By Carl Safina
September 1, 2014, marks the 100th anniversary of the extinction of what had been the most abundant bird in the Americas, and likely the world.
By 1850, the Passenger Pigeon was still the most abundant bird in the Americas. Around that same time, a long-distance migrant bird called the Eskimo Curlew was shot by the wagonload on the Plains. The prairies and their herds of Buffalo are essentially gone, both birds are extinct, and even the very remembrance of the Eskimo Curlew is vanishing; almost no one I ask has ever heard of it. I feel a loss, but, honestly, does it matter? How many people miss Passenger Pigeons?