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Ancestor HWBL 01 027

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"With the bourgeoning of shrubs and young beech the wild pigeon appeared in clouds, not reckoned in thousands but in millions, a wonderful sight, and darkening the sun. [...] They moved in wonderful and irregular clouds, not in strings or in any kind of figure. Some clouds have been supposed to be five acres in extent, and the havoc to hardwood buds was inestimable. It was called the most characteristic bird of Canada, peculiarly graceful and sometimes remarkably beautiful in plumage; "its habits were completely erratic," and in 1799 the settlers knew that its fecundity surpassed that of the locust of the East. Forests then were devastated as by a hurricane, sulphur fumes were used, and hogs were turned loose to fatten on the bodies. In one prodigious flight over the lake a cannon loaded with grape shot caused great slaughter, and hundreds were picked up by small boats. Sometimes opposing columns would meet in mid-air, when the rapidity of their flight sent hundreds to the ground, dead or stunned; and of their ordinary flights, dwellers on the Humber to-day remember the myriads that settled and the thousands that were knocked down with brooms and sticks" (p. 134).

Lizars, K.M. The Valley of the Humber, 1615-1913. William Briggs, 1913.


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