passenger pigeon

The passenger pigeon was a migratory bird that became extinct at the end of the nineteenth century. Passenger pigeons were known for migrating long distances, and for their resemblance to the mourning dove.

Passenger pigeons, also known as wild pigeons, were very common in North America before the nineteenth century. They were hunted for food by Native Americans, but when Europeans arrived — and especially after about 1800 — their numbers began to decline. By the early 1900s, passenger pigeons were extinct. The Seneca people called this bird jahgowa, or "big bread," and the Choctaws called it, more poetically, putchee nashoba, "lost dove."

Definitions of passenger pigeon

n gregarious North American migratory pigeon now extinct

Ectopistes migratorius
Type of:
wild and domesticated birds having a heavy body and short legs

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.