Where ‘Stool Pigeon’ Came From

passenger pigeon decoy trap-001
Did you know that Passenger Pigeon trapping was the source  of the term “stool pigeon”?

This from the New Yorker earlier this year:

More elaborate methods were used, of course—like luring the birds into nets with a live pigeon, which is the origin of the term “stool pigeon.” A demand for stool pigeons opened up a trade in live birds, and so did the later development of “trap shooting,” in which live birds were mechanically launched into the air for sportsmen.

So many birds died in transport to the shoots that huge numbers were needed. (The “clay pigeon” was devised by passenger-pigeon hunters to replicate the experience after the actual birds grew scarce.)

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