This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the death of Martha, the last passenger pigeon. Her species was native to North America, and in the 1800s the birds numbered in the billions. Their vast airborne flocks reportedly blotted out the sun and took days to pass overhead. But in just a few decades, they were gone. Naturalist Joel Greenberg has written a book about the passenger pigeon’s natural history and its speedy flight to extinction, and he joins us to examine what the bird’s demise reveals about our relationship to the natural world. (Rebroadcast)
Joel Greenberg is a research associate at the Chicago Academy of Science's Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Field Museum. He's the author of three books , including his newest, A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction [Amazon|Indiebound].