The last known passenger pigeon, named “Martha” after George Washington’s wife, died on September 1, 1914. Martha spent the entirety of her life (29 years!) at the Cincinnati Zoo Gardens in Ohio.
The passenger pigeon is a now extinct North American bird that at one time was the most abundant bird in the world. Not to be confused with carrier pigeons who were domesticated and trained to carry massages, passenger pigeons lived in enormous migratory flocks.
Some estimate that during the 19th century, passenger pigeons numbered in the billions. Their demise occurred when the European settlers came to America leading to deforestation, hunting and disease.