The passenger pigeon
This is a photograph of a Carolina parakeet that we have here at the Museum. It is another bird that was once common in North America, but was driven to extinction in the early twentieth century.
Why did it become extinct? As settlers spread into parts of North America they cut down forests and planted crops, including fruits and grains, that the Carolina parakeet loved to eat. They were soon declared pests, and shot in huge numbers. Others were taken as pets, and their feathers were prized as ornaments for ladies' hats.
By the 1920s there were no more Carolina parakeets left. The United States had lost its only native parrot.