Mount of extinct bird to be unveiled at center

February 15, 2019

HORICON -- The public is invited to join members of the Horicon Marsh Bird Club to unveil a preserved specimen of an extinct bird that once darkened the skies of Wisconsin.

A mounted passenger pigeon that had been in the family of Drew Pattee for generations was recently donated to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to be displayed at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. The official unveiling will take place Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. at the center. This free event is open to all ages.

According to a media release from the Wisconsin DNR, it is believed the bird was taken near Alto, a small town in central Wisconsin, by Pattee as a young man. This specimen and many other birds were passed along to his descendants. In fall 2018, the family decided to donate the preserved mounts to the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center for public display.

On Feb. 21, a brief unveiling ceremony with members of the donor family in attendance will be followed by a presentation on “Lost Birds of Wisconsin” by Jeff Bahls, Horicon Marsh Bird Club president. Attendees will learn about the demise of a bird that once numbered in the billions, along with information about other birds no longer found in Wisconsin.

The Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center is located between Horicon and Mayville on state Highway 28. For more information, call 920-387-7893.