The Passenger Pigeon was described by Linne in the latter part of the 18th century; but was well known in America many years before. In July, 1605, on the coast of Maine, in latitude 43o25', Champlains saw on some islands an "infinite number of pigeons," of which he took a great quantity. Many early historians,who write of the birds of the Atlantic coast region, mention the Pigeons. The Jesuit Fathers, in their first narratives of Acadia, state that the birds were fully as abundant as the fish, and that in their seasons the Pigeons overloaded the trees. Passing from Nova Scotia to Florida, we find that Stork (1766)asserts that they were in such plenty there for three months of the year that an account of them would seem incredible. John Lawson (1790), in his History of Carolina, speaks of prodigious flocks of Pigeons in 1701-02, which broke down trees in the woods where they roosted, and cleared away all the food in the country before them,scarcely leaving one acorn on the ground.. The early settlers in Virginia found the Pigeons in winter "beyond number or imagination." The Plymouth colony was threatened with famine in 1643, when great flocks of Pigeons swept down upon the ripened corn and beat down and ate "a very great quantity of all sorts of English grain". But Winthrop says that in 1648 they came again after the harvest was gathered, and proved a great blessing, "it being incredible what multitudes of them were killed daily."
These great flights of Pigeons in migration extended over vast tracts of country, and usually passed in their greatest numbers for about three (3) days. This is the testimony of observers in many parts of the land. Afterwards, flocks often came along for a week or two longer. Even as late as the decade succeeding 1866 ()such flights continued, and were still observed throughout the eastern States and Canada, except perhaps along the Atlantic coast.
About 1850 indications of the disappearance of the Pigeons in the East began to attract some notice. They became rare in Newfoundland in the 60's, though formerly abundant there. They grew fewer in Ontario at that time, but according to Fleming some of the old roosts there were occupied until 1870.
Alexander Wilson, the father of American ornithology, tells of a breeding place of the Wild Pigeons in Shelbyville, Ky.(probably about 1806) which was several miles in breadth, and was said to be more than forty miles in extent. More than one hundred nests were found on a tree. The ground was strewn with broken limbs of trees;also eggs and dead squabs which had been precipitated from above , on which herds of hogs were fattening. He speaks of a flight of these birds from another nesting place some sixty miles away from the first, toward Green River, where they were said to be equally numerous. They were traveling with great steadiness and rapidity, at a height beyond gunshot, several strata deep, very close together, and "from right to left as far as the eye could reach,the breadth of this vast procession extended; seeming everywhere equally crowded." From half-past one to four o'clock in the afternoon, while he was traveling to Frankfort, the same living torrent rolled overhead, seemingly as extensive as ever. He estimated the flock that passed him to be two hundred and forty miles long and a mile wide -- probably much wider -- and to contain two billion two hundred and thirty million, two hundred and seventy-two thousand pigeons. On the supposition that each bird consumed only half a pint of nuts and acorns daily, he reckoned that this column of birds would eat seventeen million, four hundred and twenty-four thousand bushels each day.
Carefully lifting a battered hen, who has never known anything before but brutal handling, out of a transport carrier and placing her on the ground to begin taking her first real dustbath (as opposed to the “vacuum” dustbaths hens try to perform in a cage) is a gesture from which a trusting relationship between human and bird grows. If hens were flowers, it would be like watching a flower unfold, or in the case of a little flock of hens set carefully on the ground together, a little field of flowers transforming themselves from withered stalks into blossoms. For chickens, dustbathing is not only a cleansing activity; it is also a social gathering. Typically, one hen begins the process and is quickly joined by other hens and maybe one or two roosters. Soon the birds are buried so deep in their dustbowls that only the moving tail of a rooster or an outspread wing can be seen a few feet away. Eventually, one by one, the little flock emerges from their ritual entrancement all refreshed. Each bird stands up, vigorously shakes the dirt particles out of his or her feathers, creating a fierce little dust storm before running off to the next engaging activity.
“Birds of same feathers flock together”