Birds of Lewis and Clark
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"Birds of Lewis and Clark"
Birds of Lewis and Clark ... page 1

New birds and already familiar birds seen by Lewis and Clark, with comments and notes from Patterson, Cutright, Holmgren, Johnsgard, Moulton, Sibley, Avibase, Cornell, Audubon, and Coues ... credits are listed at the end of the page ... camera icon indicates an image is online ... all images were taken by this webpage author, although not all images are from the areas that Lewis and Clark visited. NOTE: this page has not been proof-read, and, while care is taken, any errors (especially in dates) occurring (except as noted) are my own sloppy typing.

[New Birds] ... [Other Birds] ... [Hawks, Harrier, Falcons, and Kite] ... [Loons and Grebes]
New Birds
  1. picture depicted American Crow ... (Western Common Crow)
  2. picture depicted American Goldfinch ... (Pale Goldfinch, Western Goldfinch)
  3. picture depicted American White Pelican
  4. picture depicted Black-billed Magpie
  5. picture depicted Bonaparte's Gull
  6. picture depicted Brewer's Blackbird
  7. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  8. picture depicted Cackling Goose ... (Hutchin's Goose)
  9. picture depicted Canada Goose ... (Lesser Canada Goose)
  10. picture depicted Clark's Nutcracker
  11. Common Nighthawk ... (Pacific Nighthawk)
  12. Common Poorwill ... (Nuttall's Poor-will)
  13. picture depicted Common Raven ... (Western American Raven)
  14. picture depicted Double-crested Cormorant ... (Northern Double-crested Cormorant)
  15. Dusky Grouse ... (Richardson's Blue Grouse, Blue Grouse)
  16. picture depicted Forster's Tern
  17. picture depicted Glaucous-winged Gull
  18. picture depicted Gray Jay ... (Oregon Jay)
  19. picture depicted Great Horned Owl ... (Dusky subspecies, St. Michael Horned Owl)
  20. picture depicted Great Horned Owl ... (Montana subspecies, Pale Horned Owl)
  21. Greater Sage Grouse
  22. picture depicted Greater White-fronted Goose ... (Tundra White-fronted Goose)
  23. picture depicted Hairy Woodpecker ... (Cabanis's Woodpecker)
  24. picture depicted Hairy Woodpecker ... (Harris's Woodpecker)
  25. picture depicted Horned Lark ... (Prairie Horned Lark)
  26. Lark Bunting
  27. Least Tern
  28. picture depicted Lewis's Woodpecker
  29. picture depicted Loggerhead Shrike ... (White-rumped Shrike)
  30. picture depicted Long-billed Curlew
  31. McCown's Longspur
  32. picture depicted Mountain Quail
  33. picture depicted Mourning Dove ... (Western subspecies)
  34. picture depicted Northern Flicker ... (yellow-shafted)
  35. Northern Fulmar ... (Pacific Fulmar)
  36. Northwestern Crow
  37. picture depicted Pacific Loon
  38. picture depicted Pacific Wren ... (Western Winter Wren)
  39. picture depicted Pileated Woodpecker ... (Western Pileated Woodpecker)
  40. Pinyon Jay
  41. Piping Plover
  42. picture depicted Red-necked Grebe
  43. picture depicted Ring-necked Duck
  44. picture depicted Ruffed Grouse ... (Oregon Ruffed Grouse)
  45. Sharp-tailed Grouse ... (Columbian subspecies)
  46. Sharp-tailed Grouse ... (Plains/Prairie subspecies)
  47. Spruce Grouse ... (Franklin's Grouse)
  48. picture depicted Steller's Jay ... (Black-headed Jay)
  49. picture depicted Trumpeter Swan
  50. picture depicted Tundra Swan ... (Whistling Swan)
  51. picture depicted Western Grebe
  52. picture depicted Western Gull
  53. picture depicted Western Meadowlark
  54. picture depicted Western Tanager
  55. picture depicted Willet ... (Western Willet)
Other Birds

  1. picture depicted American Avocet
  2. picture depicted American Bittern
  3. picture depicted American Coot
  4. picture depicted American Crow ... (Eastern variety)
  5. picture depicted American Golden-Plover ... (Lesser Golden-Plover)
  6. picture depicted American Kestrel
  7. picture depicted American Robin
  8. picture depicted Arctic Loon
  9. picture depicted Bald Eagle
  10. picture depicted Band-tailed Pigeon
  11. picture depicted Bank Swallow
  12. picture depicted Barn Swallow
  13. picture depicted Belted Kingfisher
  14. picture depicted Black-bellied Plover
  15. Black-billed Cuckoo
  16. Black-crowned Night Heron
  17. picture depicted Blue Jay
  18. picture depicted Blue-winged Teal
  19. picture depicted Blue-winged Teal as "brown duck"
  20. picture depicted Brant
  21. Brown Thrasher
  22. picture depicted Brown-headed Cowbird
  23. picture depicted Bufflehead
  24. picture depicted California Condor
  25. picture depicted Canada Goose
  26. picture depicted Canvasback
  27. Carolina Parakeet
  28. picture depicted Cassin's Finch
  29. picture depicted Cedar Waxwing
  30. picture depicted Cinnamon Teal
  31. picture depicted Cliff Swallow
  32. Common Grackle
  33. picture depicted Common Loon
  34. picture depicted Common Merganser
  35. Common Redpoll
  36. picture depicted Cooper's Hawk
  37. picture depicted Downy Woodpecker
  38. picture depicted Eastern Bluebird
  39. picture depicted Eastern Kingbird
  40. Eastern Meadowlark
  41. Eskimo Curlew
  42. picture depicted Ferruginous Hawk
  43. picture depicted Flycatcher ... species
  44. picture depicted Fox Sparrow
  45. picture depicted Franklin's Gull
  46. picture depicted Gadwall
  47. picture depicted Golden Eagle
  48. picture depicted Golden-crowned Kinglet
  49. picture depicted Golden-crowned Sparrow
  50. Gray Catbird
  51. picture depicted Great Blue Heron
  52. picture depicted Great Egret
  53. Great Gray Owl
  54. Greater Prairie Chicken
  55. picture depicted Greater Yellowlegs
  56. picture depicted Green-winged Teal ... as "brown duck"
  57. picture depicted Hammond's Flycatcher
  58. picture depicted Hermit Thrush
  59. picture depicted Herring Gull
  60. picture depicted Horned Grebe
  61. picture depicted House Finch
  62. picture depicted House Wren
  63. picture depicted Hutton's Vireo
  64. picture depicted Killdeer
  65. picture depicted Mallard
  66. picture depicted Merlin
  67. picture depicted Mountain Bluebird
  68. Mountain Plover
  69. Northern Bobwhite
  70. picture depicted Northern Cardinal
  71. picture depicted Northern Flicker ... (red-shafted)
  72. picture depicted Northern Harrier
  73. picture depicted Northern Mockingbird
  74. picture depicted Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  75. picture depicted Northern Shoveler
  76. picture depicted Osprey
  77. Passenger Pigeon
  78. picture depicted Pectoral Sandpiper
  79. picture depicted Peregrine Falcon
  80. picture depicted Pied-billed Grebe
  81. picture depicted Pine Siskin
  82. picture depicted Purple Finch
  83. picture depicted Purple Martin
  84. picture depicted Red-breasted Merganser
  85. picture depicted Red-breasted Sapsucker
  86. Red-headed Woodpecker
  87. picture depicted Red-tailed Hawk ... (Western Red-tailed Hawk)
  88. picture depicted Red-throated Loon
  89. picture depicted Red-winged Blackbird
  90. picture depicted Ring-billed Gull
  91. picture depicted Rough-legged Hawk
  92. picture depicted Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  93. picture depicted Rufous Hummingbird
  94. picture depicted Rusty Blackbird
  95. picture depicted Sandhill Crane
  96. picture depicted Say's Phoebe
  97. picture depicted Semipalmated Plover
  98. picture depicted Snow Goose
  99. picture depicted Song Sparrow
  100. Sooty Grouse ... (Blue Grouse)
  101. picture depicted Spotted Sandpiper
  102. Sprague's Pipit
  103. Stilt Sandpiper
  104. picture depicted Swainson's Hawk
  105. picture depicted Turkey Vulture
  106. Upland Sandpiper
  107. picture depicted Varied Thrush
  108. picture depicted Western Kingbird
  109. picture depicted Western Scrub Jay
  110. picture depicted Western Wood-pewee
  111. picture depicted Whimbrel
  112. picture depicted White-tailed Kite
  113. Whip-poor-will
  114. Whooping Crane
  115. picture depicted Wild Turkey
  116. picture depicted Wilson's Snipe ... (Common Snipe)
  117. picture depicted Wood Duck
  118. Wood Stork
  119. Yellow Rail
  120. picture depicted Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  121. Yellow-billed Cuckoo





  • American Crow ... (Western Common Crow)
  • American Crow ... (Eastern variety)
  • Northwestern Crow
    L&C "crow, small black crow"
    BOTH the Western American Crow and the Northwestern Crow are NEW BIRDS, the eastern variety of American Crow is not

    Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2010, Owings, Maryland, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    American Crow, western variety (left) and eastern variety (right). Left image taken at Ridgefield NWR, Washington, August 3, 2009. Right image taken at Owings, Maryland, September 29, 2010.

    Clark, January 9, 1804, while near the Mississippi:
    "... Some Snow last night, a hard wind this morning from W, N W, river Rises with large Sheets of Ice out of Mississippi, the morning is fair (the man Ramey gives me much trouble)    I took Collins & went to the place he found a Hog Skined & Hung up, the Crows had devoured the meet, Killed Prary fowl ..."

    Weather Diary, April 9, 1805, while at Fort Mandan:
    "... he Crow has also returned    saw the first today.    & the corvus bird disappears ..."

    Clark, April 12, 1805, near the mouth of the Little Missouri River:
    "... I Saw the Magpie in pars, flocks of Grouse, the old field lark & Crows ..."

    Clark, June 15, 1805, near Great Falls, Montana:
    "... we Saw great numbers of Gees Ducks, Crows Blackbirds &c Geese & Ducks with their young. ..."

    Lewis, September 22, 1805, near Weippe Prairie, Idaho:
    "... Fields also killed a crow ..."

    Ordway, October 20, 1805, near Crow Butte State Park, Washington:
    "... we Saw Some pilicans and abundance of ravens and crows ..."

    Clark, November 29, 1805, while at Tongue Point, Oregon:
    "... The Shore below the point at our Camp is formed of butifull pebble of various colours. I observe but fiew birds of the Small kind, great numbers of wild fowls of Various kinds, the large Buzzard with white wings, grey and bald eagle's, large red tailed Hawks, ravens & Crows in abundance, the blue Magpie, a Small brown bird which frequents logs & about the roots of trees ..."

    Lewis, November 30, 1805, while on Youngs Bay:
    "... saw a great abundance of fowls, brant, large geese, white brant sandhill Cranes, common blue crains, cormarants, haulks, ravens, crows, gulls and a great variety of ducks, the canvas back, duckinmallard, black and white diver, brown duck— &c &c— ..."

    Lewis, January 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... a small Crow, the blue crested Corvus and the smaller corvus with a white brest, the little brown ren, a large brown sparrow, the bald Eagle and the beatifull Buzzard of the columbia still continue with us. ..."

    Weather Diary, January 31, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The blue crested Corvus bird has already began to build it's nest.  &npsp; their nests are formed of small sticks; usually in a pine tree.—    Great numbers of Ravens, and a Small black Crow are continually about us. The pale yellow Streiked and dove coloured robin is about, also the little brown ren or fly-catsch which is a little larger than the humming bird. ..."

    Lewis, March 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The Crow raven and Large Blackbird are the same as those of our country only that the crow is here much smaller yet it's note is the same    I observe no difference either between the hawks of this coast and those of the Atlantic.    I have observed the large brown hawk, the small or sparrow hawk, and the hawk of an intermediate size with a long tail and blewish coloured wings remarkably swift in flight and very firce.    sometimes called in the U' States the hen hawk.    these birds seem to be common to every part of this country, and the hawks crows & ravens build their nests in great numbers along the high and inaccessable clifts of the Columbia river and it's S. E. branch where we passed along them ..."

    Lewis, July 19, 1806, while near the Upper Marias River, Montana:
    "... saw some herds of buffaloe today but not in such quantities as yesterday, also antelopes, wolves, gees, pigeons, doves, hawks, ravens crows larks sparrows &c.    the Curlooe has disappeared. ..."

    Weather Diary, July 27, 1806:
    "... Saw a flight of gulls, a Small rattle Snake Several flocks of Crows & black burds. ..."

    Clark, September 13, 1806:
    "... Birds most Common the buzzard Crow the hotting owl and hawks, &c. &c.— ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): crow
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Crow
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): American Crow
    • Patterson does not list Northwestern Crow

    • Cutright: Western Common Crow [AOU 488b], reported by Clark, November 29, 1805, at Tongue Point. Corvus brachyrhynochos hesperis (Ridgeway, 1887).

    • Cutright: Northwestern Crow [AOU 489], described by Lewis, March 3, 1806, at Fort Clatsop. Corvus caurinus (Baird 1858).

    • Holmgren:    CROW, also see CORVUS.
      • "common" (4-9-05) American crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos, Brehm 1822.
      • "smaller" (1-2-06, 3-3-06) northwestern crow, Corvus caurinus, Baird 1858.

    • Holmgren:    CORVUS, Latin for crow; used in journals to label any of crow genus or family.
      • "black-winged" (5-28/29-06) Clark's nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana, Wilson 1811. Good description of species earlier (8-22-05) misnamed woodpecker.
      • "blue-crested" (5-26-05) Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri, Gmelin 1788.
      • "party-coloured" (6-20-04) means "black and white"; usually used as "party-coloured corvus or magpie", Black-billed Magpie.
      • "size of kingbird" (12-8-05) feeds on meat scraps. Gray Jay, Perisoreus canadensis, L. 1858. Formerly Canada jay.
      • "white-breasted" (1-2-06) gray jay.

    • Johnsgard:   American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos    Although crows must have been seen frequently across the Great Plains, little note of them was made. In the expedition's Meteorological Register of April 9, 1805, it was noted that crows had returned to Fort Mandan. Crows were also noted in some Montana locations, such as near Great Falls (June 15, 1805) and along the upper Marias River (July 19, 1806). American crow populations have increased significantly in North America during the last four decades, as the birds have benefited from better protection and from adjustments to city life.

    • Moulton (January 9, 1804):    The common, or American, crow is Corvus brachyrhynchos [AOU, 488], and probably the greater prairie chicken, first noticed November 16, 1803.

    • Moulton (April 12, 1805):    Clark's magpie is the black-billed magpie, Pica pica [AOU, 475], the "old field lark" is probably the western meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta [AOU, 501.1], and the crow is Corvus brachyrhynchos [AOU, 488]. Lewis describes the meadowlark on June 22, 1805. Holmgren, 31.    (NOTE: the "old field lark" is the EASTERN Meadowlark, see Moulton entries of June 22, 1805, and March 4, 1806.)

    • Moulton (September 22, 1805):    Perhaps a subspecies of the crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos [AOU, 488], C. b. hesperis, then new to science. Burroughs, 248; Cutright (LCPN), 432.

    • Moulton (October 20, 1805):    The common raven, Corvus corax, and the western variety of the common crow, C. brachyrhynchos hesperis.

    • NOTE pertaining to Moulton, September 22 and October 20 ... other researchers (i.e., see Cutright above) do not have C.b. hesperis showing up until November 29, 1805, while at Tongue Point.

    • Moulton (November 29, 1805):
      • "large Buzzard with white wings": [California Condor]
      • "grey and bald eagles": The "grey and bald eagle's" are, respectively, golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos [AOU, 349], and bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus [AOU, 352]. Burroughs, 204–8.
      • "large red tailed Hawks": Red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis [AOU, 337], a widespread species already known to science. Ibid., 208; Coues (HLC), 2:724.
      • "ravens and crows": Probably the common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486], and the American crow, C. brachyrhyncho [AOU, 488]. Burroughs, 248; Cutright (LCPN), 432.
      • "blue Magpie": Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri [AOU, 478], first noted by Lewis on September 20, 1805. The captain gives a full description in an undated entry, ca. December 18, 1805. Burroughs, 248–49.
      • "small brown bird which frequents logs & about the roots of trees": Perhaps the winter wren, Troglodytes troglodytes [AOU, 722], and if so, then new to science; see March 4, 1806. Burroughs, 252; Cutright (LCPN), 274, 438.

    • Moulton (November 30, 1805):   
      • "blue crains": Probably the great blue heron, Ardea herodias [AOU, 194], also called a blue crane in weather remarks for February 13, 1804. See also March 6, 1806. Burroughs, 183–84.
      • "duckinmallard": Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos [AOU, 132].
      • "black and white diver": Perhaps the bufflehead, Bucephala albeola [AOU, 153], already known to science. See March 9, 1806. Ibid., 187–88. Holmgren considers it the western grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis [AOU, 1], on the basis of the word "diver" being an old term for loons and grebes. Personal communication. See mention of other divers on March 10, 1806.

    • Moulton (January 3, 1806):
      • "small crow": probably the northwestern crow, Corvus caurinus [AOU, 489], a new species. Cutright (LCPN), 273, 432; Holmgren, 29.
      • "blue crested Corvus": [Steller's Jay]
      • "smaller corvus with a white breast": probably the gray jay.
      • "little brown ren": perhaps the winter wren.
      • "large brown sparrow": possibly the golden-crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla [AOU, 557]. Burroughs, 258. The fox sparrow, Passerella iliaca [AOU, 585], has also been suggested. Holmgren, 33.
      • "bald eagle": [Bald Eagle]
      • "beatifull Buzzard of the columbia": [California Condor}

    • Moulton (January 31, 1806, Weather Diary):    This last paragraph is found only in Clark's Codex I. The "pale yellow streiked and dove coloured robin" is presumably one bird, the varied thrush. Lewis describes it this day in his notebook journal. The wren is probably the winter wren, but see Holmgren, 34, for other possibilities.    (NOTE: Moulton gives no reference for the "small black Crow".)

    • Moulton (March 3, 1806):
      • "crow": The crow is in fact the northwestern crow, a new species.
      • "raven": The subspecies of raven in the Fort Clatsop area is Corvus corax sinuatus; Lewis would have been familiar with C. c. principalis to the East. Both are now combined with the common raven.
      • "large blackbird": The blackbird seen in the West would be Brewer's blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus [AOU, 510], while the bird he had seen in the East would more likely be the rusty blackbird, E. carolinus [AOU, 509]. Cutright (LCPN), 434; Burroughs, 248, 255–56. NOTE: in other Moulton entries, the "large blackbird" is said to be the Common Grackle, and the Brewer's or Rusty Blackbird is said to be the "small blackbird".
      • "large brown hawk": Coues suggests that the large brown hawk may be a subspecies of the red-tailed hawk, or Swainson's hawk, Buteo swainsoni [AOU, 342]. Holmgren calls it the northern harrier, Circus cyaneus [AOU, 331], also called the marsh hawk.
      • "small or sparrow hawk": The sparrow hawk is Falco sparverius [AOU, 360], now known as the American kestrel.
      • "hawk with long tail and blewish coloured wings sometimes called the hen hawk": Coues identifies as the northern harrier, whereas Holmgren considers it to be Cooper's hawk, Accipiter cooperii [AOU, 333]. Coues (HLC), 3:875; Holmgren, 30–31.

    • Moulton (July 27, 1806, Weather Diary):    The common, or American, crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos [AOU, 488]. Without the size given, the blackbirds are not identifiable.

    • Madge, Steve & Burn, Hilary (1994): Crows and jays: a guide to the crows, jays and magpies of the world, A&C Black, London, AND Goodwin, Derek & Gillmor, Robert (1976): Crows of the World (1st ed.). University of Washington Press, Seattle, as found and referenced on "Wikipedia.com" website (June 2011):   
      • Four subspecies are recognized.
      • They differ in bill proportion and form a rough NE-SW clinal in size across North America.
      • Birds are smallest in the far west and on the south coast.
      • Corvus brachyrhynchos brachyrhynchos – Eastern Crow: northeastern United States, eastern Canada and surroundings. Largest subspecies.
      • Corvus brachyrhynchos hesperis – Western Crow: Western North America except arctic north, Pacific Northwest and extreme south. Smaller overall with a proportionally more slender bill and low-pitched voice.
      • Corvus brachyrhynchos pascuus – Florida Crow: Florida. Mid-sized, short-winged but decidedly long bill and legs.
      • Corvus brachyrhynchos paulus – Southern Crow: southern United States. Smaller overall, bill also small.


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  • American Goldfinch ... (Pale Goldfinch, Western Goldfinch)
    L&C "goaldfinch"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2009, American Goldfinch, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    American Goldfinch, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken May 14, 2009.

    Lewis, June 8, 1805, while in Montana:
    "... The river bottoms affording all the timber which is to be seen in the country they are filled with innumerable litle birds that resort thither either for shelter or to build their nests.    when sun began to shine today these birds appeared to be very gay and sung most inchantingly; I observed among them the brown thrush, Robbin, turtle dove, linnit goaldfinch, the large and small blackbird, wren and several other birds of less note. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): goldfinch
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Goldfinch
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): American Goldfinch

    • Cutright: Pale Goldfinch [AOU 529a], discovered by Lewis, June 8, 1805, on the Marias River, Montana. Spinus tristris pallidus (Mearns, 1890).

    • Holmgren:    GOLDFINCH (6-8-05), American goldfinch, Carduelis tristis, L. 1758. Formerly Spinus trustus.

    • Johnsgard:   American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis:    Lewis also mentions seeing goldfinches among the birds singing along the Marias River in Montana on June 8, 1805. He was apparently quite familiar with this widespread woodland-and-edge species and gave it no special attention. Goldfinch populations have declined significantly in the past four decades.

    • Moulton (June 8, 1805):
      • Burroughs questions Criswell's identification of the linnet as the pine siskin, Carduelis pinus [AOU, 533]. Holmgren says the term linnet was used for any small bird with a red crown, especially the common redpoll, C. flammea [AOU, 528], the purple finch, Carpodacus purpureus [AOU, 517], and the house finch, C. mexicanus [AOU, 519]. Burroughs, 259; Criswell, 53; Holmgren, 32.
      • Lewis's "goaldfinch" is the American goldfinch, Carduelis tristis [AOU, 529].
      • The wren may be the winter wren, Troglodytes troglodytes [AOU, 722], or any of several other birds. Holmgren, 34.

    • Avibase world bird database has "Pale Goldfinch", Carduelis tristis pallida (Mearns, 1890), last listed in AOU edition 5, 33rd suppliment (after 1957), when the Pale Goldfinch, Northwestern Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis jewetti, vanRossem, 1943), and Willow Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis salicamans, Grinnell, 1897) were merged with the American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis tristis, Linnaeus, 1758). Another name for the Pale Goldfinch was "Western Goldfinch".


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  • American White Pelican
    L&C "pillican"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    American White Pelicans, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken June 9, 2009.

    Weather diary, April 6, 1804:
    "... a large flock of Pellicans appear. ..."


    Weather diary, June 16, 1804:
    "... the wood duck now has it's young, this duck is abundant, and except one Solatary Pelican and a few gees these ducks were the only aquatic fowls we have yet seen ..."


    Lewis, August 8, 1804:
    "... The Pellican rested again on a sand bar above the Island which we called after them from the number we saw on it ...    The beak is a whiteish yellow the under part connected to a bladder like pouch, this pounch is connected to both sides of the lower beak and extends down on the under side of the neck and terminates in the stomach—    this pouch is uncovered with feathers, and is formed [of] two skins the one on the inner and the other on the center side    a small quantity of flesh and strings of which the anamal has at pleasure the power of moving or drawing in such manner as to contract it at pleasure.    in the present subject I measured this pouch and found it's contents 5 gallons of water ... The plumage generally is white, the feathers are thin compared with the swan goose or most aquatick fouls and has but little or no down on the body. the upper part of the head is covered with black f[e]athe[r]s short, as far as the back part of the head ... The large f[e]athers of the wings are of a deep black colour ..."


    Whitehouse, August 8, 1804, 2nd version:
    "... Captain Lewis shot a Pelican, the bag which it carried its drink in, held five Gallons by measure, we passed an Island, called the Pelican Island where we saw a very considerable number of Pelicans flying, they kept flying before us the whole of this day, ..."


    Clark, October 20, 1805, near Crow Butte State Park, Washington:
    "... here I Saw a great number of pelicons on the wing, and black Comerants ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): pillican
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): White Pelican
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): American White Pelican

    • Holmgren:   
      • PELICAN (6-20-04) American white pelican, pelecanus erythrorhynchos, Gmelin 1789.
      • PELICAN ISLAND (8-8-04), Site where pelican beak was measured for capacity and found to hold 5 gallons of water.

    • Johnsgard:   American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos:    On August 8, 1804, the expedition found a flock of several hundred white pelicans resting on a sandbar about two miles north of the mouth of Little Sioux River, in present-day Burt or Thurston County, Nebraska, and Monona County, Iowa. One of these birds was shot and measured by Captain Lewis, and its throat pouch was determined to hold five gallons of water. An estimate of 5,000 to 6,000 birds was made the same day by Private Whitehouse. Pelicans were also seen on the return trip, September 4 and 5, 1806, near the mouth of the Vermillion River, and within the river stretch from present-day Burt to Dixon Counties, Nebraska. A few were also shot on September 6 in what would become southern Burt County. A few white pelicans still use this dredged and highly channelized stretch of the Missouri River during migration to and from their North Dakota or Manitoba breeding grounds, but most migration now occurs in lakes and rivers farther west, where the waters may be clearer and less swift.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 6, 1804):    The American white pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos [AOU, 125]. See Lewis's detailed description of this bird on August 8, 1804.

    • Moulton (August 8, 1804):    Lewis's natural history notes from Codex Q. The bird, as Coues notes in his interlineation, is the American white pelican, first noticed in weather remarks for April 6, 1804.

    • Moulton (October 20, 1805): The American white pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos [AOU, 125], and the double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus [AOU, 120]. See March 6, 1806, for a description of the cormorant. Burroughs, 182; Holmgren, 29. The White Pelican appearance was the reason for naming the Pelican rapids (on Atlas map 76).

    • Audubon (Birds of America, 1844, vol.7):    "... I feel great pleasure, good reader, in assuring you, that our White Pelican, which has hitherto been considered the same as that found in Europe, is quite different. In consequence of this discovery, I have honoured it with the name of my beloved country ...  &nbps; My learned friend [Dr. Richardson] ... speaks of the 'long thin boy process seen on the upper mandible of the bill of this species', and although neither he nor Mr. Swainson pointed out the actual differences otherwise existing between this and the European species, he states that no such appearnace has been described as occurring on the bills of the White Pelicans of the old Continent. ... "


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  • Black-billed Magpie
    L&C "magpy or party-coloured corvus"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2011, Klickitat County, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Black-billed Magpie, Klickitat County, Washington. Day overcast and gray. Image taken October 15, 2011.

    Clark, September 17, 1804, while at the Big Bend of the Missouri River:
    "... Capt Lewis went out with a View to see the Countrey and its productions, he was out all day    he killed a Buffalow and a remarkable Bird of the Corvus Species long tail the upper part of the feathers & also the wing is of a purplish variated Green, the black, a part of the wing feather are white edjed with black, white belley, white from the root of the wings to Center of the back is white, the head nake [neck] breast & other parts are black the Becke like a Crow. abt. the Size of a large Pigion.    a butifull thing ..."


    Lewis, September 17, 1804, while at the Big Bend of the Missouri River:
    "... one of the hunters killed a bird of the Corvus genus and order of the pica & about the size of a jack-daw with a remarkable long tale.    beautifully variagated.    it note is not disagreeable though loud— it is twait twait twait, twait; twait, twait twait, twait. ...    the underside of the feathers is a pale black, the upper side is a dark blueish green which like the outer part of the wings is changable as it reflects different portions of light.    towards the the extremety of these feathers they become of an orrange green, then shaded pass to a redish indigo blue, and again at the extremity assume the predominant colour of changeable green—    the tints of these feathers are very similar and equally as beatiful and rich as the tints of blue and green of the peacock—    it is a most beatifull bird.— ...    these birds are seldom found in parties of more than three or four and most usually at this season single as the halks and other birds of prey usually are—    it's usual food is flesh— this bird dose not spread it's tail when it flys and the motion of it's wings when flying is much like that of a Jay-bird— ..."

    Clark, April 12, 1805, near the mouth of the Little Missouri River:
    "... I Saw the Magpie in pars, flocks of Grouse, the old field lark & Crows ..."


    Clark, undated entry, with non-bird entries omitted:
    "... The Prairie Fowl common to the Illinois are found as high up as the River Jacque above which the Sharpe tailed Grows commence    950 Ms. ...
    Indian Hen & Small Species of Kildee which frequent drift is found as high up as the Entrance of the Little Sieux river    733 ms. ...
    Parotqueet is Seen as high as the Mahar Village    836 ms. ...
    In descending the Missouri & Rochejhone ...
    Turkeys first appear at the enterance of Tylors Rivr above the big bend 1200 miles up this Missouri    1206
    The pointed tail Prarie fowl are found above the Big bend upwards.    1200 ms. up ...
    The party coloured Corvus or Magpy Commence at or about Corvus Creek and from thence upwards.    1130 ..."


    Weather diary, April 16, 1806, while at Rock Fort, The Dalles, Oregon:
    "... morning unusually warm. vegitation rapidly progressing.— at the rock fort camp saw the prarie lark, a speceis of the peawee, the blue crested fisher, the partycoloured corvus, and the black pheasant. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): magpy or party-coloured corvus
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): American Magpie
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Black-billed Magpie

    • Cutright: Black-billed Magpie [AOU 475], discovered on September 16, 1804, near the site of present-day Chamberlain, South Dakota. Pica pica hudsonia (Sabine, 1823).

    • Holmgren:    MAGPIE, MAGPY, MAGPYE (9-17-04) black-billed magpie, Pica pica, L. 1758. Since the presence of this European species in the United States was unknown to Lewis, he sent back four living birds to President Jefferson from Fort Mandan (4-4-05) only one of which arrived alive to be painted by Alexander Wilson for his American Ornithology.

    • Johnsgard:   Black-billed Magpie Pica pica:    Magpies were apparently first seen near the Big Bend of the Missouri and were later found to be winter residents of Fort Mandan. Four living specimens were sent from Fort Mandan to President Jefferson, who in turn passed at least one surviving individual on to Charles W. Peale for exhibit in the Philadelphia Museum. This specimen was later used by Alexander Wilson as the basis for an illustration in his American Ornithology. The species was already well known from Europe, but the American magpie represented a new subspecies. Magpies were also reported in eastern Montana near Fort Union (April 27, 1805) and near Fort Peck (August 3, 1806). Black-billed magpie populations have decreased significantly in North America during the last four decades.

    • Moulton (September 17, 1804, Clark entry):    Clark's, and Lewis's longer account in Codex Q for this date, are the first descriptions of the black-billed magpie, Pica pica. Magpies had not previously been known to exist in the New World; the American bird is a subspecies of the European magpie. They named Corvus Creek for this bird, one of the few uses of a Latin zoological term in the journals. Cutright (LCPN), 84–85.

    • Moulton (September 17, 1804, Lewis entry):    Lewis's natural history notes from Codex Q. The bird is the black-billed magpie ...    The gold-winged blackbird mentioned for comparison of the magpie may be the red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus [AOU, 498], or possibly some type of oriole (Icterus sp.).

    • NOTE (in reference to Moulton, September 17, 1804, Lewis entry): can not find reference to "gold-winged blackbird" as Moulton states. The "jack-daw", which is mentioned, is an European bird of the Crow family. The "Jay-bird" is the Blue Jay.

    • Moulton (April 12, 1805):    Clark's magpie is the black-billed magpie, Pica pica [AOU, 475], the "old field lark" is probably the western meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta [AOU, 501.1], and the crow is Corvus brachyrhynchos [AOU, 488]. Lewis describes the meadowlark on June 22, 1805. Holmgren, 31.    (NOTE: the "old field lark" is the EASTERN Meadowlark, see Moulton entries of June 22, 1805, and March 4, 1806.)

    • Moulton (Clark, undated entry):    This document is found in Codex N, pp. 153–54 ... (non-bird references omitted):
      • "Prairie Fowl common to the Illinois": greater prairie-chicken; sharp-tailed grouse;
      • "Indian Hen": greater prairie-chicken;
      • "Killdeer": Charadrius vociferus [AOU, 273];    (NOTE: Clark didn't mean Killdeer as Moulton comment alludes to, but instead Clark wrote the "Small Species of Kildee", which researchers are considering is the "Piping Plover")
      • "Parotqueet": Carolina parakeet, Conuropsis carolinensis [AOU, 382];
      • "Turkey": Wild Turkey
      • "The pointed tail Prarie Fowl": sharp-tailed grouse;
      • "party coloured Corvus or Magpy": black-billed magpie;

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 16, 1806):
      • "prarie lark": Western Meadowlark or Horned Lark;
      • "speceis of the peawee": Probably Say's phoebe, Sayornis saya [AOU, 457]. Holmgren, 32. It is not mentioned in Clark's remarks.
      • "blue crested fisher": Belted Kingfisher,
      • "partycoloured corvus": Black-billed Magpie,
      • "black pheasant": Sooty or Dusky Grouse.


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  • Bonaparte's Gull
    L&C "small gull"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Bonaparte's Gulls, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken May 23, 2009.

    Clark, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... There are 4 Species of the larus or gull on this coast and river.    1st a Small Species the Size of a Pegion; white except some black spots about the head and the little bone on the but of the wing.    2d a Species Somewhat larger of a light brown colour, with a mealy coloured back.    3rd the large Grey Gull, or white larus with a greyish brown back, and light grey belly and breast, about the Size of a well grown pullet, the wings are remarkably long in perpotion to the Size of the body and it's under chap towards the extremity is gibbous and protuberant than in either of the other Species.    a White Gull about the Size of the Second with a remarkable beak; adjoining the head and on the base of the upper Chap there is an elivated orning of the Same Substance with the beak which forms the nostriels at A; it is Somewhat in this form.    the feet are webed and the legs and feet of a yellow colour.    the form of the wings body &c are much that of the 2d Species this bird was Seen on Haleys bay [Baker Bay]. ..."


    Lewis, March 7, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... there are four speceis of larus or gull on this coast and river, 1st a small speceis about the size of a pigeon; white except some black spots about the head and a little brown on the but of the wings,    2nd a speceis somewhat larger of a light brown colour with a whitish or mealy coloured back.    3rd the large grey gull, or white larus with a greyish brown back and a light grey belley and breast, about the size of a well grown pullet or reather larger.    the wings are remarkably long in proportion to the size of the body and it's under chap towards the extremity is more gibbous and protuberant than in either of the other speceis.    4th a white gull about the size of the second with a remarkable beak; adjoining the head and at the base of the uper Chap there is an elivated orning of the same substance with the beak which forms the nostrils; it is some what in this form.    the feet are webbed and the legs and feet of a yellow colour.    the form of the wings body &c are much that of the seond species.    the large grey gull is found on the river as high as the entrance of the Kooskooske and in common with other speceis on the coast; the others appear to be confined to tidewater; and the fourth speceis not so common as either of the others. ..."


    "The Aquatic birds of this country, or such as obtain their subsistence from the water, are the large blue and brown heron [Great Blue Heron], fishing hawk [Osprey], blue crested fisher [Belted Kingfisher], gulls of several species of the Coast [see Bonaparte's Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull], the large grey gull of the Columbia [Western Gull], Comorant [Double-crested Cormorant], loons of two species [Pacific Loon and Western Grebe], white, and the brown brant [Snow Goose and Brant], small and large geese [Cackling Geese and Canada Goose], small and large swan [Tundra Swan and Trumpeter Swan], the Duckinmallard [Mallard], canvis back duck [Canvasback], red headed fishing duck [Red-breasted Merganser or Common Merganser], black and white duck [Bufflehead], little brown duck [unknown, possibly one of the Teals], black duck [American Coot], two species of divers [Pied-billed Grebe and Red-necked Grebe], blue winged teal [Blue-winged Teal], and some other speceis of ducks."
    -- Lewis, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop



    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): small gull
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Bonaparte's Gull
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Bonaparte's Gull
    • Patterson (comments): Bonaparte's or Mew Gull, the description is equivocal with some elements in favor of each.

    • Cutright: Bonaparte's Gull [AOU 60], described by Lewis, March 7, 1806, at Fort Clatsop. Larus philadelphia (Ord, 1815).

    • Holmgren:    GULLS
      • "brown" (3-6-06) most immature gulls wear a brown mottled plumage through their second winter. These may be any of the "grey" adults below.
      • "grey" (3-6-06) herring gull, Larus argentatus, Pontopidan 1763; ring-billed gull, Larus delawarensis, Ord 1815; western gull Larus occidentalis, Audubon 1839; glaucous-winged, Larus glaucenscens, Naumann 1840; California gull, Larus californicus, Lawrence 1854.
      • "small" (3-6-06) size of a pigeon, black on head. Probably Bonaparte's gull, Larus philadelphia, Ord 1815, but could be Forster's tern Sterna Forsteri Nuttall 1834.
      • "speckled" (10-2-05) any immature gull, as above under "brown".
      • "white" (3-6-06) with odd beak. Clark's sketch and description of prominent nasal tubes identify this species as the northern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis, L. 1761, in its white phase. Not a gull, though gull-like in actions and appearance.
      • "wings tipped in black" (9-27-04) Probably herring gull or ring-billed, as under "grey".

    • Moulton (March 6, 1806):
      • "Small Species the Size of a Pegion": Coues identifies it as Bonaparte's gull, Larus philadelphia [AOU, 60]; Burroughs says that if so, it must have been a juvenile in its first winter plumage. Coues (HLC), 3:811 n. 84; Burroughs, 230. Holmgren, 30, also gives Bonaparte's gull and adds Forster's tern, Sterna forsteri [AOU, 69], as a possibility.
      • "Somewhat larger of a light brown colour": According to Coues, a young glaucous-winged gull, Larus glaucescens [AOU, 44]. Burroughs appears skeptical of the identification, while Holmgren suggests it could be any of a number of immature gulls. Coues (HLC), 3:811 n. 84; Burroughs, 230; Holmgren, 30.
      • "Large Grey Gull": An immature western gull. Coues (HLC), 3:881 n. 84; Burroughs, 230–31. Holmgren, 30, includes the western gull among a number of other species of Larus as possibilities.
      • "White Gull": Northern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis [AOU, 86], not a gull. Coues (HLC), 881 n. 84; Burroughs, 179; Holmgren, 30.


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  • Brewer's Blackbird ... or Rusty Blackbird
    L&C "small blackbird"
    Brewer's Blackbird is a NEW BIRD, Rusty Blackbird is not

    Image, 2008, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2011, Woodland, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Brewer's Blackbird, male (left) and Rusty Blackbird, male (right). Left image taken November 26, 2008, Vancouver, Washington. Right image taken November 6, 2011, Woodland, Washington, with bird in non-breeding plumage.

    Weather diary, May 17, 1805:
    "... the Gees have their young; the Elk begin to produce their young, the Antelope and deer as yet have not.—    the small species of Goatsucker or whiperwill begin to cry—    the blackbirds both small and large have appeared.    we have had scarcely any thunder and lightning.    the clouds are generally white and accompanyed with wind only ..."


    Lewis, June 25, 1805, while at _____:
    "... The river is about 800 yds. wide opposite to us above these islands, and has a very gentle current    the bottoms are hadsome level and extensive on both sides; the bank on this side is not more than 2 feet above the level of the water; it is a pretty little grove in which our camp is situated. ... great quantities of mint also are here    it resemble the pepper mint very much in taste and appearance.    the young blackbirds which are almost innumerable in these islands just begin to fly. ..."


    Gass, June 25, 1805:
    "... There is in the bottoms a great quantity of spear-mint and currant bushes.    Also multitudes of blackbirdTs ..."


    Lewis, March 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The Crow raven and Large Blackbird are the same as those of our country only that the crow is here much smaller yet it's note is the same ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large blackbird
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Brewer's Blackbird
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Brewer's Blackbird
    • Patterson (comments): blackbird sp., the description is too vague to commit to.

    • Coues (1893, vol.3, p.875):    13. The large blackbird [blue-headed grackle, Scolecophagus cyanocephalus] is [not] the same with those ouf our country, and is found everywhere in this country.

    • Cutright: Brewer's Blackbird [AOU 510], mentioned by Lewis, June 25, 1805, at Great Falls, Montana. Euphagus cyanocephalus (Wagler, 1829).

    • Holmgren:    BLACKBIRDS (8-25-04),
      • "large" (8-8-05), common grackle, Quiscalus quiscula, L. 1758.
      • "small" (6-8-05) rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinsu, Muller 1776, and/or Brewer's blackbird,Euphagus cyanocephala, Wagner 1829.

    • Johnsgard:   Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater and Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus:    Few specific notes were made on these presumably common and probably widespread species, which are adapted to forage at the feet of large ungulates such as bison. In the expedition's Meteorological Register of May 17, 1805, it was noted that "large and small blackbirds" had returned to eastern Montana. Elliott Coues identified these as most probably brown-headed cowbirds and Brewer's blackbirds. Probable cowbirds were also seen near Great Falls (July 11- 13, 1805, and July 11, 1806), and this species (referred to by the explorers as the "buffalo-pecker") must have regularly associated with bison before domestic cattle appeared on the Great Plains. Cowbird populations are now declining nationally, but they still pose a serious threat to native songbirds because of their parasitic nesting behavior. Brewer's blackbird populations have also declined significantly rangewide.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, May 17, 1805):    The large blackbird is probably the common grackle, Quiscalus quiscula [AOU, 511], while the small blackbird could be the rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus [AOU, 509], and/or Brewer's blackbird, E. cyanocephalus [AOU, 510]. If the latter, then Lewis was its discoverer. Holmgren, 28; Cutright (LCPN), 167–68.

    • Moulton (June 25, 1805):    Perhaps rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus, or Brewer's blackbird, E. cyanocephalus. The party also apparently called the common grackle, Quisculus quiscula, a blackbird.

    • Moulton (March 3, 1806):
      • "crow": The crow is in fact the northwestern crow, a new species.
      • "raven": The subspecies of raven in the Fort Clatsop area is Corvus corax sinuatus; Lewis would have been familiar with C. c. principalis to the East. Both are now combined with the common raven.
      • "large blackbird": The blackbird seen in the West would be Brewer's blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus [AOU, 510], while the bird he had seen in the East would more likely be the rusty blackbird, E. carolinus [AOU, 509]. Cutright (LCPN), 434; Burroughs, 248, 255–56. NOTE: in other Moulton entries, the "large blackbird" is said to be the Common Grackle, and the Brewer's or Rusty Blackbird is said to be the "small blackbird".


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  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird ... and/or Rufous Hummingbird ... or Calliope or Black-chinned ...
    L&C "hummingbird", "hummingbird at nest"
    Broad-tailed is NEW BIRD, Rufous is not

    Image, 2009, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Rufous Hummingbird, male, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken April 6, 2009.

    Weather diary, March 26, 1806, Fisher Island/Green Point, Oregon, near Longview, Washington:
    "... cold and rainy last night.    wind hard this morning    fair at 9 A. M. Cloudy at 1 P. M.    The humming bird has appeared.    killed one of them and found it the same with those common to the United States. ..."


    Lewis, April 5, 1806, in the Washougal/Sandy River area:
    "... Saw the Log cock, the hummingbird, gees ducks &c today.    ...    we measured a fallen tree of fir No. 1 which was 318 feet including the stump which was about 6 feet high.    this tree was only about 3 1/2 feet in diameter.    we saw the martin, small gees, the small speckled woodpecker with a white back, the Blue crested Corvus, ravens, crows, eagles Vultures and hawks. ..."


    Lewis, June 15, 1806, on the Lolo Trail, Idaho:
    "... Saw the speckled woodpecker, bee martin and log cock or large woodpecker.    found the nest of a humming bird, it had just began to lay its eggs. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): hummingbird
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Rufous Hummingbird
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Rufous Hummingbird
    • Patterson (comments): at Green Point, Columbia County, Oregon

    • Patterson (what L&C described): hummingbird at nest
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Broad-tailed Hummingbird
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Broad-tailed Hummingbird
    • Patterson (comments): Hummingbird sp. (Weippe Prairie, ID) while Broad-tailed Hummingbird is a reasonable identification, there is no description and neither Calliope nor Black-chinned can be ruled out. In fact, this site even falls into eastern edge of the breeding range for Rufous.

    • Cutright: Broad-tailed Hummingbird [AOU 432], discovered by Lewis, June 15, 1806, just west of Hundry Creek, on the Lolo Trail, Idaho. Selasphorus platycercus platycercus (Swainson, 1827).

    • Holmgren:    Two species are almost certainly involved, since there were two sightings in quite different terrain with intervening mountains, and no single species is abundant in both areas for obvious choice. Lewis killed the first of these two (3-26-06) and declared it the same as the ruby-throated hummingbird, Archilochus colubris, L. 1758, which he knew as the only hummingbird seen in Atlantic States. This identification was an undisputed error, because the ruby-throated is not seen in the West. At the time, only one species had been classified -- the rufous -- and Lewis had probably not heard of it. Nevertheless, he did kill the first specimen seen for further identification, but not the second (6-15-06) which was a female on the nest. The sex of the first was not recorded, but it was definitely not a male rufous, which has a copper-toned coat quite unlike the emerald green of the ruby-throated male and female. Most of the other western species in either area also have green coats, and so except for ruling out the rufous male, the identity of either hummingbird can be determined only by present range and similarity to the ruby-throated. Two, of four likely species are described below, were seen:

      • FIRST SIGHTING: (3-26-06), Fisher Island, north side of the Columbia River downstrem from present Longview, Washington. Which of the following three ?
        • "rufous hummingbird",Selasphorus rufus, Gmelin 1788. Female only. Most abundant species in area but has rufous touches on belly and tail which could easily have been seen with dead bird in hand - but Lewis may not have known that the female ruby-throated lacks rufous coloring.
        • "black-chinned hummingbird", Archilocus alexandri, Bourcier & Mulsant, 1846. Male is eliminated by violet-black gorget instead of ruby red. Female is almost identical with female ruby-throated. Seldom nests in area, but is often seen on migration and could easily have been passing through on this date. Tail not notched - a small difference Lewis might have missed.
        • "calliope hummingbird", Stellula calliope, Gould 1847. Male eliminated by having a red-and-white striped gorget instead of solid ruby red -- unless Lewis mistook the difference for imperfection due to moulting. Female is very similar, except for lack of a notched tail - again a difference Lewis could have missed. Both male and female Calliope are smaller than the ruby-throated by 1/4 inch or so -- another easily-missed difference.
      • SECOND SIGHTING (6-15-06) in present Idaho, west of Hungry Creek on the Lolo Trail. Cited as female on nest. Which of the following four ?
        • "rufous hummingbird", as above. Not abundant here. Possible but not probable. Again, different as noted above.
        • "black-chinned", as above. Nests in area. Almost identical with ruby-throated female except as noted above.
        • "calliope, as above. Nests in the area. More abundant than black-chinned now. Difference by size and tail shape as noted above.
        • "broad-tailed hummingbird", Selasphorus platycercus, Swainson 1827. Almost identical to ruby-throated except for rufous touches on tail and belly (less than rufous female). Male almost identical with ruby-throated male but was not mentioned.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, March 26, 1806):    Holmgren, 31, believes this to be one of three species: rufous hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus [AOU, 433]; black-chinned hummingbird, Archilochus alexandri [AOU, 429]; or calliope hummingbirg, Stellula calliope [AOU, 436]. See also Burroughs, 236–37; Jollie, 5.

    • Moulton (April 5, 1806):    Moulton gives no more information on the hummingbird seen.

    • Moulton (June 15, 1806):    Identified by Coues (HLC), 3:1044 and n. 8, as the broad-tailed hummingbird, Selasphorus platycercus [AOU, 432], a new species. See also Cutright (LCPN), 301, 306, 437. Holmgren, 31, thinks it could be one of four species, including the broad-tailed.


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  • Cackling Goose ... (Hutchin's Goose)
  • Canada Goose ... (Lesser Canada Goose)
    L&C "small Canada goose"
    BOTH are NEW BIRDS

    Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Cackling Geese species (left) and Canada Goose species (right), Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Left image taken April 20, 2007. Right image taken May 6, 2007.

    Lewis, May 5, 1805:
    "... saw a great number of white brant also the common brown brant, geese of the common kind and a small species of geese which differ considerably from the common canadian goose; their neck head and beak are considerably thicker shorter and larger than the other in proportion to it's size, they are also more than a third smaller, and their note more like that of the brant or a young goose which has not perfectly acquired his notes, in all other rispects they are the same colour habits and the number of feathers in the tale, they frequently also ascociate with the large geese when in flocks, but never saw them pared off with the large or common goose. ..."


    Clark, November 2, 1805, first draft, while in the Columbia River Gorge near Rooster Rock.
    "... We Labiech killed 14 Geese & a Brant, Collins one Jos. Fields & R 3 those gees are much Smaller than Common, and have white under their rumps & around the tale, ..."


    Lewis, March 8, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The small goose of this country is reather less than the brant; it's head and neck like the brant are reather larger than that of the goose in proportion; their beak is also thicker and shorter.    their notes are more like those of our tame gees; in all other rispects they are the same with the large goose with which, they so frequently ascociate that it was some time after I first observed this goose before I could determine whether it was a distinct speceis or not. I have now no hesitation in declaring them a distinct speceis.    the large goose is the same of that common on the Atlantic coast, and known by the appellation of the wild, or Canadian goose. ..."


    "The Aquatic birds of this country, or such as obtain their subsistence from the water, are the large blue and brown heron [Great Blue Heron], fishing hawk [Osprey], blue crested fisher [Belted Kingfisher], gulls of several species of the Coast [see Bonaparte's Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull], the large grey gull of the Columbia [Western Gull], Comorant [Double-crested Cormorant], loons of two species [Pacific Loon and Western Grebe], white, and the brown brant [Snow Goose and Brant], small and large geese [Cackling Geese and Canada Goose], small and large swan [Tundra Swan and Trumpeter Swan], the Duckinmallard [Mallard], canvis back duck [Canvasback], red headed fishing duck [Red-breasted Merganser or Common Merganser], black and white duck [Bufflehead], little brown duck [unknown, possibly one of the Teals], black duck [American Coot], two species of divers [Pied-billed Grebe and Red-necked Grebe], blue winged teal [Blue-winged Teal], and some other speceis of ducks."
    -- Lewis, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop



    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): small Canada goose
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Lesser Canada Goose
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Canada Goose
    • Patterson (comments): Cackling Goose, formly consider small races of Canada Goose, but now considered a distinct species

    • Cutright: Hutchins's Goose [AOU 172a], seen by Lewis, May 5, 1805, above mouth of Poplar River, Montana. Branta canadensis hutchinsii (Richardson, 1831).

    • Cutright: Lesser Canada Goose [AOU 172d], described by Lewis, March 8, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop. Branta canadensis leucopareia (Brandt, 1836).

    • Holmgren:    GOOSE (2-4-04)
      • "common" (5-5-05) Canada goose, Branta Canadensis, L. 1758.
      • "nest in trees" (5-3-05) Canada Goose.
      • "smaller" (5-5-05) cackling goose, Branta canadensis minima, Ridgway 1885, or other small sub-species of Canada Goose.

    • Moulton (May 5, 1805):    Lewis notices snow geese and brant. His common goose is the Canada goose, used for comparing what was probably the lesser Canada, or tundra, goose, Branta canadensis leucopareia [AOU, 172.1], the cackling goose, B. c. minima [AOU, 172.2], or Hutchins's goose B. c. hutchinsii [AOU, 172.3]. All are now grouped as a single species. Clark copied this passage verbatim in his entry for May 26, 1805. Lewis gives a bit more detail on March 6, 1806. Burroughs, 195–96; Holmgren, 30; Cutright (LCPN), 430.

    • Moulton (November 2, 1805):    The brant is Branta bernicla [AOU, 173], while the common goose is the Canada goose, B. canadensis [AOU, 172]. The smaller goose is evidently one of the subspecies of the Canada goose, perhaps the lesser Canada goose, B. canadensis leucopareia [AOU, 172.1], but other subspecies are possible. See also, May 5, 1805, and March 8, 1806. Burroughs, 192–96.

    • Avibase, the world bird database website (2010):   
      • The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) consists of subspecies canadensis, fulva, interior, moffitti, parvipes, maxima, and occidentalis.
      • The Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii) consists of subspecies hutchinsii, minima, leucopareta, taverneri, and asiatica.


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  • Clark's Nutcracker
    L&C "speceis of woodpecker, which fed on the seeds of the pine"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2009, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Clark's Nutcracker, Mount Hood, Oregon. Image taken August 16, 2009.

    Lewis, August 22, 1805, while on the Lemhi River, Idaho:
    "... I saw today a speceis of woodpecker, which fed on the seeds of the pine.    it's beak and tail were white, it's wings were black, and every other part of a dark brown.    it was about the size of a robin ..."


    Clark, August 22, 1805, while on the Lemhi River, Idaho:
    "... I Saw to day Bird of the wood pecker kind which fed on Pine burs its Bill and tale white the wings black every other part of a light brown, and about the Size of a robin. ..."


    Lewis, May 28, 1806:
    "... since my arrival here I have killed several birds of the corvus genus [EC: Picicorvus] of a kind found only in the rocky mountains and their neighbourhood. I first met with this bird above the three forks of the Missouri and saw them on the hights of the rocky Mountains but never before had an opportunity of examining them closely.    the small corvus [EC: Perisoreus] discribed at Fort Clatsop is a different speceis, tho' untill now I had taken it to be the same, this is much larger and has a loud squawling note something like the mewing of a cat.    the beak of this bird is 1 1/2 inches long, is proportionably large, black and of the form which characterizes the genus.    the upper exceeds the under chap a little.    the head and neck are also proportionably large.    the eye full and reather prominent, the iris dark brown and puple black.    it is about the size and somewhat the form of the Jaybird tho reather rounder or more full in the body.    the tail is four and a half inches in length, composed of 12 feathers nearly of the same length. the head neck and body of this bird are of a dove colour.    the wings are black except the extremities of six large fathers ocupying the middle joint of the wing which are white.    the under disk of the wing is not of the shining or grossy black which marks it's upper surface. the two feathers in the center of the tail are black as are the two adjacent feathers for half their width the ballance are of a pure white.    the feet and legs are black and imbricated with wide scales.    the nails are black and remarkably long and sharp, also much curved.    it has four toes on each foot of which one is in the rear and three in front.    the toes are long particularly that in the rear.    this bird feeds on the seed of the pine and also on insects.    it resides in the rocky mountains at all seasons of the year, and in many parts is the only bird to be found. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): woodpecker (jaybird)
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Clark's Nutcracker
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Clark's Nutcracker

    • Cutright: Clark's Nutcracker [AOU 491], discovered by Clark, August 22, 1805, near present town of Tendoy, on the Lemhi River, Idaho. Nucifraga columbiana (Wilson, 1811).

    • Holmgren:    CORVUS, Latin for crow; used in journals to label any of crow genus or family.
      • "black-winged" (5-28/29-06) Clark's nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana, Wilson 1811. Good description of species earlier (8-22-05) misnamed woodpecker.

    • Holmgren:    WOODPECKERS
      • "black-winged" (8-22-05) In this entry Clark's nutcracker was inadvertently reported as a woodpecker instead of a corvus. Wilson in his American Ornithology (1811) labeled it Clark's Crow, Corvus columbianus, later changed to .

    • Moulton (August 22, 1805):    Lewis gives the first description of Clark's nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana [AOU, 491], but he got the description from Clark, whom he quotes. See also May 28, 1806. Burroughs, 251–52; Holmgren 29, 34.

    • Moulton (May 28, 1806):
      • Clark's nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana [AOU, 491], first observed on August 22, 1805, and now given its first full description. Named for Clark by Alexander Wilson, who also included a drawing of it in his published ornithology. Coues's penciled term Picicorvus was the bird's genus name in his time. Coues (HLC), 3:1028 n. 20; Cutright (LCPN), 383–87; Burroughs, 251–52; Holmgren, 29.
      • The "small corvus" at Fort Clatsop is presumably the gray jay, Perisoreus canadensis [AOU, 484], described on December 18, 1805.
      • The "Jaybird" is the blue jay, Cyanocitta cristata [AOU, 477].


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  • Common Nighthawk ... (Pacific Nighthawk)
    L&C "goatsucker", "large batt, or night hawk"
    NEW BIRD

    Weather diary, June 5, 1805:
    "... rained considerably    some Snow fell on the mounts.    great numbers of the sparrows larks, Curloos and other small birds common to praries are now laying their eggs and seting, their nests are in great abundance.    the large batt, or night hawk appears.    the Turkey buzzard appears.—    first saw the mountain cock near the entrance of Maria's river.— ..."

    Lewis, June 30, 1805:
    "... There are a number of large bat or goatsucker here    I killed one of them and found that there was no difference between them and those common to the U' States; I have not seen the leather winged bat for some time nor is there any of the small goatsuckers in this quarter of the country.    we have not the whip-poor-will either.    this last is by many persons in the U' States confounded with the large goat-sucker or night-hawk as it is called in the Eastern States, and are taken for the same bird.    it is true that there is a great resemblance but they are distinct species of the goatsucker.    here the one exists without the other.    the large goat sucker lays it's eggs in these open plains without the preperation of a nest    we have found their eggs in several instances    they lay only two before they set nor do I beleive that they raise more than one brood in a season; they have now just hatched their young ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): goatsucker
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Pacific Nighthawk
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Common Nighthawk

    • Cutright: Pacific Nighthawk [AOU 420d], mentioned by Lewis, June 30, 1805, at Great Falls, Montana. Chordeiles minor hesperis (Grinnell, 1905).

    • Johnsgard:   Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor:    On June 30, 1805, near Great Falls, Montana, Captain Lewis shot a bird he identified as a species of goatsucker, reporting that it was identical to those of the Atlantic states, "where it is called the large goat-sucker or night hawk." Nighthawks, whip-poor-wills, and poorwills are aerial insect-eaters; their extremely large mouths are responsible for their colorful if erroneous vernacular name "goatsuckers." Common nighthawk populations have declined significantly in North America during the last four decades, as have other goatsuckers.

    • Holmgren:    BAT (6-5-05, 6-30-05) When BAT is linked with the phrase "or nighthawk" or "or goatsucker" the species meant is the common nighthawk, Chordeiles minor, Forster 1771. When the term is LEATHER-WINGED BAT (4-16-05) the species is a mammal, but listed by Lewis and Clark as a bird, as is done in the Bible, Leviticus 11:19.

    • Holmgren:    GOATSUCKER (9-16-04, 6-30-05) Old European fold name for birds of the nightjar family (Caprimulgidae) based on the mistaken idea that the birds followed the goats to drink milk. Actually the birds area after insects stirred up by moving flocks.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, June 5, 1805):
      • The sparrows could be any of a number of small brown birds.
      • The larks are similarly unidentifiable,
      • as are the "Curloos" which could be any shorebird with a long bill. Holmgren, 29, 33.
      • The "large batt, or night hawk" is again the common nighthawk.
      • The turkey vulture, Cathartes aura [AOU, 325], already known to science. Holmgren, 28; Burroughs, 203–4.
      • The sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus [AOU, 309], then unknown to science. Lewis gave a detailed description on March 2, 1806. Cutright (LCPN), 157; Burroughs, 213–15.

    • Moulton (June 30, 1805):    The large goatsucker is probably the common nighthawk, Chordeiles minor [AOU, 420]; to Burroughs and Coues it was a subspecies, the Pacific nighthawk, C. m. hesperis, but the most recent opinion seems to agree with Lewis that there was no significant difference from the Eastern variety. The bird was then colloquially called a "bat," and the mammal was distinguished by Lewis as the "leather-winged bat," which could be any of a number of species. The "small goatsucker" would probably be the common poorwill as identified previously. Coues (HLC), 2:398 and 398 n. 16; Burroughs, 235–36; Holmgren, 28, 34. Lewis distinguishes the whip-poor-will, Caprimulgus vociferus [AOU, 417], from the common nighthawk.


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  • Common Poorwill ... (Nuttall's Poor-will)
    L&C
    NEW BIRD

    Lewis, October 16, 1804:
    "... This day took a small bird [EC: Phalaenoptilus nuttalli ] alive of the order of the [blank] or goat suckers.    it appeared to be passing into the dormant state.    on the morning of the 18th the murcury was at 30 a[bove] 0. the bird could scarcely move.—    I run my penknife into it's body under the wing and completely distroyed it's lungs and heart—    yet it lived upwards of two hours    this fanominon I could not account for unless it proceeded from the want of circulation of the blo[o]d.—    the recarees call this bird to'-na    it's note is at-tah-to'-nah'; at-tah'to'-nah'; to-nah,    a nocturnal bird, sings only in the night as does the whipperwill.—    it's weight—1 oz 17 Grains Troy ..."


    Clark, October 17, 1804:
    "... I caught a Small uncommon whiperwill ..."


    Lewis, August 4, 1806:
    "... Tonight for the first time this season I heard the small whippoorwill or goatsucker of the Missouri cry. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): goatsucker
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Nuttall's Poorwill
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Common Poorwill

    • Cutright: Nuttall's Poor-will [AOU 418], discovered by Lewis and Clark, October 17, 1804, just below mouth of the Cannonball River, North Dakota. Phalaenoptilus nuttallii nuttallii (Audubon, 1844).

    • Holmgren:    WHIPPER WILL
      • "small" (10-17-04) and "uncommon", Common poorwill, Phalaenoptilus nuttallii, Audubon 1844. The journals not only describe the bird's appearance, but also its ability to maintain winter dormancy, a factor not recognized in scientific publications until 1946.

    • Johnsgard:   Common Poorwill Phalaenoptilus nuttallii:    On October 16, 1804, in what is now southern North Dakota, Captain Lewis captured a small bird that he recognized as belonging to the "order of the [blank space; he probably intended "Caprimulgiformes"] or goat sucker." He noted that the bird appeared to be becoming dormant a fact that was not fully established for this or any other North American bird species by ornithologists for another 145 years. Lewis also astutely observed that under the freezing conditions (30 degrees F) the bird could scarcely move, and that even after its heart and lungs were pierced with a knife it remained alive for nearly two hours! Like his later substantiated report of finding Canada geese nesting in trees (probably using old nests of osprey or eagle), this observation was probably not believed by scientists of the time.

    • Moulton (October 16, 1804):    Lewis's natural history notes from Codex Q. The bird is the common poorwill, Phalaenoptilus nuttallii [AOU, 418], as noted interlineally by Coues. Burroughs notes that it was not until the 1940s that zoologists discovered the bird's tendency to hiberate. Burroughs , 236, 327 n. 7. The poorwill is a close relative of the whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus [AOU, 417]) that Lewis uses for comparison.

    • Moulton (October 17, 1804):    The common poorwill. See Lewis's natural history note, October 16, 1804.

    • Moulton (August 4, 1806):    Common poorwill, Phalaenoptilus nuttallii [AOU, 418]. Holmgren, 34; Burroghs, 236.


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  • Common Raven ... (Western American Raven)
    L&C "raven"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2009, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Common Raven, Mount Hood, Oregon. Image taken August 16, 2009.

    Weather diary, April 8, 1805:
    "... the only birds that I obseved during the winter at Fort Mandan was the Missouri Magpie, a bird of the Corvus genus, the raven in immence numbers, the small woodpecker or sapsucker as they are sometimes called, the beautifull eagle, or calumet bird, so called from the circumstance of the natives decorating their pipe-stems with it's plumage and the Prarie Hen or grouse. ..."


    Ordway, October 20, 1805, near Crow Butte State Park, Washington:
    "... we Saw Some pilicans and abundance of ravens and crows ..."


    Clark, November 29, 1805, while at Tongue Point, Oregon:
    "... The Shore below the point at our Camp is formed of butifull pebble of various colours. I observe but fiew birds of the Small kind, great numbers of wild fowls of Various kinds, the large Buzzard with white wings, grey and bald eagle's, large red tailed Hawks, ravens & Crows in abundance, the blue Magpie, a Small brown bird which frequents logs & about the roots of trees ..."


    Lewis, March 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The Crow raven and Large Blackbird are the same as those of our country only that the crow is here much smaller yet it's note is the same    I observe no difference either between the hawks of this coast and those of the Atlantic.    I have observed the large brown hawk, the small or sparrow hawk, and the hawk of an intermediate size with a long tail and blewish coloured wings remarkably swift in flight and very firce.    sometimes called in the U' States the hen hawk.    these birds seem to be common to every part of this country, and the hawks crows & ravens build their nests in great numbers along the high and inaccessable clifts of the Columbia river and it's S. E. branch where we passed along them ..."


    Lewis, July 1, 1806, where Lolo Creek empties into the Bitterroot River, Montana:
    "... the dove, the black woodpecker, the lark woodpecker, the logcock, the prarie lark, sandhill crain, prarie hen with the short and pointed tail, the robin, a speceis of brown plover, a few curloos, small black birds, ravens hawks and a variety of sparrows as well as the bee martin and the several species of Corvus genus are found in this vally. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): raven
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Raven
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Common Raven

    • Cutright: Western American Raven [AOU 486], Corvus corax sinuatus (Wagler 1829), mentioned by Lewis, March 3, 1806, at Fort Clatsop, different from subspecies C. c. principalis known to L&C in the east.

    • Holmgren:    RAVEN (2-5-05) common raven, Corvus corax, L. 1758.

    • Johnsgard:   Common Raven Corvus corax:    Ravens wintered in immense numbers in the vicinity of Fort Mandan. They were also seen at various times farther west in Montana, for example, near the present-day sites of Missoula (August 1, 1806) and Lincoln (August 6, 1806) and on the upper Marias River (July 19, 1806). Just as magpies tend to replace blue jays as one proceeds westward in the Great Plains, ravens also tend to replace crows in the same geographic manner. Common raven populations have increased significantly in North America during the last four decades.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 8, 1805):    The common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486], known to science and not described further.

    • Moulton (October 20, 1805): The common raven, Corvus corax, and the western variety of the common crow, C. brachyrhynchos hesperis.

    • Moulton (November 29, 1805):
      • "large Buzzard with white wings": [California Condor]
      • "grey and bald eagles": The "grey and bald eagle's" are, respectively, golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos [AOU, 349], and bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus [AOU, 352]. Burroughs, 204–8.
      • "large red tailed Hawks": Red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis [AOU, 337], a widespread species already known to science. Ibid., 208; Coues (HLC), 2:724.
      • "ravens and crows": Probably the common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486], and the American crow, C. brachyrhyncho [AOU, 488]. Burroughs, 248; Cutright (LCPN), 432.
      • "blue Magpie": Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri [AOU, 478], first noted by Lewis on September 20, 1805. The captain gives a full description in an undated entry, ca. December 18, 1805. Burroughs, 248–49.
      • "small brown bird which frequents logs & about the roots of trees": Perhaps the winter wren, Troglodytes troglodytes [AOU, 722], and if so, then new to science; see March 4, 1806. Burroughs, 252; Cutright (LCPN), 274, 438.

    • Moulton (March 3, 1806):
      • "crow": The crow is in fact the northwestern crow, a new species.
      • "raven": The subspecies of raven in the Fort Clatsop area is Corvus corax sinuatus; Lewis would have been familiar with C. c. principalis to the East. Both are now combined with the common raven.
      • "large blackbird": The blackbird seen in the West would be Brewer's blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus [AOU, 510], while the bird he had seen in the East would more likely be the rusty blackbird, E. carolinus [AOU, 509]. Cutright (LCPN), 434; Burroughs, 248, 255–56. NOTE: in other Moulton entries, the "large blackbird" is said to be the Common Grackle, and the Brewer's or Rusty Blackbird is said to be the "small blackbird".
      • "large brown hawk": Coues suggests that the large brown hawk may be a subspecies of the red-tailed hawk, or Swainson's hawk, Buteo swainsoni [AOU, 342]. Holmgren calls it the northern harrier, Circus cyaneus [AOU, 331], also called the marsh hawk.
      • "small or sparrow hawk": The sparrow hawk is Falco sparverius [AOU, 360], now known as the American kestrel.
      • "hawk with long tail and blewish coloured wings sometimes called the hen hawk": Coues identifies as the northern harrier, whereas Holmgren considers it to be Cooper's hawk, Accipiter cooperii [AOU, 333]. Coues (HLC), 3:875; Holmgren, 30–31.

    • Moulton (July 1, 1806):
      • "dove": Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316]. Holmgren, 34.
      • "black woodpecker": Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis [AOU, 408]; see May 27, 1806. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 239–40.
      • "lark woodpecker": Common, or northern, flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412]. Burroughs, 241–42; Holmgren, 34.
      • "logcock": [Pileated Woodpecker]
      • "prarie lark": Probably the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]. Holmgren, 31.
      • "sandhill crain": [Sandhill Crane]
      • "prarie hen with the short and pointed tail": Sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus [AOU, 308]; see March 1, 1806. Holmgren, 29; Burroughs, 213.
      • "robin": American robin, Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761].
      • "a speceis of brown plover": Probably the upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda [AOU, 261]; see July 22, 1805. Holmgren, 33; Burroughs, 227.
      • "curloos":
      • "small black birds": Either the rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus [AOU, 509], or Brewer's blackbird, E. cyanocephalus [AOU, 510]. Holmgren, 28.
      • "ravens": Common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486].
      • "hawks":
      • "variety of sparrows":
      • "bee martin": Either the eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus [AOU, 444], or the western kingbird, more likely the latter.
      • "several species of Corvus genus":

    • Avibase world bird database lists Corvus corax sinuatus as the "American Raven" (Wagler, 1829), last listed in AOU 5th edition, 33rd supplement, and Corvus corax principalis as the "Northern Raven" (Ridgway, 1887), last listed in AOU 5th edition, 33rd supplement, when all Ravens were merged into one, the "Common Raven", Corvus corax (Linnaeus, 1758).


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  • Double-crested Cormorant ... (Northern Double-crested Cormorant)
    L&C "cormorant", "black loon"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Double-crested Cormorant, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken April 15, 2007.

    Clark, April 18, 1804:
    "... Wednesday 18th April 1804.    a fair morning.    Newmon Killed a Black Lune [Loone?]. ..."


    Clark, October 20, 1805, while near the location of today's Roosevelt, Washington:
    "... A cool morning wind S. W. ... after brackfast we gave all the Indian men Smoke, and we Set out leaveing about 200 of the nativs at our Encampment; passd. three Indian Lodges on the Lard Side a little below our Camp which lodges I did not discover last evening, passed a rapid at Seven miles one at a Short distance below we passed a verry bad rapid, a chane or rocks makeing from the Stard. Side and nearly Chokeing the river up entirely with hugh black rocks,    an Island below close under the Stard. Side on which was four Lodges of Indians drying fish,—   here I Saw a great number of pelicons on the wing, and black Comerants. ..."


    Clark, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The Comorant is a large black duck which feeds on fish; I proceive no difference between it & these found in the rivers of the Atlantic Coasts.    we met with as high up the river as the enterance of the Chopunnish into the Kooskooske river.    they increased in numbers as we decended, and formed much the Greatest portion of waterfowls which we saw on the Columbia untill we reached tidewater, where they also abound but do not bear a Similar proportion to the fowls found in this quarter.    we found this bird fat and tolerably flavoured as we decended the Columbia. ..."


    Lewis, March 7, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The cormorant is a large black duck which feeds on fish; I perceive no difference between it and those found in the Potomac and other rivers on the Atlantic Coast.    tho' I do not recollect seeing those on the atlantic so high up the rivers as those are found here.    we first met with them on the Kooskooske at the entrance of Chopunnish river.    they increased in quantity as we decended, and formed much the greatest portion of the waterfowl which we saw on the Columbia untill we reached tidewater where they also abound but do not bear a similar proportion to the other fowls found in this quarter. ..."


    "The Aquatic birds of this country, or such as obtain their subsistence from the water, are the large blue and brown heron [Great Blue Heron], fishing hawk [Osprey], blue crested fisher [Belted Kingfisher], gulls of several species of the Coast [see Bonaparte's Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull], the large grey gull of the Columbia [Western Gull], Comorant [Double-crested Cormorant], loons of two species [Pacific Loon and Western Grebe], white, and the brown brant [Snow Goose and Brant], small and large geese [Cackling Geese and Canada Goose], small and large swan [Tundra Swan and Trumpeter Swan], the Duckinmallard [Mallard], canvis back duck [Canvasback], red headed fishing duck [Red-breasted Merganser or Common Merganser], black and white duck [Bufflehead], little brown duck [unknown, possibly one of the Teals], black duck [American Coot], two species of divers [Pied-billed Grebe and Red-necked Grebe], blue winged teal [Blue-winged Teal], and some other speceis of ducks."
    -- Lewis, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop



    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): cormorant
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Farallon Cormorant
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Double-crested Cormorant
    • Patterson (comments): Pelagic and Double-Crested Cormorant, both are abundant on the Columbia River Estuary, only Double-crested would be expected east of Puget Island.

    • Cutright: Double-crested Cormorant [AOU 120], observed by Lewis and Clark, October 20, 1805, on the Columbia River below the mouth of the Umatilla River. Phalacrocorax auritus auritus (Lesson, Swain, 1831).

    • Holmgren:    CORMORANT (10-20-05), double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus, Lesson 1831.

    • Moulton (April 18, 1804):    There is no American loon that is predominately black. Probably it is the double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus [AOU, 120], although the common loon, Gavia immer [AOU, 7], is dark gray on its head and back in winter. Less likely this could be the widely distributed American coot, Fulica americana [AOU, 221], although the captains later refer to that species as a "black duck" (November 30, 1805, and March 10, 1806). Burroughs, 224–25.

    • Moulton (October 20, 1805):    The American white pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos [AOU, 125], and the double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus [AOU, 120]. See March 6, 1806, for a description of the cormorant. Burroughs, 182; Holmgren, 29.

    • The Avibase database lists Phalacrocorax auritus auritus (Lesson, 1831) as the "Northern Double-crested Cormorant" through AOU Edition 5, suppliment 33. In AOU Edition 5, suppliment 34, the Northern Double-crested Cormorant, Farallon Cormorant, Florida Cormorant, and White-crested Cormorant were put together as the "Double-crested Cormorant".


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  • Dusky Grouse ... (Richardson's Blue Grouse, Blue Grouse)
  • Sooty Grouse ... (Blue Grouse, Pacific Grouse)
    L&C "black pheasant"
    Dusky is NEW BIRD, Sooty is not

    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): black pheasant
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Dusky Grouse
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Blue Grouse
    • Patterson (comments): Blue Grouse, Dusky subspecies

    • Patterson (what L&C described): black pheasant
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Sooty Grouse
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Blue Grouse
    • Patterson (comments): Blue Grouse, Sooty subspecies

    • Cutright: Richardson's Blue Grouse [AOU 297b], discovered by Lewis, July 21, 1805, north of Helena, Montana. Dendragapus obscurus richardsonii (Douglas, 1829).

    • Holmgren:    PHEASANTS (4-15-05, etc. 26 references) No pheasants nested in North American wilds until ring-necked pheasants were imported to Oregon from China in the 1880s. But early English colonists - especially in Virginia - commonly called the ruffed grouse a pheasant. Consequently Lewis and Clark used "pheasant" for most grouse species, although the sharp-tailed and sage grouse were usually put in cock or hen category. At Fort Clatsop in March 1806 Lewis listed pheasants of three kinds seen west of the Rockies:
      • "large black and white" (3-3-06) ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus, L. 1766. Also called "common" in other entries. Lewis notes that these have a more reddish tint than those seen in the East.
      • "small brown" (3-3-06) with yellow or orange stripe above eye. The blue grouse, Dendragapus obscurus, Say 1823.
      • "small speckled" (3-3-06) spruce grouse, Dendragapus canadensis, L. 1758.
      • Both sexes of all three species are speckled and males of both ruffed and spruce have vermilion eye stripes, in contrast to the yellow stripe of the blue grouse. This is the smallest of the three species, but the blue grouse is the largest, in spite of "small" labele in Lewis's notes.

    • Cornell's "Birds of North America Online":    Editor's Note: Based on recent mitochondrial DNA sequence data, as well as on earlier behavioral and distributional data, the 47th Supplement (2006) to the American Ornithologists' Union's Checklist of North American Birds has recognized the two groups of Blue Grouse (Dusky and Sooty) as separate species.

    • Sibley: Blue Grouse, Interior or Dusky
    • Sibley: Blue Grouse, Pacific or Sooty


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  • Forster's Tern ... or Franklin's Gull
    L&C "small gull with black head"
    Forster's Tern would be NEW BIRD, Franklin's Gull would not

    Image, 2010, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Forster's Tern, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. Non-breeding plumage. Image taken October 1, 2010.
    Image, 2012, Smith Lake, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Franklin's Gull, juvenile, Smith Lake, Portland, Oregon. Image taken August 19, 2012.

    Lewis, August 7, 1806, near the mouth of the Yellowstone River, North Dakota, where it enters the Missouri.
    "... we also saw an unnusual flight of white gulls about the size of a pigeon with the top of their heads black.    at 4 P. M. we arrived at the entrance of the Yellowstone river. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Cutright: Forster's Tern [AOU 69], seen by Lewis, August 7, 1806, on Missouri just above mouth of the Yellowstone River, North Dakota. Sterna forsteri (Nuttall, 1834).

    • Holmgren:    GULLS
      • "small" (3-6-06) size of a pigeon, black on head. Probably Bonaparte's gull, Larus philadelphia, Ord 1815, but could be Forster's tern Sterna Forsteri Nuttall 1834.

    • Johnsgard:   (Franklin's Gull Larus pipixcan and Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri):    No definite evidence of either of these species appears in the journals, although white gulls were mentioned at various times. On August 7, 1806, near the mouth of the Yellowstone River, Lewis reported flocks of "white gulls about the size of a pigeon, with the top of their heads black." This description might fit the Franklin's gull better than the Forster's tern, since the gull is more likely to migrate in large flocks, and in the summer plumage of the Franklin's gull the entire upper and rear parts of the head are black or dark gray.

    • Moulton (August 7, 1806):    Identified by Coues (HLC), 3:1112–13 n. 20, as Forster's tern, Sterna forsteri [AOU, 69]. Holmgren, 30, adds Bonaparte's gull, Larus philadelphia [AOU, 60], as a possibility.


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  • Glaucous-winged Gull
    L&C "large light brown gull"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2009, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2009, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Glaucous-winged Gull, adult (left) and youngster (right). Image taken February 14, 2009, Portland, Oregon, waterfront.

    Clark, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... There are 4 Species of the larus or gull on this coast and river.    1st a Small Species the Size of a Pegion; white except some black spots about the head and the little bone on the but of the wing.    2d a Species Somewhat larger of a light brown colour, with a mealy coloured back.    3rd the large Grey Gull, or white larus with a greyish brown back, and light grey belly and breast, about the Size of a well grown pullet, the wings are remarkably long in perpotion to the Size of the body and it's under chap towards the extremity is gibbous and protuberant than in either of the other Species.    a White Gull about the Size of the Second with a remarkable beak; adjoining the head and on the base of the upper Chap there is an elivated orning of the Same Substance with the beak which forms the nostriels at A; it is Somewhat in this form.    the feet are webed and the legs and feet of a yellow colour.    the form of the wings body &c are much that of the 2d Species this bird was Seen on Haleys bay [Baker Bay]. ..."


    Lewis, March 7, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... there are four speceis of larus or gull on this coast and river, 1st a small speceis about the size of a pigeon; white except some black spots about the head and a little brown on the but of the wings,    2nd a speceis somewhat larger of a light brown colour with a whitish or mealy coloured back.    3rd the large grey gull, or white larus with a greyish brown back and a light grey belley and breast, about the size of a well grown pullet or reather larger.    the wings are remarkably long in proportion to the size of the body and it's under chap towards the extremity is more gibbous and protuberant than in either of the other speceis.    4th a white gull about the size of the second with a remarkable beak; adjoining the head and at the base of the uper Chap there is an elivated orning of the same substance with the beak which forms the nostrils; it is some what in this form.    the feet are webbed and the legs and feet of a yellow colour.    the form of the wings body &c are much that of the seond species.    the large grey gull is found on the river as high as the entrance of the Kooskooske and in common with other speceis on the coast; the others appear to be confined to tidewater; and the fourth speceis not so common as either of the others. ..."


    "The Aquatic birds of this country, or such as obtain their subsistence from the water, are the large blue and brown heron [Great Blue Heron], fishing hawk [Osprey], blue crested fisher [Belted Kingfisher], gulls of several species of the Coast [see Bonaparte's Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull], the large grey gull of the Columbia [Western Gull], Comorant [Double-crested Cormorant], loons of two species [Pacific Loon and Western Grebe], white, and the brown brant [Snow Goose and Brant], small and large geese [Cackling Geese and Canada Goose], small and large swan [Tundra Swan and Trumpeter Swan], the Duckinmallard [Mallard], canvis back duck [Canvasback], red headed fishing duck [Red-breasted Merganser or Common Merganser], black and white duck [Bufflehead], little brown duck [unknown, possibly one of the Teals], black duck [American Coot], two species of divers [Pied-billed Grebe and Red-necked Grebe], blue winged teal [Blue-winged Teal], and some other speceis of ducks."
    -- Lewis, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop



    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large light brown gull
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Glaucous-winged Gull
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Glaucous-winged Gull

    • Cutright: Glaucous-winged Gull [AOU 44], described by Lewis, March 7, 1806, at Fort Clatsop. Larus glaucescens (Neumann, 1840).

    • Holmgren:    GULLS
      • "brown" (3-6-06) most immature gulls wear a brown mottled plumage through their second winter. These may be any of the "grey" adults below.
      • "grey" (3-6-06) herring gull, Larus argentatus, Pontopidan 1763; ring-billed gull, Larus delawarensis, Ord 1815; western gull Larus occidentalis, Audubon 1839; glaucous-winged, Larus glaucenscens, Naumann 1840; California gull, Larus californicus, Lawrence 1854.
      • "small" (3-6-06) size of a pigeon, black on head. Probably Bonaparte's gull, Larus philadelphia, Ord 1815, but could be Forster's tern Sterna Forsteri Nuttall 1834.
      • "speckled" (10-2-05) any immature gull, as above under "brown".
      • "white" (3-6-06) with odd beak. Clark's sketch and description of prominent nasal tubes identify this species as the northern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis, L. 1761, in its white phase. Not a gull, though gull-like in actions and appearance.
      • "wings tipped in black" (9-27-04) Probably herring gull or ring-billed, as under "grey".

    • Moulton (March 6, 1806):
      • "Small Species the Size of a Pegion": Coues identifies it as Bonaparte's gull, Larus philadelphia [AOU, 60]; Burroughs says that if so, it must have been a juvenile in its first winter plumage. Coues (HLC), 3:811 n. 84; Burroughs, 230. Holmgren, 30, also gives Bonaparte's gull and adds Forster's tern, Sterna forsteri [AOU, 69], as a possibility.
      • "Somewhat larger of a light brown colour": According to Coues, a young glaucous-winged gull, Larus glaucescens [AOU, 44]. Burroughs appears skeptical of the identification, while Holmgren suggests it could be any of a number of immature gulls. Coues (HLC), 3:811 n. 84; Burroughs, 230; Holmgren, 30.
      • "Large Grey Gull": An immature western gull. Coues (HLC), 3:881 n. 84; Burroughs, 230–31. Holmgren, 30, includes the western gull among a number of other species of Larus as possibilities.
      • "White Gull": Northern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis [AOU, 86], not a gull. Coues (HLC), 881 n. 84; Burroughs, 179; Holmgren, 30.


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  • Gray Jay ... (Oregon Jay) ... or Western Scrub-Jay
    L&C "small, white-breasted corvus"
    Gray Jay is NEW BIRD
    (possibly some entries are Western Scrub Jay ???)

    Image, 2013, Barlow Pass, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2010, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Gray Jay, adult, Barlow Pass, Oregon (left), and Western Scrub-Jay, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Left image taken October 22, 2013. Right image taken April 15, 2010.

    Lewis, September 18, 1805:
    "... and a blue bird of the vulter kind about the size of a turtle dove or jay bird. ..."


    Lewis, September 20, 1805:
    "... I have also observed two birds of a blue colour both of which I believe to be of the haulk or vulter kind.    the one of the blue shining colour with a very high tuft of feathers on the head a long tale, it feeds on flesh the beak and feet black.    it's note is cha-ah, cha-ah.    it is about the size of a pigeon; and in shape and action resembles the jay bird.—    another bird of very similar genus, the note resembling the mewing of the cat, with a white head and a light blue colour is also common ..."


    Lewis, December 18, 1805, written in the Astoria area:
    "... This day one of the men shot a bird of the Corvus genus, which was feeding on some fragments of meat near the camp. this bird is about the size of the kingbird or bee martin, and not unlike that bird in form.   the beak is 3/4 of an inch long, wide at the base, of a convex, and cultrated figure, beset with some small black hairs near it's base.    the chaps are of nearly equal lengths tho' the upper exceeds the under one a little, and has a small nich in the upper chap near the extremity scrcely perceptable only by close examineation.    the colour of the beak is black.    the eye is large and prominent, the puple black, and iris of a dark yellowish brown.    the legs and feet are black and imbricated.    has four toes on each foot armed with long sharp tallons; the hinder toe is nearly as long as the middle toe in front and longer than the two remaining toes.    the tale is composed of twelve fathers the longest of which are five inches, being six in number placed in the center.    the remaining six are placed 3 on either side and graduly deminish to four inches which is the shortest and outer feathers.    the tail is half the length of the bird, the wh[ol]e length from the extremity of the beak to the extremity of the tale being 10 Inches. the head from it's joining the nect forward as far as the eyes nearly to the base of the beak and on each side as low as the center of the eye is black.    arround the base of the beak the throat jaws, neck, brest and belley are of a pale bluish white.    the wings back and tale are of a bluish black with a small shade of brown.    this bird is common to this piny country    are also found in the rockey mountains on the waters of the columbia river or woody side of those mountains, appear to frequent the highest sumits of those mountains as far as they are covered with timber.    their note is que, quit-it, que-hoo; and tâh, tâh, &—    there is another bird of reather larger size which I saw on the woddy parts of the rockey mountains and on the waters of the Missouri, this bird I could never kill tho' I made several attempts, the predominate colour is a dark blue the tale is long and they are not crested, I believe them to be of the corvus genus also.    their note is châr, châr, char,-ar, char   the large blue crested corvus of the Columbia river is also ... ..."


    Lewis, January 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... a small Crow, the blue crested Corvus and the smaller corvus with a white brest, the little brown ren, a large brown sparrow, the bald Eagle and the beatifull Buzzard of the columbia still continue with us. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): another jay
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Rocky Mountain Jay
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Gray Jay

    • Patterson (what L&C described): small, white-breasted corvus
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Gray Jay
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Gray Jay (Oregon Jay)

    • Patterson (comments): Gray Jay; possibly Woodhouse's Scrub Jay, this bird was described as being blue and was seen in the same general area where Pinyon Jays were found on the Jefferson River in Montana. This would have been somewhat north of the current range for Woodhouse's Scrub Jay, but worth considering given the description.

    • Cutright: Oregon Jay [AOU 485], referred to by Lewis, January 3, 1806, at Fort Clatsop. Perisoreus canadensis obscurus (Ridgway, 1873).

    • Holmgren:    CORVUS
      • "size of kingbird" (12-8-05), feeds on meat scraps. Gray jay, Perisoreus canadensis. L. 1758. Formerly Canada jay. NOTE: Holmgren's 12-8-05 should be 12-18-05.
      • "White-breasted" (1-2-06), gray jay, as above. NOTE: Holmgren's 1-2-06 should be 1-3-06.

    • Holmgren:    JAYS
      • "blue jay" (5-26-05) Cyanocitta cristata, L. 1758.
      • "grey", See CORVUS, "white-breasted"
      • "jay, jaybird" (5-26-05) always refers to the blue jay, the only jay that Lewis and Clark were familiar with before going west.
      • "size of robin" (8-1-05) acts like a jay, pinyon jay, Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus, Wied 1841. Voice well described.
      • "size of turtledove" (9-18-05) and of the "vulture kind", meaing an eater of carrion or flesh. No crest. Scrub jay Aphelocoma coerulescens, Bosc 1795.

    • Moulton (September 18, 1805):    The blue bird may be the pinyon jay of August 1, 1805, but some sources give it as the scrub jay, Aphelocoma coerulescens [AOU, 481], or Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri [AOU, 478]. Holmgren, 31; Space, 13. Each choice creates problems when compared with Lewis's entry of September 20, but the scrub jay seems the least likely possibility. The turtle dove used for comparison is the mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316].

    • Moulton (September 20, 1805):
      • "with high tuft of feathers": Steller's jay and new to science. Cutright (LCPN), 210. See Lewis's full description at December 18, 1805.
      • "jay-bird": [Blue Jay]
      • "white head and a light blue colour": Perhaps the gray jay, Perisoreus canadensis [AOU, 484]. Holmgren, 29. See also Lewis's entry of December 18, 1805.

    • Moulton (December 18, 1805):    Lewis's note from Codex R, covering zoology rather than the customary botany. The bird is the gray jay, Perisoreus canadensis [AOU, 484], a new species. Burroughs, 250–51; Holmgren, 29; Cutright (LCPN), 274, 436. The kingbird used for comparison is Tyrannus tyrannus [AOU, 444]. The bird of the woody parts of the Rockies that Lewis mentions near the end of this passage may be the pinyon jay, Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus [AOU, 492], first noticed by him on August 1, 1805. Holmgren, 28, identifies it as possibly the mountain bluebird, Sialia currucoides [AOU, 768]. The "large blue crested corvus" is Steller's jay ...

    • Moulton (January 3, 1806):
      • "small crow": probably the northwestern crow, Corvus caurinus [AOU, 489], a new species. Cutright (LCPN), 273, 432; Holmgren, 29.
      • "blue crested Corvus": [Steller's Jay]
      • "smaller corvus with a white breast": probably the gray jay.
      • "little brown ren": perhaps the winter wren.
      • "large brown sparrow": possibly the golden-crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla [AOU, 557]. Burroughs, 258. The fox sparrow, Passerella iliaca [AOU, 585], has also been suggested. Holmgren, 33.
      • "bald eagle": [Bald Eagle]
      • "beatifull Buzzard of the columbia": [California Condor}

    • Cornell University's "All About Birds" website, 2010:    Western Scrub Jay: Birds along the Pacific Coast are sharply marked, with a bold blue necklace against white underparts and a distinct brown back. Great Basin birds (called "Woodhouse’s" scrub-jay and sometimes considered to be a different species) are grayer overall, the necklace is less contrasting, and the back patch is grayish blue.

    • Cornell University's "Birds of North America Online" website, 2012:    Gray Jay: A long-tailed, small-billed jay without a crest; slightly smaller than Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata). Total length 27.4–31 cm [approximately 11.5 inches]; Nares covered by feathers and bill appears short. Loose and fluffy dull-colored plumage. Bill, legs, and feet black.

    • Sibley, 2000, "The Sibley Guide to Birds":
      • Gray Jay: 11.5 inches long and 18-inch wingspan.
      • Western Scrub-jay: 11.5 inches long and 15.5-inch wingspan.


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  • Great Horned Owl ... (Dusky subspecies, St. Michael Horned Owl)
  • Great Horned Owl ... (Montana subspecies, Pale Horned Owl)
    L&C "large hooting owl"
    BOTH are NEW BIRDS

    Image, 2010, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Great Horned Owl, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken July 18, 2010.

    Lewis, April 14, 1805, while at the entrance of the Little Missouri:
    "... one of the party killed a large hooting owl    I observed no difference between this burd and those of the same family common to the U' States, except that this appeared to be more booted and more thickly clad with feathers ..."


    Lewis, May 20, 1805, while in Montana:
    "... I saw two large Owls with remarkable long feathers on the sides of the head which resembled ears; I take them to be the large hooting owl tho: they are somewhat larger and their colours brighter than those common to the U' States. ..."


    Lewis, March 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... we also met with the large hooting Owl under the Rocky mountain on the Kooskoskee river. it did not appear to differ materially from those of our country. I think it's colours reather deeper and brighter than with us, particularly the redish brown.    it is the same size and form ..."

    Clark, September 13, 1806:
    "... Birds most Common the buzzard Crow the hotting owl and hawks, &c. &c.— ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large hooting owl
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Dusky Horned Owl
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Great Horned Owl
    • Patterson (comments): Great Horned Owl, Dusky subspecies

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large hooting owl
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Montana Great Horned Owl
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Great Horned Owl
    • Patterson (comments): Great Horned Owl, Montana subspecies

    • Cutright: Dusky Horned Owl [AOU 375c], described by Lewis March 3, 1806, at Fort Clatsop, but stated seen on the Kooskooskee (Clearwater) in Idaho. Bubo virginianus saturatus (Ridgway, 1877).

    • Cutright: Montana Horned Owl [AOU 375j], discovered by Lewis, April 14, 1805, at Mountrail County, North Dakota. Bubo virginianus occidentalis (Stone, 1896).

    • Holmgren:    OWLS
      • "ear-like feathers" (5-20-05) long-eared owl, Asio otus, L. 1758.
      • "hooting" (4-14-05) great horned owl, Bubo virginianus, Gmelin 1788.
      • "iron grey" (5-29-06) no long ear tufts, great gray owl, Strix nebulosa, Forster 1772.
      • NOTE: Holmgren's 5-29-06 should read 5-28-06.

    • Johnsgard:    Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus:    Captain Lewis reported that on April 14, 1805, the group shot a "large hooting owl." He believed it to be more "booted" (an ornithological term meaning that there are feathers on the lower leg or tarsus) and more generally feathered than the eastern form of this species. This is an interesting (albeit incorrect) ornithological point that testifies to Lewis's keen scientific interests.

    • Moulton (April 14, 1805):    The great horned owl, Bubo virginianus [AOU, 375]. Perhaps a subspecies, the Montana horned owl, B. v. occidentalis, and probably noted here for the first time. Cutright (LCPN), 129.

    • Moulton (May 20, 1805):    Probably the Montana horned owl; see April 14, 1805, and Burroughs, 208–9. Holmgren identifies it as the long-eared owl, Asio otus [AOU, 366]. Holmgren, 32.

    • Moulton (March 3, 1806):    Burroughs, 208–9, suggests either the Montana horned owl, Bubo virginianus occidentalis, or the dusky horned owl, B. v. saturatus. Both are now subsumed under the great horned owl, B. virginianus [AOU, 375]. See also April 14 and May 20, 1805.

    • Moulton (September 13, 1806):    Great horned owl, Bubo virginianus [AOU, 375]. Holmgren, 32.

    • The Avibase website has the "Dusky Horned Owl" listed as a St. Michael Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus saturatus (Ridgway, 1877), with the last listing being in AOU 5th edition, 33rd suppliment (after 1957) when all subspecies of Great Horned Owl were lumped together as Bubo virginianus.

    • The Avibase website has the "Montana Horned Owl" listed as a Pale Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus occidentalis (Stone, 1896), with the last listing being in AOU 5th edition, 33rd suppliment (after 1957) when all subspecies of Great Horned Owl were lumped together as Bubo virginianus.


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  • Greater Sage Grouse
    L&C "mountain cock", "large species of heath hen", "Cock of the Plains"
    NEW BIRD

    Weather diary, June 5, 1805:
    "... rained considerably    some Snow fell on the mounts.    great numbers of the sparrows larks, Curloos and other small birds common to praries are now laying their eggs and seting, their nests are in great abundance.    the large batt, or night hawk appears.    the Turkey buzzard appears.—    first saw the mountain cock near the entrance of Maria's river.— ..."


    Lewis, June 5, 1805:
    "... saw a flock of the mountain cock, or a large species of heath hen with a long pointed tail which the Indians informed us were common to the Rockey Mountains ..."


    Lewis, August 8, 1805:
    "... we also saw several of the heath cock with a long pointed tail and an uniform dark brown colour but could not kill one of them.    they are much larger than the common dunghill fowls, and in their [h]abits and manner of flying resemble the growse or prarie hen. ..."


    Lewis, March 2, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The Cock of the Plains is found in the plains of Columbia and are in Great abundance from the entrance of the S. E. fork of the Columbia to that of Clark's river.    this bird is about ?rds the size of a turkey.    ... [description omitted here] ...    the habits of this bird are much the same as those of the grouse.    only that the food of this fowl is almost entirely that of the leaf and buds of the pulpy leafed thorn;    nor do I ever recollect seeing this bird but in the neighbourhood of that shrub.    they sometimes feed on the prickley pear.    ... [description omitted here] ...    when they fly they make a cackling noise something like the dunghill fowl.    the following is a likeness of the head and beak.    [Lewis included a sketch]    the flesh of the cock of the Plains is dark, and only tolerable in point of flavor. I do not think it as good as either the Pheasant or Grouse.—    it is invariably found in the plains.— The feathers about it's head are pointed and stif some hairs about the base of the beak.    feathers short fine and stif about the ears. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large heath hen
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Sage Grouse
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Greater Sage Grouse

    • Cutright: Sage Grouse [AOU 309], discovered by Lewis, June 5, 1805, on Marias River, Montana. Centrocercus urophasianus urophasianus (Bonaparte, 1827).

    • Holmgren:    COCK and/or HEN
      • "heath" (6-5-05) Tympanuchus cupido cupido, L. 1758. Subspecific with greater prairie-chicken, Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus, Brewster 1885. A bird of Atlantic sea board range, extinct since 1932, used here for size comparison.
      • "Indian" (6-20-04) greater prairie-chicken.
      • "mountain" (6-5-05) alternate name for sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus, Bonaparte 1827, usually known in the journals as cock-of-the-plains, but also as large heath cock (8-12-05).
      • "plains" (8-20-05) sage grouse.
      • "prairie cock" (10-2-04) greater prairie-chicken.
      • "large prairie cock" (10-17-05) sage grouse.
      • "prairie hen with pointed tail" (5-22-05) sharp-tailed grouse, Tympananuchus phasianellus, L. 1758. Formerly Pedioecetes phasianellus

    • Johnsgard:   Greater Sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus:    One of the species definitely discovered by Lewis and Clark is this large sage-adapted grouse. It was first seen on June 5, 1805, near the Marias River in Montana, when an attempt to kill one was unsuccessful. Others were seen at Lemhi Pass in the Beaverhead Mountains on August 12 of that year, but it was not until October 17 that several were actually shot. Both Lewis and Clark provided detailed descriptions of the species, Clark calling it the "prarie cock" and Lewis the "cock of the plains." Lewis also first described the species' unusual saclike gizzard, describing it as more like a "maw" (crop) than a typical muscular grinding organ. He said this grouse feeds almost entirely on the "pulpy leafed thorn," presumably confusing the relatively inedible black greasewood with the bird's actual primary (almost sole) food, the highly nutritious leaves of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata). John J. Audubon used Lewis's' suggested name "cock of the plains" when he painted the species about three decades later. Greater sage-grouse populations have plummeted in recent decades, as the West's once-vast areas of native sagebrush have been progressively cleared.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, June 5, 1805):
      • The sparrows could be any of a number of small brown birds.
      • The larks are similarly unidentifiable,
      • as are the "Curloos" which could be any shorebird with a long bill. Holmgren, 29, 33.
      • The "large batt, or night hawk" is again the common nighthawk.
      • The turkey vulture, Cathartes aura [AOU, 325], already known to science. Holmgren, 28; Burroughs, 203–4.
      • The sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus [AOU, 309], then unknown to science. Lewis gave a detailed description on March 2, 1806. Cutright (LCPN), 157; Burroughs, 213–15.

    • Moulton (June 5, 1805):    The sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus [AOU, 309], then unknown to science. Lewis gave a detailed description on March 2, 1806. Cutright (LCPN), 157; Burroughs, 213–15. (Passage refers to Lewis's "mountain cock", while the "heath hen" is used for comparison.)

    • Moulton (August 12, 1805): <   Sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus [AOU, 8]. Lewis compares it to the barnyard chicken and the sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus [AOU, 308].


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  • Greater White-fronted Goose ... (Tundra White-fronted Goose)
    L&C "new brant sp."
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Greater White-fronted Goose, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Left image taken November 16, 2008. Right image taken May 26, 2007.

    Lewis, March 15, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... There is a third speceis of brant in the neighbourhood of this place which is about the size and much the form of the pided brant.    they weight about 8 1/2 lbs.    the wings are not as long nor so pointed as those of the common pided brant.    the following is a likeness of it's head and beak.    a little distance around the base of the beak is white and is suddonly succeeded by a narrow line of dark brown.    the ballance of the neck, head, back, wings, and tail all except the tips of the feathers are of the bluish brown of the common wild goose.    the breast and belly are white with an irregular mixture of black feathers which give that part a pided appearance.    from the legs back underneath the tail, and arond the junction of the same with the body above, the feathers are white.    the tail is composed of 18 feathers; the longest of which are in the center and measure 6 Inches with the barrel of the quill; those sides of the tail are something shorter and bend with their extremeties inwards towards the center of the tail.    the extremities of these feathers are white.    the beak is of a light flesh colour.    the legs and feet which do not differ in structure from those of the goose or brant of the other speceis, are of an orrange yellow colour.    the eye is small; the iris is a dark yellowish brown, and pupil black.    the note of this brant is much that of the common pided brant from which in fact they are not to be distinguished at a distance, but they certainly are a distinct speis of brant.    the flesh of this fowl is as good as that of the common pided brant.    they not remain here during the winter in such numbers as the white brant do, tho' they have now returned in considerable quantities.    first saw them below tide-water. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): new brant sp.
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): White-fronted Goose
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): White-fronted Goose
    • Patterson (comments): White-fronted Goose, L&C drawing and detailed description

    • Coues (vol.III, 1893):
      • The brant are of three kinds: the white, the brown, and the pied.
      • The white brant [snow-goose, chen hyperboreus] are very common on the shores of the Pacific, particularly below the [tide-]water, where they remain in vast numbers during the winter. They feed, like the swan and geese, on the grass, roots, and seeds which grow in the marshes. This bird is about the size of the brown brant, or a third less than the common Canadian wild goose; ...
      • The brown brant [Bernicla brenta] are much of the same color, form, and size as the white, only that their wings are considerably longer and more pointed. The plumage of the upper part of the body, neck, head, and tail, is much the color of the Canadian goose, but somewhat darker, in consequence of some dark feathers irregularly scattered throughout; they have not the same white on the neck and sides of the head as the goose, nor is the neck darker than the body; like the goose, ... There is no difference between this bird and that called simply the brant, so common on the Lakes and on the Ohio and Mississippi.
      • The pied brant [Anser albifrons gambels] weigh about 8 1/2 pounds; they differ from the ordinary pied [read brown] brant in their wings, which are neither so long nor so pointed. ... the breast and belly are white, with an irregular mixture of black feathers, which give those parts a pied appearance [whence this goose is commonly called "speckle-belly" in California]. ...

    • Cutright: White-fronted Goose [AOU 171], described by Lewis, March 15, 1806, at Fort Clatsop. Anser alibfrons frontalis (Baird, 1858).

    • Holmgren:    BRANT
      • "pided (pied)" (3-15-06), greater white fronted goose, Anser albifrons, Scopoli 1769. Larger, well described and pictured. (NOTE: in error, see below).

    • Moulton (March 15, 1806): The first description of the greater white-fronted goose, Anser albifrons [AOU, 171]. Burroughs, 197–98. A red vertical line goes through the first few lines of this passage, perhaps placed by Biddle. A sketch of the greater white-fronted goose's head in Lewis's Codex J, p. 131. Another sketch of the greater white-fronted goose's head from Clark's Voorhis No. 2.

    • NOTE: no reference in Lewis, March 15, 1806, calling the Greater White-fronted Goose a "pided brant". Lewis makes comparisons of the Greater White-fronted Goose TO THE "common pided brant" and TO THE "pied brant", today known as the Brant. Coues however stated the "pied brant" was the Greater White-fronted Goose, most likely where this error originated. See Coues below.

    • Sibley:    Three populations are distinguished, but differences are rather slight and many birds are intermediate. Tundra breeders are smallest and palest. Taiga breeders, especially Tule Goose (nesting in south-central Alaska, wintering in northern California), are 10 percent larger, 15 percent longer-billed, darker brown, often showing yellow orbital ring and average less black on belly and more white on face than Tundra. Greenland breeders (wintering in Ireland, rare on our Atlantic coast) are medium-size, darkest overall with slaty cast, and have long orange bill (more pinkish on others), narrow pale edges on back feathers, and more black on belly.

    • NOTE: Lewis and Clark are given credit for discovering the Greater White-fronted Goose variety Anser alibfrons frontalis, once known as the "Tundra White-fronted Goose" (Baird, 1858), and last listed in AOU 5th edition (1957).


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  • Hairy Woodpecker ... (Cabanis's Woodpecker)
  • Hairy Woodpecker ... (Harris's Woodpecker)
  • Downy Woodpecker
    L&C "speckled woodpecker", "small speckled woodpecker", small speckled woodpecker with a white back
    BOTH subspecies of Hairy Woodpeckers are NEW BIRDS, the Downy Woodpecker is not

    Image, 2009, Lacamas Lake, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2010, Lacamas Lake, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Hairy Woodpecker, female (left) and Downy Woodpecker, male (right). Left image taken January 28, 2009. Right image taken January 29, 2010. Both images taken Lacamas Lake, Washington.

    Weather diary, February 8, 1805, while at Fort Mandan:
    "... the Black & white & Speckled woodpecker has returned ...


    Weather diary, April 8, 1805, while at Fort Mandan:
    "... the only birds that I obseved during the winter at Fort Mandan was the Missouri Magpie, a bird of the Corvus genus, the raven in immence numbers the small woodpecker or sapsucker as they are sometimes called, the beautifull eagle, or calumet bird, so called from the circumstance of the natives decorating their pipe-stems with it's plumage and the Prarie Hen or grouse. ..."


    Lewis, April 5, 1806, in the Washougal/Sandy River area:
    "... Saw the Log cock, the hummingbird, gees ducks &c today.    ...    we measured a fallen tree of fir No. 1 which was 318 feet including the stump which was about 6 feet high.    this tree was only about 3 1/2 feet in diameter.    we saw the martin, small gees, the small speckled woodpecker with a white back, the Blue crested Corvus, ravens, crows, eagles Vultures and hawks. ..."


    Lewis, June 15, 1806, while on the Lolo Trail:
    "... Saw the speckled woodpecker, bee martin [Western Kingbird] and log cock or large woodpecker [Pileated Woodpecker].    found the nest of a humming bird,    it had just began to lay its eggs [Broad-tailed Hummingbird] ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): speckled woodpecker
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Rocky Mountain Hairy Woodpecker
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Hairy Woodpecker

    • Patterson (what L&C described): small speckled woodpecker
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Harris' Woodpecker
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Hairy Woodpecker

    • Patterson (what L&C described): small black and white woodpecker
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Downy Woodpecker
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Downy Woodpecker

    • Patterson (comments): Comments on woodpeckers: speckled woodpecker easily describes both Hairy and Downy Woodpecker, but also is sufficient for Three-toed Woodpecker and Red-napped Sapsucker. This is another case where species which share a common, generalized description were probably lumped together. Even the account assigned to Red-breasted Sapsucker, which is almost certainly correct, has some room for doubt given that Lewis says "saw a white woodpecker with a red head of the small kind common to the United States".

    • Cutright: Cabanis's Woodpecker [AOU 393d], seen by Lewis, June 15, 1806, on Lolo Trail. Dendrocopos villosus hyloscopus (Cabanis and Heine, 1863).

    • Cutright: Harris's Woodpecker [AOU 393c], referred to by Lewis, April 5, 1806, above the mouth of the Willamette River, Oregon. Dendrocopos villosus harrisi (Audubon, 1838).

    • Holmgren:    WOODPECKERS
      • "black-and-white speckled" (2-8-05, 4-8-05) yellow-bellied sapsucker,Sphyrapicus varius, L. 1766. Also known to Lewis and Clark as "small speckled woodpecker".
      • "black-and-white speckled with white back" (4-4-06) downy woodpecker, Picoides pubescens, L. 1766. These two species are almost identical except for size. The downy is slightly smaller and usually more abundant. Formerly each was divided into several sub-species, not easily distinguished, and placed in genus Dendrocopos. (NOTE: obviously something missing here, am assuming it's the Hairy Woodpecker).

    • Johnsgard:   Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus or Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens: &nbps;  No specific mention was made of these fairly widespread species. In the expedition's Meteorological Register of February 8, 1805, it was noted that the "black-and-white speckled woodpecker" had returned to Fort Mandan. The larger hairy woodpecker is more likely to be found in North Dakota during February than is the downy, although the downy is perhaps generally somewhat more common than the hairy as a breeding species along the upper Missouri Valley. A hairy or downy woodpecker was also seen upstream from the mouth of the Musselshell River on May 18, 1805, in Montana.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, February 8, 1805):    The yellow-bellied sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius [AOU, 402], has been suggested, Holmgren, 33.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 8, 1805):    The common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486], known to science and not described further.    Maybe either the hairy woodpecker, Picoides villosus [AOU, 393], or the downy woodpecker, P. pubescens [AOU, 394], although Holmgren suggests the yellow-bellied sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius [AOU, 402]. Burroughs, 240-41; Holmgren, 33.    The calumet bird is the golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos [AOU, 349]; prairie hen is the sharp-tailed grouse.

    • Moulton (April 5, 1806):
      • "logcock": the pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus [AOU, 405].
      • "hummingbird":
      • "martin": Perhaps the purple martin, Progne subis [AOU, 611]. Holmgren, 32.
      • "small gees":
      • "small speckled woodpecker with a white back": Either the hairy woodpecker, Picoides villosus [AOU, 393], or downy woodpecker, P. pubescens [AOU, 394]. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 240–41.
      • "Blue crested Corvus": Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri [AOU, 478].
      • "ravens": Common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486].
      • "crows": Corvus brachyrhynchos [AOU, 488].
      • "eagle, vultures, and hawks":

    • Moulton (June 15, 1806):    Identified by Coues (HLC), 3:1044, as Cabanis's woodpecker, Dryobates villosus hyloscopus. Burroughs, 240, says that Cabanis's woodpecker is not found north of California, and declares this to be the Rocky Mountain hairy woodpecker, Dendrocopos villosus monticola. Cutright (LCPN), 433, agrees with Coues. Both are now subsumed under the hairy woodpecker, Picoides villosus [AOU, 393]. See also Holmgren, 34.

    • Avibase database shows AOU 5th edition, 33rd suppliment (after 1957) having all subspecies of Hairy Woodpeckers lumped together as Picoides villosus, and the Cabanis's Woodpecker last listed as Picoides villosus hyloscopus, the Rocky Mountain Hairy Woodpecker (Anthony, 1898) was listed as Picoides villosus monticola (previously Dendrocopos villosus monticola), and the Harris's Woodpecker last listed as Picoides villosus harrisi.

    • Cornell University's "All About Birds" website, (2010):    Hairy Woodpeckers vary a great deal over their broad range. Northern birds tend to be larger than southern. East of the Rockies they are white below with extensively spotted wings while western birds have much less spotting in the wings and narrower facial stripes. Birds in the Pacific Northwest are brown and black (rather than white and black); they look coffee-stained. Interestingly, Downy Woodpeckers show these same regional patterns of variation.

    • Sibley:    Variation, as in Downy, is marked but clinal. Pacific populations are dark and heavily marked. Interior West populations are whitish below but extensively black above. Most others (Taiga and Eastern) are whitish below with extensive white on back and wing coverts. Newfoundland population is darker, resembling Interior West birds.


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  • Horned Lark ... (Prairie Horned Lark)
    L&C "prairie lark"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2011, Broughton Beach, Columbia River, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2011, Broughton Beach, Columbia River, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Horned Lark, male (left) and female (right), Broughton Beach, Columbia River, Oregon. Image taken November 4, 2011.

    Weather diary, April 10, 1805, while at Fort Mandan:
    "... the prarie lark, bald Eagle, & the large plover have returned.    the grass begins to spring, and the leaf buds of the willow to appear.—    Chery birds disappear. ..."


    Weather diary, April 15, 1806:
    "... wind blew tolerably hard today after 10 A. M.    observed the Curloo and prarie lark. ..."


    Weather diary, April 16, 1806, while at Rock Fort, The Dalles, Oregon:
    "... at the rock fort camp saw the prarie lark, a speceis of the peawee, the blue crested fisher, the partycoloured corvus, and the black pheasant. ..."


    Lewis, July 1, 1806, where Lolo Creek empties into the Bitterroot River, Montana:
    "... the dove, the black woodpecker, the lark woodpecker, the logcock, the prarie lark, sandhill crain, prarie hen with the short and pointed tail, the robin, a speceis of brown plover, a few curloos, small black birds, ravens hawks and a variety of sparrows as well as the bee martin and the several species of Corvus genus are found in this vally. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): prairie lark
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Horned Lark
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Horned Lark

    • Cutright: Prairie Horned Lark [AOU 474c], noted by Lewis, April 10, 1805, at Fort Mandan, North Dakota. Eremophila alpestris leucolaema (Coues 1874).

    • Holmgren:    LARKS
      • "prairie larks" (4-16-06) horned lark, Eromophila alpestris, L. 1758.

    • Johnsgard:   Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris:    This species, which Captain Clark called the "ren or Prairie burd," was seen in "great numbers" near Spirit Mound in what is now Clay County, South Dakota, on August 25, 1804. This species was also noted to have returned seasonally to western North Dakota by April 10, 1805. Horned larks were again seen near Great Falls, Montana (June 19-25, 1805). They are still among the most common breeding birds of the shortgrass plains and are one of the few likely to overwinter as far north as North Dakota and Montana. Although called a "ren," the bird's seasonal timing and habitats as described by Lewis and Clark do not fit the house wren (Troglodytes aedon). Horned lark populations have decreased significantly in North America during the last four decades as grassland habitats have declined.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 10, 1805):    Perhaps the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]. Reid & Gannon, 19. The plover is the black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola [AOU, 270].    ("Chery birds" are Cedar Waxwings).

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 15, 1806):    Western meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta [AOU, 501.1]; see August 25, 1804. Or possibly the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]; see Weather Diary for April 1805. Holmgren, 31.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 16, 1806):
      • "prarie lark": Western Meadowlark or Horned Lark;
      • "speceis of the peawee": Probably Say's phoebe, Sayornis saya [AOU, 457]. Holmgren, 32. It is not mentioned in Clark's remarks.
      • "blue crested fisher": Belted Kingfisher,
      • "partycoloured corvus": Black-billed Magpie,
      • "black pheasant": Sooty or Dusky Grouse.

    • Moulton (July 1, 1806):
      • "dove": Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316]. Holmgren, 34.
      • "black woodpecker": Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis [AOU, 408]; see May 27, 1806. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 239–40.
      • "lark woodpecker": Common, or northern, flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412]. Burroughs, 241–42; Holmgren, 34.
      • "logcock": [Pileated Woodpecker]
      • "prarie lark": Probably the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]. Holmgren, 31.
      • "sandhill crain": [Sandhill Crane]
      • "prarie hen with the short and pointed tail": Sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus [AOU, 308]; see March 1, 1806. Holmgren, 29; Burroughs, 213.
      • "robin": American robin, Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761].
      • "a speceis of brown plover": Probably the upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda [AOU, 261]; see July 22, 1805. Holmgren, 33; Burroughs, 227.
      • "curloos":
      • "small black birds": Either the rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus [AOU, 509], or Brewer's blackbird, E. cyanocephalus [AOU, 510]. Holmgren, 28.
      • "ravens": Common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486].
      • "hawks":
      • "variety of sparrows":
      • "bee martin": Either the eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus [AOU, 444], or the western kingbird, more likely the latter.
      • "several species of Corvus genus":


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  • Lark Bunting
    L&C "large sparrow with white tail"
    possible NEW BIRD

    Weather diary, June 5, 1805:
    "... rained considerably    some Snow fell on the mounts.    great numbers of the sparrows larks, Curloos and other small birds common to praries are now laying their eggs and seting, their nests are in great abundance.    the large batt, or night hawk appears.    the Turkey buzzard appears.—    first saw the mountain cock near the entrance of Maria's river.— ..."


    Clark, June 23, 1805:
    "... an emence number of Prarie birds now Setting of two kinds one larger than a Sparrow dark yellow the Center feathers of its tail yellow & the out Sides black Some Streeks about its neck, the other about the Same Size White tail ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large sparrow with white tail
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Lark-Bunting
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Lark Bunting

    • Moulton (Weather diary, June 5, 1805):
      • The sparrows could be any of a number of small brown birds.
      • The larks are similarly unidentifiable,
      • as are the "Curloos" which could be any shorebird with a long bill. Holmgren, 29, 33.
      • The "large batt, or night hawk" is again the common nighthawk.
      • The turkey vulture, Cathartes aura [AOU, 325], already known to science. Holmgren, 28; Burroughs, 203–4.
      • The sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus [AOU, 309], then unknown to science. Lewis gave a detailed description on March 2, 1806. Cutright (LCPN), 157; Burroughs, 213–15.

    • Moulton (June 23, 1805):    Neither of these birds can be identified with any certainty. The second one may be the lark bunting, Calamospiza melanocorys [AOU, 605], then new to science. Burroughs, 258.


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  • Least Tern
    L&C "aquatic bird"
    NEW BIRD

    Lewis, August 5, 1804:
    "... I have frequently observed an acquatic bird [EC: sterna antillarum] in the cours of asscending this river but have never been able to procure one before today, this day I was so fortunate as to kill two of them, they are here more plenty than on the river below.    they lay their eggs on the sand bars without shelter or nest, and produce their young from the 15th to the last of June, the young ones of which we caught several are covered with down of a yellowish white colour and on the back some small specks of a dark brown.    they bear a great resemblance to the young quale of ten days oald, and apear like them to be able to runabout and peck their food as soon as they are hatched—    this bird, lives on small fish, worms and bugs which it takes on the virge of the water    it is seldom seen to light on trees an qu[i]te as seldom do they lite in the water and swim tho' the foot would indicate that they did it's being webbed    I believe them to be a native of this country and probly a constant resident.—    ... [description omitted here] ...    this bird is very noysey when flying which is does exttreemly swift    the motion of the wing is much like that of kildee    it has two notes one like the squaking of a small pig only on reather a high kee, and the other kit'-tee'-kit'-tee'- as near as letters can express the sound— ... [rest of passage omitted] ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): aquatic bird
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Least Tern
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Least Tern

    • Cutright: Least Tern [AOU 74], fully described by Lewis, August 5, 1804, on the Missouri River, Nebraska. Sterna albifrons antillarum.

    • Holmgren:    AQUATIC BIRD (8-5-04) least tern, Sterna antillarum, Lesson 1847. Well described.

    • Johnsgard:   Interior Least Tern Sterna antillarum athalassos:    A specimen of the least tern was shot in what is now Washington County, Nebraska, on August 5, 1804. Lewis carefully described it, and he should have been given full credit for discovering the species, but it was not formally described until 1843, from a specimen obtained in the West Indies. As with the piping plover, the middle Missouri River has long been a major nesting region for this subspecies, which is now nationally endangered. Like the piping plover, the least tern evolved in an environment adapted to falling water levels during late spring, rather than today's generally increasing water levels of the middle and lower Missouri River in the spring, when water is released from upstream dams to facilitate summer barge traffic.

    • Moulton (August 5, 1804):    The "acquatic bird" is the least tern, Sterna antillarum [AOU, 74]. The bird used for comparison is the killdeer, Charadrius vociferus [AOU, 273]. Burroughs, 231–32.


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  • Lewis's Woodpecker
    L&C "black woodpecker"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2010, Mosier, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2010, Mosier, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Lewis's Woodpecker, Mosier, Oregon. Image taken April 25, 2010.

    Lewis, July 20, 1805, just north of Helena, Montana:
    "... I saw a black woodpecker today about the size of the lark woodpecker as black as a crow. I indevoured to get a shoot at it but could not.    it is a distinct species of woodpecker; it has a long tail and flys a good deel like the jay bird ..."


    Lewis, May 27, 1806, while in Idaho:
    "... The Black woodpecker which I have frequently mentioned and which is found in most parts of the roky Mountains as well as the Western and S. W. mountains. I had never an opportunity of examining untill a few days since when we killed and preserved several of them.    this bird is about the size of the lark woodpecker of the turtle dove, tho' it's wings are longer than either of those birds. the beak is black, one inch long, reather wide at the base, somewhat curved, and sharply pointed; the chaps are of equal length.    arround the base of the beak including the eye and a small part of the throat is of a fine crimson red. the neck and as low as the croop in front is of an iron grey.    the belly and breast is a curious mixture of white and blood reed which has much the appearance of having been artifically painted or stained of that colour.    the red reather predominates.    the top of the head back, sides, upper surface of the wings and tail are black, with a gossey tint of green in a certain exposure to the light.    the under side of the wings and tail are of a sooty black.    it has ten feathers in the tail, sharply pointed, and those in the center reather longest, being 2˝ inches in length.    the tongue is barbed, pointed, and of an elastic cartelaginous substance.    the eye is moderately large, puple black and iris of a dark yellowish brown.    this bird in it's action when flying resembles the small redheaded woodpecke [Red-headed Woodpecker] common to the Atlantic states;    it's note also somewhat resembles that bird.    the pointed tail seems to assist it in seting with more eas or retaining it its resting position against the perpendicular side of a tree.    the legs and feet are black and covered with wide imbricated scales.    it has four toes on each foot of which two are in rear and two in front; the nails are much curved long and remarkably keen or sharply pointed.    it feeds on bugs worms and a variety of insects ..."


    Lewis, July 1, 1806, where Lolo Creek empties into the Bitterroot River, Montana:
    "... the dove, the black woodpecker, the lark woodpecker, the logcock, the prarie lark, sandhill crain, prarie hen with the short and pointed tail, the robin, a speceis of brown plover, a few curloos, small black birds, ravens hawks and a variety of sparrows as well as the bee martin and the several species of Corvus genus are found in this vally. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): black woodpecker
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Lewis' Woodpecker
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Lewis' Woodpecker
    • Patterson (comments): specimen brought back

    • Cutright: Lewis's Woodpecker [AOU 408], discovered by Lewis, July 20, 1805, north of Helena, Lewis and Clark Co., Montana. Asyndesmus lewis (Gray, Wilson, 1811).

    • Holmgren:    WOODPECKERS
      • "black" (7-20-05) Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis, Wilson 1811. Formerly Asyndesmus lewis The feathers of nape, back and tail are blackish, glossed with bottle-green, but appear black in poor light and from a distance. The face is dark red, the upper breast and collar gray and the belly a bright pinkish red which Lewis described as looking "artificially painted or stained" (Thwaites, Reuben G., vol.5, p.70). He also mentioned its crow-like flight.

    • Johnsgard:   Lewis's Woodpecker Melanerpes lewis:    One of the major ornithological discoveries of the expedition was Captain Lewis's discovery of the woodpecker that now bears his name. On July 20, 1805, along Prickly Pear Creek and near present-day Helena, Montana, Lewis first saw a "black woodpecker (or crow)." He judged it to be about the size of a flicker but as black as a crow. He was not able to obtain a specimen until May of 1806, when in Idaho the expedition members "killed and preserved several." He then provided a highly detailed description of the bird, and at least one of the preserved specimens made its way back east, where it eventually ended up in the hands of Charles W. Peale, curator of the Philadelphia Museum housed in Independence Hall. The specimen that Alexander Wilson used to illustrate the species for the first time was one of those collected by Lewis and Clark, and it was named "Lewis's woodpecker." Wilson's original sketches of this woodpecker and of Clark's nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana), similarly named after Captain Clark, are still present in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Like the red-headed woodpecker, the Lewis's woodpecker is distinctly migratory and often occurs well away from dense woods. Its population numbers have not changed significantly in the past four decades.

    • Moulton (July 20, 1805):    The first description of Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis [AOU, 408], more fully described on May 27, 1806. Perhaps the only remaining zoological specimen of the expedition is the skin of a Lewis's woodpecker, now in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. Burroughs, 239–40; Cutright (LCPN), 173, 453.

    • Moulton (May 27, 1806):    Lewis's woodpecker, previously noted but now fully described for the first time. This may be the specimen at Harvard University, probably the expedition's only zoological specimen to survive. Cutright (LCPN), 173, 296, 430, 453. The "lark woodpecker" is the northern flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412], and the "turtle dove" is the mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316].

    • Moulton (July 1, 1806):
      • "dove": Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316]. Holmgren, 34.
      • "black woodpecker": Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis [AOU, 408]; see May 27, 1806. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 239–40.
      • "lark woodpecker": Common, or northern, flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412]. Burroughs, 241–42; Holmgren, 34.
      • "logcock": [Pileated Woodpecker]
      • "prarie lark": Probably the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]. Holmgren, 31.
      • "sandhill crain": [Sandhill Crane]
      • "prarie hen with the short and pointed tail": Sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus [AOU, 308]; see March 1, 1806. Holmgren, 29; Burroughs, 213.
      • "robin": American robin, Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761].
      • "a speceis of brown plover": Probably the upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda [AOU, 261]; see July 22, 1805. Holmgren, 33; Burroughs, 227.
      • "curloos":
      • "small black birds": Either the rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus [AOU, 509], or Brewer's blackbird, E. cyanocephalus [AOU, 510]. Holmgren, 28.
      • "ravens": Common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486].
      • "hawks":
      • "variety of sparrows":
      • "bee martin": Either the eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus [AOU, 444], or the western kingbird, more likely the latter.
      • "several species of Corvus genus":


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  • Loggerhead Shrike ... (White-rumped Shrike)
    L&C "catbird-sized with large convex beak"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2011, Woodland, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Northern Shrike, "cousin" to the Loggerhead Shrike. Image taken April 17, 2011, Woodland, Washington.

    Lewis, June 10, 1805:
    "... I saw a small bird today which I do not recollect ever having seen before.    it is about the size of the blue thrush or catbird, and it's contour not unlike that bird.    the beak is convex, moderately curved, black, smoth, and large in proportion to its' size.    the legs were black, it had four toes of the same colour on eah foot, and the nails appeared long and somewhat in form like the tallons of the haulk, the eye black and proportionably large.    a bluish brown colour occupyed the head, neck, and back, the belly was white; the tail was reather long in proportion and appeared to be composed of feathers of equal length of which a part of those in the center were white the others black.    the wings were long and were also varigated with white and black.    on each side of the head from the beak back to the neck a small black stripe extended imbrasing the eye.    it appeared to be very busy in catching insects which I presume is it's usual food; I found the nest of this little bird, the female which differed but little in size or plumage from the male was seting on four eggs of a pale blue colour with small black freckles or dots. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): catbird-sized with large convex beak
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): White-rumped Shrike
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Loggerhead Shrike

    • Cutright: White-rumped Shrike [AOU 622a], described by Lewis, June 10, 1805, at mouth of Marias River, Montana. Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides (Swainson, 1831).

    • Holmgren:    CATBIRD (6-10-05) gray catbird, Dumetella carolinensis, L. 1758. Used only for size comparison for unfamiliar species, loggerhead shrike, Lanius Hudovicianus, L. 1766.

    • Johnsgard:   Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus:    Captain Lewis discovered the nest and eggs of the loggerhead shrike on June 10, 1805, near the mouth of the Marias River in Montana. He described it in considerable detail, thinking the species might be new to science. However, it later was recognized as an undescribed subspecies of an already known species. Lewis noted the shrike's hawklike claws and judged it to be a predator of insects. It is now known to prey also on a wide variety of animals, including both small mammals and birds. It is characteristic of open, often arid, country. Loggerhead shrike populations have declined significantly in North America during the last four decades.

    • Moulton (June 10, 1805):    Cited as the first description of the white-rumped shrike, Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides, the western form of the loggerhead shrike; it is no longer considered a separate subspecies of the loggerhead, L. ludovicianus [AOU, 622]. Cutright (LCPN), 157. The birds used for comparison are the eastern bluebird, Sialia sialis [AOU, 766], and the gray catbird, Dumetella carolinensis [AOU, 704]. Holmgren, 29, 33.


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  • Long-billed Curlew
    L&C "brown curloo", "large brown curloo"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2012, Budd Inlet, Olympia, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Long-billed Curlew. Image taken September 12, 2012, Budd Inlet, Olympia, Washington.

    Lewis, April 17, 1805, in Western North Dakota:
    "... Capt. Clark saw a Curlou today. ..."


    Lewis, June 4, 1805, while in Montana:
    "... In these plains I observed great numbers of the brown Curloos, a small species of curloo or plover of a brown colour about the size of the common snipe and not unlike it in form with a long celindric curved and pointed beak; it's wings are proportionately long and the tail short; in the act of liteing this bird lets itself down by an extention of it's wings without motion holding their points very much together above it's back, in this rispect differing ascentially from any bird I ever observed. ..."


    Lewis, June 22, 1805, near Great Falls, Montana:
    "... Saw a great number of buffaloe in the plains, also immence quantities of little birds and the large brown curloo; the latter is now seting; it lays it's eggs, which are of a p[a]le blue with black specks, on the ground without any preperation of a nest. ..."


    Lewis, August 3, 1805:
    "... we saw many deer, Antelopes ducks, gees, some beaver and great appearance of their work. also a small bird and the Curlooe as usual ..."


    Lewis, March 5, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The common snipe of the marshes and the small sand snipe are the same of those common to the Atlantic Coast tho' the former are by no means as abundant here.    the prarrow of the woody country is also similar to ours but not abundant.    those of the plains of Columbia are the same with those of the Missouri, tho' they are by no means so abundant. I have not seen the little singing lark or the large brown Curloo so common to the plains of the Missouri, but I beleive that the latter is an inhabitant of this country during summer from Indian information. I have no doubt but what many species of birds found here in Autumn and Summer had departed before our arrival. ...


    Weather diary, April 15, 1806, near Rock Fort, The Dalles, Oregon:
    "... wind blew tolerably hard today after 10 A. M.    observed the Curloo and prarie lark. ..."


    Lewis, April 24, 1806, while near Roosevelt, Washington:
    "... The curloos are abundant in these plains and are now laying their eggs. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large brown curloo
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Long-billed Curlew
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Long-billed Curlew
    • Patterson (comments): Comments on "plovers": Lewis and Clark use the terms plover and curlew very loosely. Of the descriptions given, only that for Willet is complete. The others are not particularly helpful and early interpreters of the journals were making a best guess. Most were recorded along the upper Missouri river in the spring and summer of 1805. Given that neither Common Snipe nor Spotted Sandpiper are mentioned, there are just too many possible choices to determine species with any confidence.

    • Cutright: Long-billed Curlew [AOU 264], observed by Lewis, June 22, 1805, at Great Falls, Montana ... also April 17, 1805, in western North Dakota. Numenius americanus americanus (Bechstein, 1812).

    • Holmgren:    CURLOO, CURLEW (4-17-05) any shorebird with long bill.
      • "brown" (6-4-05) long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus, Bechsten 1812.
      • "small" (6-4-05) of snipe size with curved beak, probably Eskimo curlew, Numenius borealis, Forster 1772.

    • Johnsgard:   Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus:    On April 17, 1805, in northwestern North Dakota, the group saw a "curlue." A "brown curlue" was also noted on April 22, 1805, near the present Montana border. These most probably were long-billed curlews, as the smaller and arctic-nesting whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) is very rare in Montana. Birds described as curlews were also later seen in Montana during the nesting season, near Great Falls (July 11-13, 1805) and near the present locations of Townsend (July 24, 1805) and Whitehall (August 3, 1805), all within the historic breeding range of long-billed curlews. Long-billed curlew populations have declined significantly in North America during the last four decades; these birds need large areas of native grasslands for breeding.

    • Moulton (April 17, 1805):    Probably the long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus [AOU, 264], and if so, a bird new to science. Cutright (LCPN), 125.

    • Moulton (June 4, 1805):    The long-billed curlew, although Holmgren believes Lewis describes two birds: "brown Curloos" and a "small species of curloo." The latter she supposes to be the Eskimo curlew, Numenius borealis [AOU, 266]. Holmgren, 29.

    • Moulton (June 22, 1805):   : The long-billed curlew (see above, April 17, 1805), but the eggs are either those of another bird or are poorly described. Burroughs, 226.

    • Moulton (August 3, 1805):    Probably the long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus [AOU, 264].

    • Moulton (March 5, 1806):    The common snipe, Gallinago gallinago [AOU, 230], and the spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia [AOU, 263]. Holmgren, 33.    Probably the song sparrow, Melospiza melodia [AOU, 581].    Probably Sprague's pipit, Anthus spragueii [AOU, 700].    The long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus [AOU, 264]. Burroughs, 226–27.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 15, 1806):    Western meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta [AOU, 501.1]; see August 25, 1804. Or possibly the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]; see Weather Diary for April 1805. Holmgren, 31.

    • Moulton (April 24, 1806):    Perhaps the long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus [AOU, 264]. Holmgren, 29.


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  • McCown's Longspur
    L&C "large dark-brown sparrow with some white tail feathers"
    NEW BIRD

    Lewis, June 4, 1805:
    "... In these plains I observed great numbers of the brown Curloos ...    a number of sparrows also of three distinct species I observed.    also a small bird which in action resembles the lark,    it is about the size of a large sparrow of a dark brown colour with some white fathers in the tail; this bird or that which I take to be the male rises into the air about 60 feet and supporting itself in the air with a brisk motion of the wings sings very sweetly, has several shrill soft notes reather of the plaintive order which it frequently repeats and varies, after remaining stationary about a minute in his aireal station he descends obliquely occasionly pausing and accomnying his decension with a note something like "twit twit twit"; on the ground he is silent.    thirty or forty of these birds will be stationed in the air at a time in view, these larks as I shall call them add much to the gayety and cheerfullness of the scene. All those birds are now seting and laying their eggs in the plains; their little nests are to be seen in great abundance as we pass. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large dark-brown sparrow with some white tail feathers
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): McCown's Longspur
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): McCown's Longspur

    • Cutright: McCown's Longspur [AOU 593], discovered by Lewis, June 4, 1805, on Marias River, Montana. Rhynchophanes mccownii (Lawrence, 1851).

    • Holmgren:    LARK, "small" (6-4-05) McCown's longspur, Calcarius mccownii, Lawrence 1851. Formerly Rhynchophanes mccownii.

    • Johnsgard:   McCown's Longspur Calcarius mccownii:    One June 4, 1805, near the mouth of the Marias River in Montana, Lewis saw a sparrow-sized bird taking flight, singing, and then dropping back to earth. His detailed description leaves little doubt that he had observed the McCown's longspur in its aerial territorial display. This species was not officially described and named until 1851,more than four decades later. It is a typical species of arid shortgrass prairies, and its population appears to be declining rangewide.

    • Moulton (June 4, 1805):    McCown's longspur, Calcarius mccownii [AOU, 539], then new to science. Cutright (LCPN), 157.


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  • Mountain Quail
    L&C "blue partridge"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Stevenson, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Carving, Mountain Quail, Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Stevenson, Washington. Image taken July 15, 2011.

    Clark, April 6, 1806, above the mouth of the Washougal River, Washington:
    "... Reubin Field killed a bird of the Quail kind or Class which was whistleing near our Camp    it is [lar]ger than the quail or partridge as they are Called Kentucky and [Virg]inia.    it's form is presisely that of our partridge tho' its plumage differs in every part. ... [description omitted here] ...    this is a most butifull bird    I preserved the Skin of this bird retaining the wings feet & head which I hope will give a just Idea of the bird.    it's loud note it Single and Consists of a loud Squall, intirely different from the whistling of our partridge or quailes.    it has a chiping note when allarmed like our partridge.—  &bnsp; to day there was a Second of those birds killed which presisely resembles that just discribed. I believe those to be the mail bird the female, if so, I have not yet Seen. ..."

    Lewis, April 7, 1806, above the mouth of the Washougal River, Washington:
    "... last evening Reubin Fields killed a bird of the quail kind it is reather larger than the quail, or partridge as they are called in Virginia.    it's form is precisely that of our partridge tho' it's plumage differs in every part. ... [description omitted here] ...    this is a most beautifull bird. I preserved the skin of this bird retaining the wings feet and head which I hope will give a just idea of the bird. it's loud note is single and consists of a loud squall, intirely different from the whistling of our quales or partridge.    it has a cherping note when allarmed something like ours.— today there was a second of these birds killed by Capt C. which precisely resembled that just discribed I believe these to be the male bird the female, if so, I have not yet seen.— ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): blue partridge
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Mountain Quail
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Mountain Quail

    • Cutright: Mountain Quail [AOU 292a], discovered and described by Lewis, April 7, 1805, above mouth of Washougal River. Oreortyx pictus pictus (Douglas, 1829).

    • Holmgren:    PARTRIDGE (4-7-06) an English name mistakenly applied to American birds, especially the bobwhite (quail). See QUAIL.

    • Holmgren:    QUAIL (4-7-06) or partridge, Mountain quail, Oreortyx pictus, Douglas 1829. Preserved skin given to Charles Willson Peale to sketch for proposed book on the natural history of the Expedition to be published by the American Philosophical Society. The sketch is still extant, but book was never published.

    • Moulton (April 6, 1806):    The first description of the mountain quail, Oreortyx pictus [AOU, 292]. Clark is here probably copying Lewis's entry of the next day. The specimen is being compared with the northern bobwhite, Colinus virginianus [AOU, 289]. From the preserved skin Charles Willson Peale later made a drawing of the bird that is extant today at the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. Cutright (LCPN), 281, 288, 385 n. 92, 435–36; Burroughs, 219–20; Holmgren, 33.


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  • Mourning Dove ... (Western subspecies)
    L&C "turtledove", "turtle dove"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Mourning Doves, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken October 1, 2008.

    Weather diary, May 8, 1805:
    "... rain inconsiderable    a mear spinkle    the bald Eagle, of which there are great numbers, now have their young.    the turtledove appears. ..."


    Lewis, June 8, 1805, while in Montana:
    "... The river bottoms affording all the timber which is to be seen in the country they are filled with innumerable litle birds that resort thither either for shelter or to build their nests.    when sun began to shine today these birds appeared to be very gay and sung most inchantingly; I observed among them the brown thrush, Robbin, turtle dove, linnit goaldfinch, the large and small blackbird, wren and several other birds of less note ..."


    Lewis, March 4, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The turtle dove and robbin are the same of our country and are found as well in the plain as open country. ..."


    Weather diary, May 27, 1806:
    "... the dove is cooing which is the signal as the indians inform us of the approach of the salmon. The snow has disappeared on the high plains and seems to be diminishing fast on the spurs and lower region of the Rocky Mountains. ..."


    Lewis, July 1, 1806, where Lolo Creek empties into the Bitterroot River, Montana:
    "... the dove, the black woodpecker, the lark woodpecker, the logcock, the prarie lark, sandhill crain, prarie hen with the short and pointed tail, the robin, a speceis of brown plover, a few curloos, small black birds, ravens hawks and a variety of sparrows as well as the bee martin and the several species of Corvus genus are found in this vally. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): dove
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Mourning Dove
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Mourning Dove

    • Cutright: Western Mourning Dove [AOU 316a], mentioned by Lewis, July 1, 1806, where Lolo Creek empties into the Bitteroot River, Montana. Zenaidura macroura marginella (Woodhouse, 1852).

    • Holmgren:    DOVE, cooing (5-27-06): Inidans believed that cooing doves in springtime courtship predicted return of salmon.

    • Holmgren:    TURTLEDOVE (6-8-05): This English name for a similar Eurasian dove species was given by early colonists to an American species, the mourning dove, Zenaida macroura, L. 1758. Formerly classified in genus Zenaidura.

    • Johnsgard:   Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura:    Few specific notes were made on this common and well-known species. In the expedition's Meteorological Register of May 8, 1805, it was noted that the "turtle dove" had returned to northeastern Montana, near Fort Peck. It was seen near the mouth of the Marias River on June 8, 1805. On the return trip of 1806 it was observed near the present-day locations of Missoula and Billings, near Great Falls, and on the upper Marias River. Mourning dove populations have declined significantly in North America during the last four decades; they are a highly adaptable but heavily hunted species.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, May 8, 1805):    The English name for a similar Eurasian species was given to the mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316], long before Lewis and Clark's time. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 234.

    • Moulton (June 8, 1805):
      • Burroughs questions Criswell's identification of the linnet as the pine siskin, Carduelis pinus [AOU, 533]. Holmgren says the term linnet was used for any small bird with a red crown, especially the common redpoll, C. flammea [AOU, 528], the purple finch, Carpodacus purpureus [AOU, 517], and the house finch, C. mexicanus [AOU, 519]. Burroughs, 259; Criswell, 53; Holmgren, 32.
      • Lewis's "goaldfinch" is the American goldfinch, Carduelis tristis [AOU, 529].
      • The wren may be the winter wren, Troglodytes troglodytes [AOU, 722], or any of several other birds. Holmgren, 34.

    • Moulton (July 1, 1806):
      • "dove": Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316]. Holmgren, 34.
      • "black woodpecker": Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis [AOU, 408]; see May 27, 1806. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 239–40.
      • "lark woodpecker": Common, or northern, flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412]. Burroughs, 241–42; Holmgren, 34.
      • "logcock": [Pileated Woodpecker]
      • "prarie lark": Probably the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]. Holmgren, 31.
      • "sandhill crain": [Sandhill Crane]
      • "prarie hen with the short and pointed tail": Sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus [AOU, 308]; see March 1, 1806. Holmgren, 29; Burroughs, 213.
      • "robin": American robin, Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761].
      • "a speceis of brown plover": Probably the upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda [AOU, 261]; see July 22, 1805. Holmgren, 33; Burroughs, 227.
      • "curloos":
      • "small black birds": Either the rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus [AOU, 509], or Brewer's blackbird, E. cyanocephalus [AOU, 510]. Holmgren, 28.
      • "ravens": Common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486].
      • "hawks":
      • "variety of sparrows":
      • "bee martin": Either the eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus [AOU, 444], or the western kingbird, more likely the latter.
      • "several species of Corvus genus":

    • Cornell's Birds of North America Online:    The Mourning Dove is among the most abundant and widespread terrestrial birds endemic to North and Middle America. Breeding populations of the two principal subspecies - the larger, grayish brown Zenaida macroura carolinensis (eastern) and the slightly smaller, paler Z. m. marginella (western) - occur in parts of southern Canada, all of the lower 48 states, and into temperate Mexico.


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  • Northern Flicker ... (yellow-shafted)
  • Northern Flicker ... (red-shafted)
    L&C "lark woodpecker", "lark woodpecker with yellow wings"
    Yellow-shafted is NEW BIRD, Red-shafted is not

    Image, 2009, Lacamas Lake, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2010, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Northern Flicker, yellow-shafted male (bird on left in left image) and red-shafted male (right). Left image taken October 7, 2009, Lacamas Lake, Washington. Right image taken April 1, 2010, Vancouver, Washington.

    Weather diary, April 11, 1805, while at Fort Mandan:
    "... The lark wood pecker, with yellow wings, and a black spot on the brest common to the U' States has appeared, with sundry small birds.—    many plants begin to appear above the ground.—    saw a large white gull today—    the Eagle is now laying their eggs, and the gees have mated.— ..."


    Lewis, March 4, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... the large woodpecker or log cock, the lark woodpecker and the small white woodpecker with a read head are the same with those of the Atlantic states and are found exclusively in the timbered country ..."


    Lewis, July 1, 1806, where Lolo Creek empties into the Bitterroot River, Montana:
    "... the dove, the black woodpecker, the lark woodpecker, the logcock, the prarie lark, sandhill crain, prarie hen with the short and pointed tail, the robin, a speceis of brown plover, a few curloos, small black birds, ravens hawks and a variety of sparrows as well as the bee martin and the several species of Corvus genus are found in this vally. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): lark woodpecker
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Northern Flicker
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Northern Flicker
    • Patterson (comments): Northern Flicker, Yellow-shafted

    • Patterson (what L&C described): lark woodpecker
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Red-shafted Flicker
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Northern Flicker
    • Patterson (comments): Northern Flicker, Red-shafted

    • Cutright: Northern Flicker [AOU 412a], reported by Lewis, April 11, 1805, at Fort Mandan, North Dakota. Colaptes auratus luteus (Bangs, 1898).

    • Holmgren:    WOODPECKERS
      • "lark-woodpecker" (4-11-05) this is a folk name for the flickers, given because both larks and flickers have a crescent-shaped black mark across the breast. Because Lewis's notes describe the yellow wing linings, it is the yellow-shafted flicker, Colaptes auratus auratus, now combined as a sub-species with the red-shafted, Colaptes auratus cafer, both now listed as norther flicker, Colaptes auratus, L. 1758. Surprisingly, there is no mention of the red wing linings, although this subspecies is much more common in the west.

    • Johnsgard:   Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus:    In Lewis's Meteorological Notes of April 11, 1805, he reported the spring arrival of the well-known "lark-woodpecker." His description perfectly fits the yellow-shafted form of the northern flicker. About four decades later, Audubon encountered flickers that were intermediate in plumage between the eastern yellow-shafted and western red-shafted types, along this same part of the upper Missouri Valley. At the time, the red-shafted was considered a separate species from the yellow-shafted, but they are now regarded as only racially distinct, as a broad zone of intermingled genetic types occurs in this general plains region. Northern flicker populations have declined significantly in North America during the last four decades, as have at least two other woodpecker species.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 11, 1805):
      The northern or common flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412]; here a yellow-shafted subspecies. Burroughs, 241; Holmgren, 34.

    • Moulton (March 4, 1806):
      • "large woodpecker or log cock": the Pileated Woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus [AOU, 405]
      • "lark woodpecker": the Northern, or Common, Flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412], both new species. Logcock was a folk name for the Pileated Woodpecker while lark woodpecker was used for flickers. Burroughs, 241-42; Holmgren, 32, 34.
      • "small white woodpecker with a red head": the Red-breasted Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber [AOU, 403], Burroughs, 241, Holmgren, 34.

    • Moulton (July 1, 1806):
      • "dove": Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316]. Holmgren, 34.
      • "black woodpecker": Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis [AOU, 408]; see May 27, 1806. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 239–40.
      • "lark woodpecker": Common, or northern, flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412]. Burroughs, 241–42; Holmgren, 34.
      • "logcock": [Pileated Woodpecker]
      • "prarie lark": Probably the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]. Holmgren, 31.
      • "sandhill crain": [Sandhill Crane]
      • "prarie hen with the short and pointed tail": Sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus [AOU, 308]; see March 1, 1806. Holmgren, 29; Burroughs, 213.
      • "robin": American robin, Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761].
      • "a speceis of brown plover": Probably the upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda [AOU, 261]; see July 22, 1805. Holmgren, 33; Burroughs, 227.
      • "curloos":
      • "small black birds": Either the rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus [AOU, 509], or Brewer's blackbird, E. cyanocephalus [AOU, 510]. Holmgren, 28.
      • "ravens": Common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486].
      • "hawks":
      • "variety of sparrows":
      • "bee martin": Either the eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus [AOU, 444], or the western kingbird, more likely the latter.
      • "several species of Corvus genus":


    [Return to Top]





  • Northern Fulmar ... (Pacific Fulmar)
    L&C "white gull with remarkable beak"
    NEW BIRD

    Clark, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... There are 4 Species of the larus or gull on this coast and river.    1st a Small Species the Size of a Pegion; white except some black spots about the head and the little bone on the but of the wing.    2d a Species Somewhat larger of a light brown colour, with a mealy coloured back.    3rd the large Grey Gull, or white larus with a greyish brown back, and light grey belly and breast, about the Size of a well grown pullet, the wings are remarkably long in perpotion to the Size of the body and it's under chap towards the extremity is gibbous and protuberant than in either of the other Species.    a White Gull about the Size of the Second with a remarkable beak; adjoining the head and on the base of the upper Chap there is an elivated orning of the Same Substance with the beak which forms the nostriels at A; it is Somewhat in this form.    the feet are webed and the legs and feet of a yellow colour.    the form of the wings body &c are much that of the 2d Species this bird was Seen on Haleys bay [Baker Bay]. ..."


    Lewis, March 7, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... there are four speceis of larus or gull on this coast and river, 1st a small speceis about the size of a pigeon; white except some black spots about the head and a little brown on the but of the wings,    2nd a speceis somewhat larger of a light brown colour with a whitish or mealy coloured back.    3rd the large grey gull, or white larus with a greyish brown back and a light grey belley and breast, about the size of a well grown pullet or reather larger.    the wings are remarkably long in proportion to the size of the body and it's under chap towards the extremity is more gibbous and protuberant than in either of the other speceis.    4th a white gull about the size of the second with a remarkable beak; adjoining the head and at the base of the uper Chap there is an elivated orning of the same substance with the beak which forms the nostrils; it is some what in this form.    the feet are webbed and the legs and feet of a yellow colour.    the form of the wings body &c are much that of the seond species.    the large grey gull is found on the river as high as the entrance of the Kooskooske and in common with other speceis on the coast; the others appear to be confined to tidewater; and the fourth speceis not so common as either of the others. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): white gull with remarkable beak
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Pacific Fulmar
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Northern Fulmar
    • Patterson (comments): Northern Fulmar, L&C detailed drawing and description

    • Cutright: Pacific Fulmar [AOU 86.1], described by Lewis, March 7, 1806, at Fort Clatsop. Clark made a sketch of head. Fulmarus glacialis rodgersii (Cassin, 1862).

    • Holmgren:    GULLS
      • "brown" (3-6-06) most immature gulls wear a brown mottled plumage through their second winter. These may be any of the "grey" adults below.
      • "grey" (3-6-06) herring gull, Larus argentatus, Pontopidan 1763; ring-billed gull, Larus delawarensis, Ord 1815; western gull Larus occidentalis, Audubon 1839; glaucous-winged, Larus glaucenscens, Naumann 1840; California gull, Larus californicus, Lawrence 1854.
      • "small" (3-6-06) size of a pigeon, black on head. Probably Bonaparte's gull, Larus philadelphia, Ord 1815, but could be Forster's tern Sterna Forsteri Nuttall 1834.
      • "speckled" (10-2-05) any immature gull, as above under "brown".
      • "white" (3-6-06) with odd beak. Clark's sketch and description of prominent nasal tubes identify this species as the northern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis, L. 1761, in its white phase. Not a gull, though gull-like in actions and appearance.
      • "wings tipped in black" (9-27-04) Probably herring gull or ring-billed, as under "grey".

    • Moulton (March 6, 1806):
      • "Small Species the Size of a Pegion": Coues identifies it as Bonaparte's gull, Larus philadelphia [AOU, 60]; Burroughs says that if so, it must have been a juvenile in its first winter plumage. Coues (HLC), 3:811 n. 84; Burroughs, 230. Holmgren, 30, also gives Bonaparte's gull and adds Forster's tern, Sterna forsteri [AOU, 69], as a possibility.
      • "Somewhat larger of a light brown colour": According to Coues, a young glaucous-winged gull, Larus glaucescens [AOU, 44]. Burroughs appears skeptical of the identification, while Holmgren suggests it could be any of a number of immature gulls. Coues (HLC), 3:811 n. 84; Burroughs, 230; Holmgren, 30.
      • "Large Grey Gull": An immature western gull. Coues (HLC), 3:881 n. 84; Burroughs, 230–31. Holmgren, 30, includes the western gull among a number of other species of Larus as possibilities.
      • "White Gull": Northern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis [AOU, 86], not a gull. Coues (HLC), 881 n. 84; Burroughs, 179; Holmgren, 30.


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  • Pacific Wren ... (Western Winter Wren)
    L&C "small brown bird", "little brown ren or fly-catsch", "small brown flycatch"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2010, Lacamas Lake, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Pacific Wren, Lacamas Lake, Washington. Image taken January 6, 2010.

    Clark, August 25, 1804, while at Spirit Mound, South Dakota:
    "... Great numbers of Birds are Seen in those Plains, Such as black bird, Ren [X: wren] or Prarie burd a kind of larke about the Sise of a Partridge with a Short tail &c. &. ..."


    Lewis, June 8, 1805, while in Montana:
    "... The river bottoms affording all the timber which is to be seen in the country they are filled with innumerable litle birds that resort thither either for shelter or to build their nests.    when sun began to shine today these birds appeared to be very gay and sung most inchantingly; I observed among them the brown thrush, Robbin, turtle dove, linnit goaldfinch, the large and small blackbird, wren and several other birds of less note ..."


    Clark, November 29, 1805, while at Tongue Point, Oregon:
    "... The Shore below the point at our Camp is formed of butifull pebble of various colours. I observe but fiew birds of the Small kind, great numbers of wild fowls of Various kinds, the large Buzzard with white wings, grey and bald eagle's, large red tailed Hawks, ravens & Crows in abundance, the blue Magpie, a Small brown bird which frequents logs & about the roots of trees ..."


    Lewis, January 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... a small Crow, the blue crested Corvus and the smaller corvus with a white brest, the little brown ren, a large brown sparrow, the bald Eagle and the beatifull Buzzard of the columbia still continue with us. ..."


    Weather diary, January 31, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... this morning is plesant, the night was clear and cold    notwith-standing the could weather the Swan white Brant geese & ducks still continue with us; the sandhill crain also continues.—    the brown or speckled brant are mostly gone some few are still to be seen    the Cormorant loon and a variety of other waterfowls still remain. ...    The blue crested Corvus bird has already began to build it's nest.    their nests are formed of small sticks; usually in a pine tree.—    Great numbers of Ravens, and a Small black Crow are continually about us. The pale yellow Streiked and dove coloured robin is about, also the little brown ren or fly-catsch which is a little larger than the humming bird. ..."


    Weather diary, February 8, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... it was principally rain which fell since 4 P. M. yesterday, it has caused the snow to disappear  &nbps; the rain of the last night has melted down the snow wich has continued to cover the ground since the 24th of January; the feeling of the air and other appearances seem to indicate, that the rigor of the winter have passed; ... the small brown flycatch continues with us. this is the smallest of all the American birds except the humming bird. ..."


    Lewis, March 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... there are two species of the fly-catch, a small redish brown species with a short tail, round body, short neck and short pointed beak.    they have some fine black specks intermixed with the uniform redish brown.    this the same with that which remains all winter in Virginia where it is sometimes called the wren.    the second species has lately returned and dose not remain here all winter. it's colours are a yellowish brown on the back head neck wings and tail the breast and belley of a yellowish white; the tail is in proportion as the wren but it is a size smaller than that bird.    it's beak is streight pointed convex reather lage at the base and the chaps of equal length.    the first species is the smallest, in short it is the smalest bird that I have ever seen in America except the humming bird.    both these species are found in the woody country only or at least I have never seen them elsewhere. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): species of flycatch
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Western Winter Wren
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Winter Wren (note, AOU changed to "Pacific Wren" for the western species in July 2010)

    • Cutright: Western Winter Wren, noted by Lewis, March 4, 1806, at Fort Clatsop. Troglodytes troglodytes pacificus (Baird, 1864).

    • Holmgren:    WREN (REN) In England wren was long the common name for any very small bird and the custom continued among early settlers in north America. Both Audubon and Wilson gave the name "wren" to the birds now known as kinglets, as well as to birds still listed in the wren family. The "rens" of the journals possibly had similar varied identification unless modifying details were given.
      • "flycatch or ren" (3-4-05) reddish brown. Color clue and further description identify it as winter wren, Troglodytes troglodytes, L. 1758.
      • "flycatch" (2-8-06) "brown ... smallest of all birds except the hummingbird." Size and color clues identify the winter wren.
      • "wren (ren)" (8-25-04, 6-8-05) Without further description these might also be the winter wren, but could easily be the house wren, Troglodytes aedon, Vieillot 1807; or the golden-crowned kinglet, Regulus satrapa, Lichtenstein 1823, or the ruby-crowned kinglet, Regulus calendula, L. 1766.

    • Moulton (August 25, 1804):    This bird "the Sise of a Partridge" may be the same as the one in the Field Notes of this day, "about the Size of a Pigeon" [Western Meadowlark or Yellow Rail]. The sentence itself is unclear as to whether the wren or the lark is the "Praire bird." Biddle punctuates it so as to make it the wren. Coues (HLC), 1:87. For the wren, see Holmgren, 34.

    • Moulton (June 8, 1805):
      • Burroughs questions Criswell's identification of the linnet as the pine siskin, Carduelis pinus [AOU, 533]. Holmgren says the term linnet was used for any small bird with a red crown, especially the common redpoll, C. flammea [AOU, 528], the purple finch, Carpodacus purpureus [AOU, 517], and the house finch, C. mexicanus [AOU, 519]. Burroughs, 259; Criswell, 53; Holmgren, 32.
      • Lewis's "goaldfinch" is the American goldfinch, Carduelis tristis [AOU, 529].
      • The wren may be the winter wren, Troglodytes troglodytes [AOU, 722], or any of several other birds. Holmgren, 34.

    • Moulton (November 29, 1805):
      • "large Buzzard with white wings": [California Condor]
      • "grey and bald eagles": The "grey and bald eagle's" are, respectively, golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos [AOU, 349], and bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus [AOU, 352]. Burroughs, 204–8.
      • "large red tailed Hawks": Red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis [AOU, 337], a widespread species already known to science. Ibid., 208; Coues (HLC), 2:724.
      • "ravens and crows": Probably the common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486], and the American crow, C. brachyrhyncho [AOU, 488]. Burroughs, 248; Cutright (LCPN), 432.
      • "blue Magpie": Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri [AOU, 478], first noted by Lewis on September 20, 1805. The captain gives a full description in an undated entry, ca. December 18, 1805. Burroughs, 248–49.
      • "small brown bird which frequents logs & about the roots of trees": Perhaps the winter wren, Troglodytes troglodytes [AOU, 722], and if so, then new to science; see March 4, 1806. Burroughs, 252; Cutright (LCPN), 274, 438.

    • Moulton (January 3, 1806):
      • "small crow": probably the northwestern crow, Corvus caurinus [AOU, 489], a new species. Cutright (LCPN), 273, 432; Holmgren, 29.
      • "blue crested Corvus": [Steller's Jay]
      • "smaller corvus with a white breast": probably the gray jay.
      • "little brown ren": perhaps the winter wren.
      • "large brown sparrow": possibly the golden-crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla [AOU, 557]. Burroughs, 258. The fox sparrow, Passerella iliaca [AOU, 585], has also been suggested. Holmgren, 33.
      • "bald eagle": [Bald Eagle]
      • "beatifull Buzzard of the columbia": [California Condor}

    • Moulton (Weather diary, January 31, 1806): This last paragraph is found only in Clark's Codex I. The "pale yellow streiked and dove coloured robin" is presumably one bird, the varied thrush. Lewis describes it this day in his notebook journal. The wren is probably the winter wren, but see Holmgren, 34, for other possibilities.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, February 8, 1806): Again perhaps the winter wren, but see weather remarks for January 31, 1806.


    [Return to Top]





  • Pileated Woodpecker ... (Northern Pileated Woodpecker, Western Pileated Woodpecker)
    L&C "large woodpecker or log cock"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2009, Lacamas Lake, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Pileated Woodpecker, female (left), Lacamas Lake, Washington, and male (right), Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Left image taken April 24, 2009. Right image taken May 15, 2009.

    Lewis, March 4, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... the large woodpecker or log cock, the lark woodpecker and the small white woodpecker with a read head are the same with those of the Atlantic states and are found exclusively in the timbered country ..."


    Lewis, April 5, 1806, in the Washougal/Sandy River area:
    "... Saw the Log cock, the hummingbird, gees ducks &c today.    ...    we measured a fallen tree of fir No. 1 which was 318 feet including the stump which was about 6 feet high.    this tree was only about 3 1/2 feet in diameter.    we saw the martin, small gees, the small speckled woodpecker with a white back, the Blue crested Corvus, ravens, crows, eagles Vultures and hawks. ..."


    Lewis, July 1, 1806, where Lolo Creek empties into the Bitterroot River, Montana:
    "... the dove, the black woodpecker, the lark woodpecker, the logcock, the prarie lark, sandhill crain, prarie hen with the short and pointed tail, the robin, a speceis of brown plover, a few curloos, small black birds, ravens hawks and a variety of sparrows as well as the bee martin and the several species of Corvus genus are found in this vally. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): log cock
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Northern Pileated Woodpecker
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Pileated Woodpecker

    • Cutright: Western Pileated Woodpecker [AOU 405c], referred to by Lewis, March 4, 1806, at Fort Clatsop, and elswhere on other dates. Dryocopus pileatus picinus (Bangs, 1910).

    • Holmgren:    LOGCOCK (6-15-06) folk name for pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus, L. 1758.

    • Holmgren:    WOODPECKERS,    "large red-headed" (9-9-05) "large" (3-4-06) pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus, L. 1758. Lewis and Clark knew this species in Virginia, where it was called "logcock".

    • Moulton (March 4, 1806):
      • "large woodpecker or log cock": the Pileated Woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus [AOU, 405]
      • "lark woodpecker": the Northern, or Common, Flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412], both new species. Logcock was a folk name for the Pileated Woodpecker while lark woodpecker was used for flickers. Burroughs, 241-42; Holmgren, 32, 34.
      • "small white woodpecker with a red head": the Red-breasted Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber [AOU, 403], Burroughs, 241, Holmgren, 34.

    • Moulton (April 5, 1806):
      • "logcock": the pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus [AOU, 405].
      • "hummingbird":
      • "martin": Perhaps the purple martin, Progne subis [AOU, 611]. Holmgren, 32.
      • "small gees":
      • "small speckled woodpecker with a white back": Either the hairy woodpecker, Picoides villosus [AOU, 393], or downy woodpecker, P. pubescens [AOU, 394]. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 240–41.
      • "Blue crested Corvus": Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri [AOU, 478].
      • "ravens": Common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486].
      • "crows": Corvus brachyrhynchos [AOU, 488].
      • "eagle, vultures, and hawks":

    • Moulton (July 1, 1806):
      • "dove": Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316]. Holmgren, 34.
      • "black woodpecker": Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis [AOU, 408]; see May 27, 1806. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 239–40.
      • "lark woodpecker": Common, or northern, flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412]. Burroughs, 241–42; Holmgren, 34.
      • "logcock": [Pileated Woodpecker]
      • "prarie lark": Probably the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]. Holmgren, 31.
      • "sandhill crain": [Sandhill Crane]
      • "prarie hen with the short and pointed tail": Sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus [AOU, 308]; see March 1, 1806. Holmgren, 29; Burroughs, 213.
      • "robin": American robin, Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761].
      • "a speceis of brown plover": Probably the upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda [AOU, 261]; see July 22, 1805. Holmgren, 33; Burroughs, 227.
      • "curloos":
      • "small black birds": Either the rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus [AOU, 509], or Brewer's blackbird, E. cyanocephalus [AOU, 510]. Holmgren, 28.
      • "ravens": Common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486].
      • "hawks":
      • "variety of sparrows":
      • "bee martin": Either the eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus [AOU, 444], or the western kingbird, more likely the latter.
      • "several species of Corvus genus":


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  • Pinyon Jay
    L&C "blue bird"
    NEW BIRD

    Lewis, August 1, 1805:
    "... I also saw near the top of the mountain among some scattering pine a blue bird about the size of the common robbin.    it's action and form is somewhat that of the jay bird and never rests long in any one position but constantly flying or hoping from sprey to sprey. I shot at one of them but missed it.    their note is loud and frequently repeated both flying and when at rest and is char âh', char'âh, char âh', as nearly as letters can express it. ..."


    Lewis, September 18, 1805:
    "... and a blue bird of the vulter kind about the size of a turtle dove or jay bird. ..."


    Lewis, September 20, 1805:
    "... I have also observed two birds of a blue colour both of which I believe to be of the haulk or vulter kind.    the one of the blue shining colour with a very high tuft of feathers on the head a long tale, it feeds on flesh the beak and feet black.    it's note is ch?-?h, ch?-?h.    it is about the size of a pigeon; and in shape and action resembles the jay bird.—    another bird of very similar genus, the note resembling the mewing of the cat, with a white head and a light blue colour is also common ..."


    Lewis, December 18, 1805, written in the Astoria area:
    "... there is another bird of reather larger size which I saw on the woddy parts of the rockey mountains and on the waters of the Missouri, this bird I could never kill tho' I made several attempts, the predominate colour is a dark blue the tale is long and they are not crested; I believe them to be of the corvus genus also.    their note is châr, châr, char,-ar, char; ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): blue jay bird
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Pinyon Jay
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Pinyon Jay
    • Patterson (comments): seen in Montana

    • Cutright: Pinyon Jay [AOU 492], discovered by Lewis, August 1, 1805, on Jefferson River, Montana. Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus (Reise, 1841).

    • Holmgren:    BLUE BIRDS (no added name)
      • "no crest" (5-26-05) briefly seen. Could not shoot for close study. Probably mountain bluebird, Sialia currucoides Bechstein 1778. Lewis and Clark could not have known this western species.
      • "size of a robin" (8-1-05) and actions of a jay. See JAY, pinyon.
      • "size of a turtledove" (9-18-05) See JAY, scrub, and MAGPIE, blue.

    • Holmgren:    JAYS
      • "size of robin" (8-1-05) acts like a jay, pinyon jay, Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus, Wied 1841. Voice well described.
      • "size of turtledove" (9-18-05) and of the "vulture kind", meaning an eater of carrion or flesh. No crest. Scrub jay Aphelocoma coerulescens, Bosc 1795.

    • NOTE: could find no reference to what Holmgren was referring to on 5-26-05 with "no crest". However her description matches entries of August 1, 1805 and December 18, 1805, entries which researchers consider to be the Pinyon Jay.

    • Moulton (August 1, 1805): The first description of the pinyon jay, Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus [AOU, 492]

    • Moulton (September 18, 1805):    The blue bird may be the pinyon jay of August 1, 1805, but some sources give it as the scrub jay, Aphelocoma coerulescens [AOU, 481], or Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri [AOU, 478]. Holmgren, 31; Space, 13. Each choice creates problems when compared with Lewis's entry of September 20. but the scrub jay seems the least likely possibility. The turtle dove used for comparison is the mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316].

    • Moulton (September 20, 1805):
      • "tuft of feathers": Steller's jay and new to science. Cutright (LCPN), 210. See Lewis's full description at December 18, 1805.
      • "jay-bird": [Blue Jay]
      • "white head, light blue color": Perhaps the gray jay, Perisoreus canadensis [AOU, 484]. Holmgren, 29. See also Lewis's entry of December 18, 1805.

    • Moulton (December 18, 1805):    Lewis's note from Codex R, covering zoology rather than the customary botany. ... The bird of the woody parts of the Rockies that Lewis mentions near the end of this passage may be the pinyon jay, Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus [AOU, 492], first noticed by him on August 1, 1805. Holmgren, 28, identifies it as possibly the mountain bluebird, Sialia currucoides [AOU, 768].

    • See also entry for:


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  • Piping Plover ... or Semipalmated Plover
    L&C "small species of Kildee"
    Piping Plover is NEW BIRD

    Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Semipalmated Plover (middle bird), Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken August 3, 2009.

    Clark, undated entry, with non-bird entries omitted:
    "... The Prairie Fowl common to the Illinois are found as high up as the River Jacque above which the Sharpe tailed Grows commence    950 Ms. ...
    Indian Hen & Small Species of Kildee which frequent drift is found as high up as the Entrance of the Little Sieux river    733 ms. ...
    Parotqueet is Seen as high as the Mahar Village    836 ms. ...
    In descending the Missouri & Rochejhone ...
    Turkeys first appear at the enterance of Tylors Rivr above the big bend 1200 miles up this Missouri    1206
    The pointed tail Prarie fowl are found above the Big bend upwards.    1200 ms. up ...
    The party coloured Corvus or Magpy Commence at or about Corvus Creek and from thence upwards.    1130 ..."


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    KILLDEE, KILLDEER (4-8-05) killdeer, Charadrius vociferus, L. 1758.
      • "small" (6-20-04) semipalmated plover, Charadrius semipalmatus, Bonaparte 1825.

    • Johnsgard:   Piping Plover Charadrius melodus    Small plovers, described by Captain Clark as the "small species of Kildee," were observed to occupy river habitats as far upstream as the mouth of the Little Sioux River, present-day Burt County, Nebraska, or Harrison County, Iowa. It seems most likely that these birds were piping plovers, for which the middle Missouri River has long been a major breeding ground. However, the species was first officially described in 1824 on the Atlantic coast. The Great Plains population of piping plover is now nationally threatened.

    • Johnsgard:    Virginia Holmgren more recently summarized the bird discoveries of the entire expedition, listing 25 that she believed were sufficiently well described to warrant "discovery" status, 9 species that might have been considered as newly discovered if they had been better described, and 11 species that were already well known by some common name but had not yet been formally described and named scientifically. In the category of definitely discovered Great Plains birds, she listed the trumpeter swan, greater sage-grouse, semipalmated plover, mountain plover, upland sandpiper, long-billed curlew, least tern, common poorwill, Lewis's woodpecker, Sprague's pipit, McCown's longspur, western meadowlark, and Brewer's blackbird. Of these, the mountain plover and upland sandpiper are distinctly questionable as to their identification. There is no evidence that the highly elusive Sprague's pipit (Anthus spragueii) was ever seen, and the "small Kildee" observed along the Missouri River was probably the piping plover rather than the migratory and arctic-breeding semipalmated plover (Charadrius semipalmatus). The identities of several Great Plains shorebirds mentioned briefly by Lewis and Clark, such as the mountain plover and long-billed curlew, are especially problematic, as they used terms like "plover" and "curlew" rather indiscriminately for shorebirds generally. The tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus) (previously known as the whistling swan) was initially described from observations made by Lewis and Clark during the Pacific-slope phase of their expedition, but it or the trumpeter swan was seen earlier in what is now North Dakota. The trumpeter swan is the semiresidential breeding swan of the northern plains, whereas the arctic-breeding tundra swan is a spring and fall migrant only. Thus, the chances of their having seen the trumpeter swan on the northern plains were fairly good. At least eight previously unknown species—the trumpeter swan, greater sage-grouse, piping plover, least tern, common poorwill, Lewis's woodpecker, McCown's longspur, and western meadowlark—are well enough documented to count as having certainly been seen by Lewis and Clark, and the greater sage-grouse, least tern, and Lewis's woodpecker were as carefully described as any practicing ornithologist of the day might have done.

    • Moulton (Clark, undated entry):    This document is found in Codex N, pp. 153–54 ... (non-bird references omitted):
      • "Prairie Fowl common to the Illinois": greater prairie-chicken; sharp-tailed grouse;
      • "Indian Hen": greater prairie-chicken;
      • "Killdeer": Charadrius vociferus [AOU, 273];    (NOTE: Clark didn't mean Killdeer as Moulton comment alludes to, but instead Clark wrote the "Small Species of Kildee", which researchers are considering is the "Piping Plover")
      • "Parotqueet": Carolina parakeet, Conuropsis carolinensis [AOU, 382];
      • "Turkey": Wild Turkey
      • "The pointed tail Prarie Fowl": sharp-tailed grouse;
      • "party coloured Corvus or Magpy": black-billed magpie;


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  • Ring-necked Duck
    L&C unnamed, "size less than the duckinmallard"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Ring-necked Duck, male, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken April 26, 2008.

    Lewis, March 28, 1806, at Deer Island:
    "... we have seen more waterfowl on this island than we have previously seen since we left Fort Clatsop, consisting of geese, ducks, large swan, and Sandhill crains. I saw a few of the Canvisback duck.    the duckinmallard are the most abundant.    one of the hunters killed a duck which appeared to be the male,    it was a size less than the duckinmallard.    the head neck as low as the croop, and back tail and covert of the wings were of a fine black with a small addmixture of perple about the head and neck, the belley & breast were white; some long feathers which lie underneath the wings and cover the thye were of a pale dove colour with fine black specks; the large feathers of the wings of the wings are of a dove colour.    ... [description omitted here] ...    the beak of this duck is remarkably wide, and is 2 inches in length, the upper chap exceeds the under one in both length and width, insomuch that when the beak is closed the under is entirly concealed by the upper chap.    ... [description omitted here] ...    a narrow strip of white garnishes the upper part or base of the upper chap; this is succeeded by a pale skye blue colour which occupys about one inch of the chap, is again succeeded by a transverse stripe of white and the extremity is of a pure black.    the eye is moderately large the puple black and iris of a fine orrange yellow.    the feathers on the crown of the head are longer than those on the upper part of neck and other parts of the head; these feathers give it the appearance of being crested. ..."


    Lewis, March 29, 1806, while at Wapato Portage, Carty Unit, Ridgefield NWR:
    "... the female of the duck which was described yesterday is of a uniform dark brown with some yellowish brown intermixed in small specks on the back neck and breast. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): unnamed
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Ring-necked Duck
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Ring-necked Duck
    • Patterson (comments): Ring-necked Duck, the detailed description is almost certainly Ring-necked Duck, but some of the birds later referenced were possibly scaup sp., Greater Scaup number in the 1000's along the lower Columbia but were (apparently) not mentioned. Comments on ducks: Given the number of species of ducks that winter in Columbia Estuary today, the dearth of duck species listed by Lewis and Clark for the Columbia River is puzzling. Jefferson had instructed them not to waste time on familiar species, but Mallards are referred to regularly, so one would expect that numbers of Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal and Greater Scaup would have also been mentioned. The description of the duck later assigned as Ring-necked Duck (new to science at the time) is sufficient and most probably correct, but the apparent absence of scaup from accounts is strange. The number of scaup recorded on the Columbia Estuary Christmas Bird Count averages around 1000 and the Wahkiakum Count around 5000, yet they would seem to have gone undetected. Also surprising is that there is no mention of Surf Scoters which winter along the coast between Tillamook Head and Long Beach in groups of up to 20,000.

    • Coues (vol.III, 1893):    Clark Q 81-83, Lewis K10, Deer Island, Mar. 28th, 1806. The printed description, though lengthy and minute, has hetherto proved a stumbling-block. The early commentators all blinked it, and I let it go for nothing in 1876. But the account in the codex is unmistakable. This is the ring-necked scaup duck, whose beak is so remarkably colored, but whose neck does not always show the orange-brown ring. L. and C. are again discoverers of a new species; for this duck was unknown to science in 1806. It was first described as Anas collaris by Edw. Donovan, Nat. Hist. Brit. Birds, VI. 1809, and figured on his pl. cxlvii; next as A. Fuligula, by Alex. Wilson, Am. Orn. VIII, 1814, p.66, pl. lxvi; next as A. rufiterques by C.L. Bonaparte, Journ. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila, III, 1824, p.381. By coupling Donovan's earliest specific name, collaris, with the proper generic term Fuligula, we have the present scientific designation of the interesting species -- one which is widely distributed in North America, and has also been found in Europe.

    • Cutright: Ring-necked Duck [AOU 150], described by Lewis, March 28, 1806, above Fort Clatsop. Aythya collaris (Donovan, 1809).

    • Holmgren:    DUCKS
      • "less than duckinmallard" (3-28-06) a size clue that indicates ring-necked duck, Aythya collaris, Donovan 1809.

    • Moulton (March 28, 1806): A new species, the ring-necked duck, Aythya collaris [AOU, 150]. Holmgren, 29.


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  • Ruffed Grouse ... (Oregon Ruffed Grouse)
    L&C "small brown pheasant" ... "bird of a scarlet colour as large as a common pheasant"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2013, The Dalles, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Oregon Ruffed Grouse, in exhibit, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon. Image taken May 8, 2013.


    Lewis, April 15, 1805:
    "... I also met with great numbers of Grouse or prarie hens as they are called by the English traders of the N. W.    these birds appeared to be mating; the note of the male is kuck, kuck, kuck, coo, coo, coo.    the first part of the note both male and female use when flying.    the male also dubbs [EC: drums] [NB: with his wings] something like the pheasant, but by no means as loud. ..."


    Lewis, February 5, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... Filds brought with him a phesant which differed but little from those common to the Atlantic states; it's brown is reather brighter and more of a redish tint.    it has eighteen feathers in the tale of about six inches in length.    this bird is also booted as low as the toes.    the two tufts of long black feathers on each side of the neck most conspicuous in the male of those of the Atlantic states is also observable in every particular with this.— ..."


    Lewis, March 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The small brown pheasant is an inhabitant of the same country and is of the size and shape of the specled pheasant which it also resembles in it's economy and habits. the stripe above the eye in this species is scarcely perceptable, and is when closely examined of a yellow or orrange colour instead of the vermillion of the outhers. it's colour is an uniform mixture of dark and yellowish brown with a slight mixture of brownish white on the breast belley and the feathers underneath the tail. the whol compound is not unlike that of the common quail only darker. this is also booted to the toes. the flesh of this is preferable to either of the others and that of the breast is as white as the pheasant of the Atlantic coast.— the redish brown pheasant has been previously described.—


    Weather diary, March 7, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... Sudden changes & frequent, during the day, scarcly any two hours of the same discription.    the Elk now being to shed their horns.    a bird of a scarlet colour as large as a common pheasant with a long tail has returned,    one of them was seen today near the fort by Capt. Clark's black man, I could not obtain a view of it myself. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): small brown pheasant
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Oregon Ruffed Grouse
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Ruffed Grouse

    • Cutright: Oregon Ruffed Grouse [AOU 300c], first noted by Lewis, Sept. 20, 1805, on Lolo Trail, described March 1, 1806, at Fort Clatsop. Bonasa umbellus sabini (Douglas, 1828).

    • Holmgren:    PHEASANTS (4-15-05, etc. 26 references) No pheasants nested in North American wilds until ring-necked pheasants were imported to Oregon from China in the 1880s. But early English colonists - especially in Virginia - commonly called the ruffed grouse a pheasant. Consequently Lewis and Clark used "pheasant" for most grouse species, although the sharp-tailed and sage grouse were usually put in cock or hen category. At Fort Clatsop in March 1806 Lewis listed pheasants of three kinds seen west of the Rockies:
      • "large black and white" (3-3-06) ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus, L. 1766. Also called "common" in other entries. Lewis notes that these have a more reddish tint than those seen in the East.
      • "small brown" (3-3-06) with yellow or orange stripe above eye. The blue grouse, Dendragapus obscurus, Say 1823.
      • "small speckled" (3-3-06) spruce grouse, Dendragapus canadensis, L. 1758.
      • Both sexes of all three species are speckled and males of both ruffed and spruce have vermilion eye stripes, in contrast to the yellow stripe of the blue grouse. This is the smallest of the three species, but the lbue grouse is the largest, in spite of "small" labele in Lewis's notes.

    • Holmgren:    SCARLET BIRD (3-7-06) Seen by York. Probably red-phased ruffed grouse.

    • Johnsgard:   Ruffed Grouse Bonasa umbellus:    Expedition members killed "several grous" during the time the group was camped just south of Council Bluffs in what is now Pottawattamie County, Iowa, on July 25, 1804. As Swenk concluded, these were almost certainly ruffed grouse rather than greater prairie-chickens or sharp-tailed grouse, given the wooded habitat along the river. Early records suggest that ruffed grouse once occurred along Nebraska's Missouri floodplain as far north as Omaha. They were extirpated from Nebraska and western Iowa by 1900.

    • Moulton (April 15, 1805):    The sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus [AOU, 308], which Lewis compares to a pheasant, the ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus [AOU, 300], with which he was already familiar. Coues (HLC), 1:274 n. 15; Burroughs, 211–13

    • Moulton (February 5, 1806):    Oregon ruffed grouse.

    • Moulton (March 3, 1806, "small brown pheasant"):    Coues unequivocally identifies this as the Oregon ruffed grouse and Burroughs follows suit but less confidently. Holmgren calls it the blue grouse, Dendragapus obscurus [AOU, 297]. The earlier identification seems correct. Lewis and Clark uniformly describe the blue grouse as a large bird of black or dark brown color, while the bird here is noted as yellowish brown, similar to the description of the ruffed grouse given on September 20, 1805. Coues (HLC), 3:872 and n. 76; Burroughs, 218–19; Holmgren, 32

    • Moulton (March 3, 1806, "redish brown pheasant"):    This appears to be the Oregon ruffed grouse since the reference to reddish brown fits with the description of February 5 where the words "redish tint" were used. If that is correct, then identifying the third "pheasant" [on this date] as the Oregon ruffed grouse may be in error since Lewis states that this fourth bird has been previously described (on February 5 perhaps). If so, then the bird would be the blue grouse of Holmgren. It may be that a definitive answer is not possible and perhaps Lewis became confused in his writing

    • Moulton (Weather diary, March 7, 1806):    Probably the red color phase of the ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus [AOU, 300]. See March 3, 1806, for a discussion of "pheasants." Holmgren, 32–33.


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  • Sharp-tailed Grouse ... (Columbian subspecies)
  • Sharp-tailed Grouse ... (Plains or Prairie subspecies)
    L&C "grouse or prairie hen"
    BOTH are NEW BIRDS


    Lewis, April 15, 1805:
    "... I also met with great numbers of Grouse or prarie hens as they are called by the English traders of the N. W.    these birds appeared to be mating; the note of the male is kuck, kuck, kuck, coo, coo, coo.    the first part of the note both male and female use when flying.    the male also dubbs [EC: drums] [NB: with his wings] something like the pheasant, but by no means as loud. ..."


    Lewis, May 22, 1805:
    "... 5 1/2 miles above passed a large Island in a bend on Stard. side, and three miles further on the same side passed the entrance of grows Creek 20 yds wide, affords but little water.    this creek we named from seeing a number of the pointed tail praire hen near it's mouth,    these are the fist we have seen in such numbers for some days. ..."


    Lewis, March 1, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The Grouse or Prarie hen is peculiarly the inhabitant of the Grait Plains of Columbia they do not differ from those of the upper portion of the Missouri, the tail of which is pointed or the feathers in it's center much longer than those on the sides.    this Species differs essentially in the construction of this part of their plumage from those of the Illinois which have their tails composed of fathers of equal length.    in the winter season this bird is booted even to the first joint of it's toes.    the toes are also curiously bordered on their lower edges with narrow hard scales which are placed very close to each other and extend horizontally about 1/8 of an inch on each side of the toes thus adding to the width of the tread which nature seems bountifully to have furnished them at this season for passing over the snow with more ease.    in the summer season those scales fall off. They have four toes on each foot. Their colour is a mixture of dark brown redish and yellowish brown and white confusedly mixed in which the redish brown prevails most on the upper parts of the body wings and tail and the white underneath the belley and lower parts of the breast and tail.    they associate in large flocks in autumn & winter and are frequently found in flocks of from five to six even in summer. They feed on grass, insects, the leaves of various shrubs in the plains and on the seeds of several species of spelts and wild rye which grow in the richer parts of the plains.    in winter their food is the buds of the willow & Cottonwood also the most of the native berries furnish them with food.— ..."


    Lewis, July 1, 1806, where Lolo Creek empties into the Bitterroot River, Montana:
    "... the dove, the black woodpecker, the lark woodpecker, the logcock, the prarie lark, sandhill crain, prarie hen with the short and pointed tail, the robin, a speceis of brown plover, a few curloos, small black birds, ravens hawks and a variety of sparrows as well as the bee martin and the several species of Corvus genus are found in this vally. ..."


    Clark, undated entry, with non-bird entries omitted:
    "... The Prairie Fowl common to the Illinois are found as high up as the River Jacque above which the Sharpe tailed Grows commence    950 Ms. ...
    Indian Hen & Small Species of Kildee which frequent drift is found as high up as the Entrance of the Little Sieux river    733 ms. ...
    Parotqueet is Seen as high as the Mahar Village    836 ms. ...
    In descending the Missouri & Rochejhone ...
    Turkeys first appear at the enterance of Tylors Rivr above the big bend 1200 miles up this Missouri    1206
    The pointed tail Prarie fowl are found above the Big bend upwards.    1200 ms. up ...
    The party coloured Corvus or Magpy Commence at or about Corvus Creek and from thence upwards.    1130 ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): grouse or prairie hen
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Sharp-tailed Grouse
    • Patterson (comments): Sharp-tailed Grouse, Columbian subspecies

    • Patterson (what L&C described): grouse or prairie hen
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Plains Sharp-tailed Grouse
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Sharp-tailed Grouse
    • Patterson (comments): Sharp-tailed Grouse, Plains subspecies

    • Cutright: Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse [AOU 308a], described by Lewis, March 1, 1806, at Fort Clatsop. Pedioecetes phasianellus columbianus (Ord, 1815).

    • Cutright: Prairie Sharp-tailed Grouse [AOU 308b], discovered by Lewis and Clark, September 12, 1804, in South Dakota. Pedioecetes phasianellus campestris (Ridgway, 1884).

    • Holmgren:    COCK and/or HEN
      • "prairie hen with pointed tail" (5-22-05) sharp-tailed grouse, Tympananuchus phasianellus, L. 1758. Formerly Pedioecetes phasianellus

    • Johnsgard:   Plains Sharp-tailed Grouse Tympanuchus phasianellus jamesi:    Sharp-tailed "grows," also called "pointed tail Prairie fowl" by Captain Clark, were observed to "commence" at the mouth of the James River, and they were seen from "the Big bend upwards." They were observed later at Fort Mandan, North Dakota (February 13, 1805), and again near the mouth of the Little Missouri River in extreme western North Dakota (April 12, 1805). On April 15, 1805, about 50 miles above the mouth of the Little Missouri River and close to the present-day Montana border, a group of displaying males was seen by Captain Lewis. Farther west in Montana sharp-tailed grouse were also seen near the mouth of the Musselshell River (May 21-22, 1805) and near present-day Missoula (July 2, 1806). Lewis and Clark were the first biologists to encounter and mention what are now recognized as the plains (jamesi) and Columbian (columbianus) races of the sharp-tailed grouse. Sharp-tailed grouse of the plains race jamesi still occur over much of the high plains region, although the more western race columbianus is declining as a serious rate and is locally endangered or extirpated in many areas.

    • Moulton (April 15, 1805):    The sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus [AOU, 308], which Lewis compares to a pheasant, the ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus [AOU, 300], with which he was already familiar. Coues (HLC), 1:274 n. 15; Burroughs, 211–13

    • Moulton (May 22, 1805):    The sharp-tailed grouse.

    • Moulton (March 1, 1806):    A new species, the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus, a subspecies of those on the upper Missouri, T. phasianellus [AOU, 308]. Burroughs, 213; Cutright (LCPN), 81, 244, 387, 436.

    • Moulton (July 1, 1806):
      • "dove": Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316]. Holmgren, 34.
      • "black woodpecker": Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis [AOU, 408]; see May 27, 1806. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 239–40.
      • "lark woodpecker": Common, or northern, flicker, Colaptes auratus [AOU, 412]. Burroughs, 241–42; Holmgren, 34.
      • "logcock": [Pileated Woodpecker]
      • "prarie lark": Probably the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]. Holmgren, 31.
      • "sandhill crain": [Sandhill Crane]
      • "prarie hen with the short and pointed tail": Sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus [AOU, 308]; see March 1, 1806. Holmgren, 29; Burroughs, 213.
      • "robin": American robin, Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761].
      • "a speceis of brown plover": Probably the upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda [AOU, 261]; see July 22, 1805. Holmgren, 33; Burroughs, 227.
      • "curloos":
      • "small black birds": Either the rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus [AOU, 509], or Brewer's blackbird, E. cyanocephalus [AOU, 510]. Holmgren, 28.
      • "ravens": Common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486].
      • "hawks":
      • "variety of sparrows":
      • "bee martin": Either the eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus [AOU, 444], or the western kingbird, more likely the latter.
      • "several species of Corvus genus":

    • Moulton (Clark, undated entry):    This document is found in Codex N, pp. 153–54 ... (non-bird references omitted):
      • "Prairie Fowl common to the Illinois": greater prairie-chicken; sharp-tailed grouse;
      • "Indian Hen": greater prairie-chicken;
      • "Killdeer": Charadrius vociferus [AOU, 273];    (NOTE: Clark didn't mean Killdeer as Moulton comment alludes to, but instead Clark wrote the "Small Species of Kildee", which researchers are considering is the "Piping Plover")
      • "Parotqueet": Carolina parakeet, Conuropsis carolinensis [AOU, 382];
      • "Turkey": Wild Turkey
      • "The pointed tail Prarie Fowl": sharp-tailed grouse;
      • "party coloured Corvus or Magpy": black-billed magpie;


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  • Spruce Grouse ... (Franklin's Grouse)
    L&C "black and white pheasant"
    NEW BIRD

    Lewis, March 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The large black and white pheasant is peculiar to that portion of the Rocky Mountain watered by the Columbia river.   at least we did not see them in these mountains until I we reached the waters of that river nor since we have left those mountains.    they are about the size of a well grown hen.    the contour of the bird is much that of the redish brown pheasant common to our country.    ... [description omitted here] ...    it feeds on wild fruits, particularly the berry of the sac-a-commis, and much also on the seed of the pine and fir. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): black and white pheasant
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Franklin's Grouse
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Spruce Grouse

    • Cutright: Franklin's Grouse [AOU 299], discovered by Lewis, September 20, 1805, on the Lolo Trail, described by Lewis March 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop. Canachites canadensis franklinii (Douglas, 1829).

    • Holmgren:    PHEASANTS (4-15-05, etc. 26 references) No pheasants nested in North American wilds until ring-necked pheasants were imported to Oregon from China in the 1880s. But early English colonists - especially in Virginia - commonly called the ruffed grouse a pheasant. Consequently Lewis and Clark used "pheasant" for most grouse species, although the sharp-tailed and sage grouse were usually put in cock or hen category. At Fort Clatsop in March 1806 Lewis listed pheasants of three kinds seen west of the Rockies:
      • "large black and white" (3-3-06) ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus, L. 1766. Also called "common" in other entries. Lewis notes that these have a more reddish tint than those seen in the East.
      • "small brown" (3-3-06) with yellow or orange stripe above eye. The blue grouse, Dendragapus obscurus, Say 1823.
      • "small speckled" (3-3-06) spruce grouse, Dendragapus canadensis, L. 1758.
      • Both sexes of all three species are speckled and males of both ruffed and spruce have vermilion eye stripes, in contrast to the yellow stripe of the blue grouse. This is the smallest of the three species, but the lbue grouse is the largest, in spite of "small" labele in Lewis's notes.

    • Moulton: Coues identifies this as the spruce (or Franklin's) grouse, Dendragapus canadensis [AOU, 298], specifically an adult male of the species. Burroughs agrees. On the other hand, Holmgren thinks it the ruffed grouse (probably the Oregon subspecies). The former appears more likely as Lewis was familiar with the ruffed grouse of the East and always compared the Oregon variety closely with it. Coues (HLC), 3:870–71, 870–71 nn. 73, 74; Burroughs, 217–18; Holmgren, 32.


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  • Steller's Jay ... (Black-headed Jay)
    L&C "blue crested corvus bird", "blue Magpie"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2010, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Steller's Jay, Vancouver, Washington (left) and Ridgefield NWR, Washington (right). Left image taken March 23, 2010. Right image taken May 16, 2008.

    Lewis, September 18, 1805:
    "... and a blue bird of the vulter kind about the size of a turtle dove or jay bird. ..."


    Lewis, September 20, 1805:
    "... I have also observed two birds of a blue colour both of which I believe to be of the haulk or vulter kind.    the one of the blue shining colour with a very high tuft of feathers on the head a long tale [Steller's Jay], it feeds on flesh the beak and feet black.    it's note is cha-ah, cha-ah.    it is about the size of a pigeon; and in shape and action resembles the jay bird.—    another bird of very similar genus, the note resembling the mewing of the cat, with a white head and a light blue colour is also common ..."


    Clark, November 29, 1805, while at Tongue Point, Oregon:
    "... The Shore below the point at our Camp is formed of butifull pebble of various colours. I observe but fiew birds of the Small kind, great numbers of wild fowls of Various kinds, the large Buzzard with white wings, grey and bald eagle's, large red tailed Hawks, ravens & Crows in abundance, the blue Magpie, a Small brown bird which frequents logs & about the roots of trees ..."


    Lewis, December 18, 1805, while in the Fort Clatsop area, Lewis's note from Codex R:
    "... the large blue crested corvus of the Columbia river is also ..."


    Lewis, undated, but following above paragraph in Moulton journal edition, Lewis's zoological note from Codex Q:
    "... Discription of the blue Crested corvus bird [EC: Cyanocitta stelleri] common to the woody and western side of the Rockey mountains, and all the woody country from thence to the Pacific Ocean    ... [description omitted here] ...    the crest is very full the feathers from 1 to 1 1/2 Inches long and ocupye the whole crown of the head.    the head neck, the whole of the body including the coverts of the wings, the upper disk of the tail and wings are of a fine gossey bright indigo blue Colour the under disk of the tail and wings are of a dark brown nearly black. &nbps;  ... [description omitted here] ... the Conta. the size & the whole Contour of this bird resembles very much the blue jay or jaybird as they are called in the U' States.    like them also they seldom rest in one place long but are in constant motion hoping from spra to spray.    what has been said is more immediately applicable to the male, the colours of the female are somewhat different    in her the head crest neck half the back downwards and the converts of the wings are of a dark brown, but sometimes there is a little touch of the Indigo on the short feathers on the head at the base of the upper chap.    this bird feeds on flesh when they can procure it, also on bugs flies and buries. I do not know whether they distroy little birds but their tallons indicate their capacity to do so if nature, has directed it.    their note is loud and frequently repeated châ' -â' châ' -â' &c.—    also twat twat twat, very quick ..."


    Lewis, January 3, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... a small Crow, the blue crested Corvus and the smaller corvus with a white brest, the little brown ren, a large brown sparrow, the bald Eagle and the beatifull Buzzard of the columbia still continue with us. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): blue crested corvus bird
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Black-headed Jay
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Steller's Jay

    • Cutright: Black-headed Jay [AOU 478c], described by Lewis, March 4, 1806, at Fort Clatsop, though he first saw this species on the Lolo Trail, September 20, 1805. Cyanocitta stelleri anneciens (Baird 1874).

    • Holmgren:    CORVUS, Latin for crow; used in journals to label any of crow genus or family.
      • "blue-crested" (5-26-05) Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri, Gmelin 1788.

    • Moulton (September 18, 1805):    The blue bird may be the pinyon jay of August 1, 1805, but some sources give it as the scrub jay, Aphelocoma coerulescens [AOU, 481], or Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri [AOU, 478]. Holmgren, 31; Space, 13. Each choice creates problems when compared with Lewis's entry of September 20, but the scrub jay seems the least likely possibility. The turtle dove used for comparison is the mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316].

    • Moulton (September 20, 1805):
      • "with high tuft of feathers": Steller's jay and new to science. Cutright (LCPN), 210. See Lewis's full description at December 18, 1805.
      • "jay-bird": [Blue Jay]
      • "white head and a light blue colour": Perhaps the gray jay, Perisoreus canadensis [AOU, 484]. Holmgren, 29. See also Lewis's entry of December 18, 1805.

    • Moulton (November 29, 1805):
      • "large Buzzard with white wings": [California Condor]
      • "grey and bald eagles": The "grey and bald eagle's" are, respectively, golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos [AOU, 349], and bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus [AOU, 352]. Burroughs, 204–8.
      • "large red tailed Hawks": Red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis [AOU, 337], a widespread species already known to science. Ibid., 208; Coues (HLC), 2:724.
      • "ravens and crows": Probably the common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486], and the American crow, C. brachyrhyncho [AOU, 488]. Burroughs, 248; Cutright (LCPN), 432.
      • "blue Magpie": Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri [AOU, 478], first noted by Lewis on September 20, 1805. The captain gives a full description in an undated entry, ca. December 18, 1805. Burroughs, 248–49.
      • "small brown bird which frequents logs & about the roots of trees": Perhaps the winter wren, Troglodytes troglodytes [AOU, 722], and if so, then new to science; see March 4, 1806. Burroughs, 252; Cutright (LCPN), 274, 438.

    • Moulton (December 18, 1805):    Lewis's zoological note from Codex Q; the bird is Steller's jay. The blue jay used for comparison is Cyanocitta cristata [AOU, 477]. This is the last of such original notes in this journal, the remainder being filled with material copied from other journals by an unknown person. ... This is an undated passage which Thwaites combined with a preceding zoological note of May 26, 1805, but this material clearly comes from a later date. Thwaites (LC), 6:134–35. It was probably written at Fort Clatsop when Lewis was writing up his natural history material, mostly in Codex J. We place it here with the dated entry from Codex R describing similar species.

    • Moulton (January 3, 1806):
      • "small crow": probably the northwestern crow, Corvus caurinus [AOU, 489], a new species. Cutright (LCPN), 273, 432; Holmgren, 29.
      • "blue crested Corvus": [Steller's Jay]
      • "smaller corvus with a white breast": probably the gray jay.
      • "little brown ren": perhaps the winter wren.
      • "large brown sparrow": possibly the golden-crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla [AOU, 557]. Burroughs, 258. The fox sparrow, Passerella iliaca [AOU, 585], has also been suggested. Holmgren, 33.
      • "bald eagle": [Bald Eagle]
      • "beatifull Buzzard of the columbia": [California Condor}


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  • Trumpeter Swan
    L&C "large swan"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2010, Brady Loop, Satsop, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Trumpeter Swans, Brady Loop, Satsop, Washington. Image taken February 8, 2010.

    Lewis, January 2, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The large, and small or whistling swan, sand hill Crane, large and small gees, brown and white brant, Cormorant, duckan mallard, Canvisback duck, and several other species of ducks, still remain with us; tho' I do not think that they are as plenty oas on our first arrival in the neighbourhood. ..."


    "The Aquatic birds of this country, or such as obtain their subsistence from the water, are the large blue and brown heron [Great Blue Heron], fishing hawk [Osprey], blue crested fisher [Belted Kingfisher], gulls of several species of the Coast [see Bonaparte's Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull], the large grey gull of the Columbia [Western Gull], Comorant [Double-crested Cormorant], loons of two species [Pacific Loon and Western Grebe], white, and the brown brant [Snow Goose and Brant], small and large geese [Cackling Geese and Canada Goose], small and large swan [Tundra Swan and Trumpeter Swan], the Duckinmallard [Mallard], canvis back duck [Canvasback], red headed fishing duck [Red-breasted Merganser or Common Merganser], black and white duck [Bufflehead], little brown duck [unknown, possibly one of the Teals], black duck [American Coot], two species of divers [Pied-billed Grebe and Red-necked Grebe], blue winged teal [Blue-winged Teal], and some other speceis of ducks."
    -- Lewis, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop



    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large swan
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Trumpeter Swan
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Trumpeter Swan

    • Holmgren:    SWAN (2-4-04, 7-6-04, etc.) The many early references to "swan" with no further descriptions show that Lewis and Clark knew only one species. Like others of their time, they mistook American swans for European wild swan (whooper swan, Cygnus cygnus, L. 1758) until they saw two American Species side by side and realized the difference in size and voice. The first official recognition of an American species was based on this discovery.
      • "larger" (3-9-06) trumpeter swan, Cygnus buccinator Richardson 1832, Formerly Olor buccinator.
      • "smaller" (10-29-05, 1-2-06, 3-9-06) tundra swan, Cygnus columbianus Ord 1815, in the A.O.U. Check-list, 6th edition 1983, but previously genus Olor and known as whistling swan, the name chosen by Lewis and recorded in his journal 3-9-06.

    • Johnsgard:   Trumpeter Swan Cygnus buccinator:    Captain Lewis observed wild swans between Fort Mandan and the Yellowstone River in the spring (April) of 1805. These might have been migrating tundra (previously whistling) swans, but perhaps more likely were trumpeter swans, quasi-permanent residents of the northern plains. Later, Captain Lewis described the whistling swan in some detail, based on his observations in Oregon, and was the first person to call it a "whistleing swan," thus distinguishing it from the "large swan" (trumpeter swan) they had seen earlier on the Great Plains. Lewis thus should be given credit for discovering and first describing the trumpeter swan. Trumpeter swan populations have been recovering in North America as a result of intensive management, and they are no longer on the federal list of endangered species.

    • Johnsgard:    Virginia Holmgren more recently summarized the bird discoveries of the entire expedition, listing 25 that she believed were sufficiently well described to warrant "discovery" status, 9 species that might have been considered as newly discovered if they had been better described, and 11 species that were already well known by some common name but had not yet been formally described and named scientifically. In the category of definitely discovered Great Plains birds, she listed the trumpeter swan, greater sage-grouse, semipalmated plover, mountain plover, upland sandpiper, long-billed curlew, least tern, common poorwill, Lewis's woodpecker, Sprague's pipit, McCown's longspur, western meadowlark, and Brewer's blackbird. Of these, the mountain plover and upland sandpiper are distinctly questionable as to their identification. There is no evidence that the highly elusive Sprague's pipit (Anthus spragueii) was ever seen, and the "small Kildee" observed along the Missouri River was probably the piping plover rather than the migratory and arctic-breeding semipalmated plover (Charadrius semipalmatus). The identities of several Great Plains shorebirds mentioned briefly by Lewis and Clark, such as the mountain plover and long-billed curlew, are especially problematic, as they used terms like "plover" and "curlew" rather indiscriminately for shorebirds generally. The tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus) (previously known as the whistling swan) was initially described from observations made by Lewis and Clark during the Pacific-slope phase of their expedition, but it or the trumpeter swan was seen earlier in what is now North Dakota. The trumpeter swan is the semiresidential breeding swan of the northern plains, whereas the arctic-breeding tundra swan is a spring and fall migrant only. Thus, the chances of their having seen the trumpeter swan on the northern plains were fairly good. At least eight previously unknown species—the trumpeter swan, greater sage-grouse, piping plover, least tern, common poorwill, Lewis's woodpecker, McCown's longspur, and western meadowlark—are well enough documented to count as having certainly been seen by Lewis and Clark, and the greater sage-grouse, least tern, and Lewis's woodpecker were as carefully described as any practicing ornithologist of the day might have done.


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  • Tundra Swan ... (Whistling Swan)
    L&C "small swan"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Tundra Swans, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken November 2, 2007.

    Lewis, January 2, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The large, and small or whistling swan, sand hill Crane, large and small gees, brown and white brant, Cormorant, duckan mallard, Canvisback duck, and several other species of ducks, still remain with us; tho' I do not think that they are as plenty oas on our first arrival in the neighbourhood. ..."


    Weather diary, March 28, 1806, while on the Columbia in the vicinity of Deer Island:
    "... rained by showers greater part of last night    frequent showers in the course of the day.    this evening we saw many swan passing to the North as if on a long flight. ..."


    Lewis, March 29, 1806, while at Wapato Portage, Carty Unit, Ridgefield NWR:
    "... great numbers of both the large and small swans, gees and ducks seen today.    the former are very abundant in the ponds where the wappetoe is found, they feed much on this bulb. ..."


    Clark, March 29, 1806, while at Wapato Portage, Carty Unit, Ridgefield NWR:
    "... Great numbers of the whistling Swan, Gees and Ducks in the Ponds. ..."


    "The Aquatic birds of this country, or such as obtain their subsistence from the water, are the large blue and brown heron [Great Blue Heron], fishing hawk [Osprey], blue crested fisher [Belted Kingfisher], gulls of several species of the Coast [see Bonaparte's Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull], the large grey gull of the Columbia [Western Gull], Comorant [Double-crested Cormorant], loons of two species [Pacific Loon and Western Grebe], white, and the brown brant [Snow Goose and Brant], small and large geese [Cackling Geese and Canada Goose], small and large swan [Tundra Swan and Trumpeter Swan], the Duckinmallard [Mallard], canvis back duck [Canvasback], red headed fishing duck [Red-breasted Merganser or Common Merganser], black and white duck [Bufflehead], little brown duck [unknown, possibly one of the Teals], black duck [American Coot], two species of divers [Pied-billed Grebe and Red-necked Grebe], blue winged teal [Blue-winged Teal], and some other speceis of ducks."
    -- Lewis, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop



    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): small swan
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Whistling Swan
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Tundra Swan

    • Cutright: Whistling Swan [AOU 180], described by Lewis, March 9, 1806, Fort Clatsop. Olor columbianus (Ord, 1815).

    • Holmgren:    SWAN (2-4-04, 7-6-04, etc.) The many early references to "swan" with no further descriptions show that Lewis and Clark knew only one species. Like others of their time, they mistook American swans for European wild swan (whooper swan, Cygnus cygnus, L. 1758) until they saw two American Species side by side and realized the difference in size and voice. The first official recognition of an American species was based on this discovery.
      • "larger" (3-9-06) trumpeter swan, Cygnus buccinator Richardson 1832, Formerly Olor buccinator.
      • "smaller" (10-29-05, 1-2-06, 3-9-06) tundra swan, Cygnus columbianus Ord 1815, in the A.O.U. Check-list, 6th edition 1983, but previously genus Olor and known as whistling swan, the name chosen by Lewis and recorded in his journal 3-9-06.

    • Johnsgard:    Virginia Holmgren more recently summarized the bird discoveries of the entire expedition, listing 25 that she believed were sufficiently well described to warrant "discovery" status, 9 species that might have been considered as newly discovered if they had been better described, and 11 species that were already well known by some common name but had not yet been formally described and named scientifically. In the category of definitely discovered Great Plains birds, she listed the trumpeter swan, greater sage-grouse, semipalmated plover, mountain plover, upland sandpiper, long-billed curlew, least tern, common poorwill, Lewis's woodpecker, Sprague's pipit, McCown's longspur, western meadowlark, and Brewer's blackbird. Of these, the mountain plover and upland sandpiper are distinctly questionable as to their identification. There is no evidence that the highly elusive Sprague's pipit (Anthus spragueii) was ever seen, and the "small Kildee" observed along the Missouri River was probably the piping plover rather than the migratory and arctic-breeding semipalmated plover (Charadrius semipalmatus). The identities of several Great Plains shorebirds mentioned briefly by Lewis and Clark, such as the mountain plover and long-billed curlew, are especially problematic, as they used terms like "plover" and "curlew" rather indiscriminately for shorebirds generally. The tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus) (previously known as the whistling swan) was initially described from observations made by Lewis and Clark during the Pacific-slope phase of their expedition, but it or the trumpeter swan was seen earlier in what is now North Dakota. The trumpeter swan is the semiresidential breeding swan of the northern plains, whereas the arctic-breeding tundra swan is a spring and fall migrant only. Thus, the chances of their having seen the trumpeter swan on the northern plains were fairly good. At least eight previously unknown species—the trumpeter swan, greater sage-grouse, piping plover, least tern, common poorwill, Lewis's woodpecker, McCown's longspur, and western meadowlark—are well enough documented to count as having certainly been seen by Lewis and Clark, and the greater sage-grouse, least tern, and Lewis's woodpecker were as carefully described as any practicing ornithologist of the day might have done.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, March 28, 1806): no comments listed as to whether the Trumpeter or the Tundra Swans


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  • Western Gull
    L&C "large gray gull"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2009, Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Western Gull, Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon. Image taken October 18, 2009.

    Clark, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... There are 4 Species of the larus or gull on this coast and river.    1st a Small Species the Size of a Pegion; white except some black spots about the head and the little bone on the but of the wing.    2d a Species Somewhat larger of a light brown colour, with a mealy coloured back.    3rd the large Grey Gull, or white larus with a greyish brown back, and light grey belly and breast, about the Size of a well grown pullet, the wings are remarkably long in perpotion to the Size of the body and it's under chap towards the extremity is gibbous and protuberant than in either of the other Species.    a White Gull about the Size of the Second with a remarkable beak; adjoining the head and on the base of the upper Chap there is an elivated orning of the Same Substance with the beak which forms the nostriels at A; it is Somewhat in this form.    the feet are webed and the legs and feet of a yellow colour.    the form of the wings body &c are much that of the 2d Species this bird was Seen on Haleys bay [Baker Bay]. ..."


    Lewis, March 7, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... there are four speceis of larus or gull on this coast and river, 1st a small speceis about the size of a pigeon; white except some black spots about the head and a little brown on the but of the wings,    2nd a speceis somewhat larger of a light brown colour with a whitish or mealy coloured back.    3rd the large grey gull, or white larus with a greyish brown back and a light grey belley and breast, about the size of a well grown pullet or reather larger.    the wings are remarkably long in proportion to the size of the body and it's under chap towards the extremity is more gibbous and protuberant than in either of the other speceis.    4th a white gull about the size of the second with a remarkable beak; adjoining the head and at the base of the uper Chap there is an elivated orning of the same substance with the beak which forms the nostrils; it is some what in this form.    the feet are webbed and the legs and feet of a yellow colour.    the form of the wings body &c are much that of the seond species.    the large grey gull is found on the river as high as the entrance of the Kooskooske and in common with other speceis on the coast; the others appear to be confined to tidewater; and the fourth speceis not so common as either of the others. ..."


    "The Aquatic birds of this country, or such as obtain their subsistence from the water, are the large blue and brown heron [Great Blue Heron], fishing hawk [Osprey], blue crested fisher [Belted Kingfisher], gulls of several species of the Coast [see Bonaparte's Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull], the large grey gull of the Columbia [Western Gull], Comorant [Double-crested Cormorant], loons of two species [Pacific Loon and Western Grebe], white, and the brown brant [Snow Goose and Brant], small and large geese [Cackling Geese and Canada Goose], small and large swan [Tundra Swan and Trumpeter Swan], the Duckinmallard [Mallard], canvis back duck [Canvasback], red headed fishing duck [Red-breasted Merganser or Common Merganser], black and white duck [Bufflehead], little brown duck [unknown, possibly one of the Teals], black duck [American Coot], two species of divers [Pied-billed Grebe and Red-necked Grebe], blue winged teal [Blue-winged Teal], and some other speceis of ducks."
    -- Lewis, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop



    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large gray gull
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Western Gull
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Western Gull

    • Cutright: Western Gull [AOU 49], described by Lewis, March 7, 1806, at Fort Clatsop. Larus occidentalis occidentalis (Audubon, 1839).

    • Holmgren:    GULLS
      • "brown" (3-6-06) most immature gulls wear a brown mottled plumage through their second winter. These may be any of the "grey" adults below.
      • "grey" (3-6-06) herring gull, Larus argentatus, Pontopidan 1763; ring-billed gull, Larus delawarensis, Ord 1815; western gull Larus occidentalis, Audubon 1839; glaucous-winged, Larus glaucenscens, Naumann 1840; California gull, Larus californicus, Lawrence 1854.
      • "small" (3-6-06) size of a pigeon, black on head. Probably Bonaparte's gull, Larus philadelphia, Ord 1815, but could be Forster's tern Sterna Forsteri Nuttall 1834.
      • "speckled" (10-2-05) any immature gull, as above under "brown".
      • "white" (3-6-06) with odd beak. Clark's sketch and description of prominent nasal tubes identify this species as the northern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis, L. 1761, in its white phase. Not a gull, though gull-like in actions and appearance.
      • "wings tipped in black" (9-27-04) Probably herring gull or ring-billed, as under "grey".

    • Moulton (March 6, 1806):
      • "Small Species the Size of a Pegion": Coues identifies it as Bonaparte's gull, Larus philadelphia [AOU, 60]; Burroughs says that if so, it must have been a juvenile in its first winter plumage. Coues (HLC), 3:811 n. 84; Burroughs, 230. Holmgren, 30, also gives Bonaparte's gull and adds Forster's tern, Sterna forsteri [AOU, 69], as a possibility.
      • "Somewhat larger of a light brown colour": According to Coues, a young glaucous-winged gull, Larus glaucescens [AOU, 44]. Burroughs appears skeptical of the identification, while Holmgren suggests it could be any of a number of immature gulls. Coues (HLC), 3:811 n. 84; Burroughs, 230; Holmgren, 30.
      • "Large Grey Gull": An immature western gull. Coues (HLC), 3:881 n. 84; Burroughs, 230–31. Holmgren, 30, includes the western gull among a number of other species of Larus as possibilities.
      • "White Gull": Northern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis [AOU, 86], not a gull. Coues (HLC), 881 n. 84; Burroughs, 179; Holmgren, 30.


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  • Western Meadowlark ... and Eastern Meadowlark ... possibly Yellow Rail
    L&C "Prairie Lark" (Western) and "oldfield lark" (Eastern)
    Western Meadowlark is a NEW BIRD, Eastern Meadowlark is not, Yellow Rail is not

    Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Western Meadowlark, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken January 23, 2009.

    Clark, August 25, 1804, first draft, while near Spirit Mound, South Dakota:
    "... we Concluded to Stay all night, our boys prepared us a Supper of jurked mee[t] and two Prarie Larks (which are about the Size of a Pigeon and Peculier to this country) ..."


    Clark, August 25, 1804, second entry:
    "... Great numbers of Birds are Seen in those Plains, Such as black bird, Ren or Prarie burd a kind of larke about the Sise of a Partridge with a Short tail &c. &. ..."


    Clark, April 12, 1805, near the mouth of the Little Missouri River:
    "... I Saw the Magpie in pars, flocks of Grouse, the old field lark & Crows ..."


    Lewis, June 22, 1805, describing the Western Meadowlark, comparing it to the Eastern Meadowlark:
    "... there is a kind of larke here that much resembles the bird called the oldfield lark with a yellow brest and a black spot on the croop;    tho' this differs from ours in the form of the tail which is pointed being formed of feathers of unequal length; the beak is somewhat longer and more curved and the note differs considerably; however in size, action, and colours there is no perceptable difference; or at least none that strikes my eye. ..."


    Lewis, March 4, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... the lark is found in the plains only and are the same with those before mentioned on the Missouri, and not very unlike what is called in Virginia the old field lark ..."


    Weather diary, April 15, 1806:
    "... wind blew tolerably hard today after 10 A. M.    observed the Curloo and prarie lark. ..."


    Weather diary, April 16, 1806, while at Rock Fort, The Dalles, Oregon:
    "... at the rock fort camp saw the prarie lark, a speceis of the peawee, the blue crested fisher, the partycoloured corvus, and the black pheasant. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): old field lark
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Western Meadowlark
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Western Meadowlark

    • Cutright: Western Meadowlark [AOU 722a], discovered by Lewis, June 22, 1805, at Great Falls, Montana. Sturnella neglecta neglecta (Audubon, 1844).

    • Holmgren:    LARKS
      • "prairie larks" (4-16-06) horned lark, Eremophila alpestris, L. 1758.

    • Johnsgard:   Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta:    This bird, later described by Audubon as a new species, was almost certainly what Captain Clark observed in large numbers on the plains around Spirit Mound, now Clay County, near Vermillion, South Dakota, on August 25, 1804. He said the species was about the size of a "partridge" but with a short tail. Captain Lewis later gave an accurate description of a western meadowlark seen near Great Falls, Montana, on June 22, 1805. He contrasted it with the "old field lark" (eastern meadowlark, Sturnella magna) of the Atlantic states, noting the two species' considerable differences in vocalizations and their slight differences in other attributes. The vocal differences noted by Lewis are the most significant distinctions between these two species, and were also mentioned by Audubon when he later described and painted the western meadowlark. Western meadowlarks were also reported near Missoula on July 2, 1806. Their populations have decreased significantly in North America during the last four decades, reflecting losses in grassland habitats.

    • Moulton (August 25, 1804): This is probably the same bird Clark calls "the Sise of a Partridge" in Codex B this day. Coues labels it the western meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta [AOU, 501.1], then unknown to science. Another source suggests the yellow rail, Coturnicops noveboracensis [AOU, 215]. Coues (HLC), 1:87; Holmgren, 31.

    • Moulton (August 25, 1804, second entry): This bird "the Sise of a Partridge" may be the same as the one in the Field Notes of this day, "about the Size of a Pigeon" (see entry above). The sentence itself is unclear as to whether the wren or the lark is the "Praire bird." Biddle punctuates it so as to make it the wren. Coues (HLC), 1:87. For the wren, see Holmgren, 34.

    • Moulton (April 12, 1805):    Clark's magpie is the black-billed magpie, Pica pica [AOU, 475], the "old field lark" is probably the western meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta [AOU, 501.1], and the crow is Corvus brachyrhynchos [AOU, 488]. Lewis describes the meadowlark on June 22, 1805. Holmgren, 31.    (NOTE: the "old field lark" is the EASTERN Meadowlark, see Moulton entries of June 22, 1805, and March 4, 1806.)

    • Moulton (June 22, 1805):    The western meadowlark, then unknown to science; the "oldfield lark" is the eastern meadowlark, Sturnella magna [AOU, 501], with which Lewis was already familiar. Holmgren, 31; Cutright (LCPN), 166–67.

    • Moulton (March 4, 1806):    The western meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta [AOU, 501.1]. The "old field lark" is the eastern meadowlark, S. magna [AOU, 501].

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 15, 1806):    Western meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta [AOU, 501.1]; see August 25, 1804. Or possibly the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris [AOU, 474]; see Weather Diary for April 1805. Holmgren, 31.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 16, 1806):
      • "prarie lark": Western Meadowlark or Horned Lark;
      • "speceis of the peawee": Probably Say's phoebe, Sayornis saya [AOU, 457]. Holmgren, 32. It is not mentioned in Clark's remarks.
      • "blue crested fisher": Belted Kingfisher,
      • "partycoloured corvus": Black-billed Magpie,
      • "black pheasant": Sooty or Dusky Grouse.

    • Cornell website (2010):    Yellow Rail:    This secretive bird, the second smallest of North American rails, may be more abundant than encounters would indicate. It is extremely difficult to observe because, like other rails, it prefers to run or hide instead of flying and commonly moves beneath procumbent vegetation. ... This species is widely distributed in the United States and Canada, chiefly east of the Rocky Mountains. Within the breeding range, however, its presence is quite local. Breeders generally inhabit fresh- and brackish-water marshes, preferring the higher (drier) margins. In autumn this rail is found in varied habitats such as hay fields, grain fields, and wet meadows, as well as in interior and coastal marshlands. Its principal foods are snails, other aquatic invertebrates, and seeds. ...


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  • Western Tanager
    L&C "beautiful little bird", "Kooskooskee river bird"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Western Tanager, male, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken June 9, 2009.

    Lewis, June 6, 1806, while at Camp Chopunnish, on the Clearwater River, Idaho:
    "... we meet with a beautifull little bird in this neighbourhood about the size and somewhat the shape of the large sparrow.    it is reather longer in proportion to it's bulk than the sparrow.    it measures 7 inches from the extremity of the beek to that of the tail, the latter occupying 2˝ inches.    the beak is reather more than half an inch in length, and is formed much like the virginia nitingale;    it is thick and large for a bird of it's size; wide at the base, both chaps convex, and pointed, the uper exceeds the under chap a little is somewhat curved and of a brown colour; the lower chap of a greenish yellow.    the eye full reather large and of a black colour both puple and iris.    the plumage is remarkably delicate; that of the neck and head is of a fine orrange yellow and red, the latter predominates on the top of the head and arround the base of the beak from whence it graduly deminishes & towards the lower part of the neck, the orrange yellow prevails most; the red has the appearance of being laid over a ground of yellow.    the breast, the sides, rump and some long feathers which lie between the legs and extend underneath the tail are of a fine orrange yellow.    the tail, back and wings are black, ecept a small stripe of yellow on the outer part of the middle joint of the wing, 1/4 of an inch wide and an inch in length.    the tail is composed of twelve feathers of which those in the center are reather shortest, and the plumage of all the feathers of the tail is longest on that side of the quill next the center of the tail.    the legs and feet are black, nails long and sharp; it has four toes on each foot, of which three are forward and one behind; that behind is as long as the two outer of the three toes in front. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): beautiful little bird
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Western Tanager
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Western Tanager
    • Patterson (comments): L&C has nicely written description

    • Cutright: Western Tanager [AOU 607], discovered and described by Lewis, June 6, 1806, at Camp Chopunnish, on the Clearwater River, Idaho. Piranga ludoviciana (Wilson, 1811).

    • Holmgren:    KOOSKOOSKEE RIVER BIRD (6-6-06), western tanager, Piranga ludoviciana, Wilson 1811. Well described in journal but not named. Preserved skins brought back to Philadelphia and painted by both Alexander Wilson and Charles Wilson Peale. Kooskooskee river is the Clearwater river in Idaho.    Also: YELLOW BIRD.

    • Johnsgard:   (Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana)    This species was not mentioned in the expedition journals, but Wilson (American Ornithology) concluded from information reported to him by expedition members that western tanagers "inhabit the extensive plains or prairies of the Missouri, between the Osage and Mandan nations; building their nests in low grass." This must have been a mistaken attribution by Wilson, as neither the habitat nor the nest site fits the ecology of this western forest-dwelling songbird.

    • NOTE: dont know why Johnsgard says "this species was not mentioned in the expedition journals", when Lewis describes the bird on June 6, 1806.

    • Moulton (June 6, 1806): The first description of the western tanager, Piranga ludoviciana [AOU, 607]. Coues called the description "clear and unmistakable." Coues (HLC), 3:1035–36 n. 26; Cutright (LCPN), 296, 306, 384–87, 437; Holmgren, 31.


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  • Willet ... (Western Willet)
    L&C "plover ... of a different species", "Jack Curloo"
    NEW BIRD

    Image, 2012, Arizona Willet, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Willet. Image taken April 21, 2012, from Glendale Recharge Ponds, Arizona.

    Lewis, May 9, 1805, Missouri River in Montana:
    "... I killed four plover this evening of a different species from any I have yet seen; it resembles the grey or whistling plover more than any other of this family of birds; it is about the size of the yellow legged or large grey plover common to the lower part of this river as well as most parts of the Atlantic States where they are sometimes called the Jack curloo; the eye is moderately large, are black with a narrow ring of dark yellowish brown; the head, neck, upper part of the body and coverts of the wings are of a dove coloured brown, which when the bird is at rest is the predominant colour; the brest and belley are of a brownish white; the tail is composed of 12 feathers of 3 Ins. being of equal length, of these the two in the center are black, with traverse bars of yellowish brown; the others are a brownish white.    the large feathers of the wings are white tiped with blacked.    the beak is black, 2 1/2 inches in length, slightly tapering, streight of a cilindric form and blontly or roundly pointed; the chaps are of equal length, and nostrils narrow. longitudional and connected; the feet and legs are smoth and of a greenish brown; has three long toes and a sho[r]t one on each foot, the long toes are unconnected with a web, and the short one is placed very high up the leg behind, insomuch that it does not touch the ground when the bird stands erect.    the notes of this bird are louder and more various than any other of this family that I have seen. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): Jack Curloo
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Western Willet
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Willet

    • Patterson (comments): Comments on "plovers": Lewis and Clark use the terms plover and curlew very loosely. Of the descriptions given, only that for Willet is complete. The others are not particularly helpful and early interpreters of the journals were making a best guess. Most were recorded along the upper Missouri river in the spring and summer of 1805. Given that neither Common Snipe nor Spotted Sandpiper are mentioned, there are just too many possible choices to determine species with any confidence.

    • Cutright: Western Willet [AOU 258a], discovered and fully described by Lewis, May 9, 1805, at present-day Fort Peck Dam, Valley Co., Montana. Catoptrophorus semipalmatus inornatus (Brewster, 1887).

    • Holmgren:    PLOVER (8-16-04, and many other citings) Used for most medium sized shorebirds, some not identified.
      • "large" (5-9-05) willet, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, Gmelin 1789.

    • Johnsgard:    Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus:    This species was collected on May 9, 1805, at the site of present-day Fort Peck, Montana. Captain Lewis described this bird with some care and detail, incorrectly thinking it might be new to science, and he especially noted its resemblance to the "large grey plover" or "Jack Curloo." He described the bird's wings as white, tipped with black, making identification of this distinctive species fairly certain. Like avocets, willets are still fairly common in the more alkaline wetlands of western North America.

    • Johnsgard:   (Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus or Eskimo curlew Numenius borealis):    A shorebird called the "Jack Curloo" ("Jack" traditionally meaning small) was mentioned in a general way as having been seen by expedition members. It might be the whimbrel, a small curlew that was earlier known as the Hudsonian curlew. The even smaller Eskimo curlew also once migrated through the Great Plains in large numbers during spring, but it is now apparently extinct. Whimbrels still migrate in small numbers through the Great Plains but were unlikely to have been present during the expedition's passage up the Missouri River during the late summer of 1804, as their fall migration occurs mainly along the Atlantic coast. Whimbrels might also have been seen in eastern Montana the following spring, but they are now extremely rare in that state.   See Whimbrel.

    • Moulton (July 9, 1805):    The willet, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus [AOU, 258], then new to science. Cutright (LCPN), 148, 431. The birds used for comparison are the lesser golden-plover and perhaps the greater yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca [AOU, 254], Lewis's "Jack curloo."

    • Sibley: for size comparision --- the Willet is 15 inches in length, the Whimbrel is 17.5 inches in length, and the Long-billed Curlew (not mentioned in the Journals) is 23 inches in length. The American Golden-plover is 10.5 inches in length and the Greater Yellowlegs is 14 inches.


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  • Sources:
    • Audubon, J.J., 1841-1844, The Birds of America, in 7 volumes;
    • AVIBASE, The World Bird Database website (2010);
    • Cornell University's "Birds of North America" website, 2010;
    • Cornell University's "All About Birds" website, 2010;
    • Cornell University's "Birds of North America Online" website, 2012;
    • Coues, E., 1893, History of the Expedition under the Command of Lewis and Clark, Francis P. Harper publisher, in 4 volumes;
    • Cutright, P.R., 1969, Lewis & Clark, Pioneering Naturalists, University of Illinois Press;
    • Holmgren, V.C., 2003, Birds of the Lewis and Clark Journals, IN: Saindon, R.A. (editor), Explorations into the World of Lewis and Clark, vol.2: Lewis and Clark Trial Heritage Foundation, Inc., Great Falls, Montana (NOTE: Virginia Holmgren states: "The journals identify 134 species of birds with reasonable certainty -- name for familiar species, and for other with some guess at family likeness and whatever distinguishing detail could be noted. ..." Not all Holmgren entries are listed here.);
    • Johnsgard, P.A., 2003, Lewis and Clark on the Great Plains, University of Nebraska Press;
    • Moulton, G.
    • Patterson, Mike, 2005, "Birds of the Lewis and Clark Expedition" website, 2010;
    • Sibley, D.A., 2000, National Audubon Society's The Sibley Guide to Birds;

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