All that is left . . . a reminder to never forget

© Photographed June 13, 2015
Erected by Wisconsin Society for Orinthology
Wyalusing State Park
Bagley, Grant County, Wisconsin
42.991818,-91.124511 (approximate location)

All that is left . . .
As you walk to the Passenger Pigeon Monument, imagine huge flocks of pigeons flying up this river valley. They twist and turn as one. Together, they land to feed on acorns and other tree nuts. Together, they next in colonies that stretch for miles.

In the mid 1800s, the birds seemed limitless. But, over the course of a few decades, people killed to many birds, cut down too many forested areas, and disturbed too many nesting colonies. these great flocks are gone forever.
. . . a reminder to never forget
We meet here to commemorate the death of a species. This monument symbolizes our sorrow. We grieve because no living man will see again the onrushing phalanx of victorious birds, sweeping a path for spring across the March skies, chasing the defeated winter from all the woods and prairies of  Wisconsin.

Men still live who, in their youth, remember pigeons. Trees still live who, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a few decades hence only the oldest oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know.
-- Also Leopold, 1947

From Billions to None
Passenger Pigeons were once the most abundant bird in North America, numbering almost five billion birds. They inhabited the East and Midwest, wandering in flocks so large and dense that they darkened the sky for days. Enormous flocks once flew past this bluff on their way to forested nesting sites. Wherever they found food in abundance, they gathered in huge colonies with pigeons nesting in almost every tree. In 1871, Wisconsin was home to the largest colony ever recorded. It covered 850 square miles!

For decades, unregulated market hunters descended on breeding colonies, killing birds and disrupting their nesting. Passenger Pigeons depended on large colonies to find food, reduce predation, and nest successfully. Killed in such large numbers and unable to reproduce, they were doomed to extinction. In 1914, the last Passenger Pigeon died in capacity at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Let the Passenger Pigeon's tragic demise remind us to treasure and conserve our limited natural resources.
The marker is located deep inside Wyalusing State Park, at the Sentinel Ridge Trail overlook, adjacent to the Green Cloud Picnic Area, and is accessible from Long Valley Road, .5 miles west of its intersection with State Park Lane. The park entrance is located at 13081 State Park Lane, Bagley, Wisconsin 53801.

NOTE: The marker is located inside a Wisconsin State Park; an annual sticker or daily-use fee is required to enter.
"Dwelling place of the old holy man"

The path from the parking lot to the marker location.

 Red arrow -- Green Cloud Picnic Area (park here)
Green arrow -- Passenger Pigeon Monument
Blue arrow -- Sentinel Ridge Trail and Indian Mounds

 The marker is located at Wyalusing State Park.

Wyalusing State Park is located in Bagley, Wisconsin.

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