Martha, a Passenger Pigeon

ID: SIA2010-0612 and MNH-917

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: 1967

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 416, Box 1, Folder 4

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A passenger pigeon Martha (named after Martha Washington), the last survivor of an American species that numbered in the millions prior to the 1880's, died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914. Her body was donated to the Smithsonian Institution and brought to the United States National Museum, now the National Museum of Natural History, for permanent preservation. Mounted in a display case with this notation: "MARTHA, last of her species, died at 1 p.m., 1 September 1914, age 29, in the Cincinnati Zoological Garden. EXTINCT", this bird documents an unhappy chapter in the conservation of wildlife.


  • United States National Museum
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • National Collections
  • Cincinnati Zoo


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Martha is no longer on exhibit. See also MNH-917 close-up for a closer view.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 416, Box 1, Folder 4

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Taxidermy
  • Zoological Gardens
  • Animals
  • Extinct birds
  • Zoology
  • Martha (Animal)
  • Birds
  • Exhibitions
  • Cincinnati
  • Collection and preservation
  • Passenger Pigeons
  • Ornithology
  • Zoological specimens--Collection and preservation


North America


  • Photographic print
  • Exhibit

ID Number

SIA2010-0612 and MNH-917

Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white; Size: 8w x 10h; Type of Image: Animal, Exhibit; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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