Join MDC for a viewing of The Lost Bird Project at the Kirksville office

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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — "Extinct" is a word often associated with dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and other animals that disappeared long ago. However, birds such as the passenger pigeon and Carolina parakeet became extinct in the last century. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites the public to discover nature and learn more about these two extinct birds and more at a viewing of The Lost Bird Project at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, at the MDC Northeast Regional Office, 3500 S. Baltimore in Kirksville. All ages are welcome to attend, but children must be accompanied by an adult. There is no registration required for this free family event and popcorn will be provided during the film.

The Lost Bird Project is an hour-long documentary that tells the story of how the Labrador Duck, Great Auk, Heath Hen, Carolina Parakeet, and Passenger Pigeon met their fate and the journey that led sculptor Todd McGrain to erect monuments of these once-popular, now-extinct species of birds in locations where each was last seen.

"This film is a wonderful example to remind us all that has been lost," said MDC Naturalist Amanda Moore. "Today, success stories like those of the bald eagle, the wild turkey and the white-tailed deer show how much we have learned about conservation since the extinction of the passenger pigeon and these other birds."

After the film, there will be a discussion lead by MDC staff on endangered species and the conservation efforts to protect them. Plus, participants will have the opportunity to create origami passenger pigeons to join with others at Fold the Flock , an online initiative of The Lost Bird Project. The origami birds created will be added to the organizations virtual flock of pigeons to symbolically recreate the great flocks of 100 years ago.

Passenger pigeons were known for their massive flocks – biologists' estimate the continent's population may have been somewhere around five billion at its peak. However, unregulated hunting and habitat destruction caused this bird to disappear. The world's last passenger pigeon, named "Martha" by her caretakers, died on Sept. 1, 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo. It was one of the first instances where a species' exact moment of extinction was documented.

For questions, contact Amanda Moore at 660-785-2420. For information about other events happening in the Northeast region, visit