Location: Bowdoin / Environmental Studies / Activity / 2013 / Hope is the Thing with Feathers

Environmental Studies

Hope is the Thing with Feathers: Americans and Birds (Joel Greenberg)

Story posted September 16, 2013

Event date(s): December 01, 2010 — December 01, 2010

Joel Greenberg

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
4:30 pm, Beam Classroom, VAC

Joel Greenberg, Research Associate at both 
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago Academy of Sciences, 
and Field Museum, Chicago, IL.

Joel has been a birder/naturalist for 45 years, and has shared his love and knowledge of nature and conservation by authoring three books, writing numerous articles, co-hosting a radio show, blogging on birdzilla.com, and lecturing widely. Since the summer of 2009, he has been working exclusively on passenger pigeons. His interest in the long-extinct species has culminated in writing the first book on the species in over 50 years, Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction (Bloombury), which is scheduled for publication in January 2014. The book gives a history of the bird, once the most numerous species of land bird in North America with an estimated population of 3-5 billion species. It shows the shocking way that the once ubiquitous North American bird became extinct through human activity (including recreational hunting and destruction of habitat).

The lecture "Hope is the Thing with Feathers" will examine the histories of three different species of North American birds, each of which represents a different scenario:  the passenger pigeon was slaughtered into extinction one hundred years ago, while the whooping crane and Kirtland's warbler have received much conservation assistance.  However, while the warbler's future is secure, the crane's is still unknown.

Project Passenger Pigeon is a national organization devoted to educating the public about the passenger pigeon's fate. Members are using the impending date of the centenary of the pigeon's extinction (September 1, 1914) to inform North Americans about the hazards that human activity presents even to ubiquitous species. For more information on the extinction of the species, or to get involved, go to passengerpigeon.org.