, the allure of its natural “productions,” the ruthless exploitation of its “commodities,” and the ultimate betrayal of its peculiar genius. And in the bird’s fate can be read, too, the essential vulnerability of species, the unpredictable passage of life itself.

by John Wilson Foster

Additional Book Information

Series: Notting Hill Editions
ISBN: 9781907903656
Pages: 242
Publication Date:


Every page of this book is lit by a sense of wonder.
—Michael Longley

John Wilson Foster’s new book is a gem in every sense: small but perfect in the hand, elegantly written and full of evocative, deeply researched interest, both in the bird and American social history.
—Michael Viney, The Irish Times

Foster has produced one of the loveliest of literary meditations on the pigeon and its fate.
—Rick Wright, Birding

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