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Out of the Past, Part Two

Use your painting skills to commemorate a bird that vanished--the passenger pigeon.

By: Dave Harmon
Photography by Dave Harmon

There was a time when passenger pigeons ranged from Florida to southern Canada and from Montana to almost the East Coast. Now, they are extinct. However, even with an extinct species, carvers need good sources of reference. A simple Internet search will give you a multitude of pictures and sources. The passenger pigeon was also a popular bird to paint for artists. Passenger pigeon study skins and mounts are somewhat abundant, considering the age of the birds. Check with local museums. I've included several pictures I took of study skins to provide some answers in some tricky areas. As with any bird, the colors vary among birds and differ according to the seasons. Use your sources to decide what you want to do, and then go for it.

The carving and texturing portions of this project can be found in Part One, featured in our  Fall 2011 issue.

This Part Two article is from the Winter 2012 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.

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