Who Will Save the Band-tailed Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeons (Columba fasciata) were abundant this winter from Paso Robles south to Nordhoff all through the coast range of mountains. One hunter from Los Olivos shipped over 2,000 birds to the San Francisco and Los Angeles hotels.
The morning train from San Luis Obispo to Los Olivos on Sundays averaged 100 passengers who came to hunt pigeons. A prominent hunter told me that these passengers averaged about thirty birds apiece per day. This would make this one day's excursion over 3,000 pigeons. Now!-this is only one train and one day's hunting. One can hardly calculate the number of birds killed by hunters in automobiles and those who started from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Santa Maria, Paso Robles, Lompoc and other small towns.
The writer, who is in the gun and ammunition business, was thoroughly disgusted with the game hogs who simply shot pigeons for the sport (?) and could not even eat them all. It is a shame that something is not done for these beautiful birds, which are doomed to follow in the footsteps of the Passenger Pigeon. I honestly believe that the people will never again see such a flight of Band-tailed Pigeons. In Nordhoff it is the largest they have ever seen, and the birds evidently hung around until they were simply shot out. This same state of affairs is probably true in other localities.
If something is not done very quickly these birds are doomed; for any bird that flys in such flocks is bound to be exterminated. What can be done?