Birds of Lewis and Clark
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"Birds of Lewis and Clark"
Birds of Lewis and Clark ... page 2

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. picture depicted 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. Whip-poor-will
  113. picture depicted White-tailed Kite
  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 Avocet
    L&C "bird of the plover kind", "Missouri plover", "party coloured plover"

    Image, 2010, Glendale Recharge Ponds, Arizona, click to enlarge Image, 2010, Glendale Recharge Ponds, Arizona, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    American Avocets, Glendale Recharge Ponds, Glendale, Arizona. Left image taken October 6, 2010. Right image taken April 21, 2012.

    Lewis, May 1, 1805:
    "... Shannon killed a bird of the plover kind.    ... [parts of description omitted here] ...   the head and neck are shaped much like the grey plover, and are of a light brickdust brown; the beak is black and flat, largest where it joins the head, and from thence becoming thiner and tapering to a very sharp point, the upper chap being 1/2 of an inch the longest turns down at the point and forms a little hook.    ... [parts of description omitted here] ...    the beak is much curved, the curvature being upwards in stead of downwards as is common with most birds; the substance of the beak precisely resembles whalebone at a little distance, and is quite as flexable as that substance their note resembles that of the grey plover, tho' is reather louder and more varied, their habits appear also to be the same, with this difference; that it sometimes rests on the water and swims which I do not recollect having seen the plover do.   this bird which I shall henceforth stile the Missouri plover, generally feeds about the shallow bars of the river; to collect it's food which consists of [blank], it immerces it's beak in the water and throws it's head and beak from side to side at every step it takes. ..."


    Lewis, July 17, 1806, while near Antelope Lake, Montana:
    "... we saw a number of goats as usual today, also the party coloured plover with the brick red head and neck; this bird remains about the little ponds which are distributed over the face of these plains and here raise their young ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): bird of the plover kind
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Avocet
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): American Avocet

    • Holmgren:    PLOVER, party-coloured (5-1-05, 7-17-06) with head and neck of light brick-dust brown (5-1-05) brick red (7-17-06) American avocet, Recurvirostra americana, Gmelin 1789.

    • Johnsgard:   American Avocet Recurvirostra americana:    There is no doubt as to the identity of the bird shot on May 1, 1805, about 75 miles above the mouth of the Yellowstone River. It was carefully described by Captain Lewis, who incorrectly believed it new to science. He called it the "Missouri plover." Avocets are still fairly widespread in the more alkaline wetlands of western North America; their uniquely recurved bills are mainly used for extracting small invertebrates from the surface of water by a kind of lateral scything action.

    • Moulton (May 1, 1805):    An American avocet, Recurvirostra americana [AOU, 225], already known to science. The plover used for comparison is probably the lesser golden-plover, Pluvialis dominica [AOU, 272]. Burroughs, 225, 228–29.

    • Moulton (July 17, 1806):    The avocet, Recurvirostra americana [AOU, 225], already described before the expedition. Lewis's detailed description is at May 1, 1805.


    [Return to Top]





  • American Bittern ... or immature Black-crowned Night Heron
    L&C "bird of heron kind, copper brown wings"

    Image, 2010, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    American Bittern, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken February 7, 2010.

    Lewis, August 25, 1804, while near Spirit Mound, South Dakota:
    "... also saw on our return on the Creek that passes this mound about 2 M. distant S. a bird of heron kind as large as the Cormorant short tale long leggs of a colour on the back and wings deep copper brown with a shade of red.    we could not kill it therefore I can not describe it more particularly. ..."


    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): indian hen
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): American Bittern
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): American Bittern

    • Holmgren:    HERON
      • "brown" (8-25-04) probably American bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus Rackett 1813, or immature black-crowned night-heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, L. 1758.

    • Johnsgard:   American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus:    Captain Clark mentioned that the "Indian hen" was found as far upstream as the mouth of the Little Sioux River, in present-day northwestern Iowa or adjacent Nebraska. The vernacular name "Indian hen" was commonly used for this elusive species through the nineteenth century. Its population numbers have not changed significantly in the past four decades.

    • Moulton (August 25, 1804): The "bird of heron kind" may be either the American bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus [AOU, 190], or the immature black-crowned night-heron, Nycticorax nycticorax [AOU, 202]. Jones et al., 64–96; Holmgren, 23, 31.

    • 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; (NOTE: Johnsgard - see above - says "Indian Hen" is used for the American Bittern)
      • "Killdeer": Charadrius vociferus [AOU, 273];    (NOTE: Clark wasn't referring to the Killdeer as the 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;


    [Return to Top]





  • American Coot
    L&C "black duck"

    Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    American Coot, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken February 16, 2008.

    Lewis, November 30, 1805:
    "... The hunters killed only 3 hawks, saw 3 Elk but Could not git a Shot at them, The fowlers, killed 3 black ducks, with white Sharp bills, a brown Spot in their forward, Some white under the tail, which Short, and a fiew of the tips of the wing feathers white, Their toes are long Seperated and flaped, no Craw, keep in emence large flocks in the Shallow waters & feed on Grass &c.— ..."


    Lewis, March 10, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The black duck is about the size of the bluewinged teal.    their colour is a duskey black the breast and belley somewhat lighter than the other parts, or a dark brown.    the legs stand longitudinally with the body, and the bird when on shore stands of cours very erect.    the legs and feet are of a dark brown, the toes are four on each foot, a short one at the heel and three long toes in front, which are unconnected with a web.    the webs are attatched to each sides of the several joints of the toe, and divided by deep sinuses at each joint.    the web assuming in the intermediate part an eliptical figure.    the beak is about two inches long, streight, flated on the sides, and tapering to a sharp point.    the upper chap somewhat longest, and bears on it's base at the joining of the head, a little conic protuberance of a cartelagenous substace, being redish brown at the point. the beak is of an ivory white colour.    the eye dark.    these ducks usually associate in large flocks, and are very noisey; their note being a sharp shrill whistle.    they are usually fat and agreeably flavored; and feed principally on moss, and other vegitable productions of the water.    we did not meet with them untill we reached tide-water, but I believe them not exclusively confined to that district at all seasons, as I have noticed the same duck on many parts of the Rivers Ohio and Mississippi.    the gizzard and liver are also remarkably large in this fowl. ..."


    "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): black ducks (with white bills)
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): American Coot
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): American Coot
    • Patterson (comments): American Coot, description of bill and feet eliminate the possibility that these were Surf Scoters.

    • Holmgren:    DUCK, black (11-30-05), American coot, Fulica americana, Gmelin 1789. Not species now known as Black Duck.

    • Moulton (November 30, 1805):    The American coot, Fulica americana [AOU, 221], and a known species; it is not a duck. See March 10, 1805. Burroughs, 224–25.

    • Moulton (March 10, 1806):    The American coot.


    [Return to Top]





  • 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.

    For quotes and commentary see:   American Crow ... (Western variety)


    [Return to Top]





  • American Robin
    L&C "robbin", "common robin"

    Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    American Robin, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken February 19, 2008.

    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 ..."


    Weather diary, February 15, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... fair most of last night    hard frost this morning.    the ground white with it. The robbin returned and were singing which reminded me of spring.    some other small birds passed on their flight from the South, but were so high that we would not distinguish of what kind they were.    the robbin had left this place before our arrival in November. ..."


    Weather diary, March 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... the temperature of the air is perfectly pleasent without fire.— became fair at 8 A. M.—    the sorrel with an oval, obtuse and ternate leaf has now put forth it's leaves.    some of them have nearly obtained their growth already.    the birds were singing very agreably this morning particularly the common robin.—


    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 (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Eastern Robin
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): American Robin

    • Holmgren:    ROBIN
      • "robin" (4-23-05, 6-8-05) American robin, Turdus migratorius, L. 1766.
      • "Columbian or Rocky Mountain" (9-20-05, 1-31-06, 2-4-06) varied thrush, Ixoreus naevius Gmelin 1789. Often called Alaskan robin or Oregon robin because of its resemblance.

    • Johnsgard:   American Robin Turdus migratorius:    Few specific notes were made on this common species. In the expedition's Meteorological Register of April 22, 1805, it was noted that robins had returned to Fort Mandan. Robins were also seen near Great Falls, Montana (June 15, 1805), and on the upper Marias River (July 19, 1806). American robin populations have increased significantly in North America during the last four decades, probably at least in part through increased bird-feeding by humans.

    • 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 (Weather diary, March 1806): American robin, Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761].

    • 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]





  • Bald Eagle
    L&C "bald eagle"

    Image, 2010, Columbia River near Interstate 5, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Bald Eagle, Columbia River near Interstate 5, Oregon side. Image taken November 20, 2010.

    Lewis, July 11, 1805:
    "... I saw several very large grey Eagles today they are a half as large again as the common bald Eagle of this country. I do not think the bald Eagle here qute so large as those of the U' States; the grey Eagle is infinitely larger and is no doubt a distinct species. ..."


    Lewis, August 10, 1805:
    "... I saw several bald Eagles and two large white headed fishinghawks    boath these birds were the same common to our country ..."


    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 26, 1806, near Crims Island:
    "... here our hunters joined us having killed three Eagles and a large goose. I had now an oportunity of comparing the bald with the grey Eagle;    I found that the greay Eagle was about 1/4 larger, it's legs and feet were dark while those of the bald Eagle wer of a fine orrange yellow; the iris of the eye is also of a dark yellowish brown while that of the other is of a bright silvery colour with a slight admixture of yellow. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): bald eagle
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Bald Eagle
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Bald Eagle

    • Holmgren:    EAGLE
      • "bald" (4-10-05) Haliaetus leucocephalus, L. 1766.
      • "calumet", "calument bird", "calument eagle" (10-19-04, 4-8-05) golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, L. 1758. Full-grown (3-4 yrs.) not yet in adult plumage, with tail feathers still white tipped in dark brown -- not all brown as in adult -- the feathers Indians chose to adorn their calumets (ceremonial pipes) (3-11/12-06).
      • "grey" (7-11-05) immature bald eagle, Birds under 4 or 5 years do not have the distinctive white head and tail of the adult, but are full-grown in size and may even mate. Through the 19th century, most writers classified them as a separate species. Easily confused with immature golden eagle.
      • "great eagle" (8-26-05) golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, L. 1758, Calumet bird.

    • Johnsgard:   Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus:    Eagles of unspecified species were noted as far downstream as the vicinity of the mouth of the Niobrara River on September 5, 1806. Bald eagles were first specifically mentioned on April 10, 1805, when they were observed nesting in tall cottonwood trees between Fort Mandan and the Little Missouri River. Other eagle nests were noted on April 25, April 27, and May 7, 1805, near the mouth of the Yellowstone River. On May 8 they were first observed to have young in the nests, and the birds were again seen on August 9 at the mouth of Prairie Creek, near Grayling, Montana. Long on the federally endangered list, the bald eagle has recovered significantly in the past few decades as a result of intensive management efforts, and now breeds in both the Missouri and Yellowstone Valleys of Montana.

    • Moulton (July 11, 1805):    Lewis's gray eagle may be the golden eagle; on the average they are smaller than the bald eagle. Burroughs, 207, 325 nn. 5, 6, 7, suggests that Lewis may have compared a female golden eagle to a male bald eagle. See also Coues (HLC), 2:409 n. 25. Holmgren considers this bird to be an immature bald eagle.

    • Moulton (August 10, 1805):    The bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus [AOU, 352], and the osprey, Pandion haliaetus [AOU, 364].

    • 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 26, 1806): The bald eagle is Haliaeetus leucocephalus [AOU, 352]; the "grey" eagle is the golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos [AOU, 349]. The bald is actually larger than the golden. Lewis may have compared a female bald eagle to a male golden. Burroughs, 204–8, 325 n. 7.


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  • Bank Swallow ... and/or Northern Rough-winged Swallow
    L&C "small or bank martin"

    Image, 2011, The Dalles, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Bank Swallows at nesting site (left) and Northern Rough-winged Swallow (right). Left image taken June 4, 2011, The Dalles, Oregon. Right image taken May 19, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington.

    Clark, August 25, 1804, (first version) while climbing Spirit Mound, South Dakota:
    "... This morning Capt Lewis & my Self G D. Sjt. Ouderway Shields J. Fields colter Bratten Cane Labeeche corp Wovington Frasure & York Set out to Visit this mountain of evel Spirits, ...    at 12 oClock we rose the hill    Some time before we got to the hill we obsevd. great numbers of Birds hovering about the top of this Mound when I got on the top those Birds flw off. I discovered that they wer Cetechig [catching] a kind of flying ant which were in great numbers abought the top of this hill ..."


    Clark, August 25, 1804, (second version):
    "... the insects of various kinds are thus involuntaryly driven to the mound by the force of the wind, or fly to its Leward Side for Shelter; the Small Birds whoes food they are, Consequently resort in great numbers to this place in Surch of them; Perticularly the Small brown Martin of which we saw a vast number hovering on the Leward Side of the hill, when we approached it in the act of Catching those insects; they were So gentle that they did not quit the place untill we had arrivd. within a fiew feet of them— ..."


    Ordway, August 25, 1804:
    "... when we came near the hill we Saw a great flock of Birds flying about the top of it ..."


    Weather diary, March 27, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... blew hard about noon.    rained greater part of the day.    the small or bank martin appeared today, saw one large flock of them. waterfowl very scarce, a few Comorant, geese, and the redheaded fishing duck are all that are to be seen. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    (4-4-06) English name for swallows (except barn swallow) and similar insect-eaters. See BEE-MARTIN. Probably coined from Mars, Roman god of war, because these birds are especially warlike in defending nest and territory and on migration gather in huge flocks, like armies.
      • "bank" (3-27-06) bank swallow, Riparia riparia L. 1758.
      • "black" (5-4-05) purple martin, Progne subis L. 1758.
      • "brown" (8-25-04) bank swallow.
      • "common" (4-4-06) purple martin, usually species meant if only "martin" is used.
      • "martin that builds globular mud nest" (5-31-05) cliff swallow, Hirundo pyrrhonota Vieillot 1817. Formerly Petrochelidon pyrrhonota.

    • Johnsgard:   Bank Swallow Riparia riparia:    Captain Clark saw a "vast number" of "a small brown martin" catching insects above Spirit Mound, South Dakota, on August 25, 1804. These were most likely bank swallows but might have included rough-winged swallows (Stelgidopteryx serripennis), which also nest along the steep bluffs of the Missouri River. Both species would have been gathering for fall migration during late August. Bank swallows historically nested in vast numbers on the nearly vertical loess bluffs along the middle Missouri River, from the mouth of the Platte into South Dakota, according to James Ducey. Recent population trends of these species are not clear.

    • Moulton (August 25, 1804, Clark's second entry):    Possibly the bank swallow, Riparia riparia, [AOU, 616] or the northern rough-winged swallow, Stelgidopteryx serripennis [AOU, 617]. Holmgren, 32, and personal communication, August 9, 1984.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, March 1806): Perhaps the bank swallow, Riparia riparia [AOU, 616]. Holmgren, 32.


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  • Barn Swallow
    L&C "swallow"

    Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Barn Swallow, male, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken May 30, 2008.

    Weather diary, September 20, 1804:
    "... the antelope is now ruting, the swallow has disappeared 12 days ..."


    Weather diary, July 20, 1806:
    "... Great number of Swallows,    they have their young. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    (9-20-04) barn swallow, Hirundo rustica L. 1758, is usually the species meant when only "swallow" is used. It is the only swallow species in North America with deeply forked tail. Others in the swallow family were usually referred to as "martins".

    • Moulton (Weather diary, September 20, 1804):    Perhaps the barn swallow, Hirundo rustica [AOU, 613]. Holmgren, 33.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, July 20, 1806):    Probably the barn swallow, Hirundo rustica [AOU, 613]. Holmgren, 33.


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  • Belted Kingfisher
    L&C "blue crested or King fisher"

    Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Belted Kingfisher, female, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2007.

    Lewis, July 12, 1805:
    "... the blue crested fisher, or as they are sometimes called the Kingfisher, is an inhabitant of this part of the country; this bird is very rare on the Missouri; I have not seen more than three or four of those birds during my voyage from the entrance of the Missouri to the mouth of Maria's river and those few were reather the inhabitants of streams of clerer water which discharged themselves into the Missouri than of that river, as they were seen about the entrances of such streams. ..."


    Lewis, March 7, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... the fishing hawk with the crown of the head White and back of a mealy white, and the blue crested or King fisher are found on every part of the Columbia and it's waters and are the same with those of the U' States.    the fishing hawk is not abundant particularly in the mountains. ..."


    Weather diary, March 24, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... at 9 A. M. it became fair and continued fair all day and greater pt. of the night. ...    Saw the blue crested fisher.    birds are singing this morning.    the black Alder is in blume. ..."


    Weather diary, April 16, 1806, while at Rock Fort:
    "... 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. ..."


    "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): blue crested fisher (kingfisher)
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Eastern Belted Kingfisher
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Belted Kingfisher

    • Holmgren:    KINGFISHER (5-7-05) belted kingfisher, Ceryle alcyon, L. 1758. Formerly Megaceryle alcyon.

    • Johnsgard:   Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon:    In the expedition's Meteorological Register of May 23, 1805, it was noted that a kingfisher was first seen seasonally near present-day Fort Peck. It was also seen near Great Falls (July 11-13, 1805). This distinctive bird is still common along relatively clear rivers supporting small fishes. Belted kingfisher populations have declined significantly in North America during the last four decades, probably as a result of increased levels of water pollution.

    • 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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  • Black-bellied Plover ... or American Golden-Plover
    L&C "large plover" ... "grey or whistling plover"

    Image, 2011, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Black-bellied Pover (left) and Pacific Golden-Plover (right). Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Left image taken June 12, 2007. Right image taken September 1, 2011.

    In 1993 the Lesser Golden-Plover was split in two, creating the American Golden-Plover and the Pacific Golden-Plover.

    Clark, August 15, 1804:
    "... Ducks, Pliver of different Kinds are on those Ponds as well as on the river ..."


    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. ..."


    Lewis, May 9, 1805, in Montana, describing the Willet:
    "... 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; ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large plover
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Black-bellied Plover
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Black-bellied Plover
    • 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.

    • Patterson (what L&C described): gray or whistling plover
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Golden Plover
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): American Golden Plover
    • 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.

    • Johnsgard:   (Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola)    Myron Swenk speculated that some "plovers" seen by Captain Clark on August 15, 1804, in what is now Dakota County might have been migrating black-bellied plovers or perhaps American golden-plovers (Pluvialis dominica). Although both species migrate through Nebraska in autumn, the migration dates for the golden-plover are from early September to late November, and the black-bellied from August to early November. Thus, only the black-bellied would likely have been present in the state during mid-August. Other plover or sandpiper species are also possible candidates; Lewis and Clark apparently applied the term "plover" broadly to shorebirds, not necessarily to plovers specifically.

    • Moulton (August 15, 1804):    The "Ducks, Pliver" and the like are not identifiable, but one naturalist speculates that the former was the wood duck, and the latter either the lesser golden-plover, Plurialis dominica [AOU, 272] or black-bellied plover, P. squatarola [AOU, 270] or "some other species of plover or plover-like shore bird." Swenk, 121–22

    • 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 (May 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."

    • In 1993 (AOU, 6th edition, 39th supplement) the Lesser Golden-Plover was split in two, creating the American Golden-Plover and the Pacific Golden-Plover.    "Lesser Golden-Plover is split into two species, American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica) [272] and Pacific Golden-Plover (Pluvialis fulva) [272.1]. There have been suggestions that these forms are separate species since the 1950s, but the first strong support for this idea was a report by Peter G. Connors. He found that birds from extreme western Alaska fell into two groups, corresponding to dominica and fulva, with very little evidence of intermediate birds and considerable range overlap. ... American Golden-Plovers are widespread in North and Middle America, while Pacific Golden-Plovers occur mostly along the Pacific Coast and in Hawaii. Both are famous long-distance vagrants. ... "


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  • Blue Jay
    L&C "jay bird"

    Image, 2008, Silver Lake, Ohio, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Blue Jay, Silver Lake, Ohio. Image taken October 18, 2008.

    Lewis, September 19, 1805:
    "... I killed 2 Pheasents, but fiew birds [WC: are to be Seen] Blue jay, Small white headed hawk,    Some Crows & ravins & large hawks.    road bad. ..."


    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, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... Discription of the blue Crested corvus bird common to the woody and western side of the Rockey mountains, and all the woody country from thence to the Pacific Ocean ...    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. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    JAYS
      • "blue jay" (5-26-05) Cyanocitta cristata, L. 1758.
      • "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.

    • Johnsgard:   Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata:    Although the blue jay is not mentioned in the journals, one of the expedition members informed Wilson (American Ornithology) that the generally ubiquitous blue jay was progressively replaced by the magpie to the north and west of the Big Bend of the Missouri River, where the magpie was first encountered (Reid and Gannon 1999). This same sort of ecological and geographic replacement of the blue jay by the magpie is evident today on the western high plains. Like magpies, blue jay populations have declined significantly in North America during the last four decades, perhaps in part because of competition with the larger American crows.

    • NOTE: the Blue Jay was generally referenced as "jay" or "jay bird" throughout the journals when in reference to other birds, such as comparing the Steller's Jay, Pinyon Jay, and the Gray Jay. On December 18, 1805 Lewis describes the Gray Jay and begins a description of the Steller's Jay, then leaves the paragraph and sentence unfinished. An undated entry below that (Moulton editions) continues, describing the Steller's Jay and in that paragraph Lewis references that bird as "the size & the whole Contour of this bird resembles very much the blue jay or jaybird as they are called in the U' States.".

    • 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.


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  • Blue-winged Teal
    L&C "blue-winged teal", "bluewinged teal"

    Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Blue-winged Teal, male, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken May 23, 2009.

    Lewis, March 10, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... the bluewinged teal are a very excellent duck, and are the same with those of the Atlantic coast ..."


    "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): blue-winged teal
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Blue-winged Teal
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Blue-winged Teal
    • Patterson (comments): 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.

    • Holmgren:    DUCKS
      • "little brown" (3-10-06) size-and-color clues suggest blue-winged teal female, Anas discors, L. 1766, or green-winged teal female, Anas crecca, L. 1758.

    • Holmgren:    TEAL (9-13-04, 10-6-04) See DUCK, little brown.
      • "blue-winged teal" (9-13-04, 4-16-05) Anas discors, L. 1766.


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  • Blue-winged Teal ... or Green-winged Teal ... the "brown duck"
    L&C "little brown duck" ... "brown duck" ...

    Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Green-winged Teal, female (left) and male (right), Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken March 22, 2008.
    Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Blue-winged Teal, male, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken May 23, 2009.

    Lewis, November 30, 1805:
    "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, March 10, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "the brown duck is much in form like the duckinmallard, tho' not much more than half it's size.    the colour is an uniform mixture of yellowish and dark brown.    there is nothing remarkable in the appearance of this duck it generally resorts the same kind of grassey marshes with the duckinmallard and feeds in a similar manner, on grass seed, and roots.    both these ducks [referring to the Bufflehead and this brown duck] are common to the river for some distance above tide water as well as below."


    "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 (comments): 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.

    • Holmgren:    DUCKS
      • "little brown" (3-10-06) size-and-color clues suggest blue-winged teal female, Anas discors, L. 1766, or green-winged teal female, Anas crecca, L. 1758.

    • Moulton (March 10, 1806):    Holmgren, 29, suggests one of several teals, Anas sp.


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  • Brant
    L&C "brown brant", "brown or pided brant"

    Image, 2012, Heron Lakes, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Brant, with Cackling Geese, Heron Lakes Golf Course, Portland, Oregon. Late afternoon. Image taken January 1, 2012.

    Lewis, March 8, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The Brown or pided brant are much the same size and form of the white [Snow Goose] 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 colour of the canadian goose but reather darker in consequence of som dark brown feathers which are distributed and irregularly scattered throughout. they have not the white on the neck and sides of the head as the goose has nor is the neck darker than the body.    like the goose there are some white feathers on the rump at the joinging of the tail.    the beak is dark and the legs and feet also dark with a greenish cast; the breast and belley are of a lighter colour than the back and is also irregularly intermixed with dark brown and black feathers which give it a pided appearance.    the flesh of this bird is dark and in my estimation reather better than that of the goose. the habits of this bird are the same nearly with the goose and white brant with this difference that they do not remain in this climate in such numbers during the winter as the others, and that it sets out earlier in the fall season on it's return to the south and arrives later in the spring than the goose. I see no difference between this bird and that called simply the brant, common to the lakes the Ohio and Mississippi &c. ..."


    "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): brown brant
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): American Brant
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Brant

    • Cutright: described by Lewis, March 8, 1806, at Fort Clatsop ... Brandt, Lesser Canada Goose, and Hutchings may be same goose

    • Holmgren:    BRANT (3-7-04)
      • "brown" (4-9-05), Branta bernicla bernicla, L. 1758. Some of the darker ones were probably black brant, Branta bernicla nigricans, Lawrence 1846, now a subspecies.
      • "common, common pided (pied), speckled". Other names for brant.
      • "grey" (11-2-05) blue goose, Chen caerulescens caerulescens, L. 1758. Formerly a full species, now a subspecies with snow goose (white brant).
      • "pided (pied)" (3-15-06), greater white fronted goose, Anser albifrons, Scopoli 1769. Larger, well described and pictured. (NOTE: in error, see below)
      • "white with black wing tips (10-17-04) snow goose, Chen Caerulescens hyperborea, Pallas 1769. See also "grey brant".

    • NOTE: Coues was the one who made the reference of "pied" being associated with the Greater White-fronted Goose, and Holmgren is copying him. Lewis however used the "pied brant" to COMPARE TO the Greater White-fronted Goose. See Greater White-fronted Goose.


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  • Brown Thrasher
    L&C "brown thrush or mocking bird"

    Weather diary, May 18, 1805:
    "... a good shower   saw the wild rose in blume.    the brown thrush or mocking bird has appeared ..."


    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, July 12, 1806:
    "... saw the brown thrush, pigeons, doves &c. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): brown thrush
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Brown Thrasher
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Brown Thrasher

    • Holmgren:    MOCKINGBIRD (5-18-05) THRASHER, THRUSH, brown [Brown Thrasher].

    • Holmgren:    THRUSH. Robins, bluebirds, and solitaires all belong to the thrush family and were sometimes called thrushes by early colonists. Thrashers and mockingbirds, which do not belong to that family, were sometimes called thrushes too, and usage persisted for some years.
      • "brown" (5-18-05, 6-8-05) brown thrasher, Toxostoma rufum, L. 1858. Brown thrush and brown mockingbird are both old names for the brown thrasher. Lewis used both 5-8-05. (Note, suspect she means 5-18-05).

    • Moulton (Weather diary, May 18, 1805):    Brown thrush and brown mockingbird are old names for the brown thrasher, Toxostoma rufum [AOU, 705]. 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 (July 12, 1806):    Brown thrasher, Toxostoma rufum [AOU, 705]. Perhaps passenger pigeons, Ectopistes migratorius [AOU, 315].


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  • Brown-headed Cowbird
    L&C "buffaloe picker"

    Image, 2010, Sandy River Delta, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Brown-headed Cowbird, male, Sandy River Delta, Oregon. Image taken June 3, 2010.

    Lewis, July 13, 1806:
    "... the buffaloe are leaving us fast and passing on to the S. East.    killed a buffaloe picker    a beatifull bird. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): buffalo-pecker
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Cowbird
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Brown-headed Cowbird

    • Holmgren:    BUFFALO-PECKER (7-11-06), brown-headed cowbird, Molothrus ater, Boddaert 1783.    NOTE: Holmgren's 7-11-06 is probably 7-13-06

    • 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 (July 13, 1806): The brown-headed cowbird, Molothrus ater [AOU, 495], so called because it picks ticks and other pests from the backs of the buffalo and cattle; not a new species. Burroughs, 256.


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  • Bufflehead
    L&C "black and white duck", "butterbox"

    Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Bufflehead, male (left) and female (right), Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Left image taken November 21, 2007. Right image taken January 25, 2008.

    Clark, March 9, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The black and white Duck are Small about the Size of the blue-winged teal, or reather larger.    the mail is butifully varigated with black and white.    the white occupies the Side of the head, breast and back.    black the tail, large feathers of the wing, two tufts of feathers which cover the upper part of the wings when folded, the neck and head.    the female is darker or has much less white about her. I take this to be the Same Species of duck common to the ohio, as also the atlantic Coast, and Sometimes called the butter box.    the back is wide and Short, and as well as the legs of a dark Colour.    the flesh of this duck is verry well flavored I think Superior to the Duckinmallard. ..."


    Lewis, March 10, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The black and white duck are small abut the size of the blue-winged teal, or reather larger.    the male is beautifully variagated with black and white.    the white occupys the sides of the head, breast and back, black, the tail feathers of the wings two tufts of feathers which cover the upper part of the wings when foalded, the neck and head.    the female is darker or has much less white about her. I take this to be the same speceis of duck common to the Atlantic coast, and frequently called the butterbox.    the beak is wide and short, and as well as the legs, of a dark colour.    the flesh of this duck is very well flavored.    the brown duck [possibly Green-winged Teal or Blue-winged Teal] is much in form like the duckinmallard, tho' not much more than half it's size.    the colour is an uniform mixture of yellowish and dark brown.   there is nothing remarkable in the appearance of this duck it generally resorts the same kind of grassey marshes with the duckinmallard and feeds in a similar manner, on grass seed, and roots.    both these ducks are common to the river for some distance above tide water as well as below. ..."


    "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): butter-box
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Bufflehead Duck
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Bufflehead

    • Holmgren:    BUTTERBOX (3-9-06), bufflehead, Bucephala albeola, L. 1758. See DUCK.

    • Homlgren:    DUCK, black-and-white (3-10-06), bufflehead.

    • Moulton (March 9, 1806):   The bufflehead.


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  • California Condor
    L&C "buzzard of the large kind", "vulture of the Columbia"

    Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    California Condor, Columbia River Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon. On display. Image taken October 6, 2011.

    Weather diary, October 29, 1805, Columbia River above the Little White Salmon River:
    "... rained moderately all day. Saw the first large Buzzard or Voultur of the Columbia. ..."


    Clark, October 30, 1805, near the Cascade Rapids:
    "... this day we Saw Some fiew of the large Buzzard    Capt. Lewis Shot at one, those Buzzards are much larger than any other of ther Spece or the largest Eagle white under part of their wings &c. ..."


    Ordway, October 30, 1805, near the Cascade Rapids:
    "... we Saw a great number of Swan and geese along the Shores. Some turkey bazzards which had white under their wings. Capt. Clark killed a black loon. ..."


    Whitehouse, October 30, 1805, near the Cascade Rapids:
    "... we Saw a great nomber of Swan and geese, turkey buzzards which had white on their wings &c.    Capt. Clark killed a black loon. ..."


    Clark, November 18, 1805, while on the Lower Columbia:
    "... Rubin Fields Killed a Buzzard of the large Kind ...    W. 25 lb. measured from the tips of the wings across 9 1/2 feet, from the point of the Bill to the end of the tail 3 feet 10 1/4 inches, middle toe 5 1/2 inches, toe nale 1 inch & 3½ lines, wing feather 2 1/2 feet long & 1 inch 5 lines diamiter tale feathers 14 1/2 inches, and the head is 6 1/2 inches including the beak. ..."


    Clark, February 16, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... Shannon an Labiesh brought in to us to day a Buzzard or Vulture of the Columbia which they had wounded and taken alive. I believe this to be the largest Bird of North America.    it was not in good order and yet it wayed 25 lbs    had it have been so it might very well have weighed 10 lbs. more or 35 lbs. between the extremities of the wings it measured 9 feet 2 Inches; from the extremity of the beak to that of the toe 3 feet 9 inches and a half.    ... [more description not included here] ...    we have Seen it feeding on the remains of the whale and other fish which have been thrown up by the waves on the Sea Coast.    these I believe constitute their principal food, but I have no doubt but that they also feed on flesh.    we did not meet with this bird un[t]ille we had decended the Columbia below the great falls; and have found them more abundant below tide water than above.    this is the Same Species of Bird which R. Field killed on the 18th of Novr. last and which is noticed on that day tho' not fully discribed then I thought this of the Buzzard Specis. I now believe that this bird is reather of the Vulture genus than any other, tho' it wants Some of their characteristics particularly the hair on the neck, and the feathers on the legs.    this is a handsom bird at a little distance.    it's neck is proportionably longer than those of the Hawks or Eagle. Shannon also brought a Grey Eagle [Golden Eagle] which appeared to be of the Same kind common to the U, States.    it weighed 15 pds. and measured 7 feet 7 inches between the extremities of the wings—.    Shannon and Labiesh informed us that when he approached this Vulture after wounding it, that it made a loud noise very much like the barking of a Dog. the tongue is long firm and broad, filling the under Chap and partakeing of its transvirs curvature, or its Sides forming a longitudinal Groove; obtuse at the point, the margin armed with firm cartelagenous prickkles pointed and bending inwards. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large buzzarrd (vulture of the Columbia)
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): California Condor
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): California Condor
    • Patterson (comments): California Condor, L&C drawing and detailed description, they shot at least two

    • Holmgren:    BUZZARD
      • "common" (6-5-05) or turkey (4-9-06) turkey vulture, Cathartes aura, L. 1758.
      • "of the Columbia" (10-30-05, 1-2-06) California condor, Gymnogyps califorinianus, Shaw 1798.
      • NOTE: cannot as of yet place the reference for 1-2-06.

    • Moulton (October 29, 1805, Weather Diary):    In Voorhis No. 4 Clark writes, "first Vulture of the Columbia Seen to day," under October 28. This is the California condor. For October 29 he says, "I shot at a vulture"; the daily journals date the shooting of the first condor on October 30.

    • Moulton (October 30, 1805):    The California condor, Gymnogyps californianus [AOU, 324], now nearly extinct. The last wild condor was captured for care in southern California in April 1987. Correctly described by Lewis and Clark as the largest North American bird, it was already known to science, but they were the first to note its presence on the Columbia. See February 16, 1806, for a lengthy description, and weather remarks for October 28 and 29, 1805. Burroughs, 201–3.

    • Moulton (October 30, 1805, Ordway and Whitehouse):
      • "Swan", Probably Lewis and Clark's whistling swan, now the tundra swan, Cygnus columbianus
      • "turkey buzzards", California condor, Gymnogyps californianus
      • "black loon", Mentioned this day by Whitehouse [and Ordway] but not mentioned by Clark, it may be either the red-throated loon, Gavia stellata, or the Pacific loon, G. arctica pacifica, of the coastal area. It might also have been the widely dispersed common loon, G. immer.

    • Moulton (November 18, 1805): Their first actual specimen of the California condor, Gymnogyps californianus [AOU, 324], now nearly extinct. See October 30, 1805 and February 16, 1806. Burroughs, 201–3.

    • Moulton (February 16, 1806): After the words, "the legs are 4 3/4 inches" appears a sketch of the California condor's head in Clark's Voorhis No. 2. See also the sketch on Atlas map 68, perhaps a preliminary to this.


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  • Canada Goose
    L&C "large goose", "wild, or Canadian goose"

    Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Canada Geese, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken March 8, 2008.

    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): Canada Goose
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Canada Goose
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Canada Goose

    • 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.

    • Johnsgard:   Canada Goose Branta canadensis    Large numbers of Canada geese were encountered between July 13, 1804, along the Richardson County shore, and September 6, 1804, along the present Nebraska–South Dakota boundary. Several of them were killed, including some well-grown goslings. Canada geese were later seen in at least 30 locations in Montana. On the return trip geese were also observed on September 4 and 5, 1806, between present-day Dixon and Burt Counties, Nebraska. Canada goose populations have increased significantly in North America during the last four decades, at least in part because the species is adjusting to the comforts of suburban living.

    • 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 i>asiatica.


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  • Canvasback
    L&C "canvisback", "canvis back", "canvas back"

    Image, 2012, Westmoreland Park, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Canvasback, male, Westmoreland Park, Portland, Oregon. Image taken January 1, 2012.

    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. ...


    "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): canvisback
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Canvas-back Duck
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Canvasback
    • Patterson (comments): 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.

    • Holmgren:    CANVASBACK (11-8-05) Aythya valisineria, Wilson 1814.

    • Moulton (March 28, 1806):    Sandhill crane, Grus canadensis [AOU, 206], and canvasback, Aythya valisineria [AOU, 147].


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  • Carolina Parakeet
    L&C "parrot queets"

    Image, 2011, Yacolt, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Monk Parakeet, Yacolt, Washington. Image taken April 19, 2011.

    The last wild Carolina Parakeet died in 1904 and the last captive Carolina Parakeet died ten years later. Today, decendents from escapees from various captive parakeets and parrots are wild, creating nesting colonies around the nation. One such species is the Monk Parakeet, seen here at a nesting colony in Yacolt, Washington.

    Clark, June 26, 1804, near Kanasa City, Kanasa:
    "... I observed a great number of Parrot queets this evening, ..."


    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): parrot queets
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Carolina Parraquet
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Carolina Parakeet

    • Holmgren:    PARROT QUEETS (6-26-04) Carolina parakeet, Conuropsis carolinensis, L. 1758. Once abundant in east, now extinct - probably since 1913.

    • Johnsgard:   Carolina Parakeet Conuropsis carolinensis    Captain Clark reported that this beautiful but now-extinct parakeet ("parotqueet") was seen all along the Missouri as far upstream as the Omaha ("Mahar") village, in what is now central Nebraska. Clark had also noted them earlier, near the mouth of the Kansas River, on June 26, 1804. The species was evidently extirpated from Nebraska by 1875 and it was last seen in South Dakota in 1884. The last specimen recorded in Kansas was one shot in 1904. The last known individual of the species died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914, where the last surviving passenger pigeon also died that same year.

    • Moulton (June 26, 1804):    The Carolina parakeet, or parroquet, Conuropsis carolinensis [AOU, 382), which is now extinct. This is apparently the first reference to the species west of the Mississippi. Cutright (LCPN), 58.

    • 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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  • Cedar Waxwing
    L&C "crested cherry bird"

    Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Cedar Waxwing, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken May 24, 2008.

    Weather diary, November 10, 1804:
    "... many Gees passing to the South—    saw a flock of the crested cherry birds passing to the south ..."


    Weather diary, April 6, 1805, while at Fort Mandan:
    "... This day a flock of cherry or cedar birds were seen, one of the men killed, several of them which gave me an opportunity of examining them.    they are common in the United States; usually ascociate in large flocks and are frequently distructive to the chery orchards, and in winter in the lower parts of the states of Virginia & Maryland feed on the buries of the Cedar.    they are a small bluish brown bird, crested with a tuft of dark brown feathers with a narrow black stripe passing on each side of the head underneath the eye from the base of the upper beak to the back of the head.    it is distinguished more particularly by some of the shorter feathers of the wing, which are tiped with a red spots that have much the appearance at a little distance of sealing wax.    all the birds that we believe visit this country have now returned.— ..."


    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. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): crested cherry bird
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Cedar Waxwing
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Cedar Waxwing

    • Holmgren:    CEDAR BIRDS, CRESTED CHERRY BIRDS (11-10-04) cedar waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum, Vieillot 1807.

    • Johnsgard:   Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum:    A flock of "cherry or cedar-birds" was seen near Fort Mandan on April 6, 1805, and several were killed. This rather common songbird of the northern forests and riparian woodlands was not mentioned again.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 6, 1805):    Bombycilla cedrorum [AOU, 619], cedar waxwing.


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  • Cliff Swallow
    L&C "small martin"

    Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2009, Oneonta, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Cliff Swallow, Ridgefield NWR, Washington (left), and nests, Oneonta, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon (right). Left image taken April 19, 2008. Right image taken July 5, 2009.

    Lewis, May 31, 1805:
    "... a number of the small martin which build their nests with clay in a globular form attatched to the wall within those nitches, and which were seen hovering about the tops of the collumns did not the less remind us of some of those large stone buildings in the U' States. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): small martin
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Cliff Swallow
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Cliff Swallow
    • Patterson (comments): cliff nests well described

    • Holmgren:    (4-4-06) English name for swallows (except barn swallow) and similar insect-eaters. See BEE-MARTIN. Probably coined from Mars, Roman god of war, because these birds are especially warlike in defending nest and territory and on migration gather in huge flocks, like armies.
      • "bank" (3-27-06) bank swallow, Riparia riparia L. 1758.
      • "black" (5-4-05) purple martin, Progne subis L. 1758.
      • "brown" (8-25-04) bank swallow.
      • "common" (4-4-06) purple martin, usually species meant if only "martin" is used.
      • "martin that builds globular mud nest" (5-31-05) cliff swallow, Hirundo pyrrhonota Vieillot 1817. Formerly Petrochelidon pyrrhonota.

    • Johnsgard:   Cliff Swallow "Hirundo pyrrhonota":    This species must have been very common on the river during the upstream trip through Nebraska and South Dakota. The birds were seen nesting on July 16, 1804, near Sonora ("Sun") Island in present-day Nemaha County, and nests on a limestone cliff near Blackbird Hill (now Thurston County)were also noted. They were also found nesting along the shoreline of present-day Harrison County, Iowa, on August 5, 1804. Again, on August 22, a large number of nests were seen on a cliff along the shoreline of present-day Dixon County, Nebraska. The species now nests mostly on bridges, especially those made of concrete, which mimic cliff faces closely.

    • Johnsgard:   Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota:    On May 31, 1805, in what is now Chouteau County, Montana, Lewis saw a group of what he called "small martin" building globular nests of clay on a cliff wall. These could only have been cliff swallows, which now widely nest on vertical manmade structures, such as the sides of concrete bridges.

    • Moulton (May 31, 1805):    The cliff swallow, Hirundo pyrrhonota [AOU, 612]. Holmgren, 32.


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  • Common Grackle
    L&C "large blackbird"

    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. ..."


    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. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Coues (June 25, 1805, vol.II, 1893):    "... There are great quantities of young black-birds [Scolecophagus cyanocephalus] on these islands, just beginning to fly ..."

    • Coues (vol.III, 1893):    "The large blackbird [blue-headed grackle, Scolecophagus cyanocephalus] is [not] the same with those of our country, and is found everywhere in this country."   (NOTE: the "blue-headed grackle" today is called the Brewer's Blackbird.)

    • 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.

    • 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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  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker ... (Cabanis's Woodpecker)
  • Hairy Woodpecker ... (Harris's 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.

    For quotes and commentary see:   Hairy Woodpecker


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  • Eastern Bluebird
    L&C "blue thrush", referenced in describing the Loggerhead Shrike

    Image, 2010, Owings, Maryland, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Eastern Bluebird, Owings, Maryland. Image taken October 1, 2010.

    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. ..."


    Commentary:

    • 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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  • 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.

    For quotes and commentary see:   Western Meadowlark


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  • Eskimo Curlew
    L&C "small curloo about size of common snipe"

    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. ..."


    Commentary:

    • 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:   (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.

    • 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.


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  • Flycatcher ... possibly Hammond's Flycatcher ... or Ruby-crowned Kinglet ... or Hutton's Vireo
    L&C "little brown wren or flycatch", "yellow and brown flycatch"

    Image, 2011, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2011, Shillapoo Wildlife Area, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Hammond's Flycatcher (left), and Ruby-crowned Kinglet (right). Left image taken May 13, 2011, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Right image taken March 10, 2011, Shillapoo Wildlife Area, Vancouver, Washington.
    Image, 2011, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Hutton's Vireo, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken February 21, 2011.

    Weather diary, January 31, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... 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 rained constantly during the last night.    the sun shown about 9 A. M. partially a few minutes ... the yellow and brown flycatch has returned.    it is a very small bird with a tail as long proportiably as a Sparrow. ..."


    Lewis, March 4, 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): flycatch
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Empidonax Flycatcher
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Emipdonax sp.
    • Patterson (comments):    Ruby-crowned Kinglet or Hutton's Vireo, this bird was noted at Fort Clatsop on March 4, 1806 which would be much too early for any of the regularly occuring Empidonax. Both kinglet and vireo are regularly mistaken for flycatchers by inexperienced bird watchers.

    • Holmgren:    FLYCATCH, Flycatcher is modern name for various small insect-eating birds; former folk name for thrushes, wrens, kinglets, phoebes, pewees.
      • "reddish-brown" (3-4-06, 2-8-06) winter wren, Troglodytes troglodytes, L. 1758. Often named as smallest European bird, and smallest American bird except for hummingbirds.
      • "yellowish-brown" (3-4-06) convex beak. Probably Hammond's flycatcher, Empidonax hamondii, Xantus de Vesey 1858. Most other sepcies of genus Empidonax are grayer.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, January 31, 1806):    This last paragraph is found only in Clark's Codex I.
      • "blue crested Corvus bird": Steller's Jay.
      • "Great numbers of Ravens, and a Small black Crow": Common Raven and Northwestern Crow.
      • 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.

    • Moulton (March 4, 1806):    Perhaps Hammond's flycatcher, Empidonax hammondii [AOU, 468]. Holmgren, 30. See also Coues (HLC), 3:876 n. 78.


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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.

    For quotes and commentary see:   Forster's Tern


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  • Golden Eagle
    L&C "grey eagle", "calumet bird", "calumet eagle"

    Image, 2012, Scappoose Bottoms, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2012, Scappoose Bottoms, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Golden Eagle, Scappoose Bottoms, Oregon. Mild high-overcast winter day, with storm front moving in. Image taken January 13, 2012.

    Lewis, July 11, 1805:
    "... I saw several very large grey Eagles today they are a half as large again as the common bald Eagle of this country. I do not think the bald Eagle here qute so large as those of the U' States; the grey Eagle is infinitely larger and is no doubt a distinct species. ..."


    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 12, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... I beleive the Callamet Eagle is sometimes found on this side of the rocky mountains from the information of the Indians in whose possession I have seen their plumage.   these are the same with those of the Missouri, and are the most beautiful of all the family of the Eagles of America.   it's colours are black and white with which it is beautifully variagated.   the feathers of the tail which are so highly prized by the Indians is composed of twelve broad feathers of equal length.   these are white except about 2 inches at the extremity which is of jut black.   there wings have each a large circular white spot in the middle when extended.   the body is variously marked with white and black.   the form is much that of the common bald Eagle, but they are reather smaller and much more fleet.   this eagle is feared by all carnivorous birds, and on his approach all leave the carcase instantly on which they were feeding.   it breads in the inaccessable parts of the mountains where it spends the summer, and decends to the plains and low country in the fall and winter when it is usually sought and taken by the natives.   two tails of this bird is esteemed by the Mandans Minetares Ricares, &c as the full value of a good horse, or gun and accoutrements. with the Great and little Osages and those nations inhabiting countries where this bird is more rare the price is even double of that mentioned. with these feathers the natives decorate the stems of their sacred pipes or callamets; whence the name, of Callamet Eagle, which has generally obtained among the Engages.   the Ricares have domesticated this bird in many instancies for the purpose of obtaining it's plumage.   the natives in every part of the con tinent who can procure these feathers attatch them to their own hair and the mains and tails of their favorite horses by way of ornament.   they also decorate their war caps or bonnets with those feathers. ..."


    Lewis, March 26, 1806, near Crims Island:
    "... here our hunters joined us having killed three Eagles and a large goose. I had now an oportunity of comparing the bald with the grey Eagle;    I found that the greay Eagle was about 1/4 larger, it's legs and feet were dark while those of the bald Eagle wer of a fine orrange yellow; the iris of the eye is also of a dark yellowish brown while that of the other is of a bright silvery colour with a slight admixture of yellow. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): calumet eagle (grey eagle)
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Golden Eagle
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Golden Eagle
    • Patterson (comments): Some Golden Eagles and some sub-adult Bald Eagles, Golden Eagle on the Columbia west of Sauvie Island would be very rare and separation of sub-adult eagles can be confusing.

    • Holmgren:    CALUMET BIRD, CALUMET EAGLE (10-19-04, 4-8-05) golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, L. 1758. Full-grown (3-4 years) not yet in adult plumage, with tail feathers still white tipped in dark brown -- not all brown as in adult -- the feathers Indians chose to adorn their calumets (ceremonial pipes) (3-11/12-06).

    • Holmgren:    EAGLE
      • "bald" (4-10-05) Haliaetus leucocephalus, L. 1766.
      • "calumet", "calument bird", "calument eagle" (10-19-04, 4-8-05) golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, L. 1758. Full-grown (3-4 yrs.) not yet in adult plumage, with tail feathers still white tipped in dark brown -- not all brown as in adult -- the feathers Indians chose to adorn their calumets (ceremonial pipes) (3-11/12-06).
      • "grey" (7-11-05) immature bald eagle, Birds under 4 or 5 years do not have the distinctive white head and tail of the adult, but are full-grown in size and may even mate. Through the 19th century, most writers classified them as a separate species. Easily confused with immature golden eagle.
      • "great eagle" (8-26-05) golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, L. 1758, Calumet bird.

    • Johnsgard:   Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos:    This is the "grey eagle" of Lewis and Clark, who also at times called it the "beautiful eagle" or "calumet bird." A calumet is the long-stemmed ceremonial pipe used by Native Americans, and the bicolored tail feathers of golden eagles were often used to adorn such pipes. Golden eagles were one of the few birds wintering in the vicinity of Fort Mandan, according to Lewis's notes of April 8, 1805. Several "very large grey" eagles were again seen on July 11, 1805, near Great Falls, Montana. One was also seen at the mouth of the Musselshell River in Montana on August 3, 1806, during the return trip.

    • Moulton (July 11, 1805):    Lewis's gray eagle may be the golden eagle; on the average they are smaller than the bald eagle. Burroughs, 207, 325 nn. 5, 6, 7, suggests that Lewis may have compared a female golden eagle to a male bald eagle. See also Coues (HLC), 2:409 n. 25. Holmgren considers this bird to be an immature bald eagle.

    • 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 26, 1806): The bald eagle is Haliaeetus leucocephalus [AOU, 352]; the "grey" eagle is the golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos [AOU, 349]. The bald is actually larger than the golden. Lewis may have compared a female bald eagle to a male golden. Burroughs, 204–8, 325 n. 7.


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  • Golden-crowned Sparrow ... or Fox Sparrow ... or Song Sparrow
    L&C "large brown sparrow"

    Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2010, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Golden-crowned Sparrow, youngster, Ridgefield NWR, Washington (left), and Fox Sparrow, Vancouver, Washington (right). Left image taken November 7, 2007. Right image taken March 27, 2010.
    Image, 2008, Shillapoo Wildlife Area, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Song Sparrow, Shillapoo Wildlife Area, Vancouver, Washington (left) and Ridgefield NWR, Washington (right). Left image taken December 28, 2008. Right image taken December 28, 2009.

    Lewis, June 4, 1805:
    "... a number of sparrows also of three distinct species I observed ..."


    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. ..."


    Lewis, March 5, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... 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. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large brown sparrow
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Golden-crowned Sparrow
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Golden-crowned Sparrow
    • Patterson (comments): Sooty Fox Sparrow, a far more likely large brown sparrow for the habitat around Fort Clatsop in the winter (though morphna-type Song Sparrow would be another good candidate).

    • Holmgren:    SPARROWS (6-5-06, 3-5-06). In folk speech, the name sparrow is used for any small brown bird-sparrow finch, longspur, pipit, bunting, wren. Lewis and Clark may have seen such species common in the area now except the house sparrow, asser domesticus, L. 1758, an Afro-Eurasian species not introduced to North America till 1850, even in the East, and not seen in the Pacific Northwest till 1889.
      • "large brown" (1-2-06) probably a western sub-species of the fox sparrow, Passerella iliaca unalascensis, Gmelin 1789. It is a much darker brown than the ruddy eastern fox sparrow and often mistaken even today for a different species. The golden-crowned sparrow, Zonotricia atricapilla, Gmelin 1789, is also a large western sparrow, but no mention is made of crown color.
      • several species (5-1-06, 6-4-05) not described.
      • "similar to ours" (3-5-06) of wood country. Probably song sparrow, Melospiza melodia, Wilson 1810. Others would have been identified by white crown, white-throat, etc.

    • 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 (March 5, 1806):    Probably the song sparrow, Melospiza melodia [AOU, 581]


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  • Gray Catbird
    L&C "catbird", referenced in describing the Loggerhead Shrike

    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. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Catbird
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Gray Catbird

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

    • 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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  • Great Blue Heron
    L&C "common blue crains", "blue and brown Herons"

    Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Great Blue Heron, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken March 25, 2007.
    Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Great Blue Heron with snake, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken March 25, 2007.

    Weather diary, February 13, 1804:
    "... the fist appearance of the blue crain ..."


    Lewis, November 30, 1805, while exploring 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 ..."


    Clark, March 6, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The large Blue and brown Herons or crains as they are usially called in the U States are found below tide water.    they are the Same of those of the U, States. ..."


    "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): herrons
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Great Blue Heron
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Great Blue Heron

    • Holmgren:    CRAIN, CRANE, any large crane, egret or heron.
      • "blue" (2-13-04) great blue heron, Ardea herodias, L. 1758.
      • "brown" (7-21-05) immature or smaller subspecies of sandhill crane.
      • "sandhill crane" (2-29-05) Grus canadensis, L. 1758.
      • "white" (3-25-04) great egret, Casmerodius albus, L. 1758, Formerly American egret, common egret.
      • "white with black wing tips (4-11-05) whooping crane, Grus americana, L. 1758.

    • Holmgren:    HERON
      • "blue" (3-6-06) great blue heron, Ardea herodias L. 1758. Also called blue crane (crain) (2-13-04).
      • "brown" (8-25-04) probably American bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus Rackett 1813, or immature black-crowned night-heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, L. 1758.
      • "white" (8-2-04) great egret, Casmerodius albus L. 1758, formerly American or common egret. Also called white crane.

    • Johnsgard:   Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias:    Large numbers of these birds were seen on August 11, 1804, when the party camped on a sandbar above Blackbird Hill in present-day Thurston County, Nebraska. On August 30, 1804, in what is now western Cedar County, Nebraska, one tried to land on the mast of their keelboat and was captured. It was subsequently given to the local tribe of Yankton Sioux. Great blue heron populations have increased significantly in North America during the last four decades, perhaps in part because of improved protection of breeding colonies.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, February 13, 1804): Probably the great blue heron, Ardea herodias [AOU, 194], which is still often called a crane.

    • Moulton (November 30, 1805): 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.


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  • Great Egret
    L&C "white Heron"

    Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Great Egret flying, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken May 19, 2007.

    Weather Diary, March 25, 1804:
    "... Saw the 1st White Crain return ..."


    Lewis, August 2, 1804:
    "... This day one of our Hunters brought me a white Heron [EC: Herodias egretta].    this bird as an inhabitant of ponds and Marasses, and feeds upon tadpoles, frogs, small fish &c—    they are common to the Mississipi and the lower part of the ohio River, (ie) as high as the falls of that river.—    this bird weighed two lbs.—    it's plumage is perfectly white and very thin— ... [more description omitted here] ...    it's beak is yellow pointed, flated crosswise and 5 Inches in length from the upper region of the bill to the eye is one inch in length, covered with a smoth yellow skin    the plumage of the head projecting towards the upper bill and coming to a point a[t] an Inch beyond the eyes on the center of the upper bill. The mouth opens to distance of the eyes—    The eye is full and projecting reather, ... [more description omitted here] ...    it's legs are black—    the neck and beak occupy 1/2 it's length. ... [more description omitted here]...    the eye is of a deep seagreen colour, with a circle of of pale yellow around the sight forming a border to the outer part of the eye of about half the width of the whole eye.    the tale has 12 feathers of six inches in length.—    the wings when folded are the same length with the tale.—    has 2 remarkable tufts of long feathers on each side joining the body at the upper joint of the wing. these cover the feathers of the 1st joint of the wings when they are over extended ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): white heron
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): American Egret
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Great Egret

    • Holmgren:    CRAIN, CRANE, any large crane, egret or heron.
      • "white" (3-25-04) great egret, Casmerodius albus, L. 1758, Formerly American egret, common egret.
      • "white with black wing tips (4-11-05) whooping crane, Grus americana, L. 1758.

    • Holmgren:    HERON
      • "white" (8-2-04) great egret, Casmerodius albus L. 1758, formerly American or common egret. Also called white crane.

    • Johnsgard:   Great Egret Ardea alba:    A specimen of this egret was shot on August 2, 1804, at the site of present-day Fort Calhoun, Washington County. Great egrets have not historically nested along this stretch of the Missouri, but individual birds now often appear in late summer, after the breeding season. Like great blue herons, great egret populations have increased significantly in North America during the last four decades.

    • Moulton (March 25, 1804, Weather Diary):    Apparently the now rare and endangered whooping crane, Grus americana [AOU, 204], which could be found in Illinois in the 1800s. Burroughs, 184–85. But perhaps the great egret, Casmerodius albus [AOU, 196], described by Lewis on August 2, 1804. Holmgren

    • Moulton (August 2, 1804):    Lewis's natural history notes from Codex Q. This bird is the great egret.


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  • Great Gray Owl
    L&C "large hooting owl"

    Lewis, May 23, 1806:
    "... Our hunters brought us a large hooting owl which differ from those of the atlantic States. The plumage of this owl is an uniform mixture of dark yellowish brown and white, in which the dark brown prodominates.    it's Colour may be properly termed a dark Iron gray.    the plumage is very long and remarkably Silky and Soft.    those have not the long feathers on the head which give it the appearance of ears, or horns, remarkable large eyes—. ..."


    Lewis, May 28, 1806:
    "... our hunters brought us a large hooting Owl which differs considerably from those of the Atlantic States which are also common here.    the plumage of this owl is an uniform mixture of dark yellowish brown and white, in which the dark brown predominates.    it's colour may be properly termed a dark iron grey.    the plumage is very long and remarkably silky and soft.    these have not the long feathers on the head which give it the appearance of ears or horns.    the leathers of the head are long narrow and closely set, they rise upwright nearly to the extremity and then are bent back sudonly as iff curled.    a kind of ruff of these feathers incircle the thoat.    the head has a flat appearance being broadest before and behind and is 1 foot 10 Is. in circumference.    incircling the eyes and extending from them like rays from the center a tissue of open hairy long feathers are placed of a light grey colour, these conceal the ears which are very large and are placed close to the eyes behind and extending below them.    these feathers meet over the beak which they nearly conceal and form the face of the owl.    they eyes are remarkably large and prominant, the iris of a pale goald colour and iris circular and of a deep sea green.    the beak is short and wide at it's base. the upper chap is much curved at the extremity and comes down over and in front of the under chap.    this bird is about the size of the largest hooting Owl.    the tail is composed of eleven feathers, of which those in the center are reather the longest.    it is booted to the extremity of the toes, of which it has four on each foot, one in the rear one on the outer side and two in front.    the toes are short particularly that in rear, but are all armed with long keen curved nails of a dark brown colour.    the beak is white and nostrils circular large and unconnected.    the habits and the note of this owl is much that of the common large hooting owl.— ..."


    Commentary:

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

    • 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.

    • Moulton (May 23, 1806):    The great gray owl, Strix nebulosa [AOU, 370], another new species. See Lewis's longer description at May 28, 1806. Burroughs, 209–10; Holmgren, 32.

    • Moulton (May 28, 1806):    The great gray owl, a new species. [EC: Scotiaptex cinerea]

    • NOTE: the Great Gray Owl, Strix nebulos, was first described by Johann Reinhold Forster in 1772.


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  • Greater Prairie Chicken
    L&C "heath hen, prairie fowl"

    Lewis, November 16, 1803:
    "... Passed the Missippi this day and went down on the other side after landing at the upper habitation on the oposite side.    ...    saw a heath hen or grows which flew of[f] and having no gun with me did not persue it— ..."

    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 ..."

    Lewis, June 5, 1805:
    "... saw [NB: near the hills] 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, I sent Shields to kill one of them but he was obliged to fire a long distance at them and missed his aim. ..."

    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): prairie fowl
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Prairie Chicken
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Greater Prairie Chicken

    • 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 Prairie-chicken Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus:    Captain Clark referred to this species as "the Prairie fowl common to the Illinois" and said that its range extended as far north as the mouth of the James River, above which the sharp-tailed species occurred. The farthest point north at which Captain Clark saw the birds thus may have been in present-day Cedar County, Nebraska, or across the river on the South Dakota side near present-day Yankton. This interior race of the greater prairie-chicken is closely related to the now-extinct Atlantic coast race of prairie-chicken, which was called the heath hen (T. c. cupido). The interior race pinnatus thrived during the late 1800s as the fertile lands of the tallgrass prairies were initially opened to small-grain agriculture, but the population collapsed only a few decades later as natural breeding habitats became increasingly rare. The interior race has long been extirpated from the immediate Missouri Valley of Nebraska, but it does still occur as close as Johnson and Pawnee Counties near the Kansas-Nebraska border. It also still survives locally in the Missouri Valley of southern South Dakota, though it once ranged across essentially all of both Dakotas and even barely into eastern Montana.

    • Moulton (September 16, 1803):    Lewis was no doubt familiar with the eastern variety of heath hen, Tympanuchus cupido cupido, now extinct. Here he probably saw the western subspecies, T. c. pinnatus, called the greater prairie chicken. Both are now grouped as T. cupido [AOU, 305]. Cutright (HLCJ), 142.

    • 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 (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. (The "heath hen" is used for comparison.)

    • 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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  • Greater Yellowlegs
    L&C "yellow legged"

    Image, 2009, Lacamas Lake, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Greater Yellowlegs, Lacamas Lake, Washington (left) and Ridgefield NWR, Washington (right). Left image taken April 21, 2009. Right image taken September 26, 2007.

    Lewis, May 9, 1805, in Montana, describing the Willet:
    "... 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; ... ..."


    Commentary:

    • Moulton (May 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."


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  • Herring Gull ... or Ring-billed Gull
    L&C "white Gulls with wings tiped with black"

    Image, 2009, Portland, Oregon, waterfront, click to enlarge Image, 2009, Portland, Oregon, waterfront, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Herring Gull (left) and Ring-billed Gull (right), Portland waterfront, Portland, Oregon. Images taken February 16, 2009.

    Weather diary, September 27, 1804:
    "... Saw a large flock of white Gulls with wings tiped with black ..."


    Commentary:

    • 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 (Weather diary, September 27, 1804):    There are only two species of gulls likely to be on the upper Missouri: the herring gull, Larus argentatus [AOU, 51], and the ring-billed gull, L. delawarensis [AOU, 54]; both have black wingtips. Holmgren 30.


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  • House Wren
    L&C "wren"

    Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    House Wren, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken May 16, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington.

    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 ..."


    Commentary:

    • 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.
      • "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.


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  • Killdeer
    L&C "kildee"

    Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Killdeer, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken May 14, 2007.

    Weather diary, April 7, 1805:
    "... the Kildee, and large Hawk have returned ..."


    Lewis, April 24, 1806:
    "... The curloos are abundant in these plains and are now laying their eggs.    saw the Kildee ..."


    Commentary:

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

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

    • Johnsgard:   Killdeer Charadrius vociferus:    The "Kildee" was apparently well known to Lewis and Clark but was specifically mentioned only once in the Great Plains region. Lewis noted it on April 8, 1805, in the vicinity of the Knife River in North Dakota.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, April 7, 1805):    The killdeer, Charadrius vociferus [AOU, 273], already known to science. Burroughs, 225. The hawk could be any of a number of species in the area.

    • Moulton (April 24, 1806):    Perhaps the long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus [AOU, 264]. Holmgren, 29.    The killdeer, Charadrius vociferus [AOU, 273], already known to science. Holmgren, 31.


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  • Kinglets ... Golden-crowned Kinglet and Ruby-crowned Kinglet
    L&C "wren"

    Image, 2008, Lacamas Lake, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2011, Shillapoo Wildlife Area, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Golden-crowned Kinglet (left) and Ruby-crowned Kinglet (right). Left image taken October 14, 2008, Lacamas Lake, Washington. Right image taken March 10, 2011, Shillapoo Wildlife Area, Vancouver, Washington

    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 ..."


    Lewis, March 4, 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 (about March 4, 1806):    Ruby-crowned Kinglet or Hutton's Vireo, this bird was noted at Fort Clatsop on March 4, 1806 which would be much too early for any of the regularly occuring Empidonax. Both kinglet and vireo are regularly mistaken for flycatchers by inexperienced bird watchers.

    • 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.
      • "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.


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  • Mallard
    L&C "duckinmallard"

    Image, 2008, Lacamas Lake, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Mallard, male, Lacamas Lake, Washington. Image taken April 24, 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. ...


    Weather diary, April 12, 1806, near the Cascade Rapids:
    "... cold.    snowed on the mountains through which the river passes at the rapids.    the duckinmallard which bread in this neighbourhood, is now laying it's eggs,—    vegetation is rapidly progressing in the bottoms tho' the snow of yesterday and today reaches within a mile of the base of the mountains at the rapids of the Columbia.— ..."


    "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): duchanmallard
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Mallard Duck
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Mallard
    • Patterson (comments): 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.

    • Holmgren:    DUCKANMALLARD, or DUCKINMALLARD, or DUCKAUINMALLARD (1-2-06, 4-12-06) Old name for mallard, used to distinguish wild birds from tame or female from male.

    • Johnsgard:   Mallard Anas platyrhynchos: &nsbp;  Mallards, usually called "duckinmallards" by the explorers, were often seen but generally not distinguished from other duck species. However, they were mentioned specifically as present in the vicinity of Three Forks, Montana, on July 29, 1805, and again on August 2 on the Jefferson River above Three Forks. Mallard populations have probably increased substantially during the past century as a result of wildlife management programs.


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  • Mountain Bluebird
    L&C
    (more probably the Pinyon Jay)

    Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Mountain Bluebird, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken April 1, 2008.

    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, December 18, 1805, written while while near Astoria:
    "... 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:

    • 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.

    • 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 28, 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]. Cutright (LCPN), 177. The American robin, Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761], and the blue jay, Cyanocitta cristata [AOU, 477], are used for comparison.

    • Moulton (December 18, 1805):    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].


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  • Mountain Plover ... or Upland Sandpiper
    L&C "small (brown) curlooe or plover"

    Lewis, July 14, 1805:
    "... the grass in the plains is not more than 3 inches high.    grasshoppers innumerable in the plains and the small birds before noticed together with the brown Curlooe still continue nomerous in every part of the plains.— ..."


    Lewis, July 22, 1805, in Montana:
    "... Saw many gees, crains, and small birds common to the plains, also a few phesants and a species of small curlooe or plover of a brown colour which I first met with near the entrance of Smith's river but they are so shy and watchfull there is no possibility of geting a shoot at them    it is a different kind from any heretofore discribed and is about the size of the yellow leged plover or jack Curlooe. ..."


    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): small (brown) curlooe or plover
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Mountain Plover
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Mountain Plover

    • Patterson (what L&C described): small (brown) curlooe or plover
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Upland Plover
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Upland Sandpiper

    • 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.

    • Holmgren:    PLOVER (8-16-04, and many other citings) Used for most medium sized shorebirds, some not identified.
      • "brown" (7-1-06) upland sandpiper, Bartramania longicauda, bechstein 1812. Formerly upland plover.
      • "green-legged" (9-22-04) stilt sandpiper, Calidris himantopus, Bonaparte 1826, or pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotus, Vieillot 1819.
      • "large" (5-9-05) willet, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, Gmelin 1789.
      • "party-coloured" (5-1-05, 7-17-06) with head and neck of light brick-dust brown (5-1-05), brick red (7-17-06), American avocet, Recurvirostra americana, Gmelin 1789.
      • "small brown" (6-4-05) of snipe size with curved beak, probably Eskimo curlew, Numenius borealis, Forster 1772.
      • "small brown" (7-22-05), mountain plover, Charadrius montanus, Townsend 1837.

    • Johnsgard:   Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda or Mountain Plover Charadrius montanus:    On July 22, 1805, Captain Lewis reported seeing "a species of small curlooe of a brown color" at present-day Canyon Ferry, Montana. This bird was tentatively identified by Rueben Thwaites as a mountain plover, but Elliott Coues instead believed that it might have been an upland sandpiper. Either species would be geographically possible, but the sandpiper, which is somewhat more curlewlike than the plover and is more widespread, would seem the more likely possibility. Descriptive terms such as curlew (spelled variously) and plover were evidently used rather indiscriminately for shorebirds by expedition members, with curlew perhaps usually applied to the longer-billed or larger species. Too little information is available to make an informed guess as to the identity of this particular bird. The mountain plover's population has declined to the point that it is now a federally endangered species, whereas the population of the upland sandpiper has increased slightly during the past four decades, one of the very few grassland-adapted bird species that has shown this trend.

    • 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 (July 14, 1805):    Probably the same bird described in more detail on July 22, 1805.

    • Moulton (July 22, 1805):    Probably the same bird mentioned briefly on July 14, 1805. It may be either the mountain plover, Charadrius montanus [AOU, 281], or the upland sandpiper (also called upland plover or Bartram's sandpiper), Bartramia longicauda [AOU, 261]. Burroughs, 226, 228; Holmgren, 33. The "jack Curlooe" mentioned for comparison may be the greater yellowlegs. Cf. May 9, 1805.

    • 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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  • Northern Bobwhite ...
    L&C, "partridge", bird used for comparison with the Mountain Quail

    Clark, April 6, 1806:
    "... 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. ..."


    Commentary:

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

    • 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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  • Northern Cardinal ... or perhaps the Northern Mockingbird or Hermit Thrush
    L&C "nightingale"

    Image, 2008, Silver Lake, Ohio, click to enlarge Image, 2010, Glendale, Arizona, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Northern Cardinal, male, Silver Lake, Ohio (left), and Northern Mockingbird, Glendale, Arizona (right). Left image taken October 19, 2008. Right image taken October 4, 2010.
    Image, 2010, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Hermit Thrush, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken January 18, 2010.

    Lewis, June 4, 1804:
    "... passed a Creek on Lbd Side 15 yd. wide, I call Nightingale Creek.    this Bird Sang all last night and is the first of the kind I ever herd,    below this Creek and the last ..."


    Lewis, June 6, 1806:
    "... we meet with a beautifull little bird [Western Tanager] 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 2½ inches.    the beak is reather more than half an inch in length, and is formed much like the virginia nitingale [Northern Cardinal] ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): nightingale
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Eastern Cardinal
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Northern Cardinal
    • Patterson (comments): Heard only one night June 1804 in the Missouri Valley. Cardinal seems unlikely ... no guesses about what this was.

    • Holmgren:
      • NIGHTINGALE (6-4-04) Some bird sand by night on this date, but it was not the nightingale, a species not native to North America. The mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos, L. 1758, is the American species most often miscalled nightingale, but a hermit thrush, Catharus guttatus, Pallas 1811, formerly in genus , could be the namesake for Nightingale Creek.
      • VIRGINIA NIGHTINGALE (6-6-06) a common folk name for the northern cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis, L. 1758 (formerly Richmondena cardinalis).

    • Moulton (June 4, 1804): There is no true nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) in America. The cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis [AOU, 593], was sometimes called the Virginia nightingale, but this bird would have been familiar to the captains. The same objection applies to the mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos [AOU, 703], which has also been suggested. Paul Johnsgard (personal communication) suggests that it might be the whip-poor-will, Caprimulgus vociferus [AOU, 417]. But in the weather remarks on June 11, the "whiperwill" is named. Perhaps Lewis recognized the bird and made the weather observation, while Clark was unfamiliar with the species and used the term nightingale; or perhaps nightingale was a common name at the time for the whip-poor-will. One final possibility is the hermit thrush, Catharus guttatus [AOU, 759]. Coues (HLC), 1:14 n. 27; Cutright (LCPN), 55 n. 13; Holmgren, 32.

    • Moulton (June 6, 1806): Northern cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis [AOU, 593]; see also June 4, 1804. Holmgren, 32.


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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.

    For quotes and commentary see:   Northern Flicker ... (yellow-shafted)


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  • Northern Shoveler ... perhaps Cinnamon Teal or Gadwall
    L&C unnamed, "leggs are yellow"

    Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Northern Shoveler, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken February 18, 2008.
    Image, 2010, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Cinnamon Teal, male (left) and Gadwall, male (right). Left image taken June 7, 2010, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Right image taken June 3, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington.

    Holmgren suggests the Cinnamon Teal or the Gadwall as the duck with yellow legs.

    Lewis, April 25, 1806:
    "... we killed six ducks in the course of the day; one of them was of a speceis which I had never before seen I therefore had the most material parts of it reserved as a specimine, the leggs are yellow and feet webbed as those of the duckandmallard. ..."


    Lewis, May 8, 1806:
    "... Sheilds killed a duck of an uncommon kind.    the head beak and wing of which I preserved.    the beak is remarkably wide and obtusely pointed, on it's edges it is furnished with a sceries of teeth very long and fine not unlike the teeth of a comb.    the belley is of a brick red, the lower part of the neck white, the upper part or but of the wing is a sky blue, underneath which a narrow stripe of white succeeds marking the wing transversly, the large feathers are of a dark colour.    tail short and pointed and consists of 12 dark brown feathers.    the back is black and sides white; legs yellow and feet formed like the Duckinmallard which it also resembles in size and form.    the eye is moderately large, puple black and iris of an orrange colour.    the colours and appearance of the female is precisely that of the duckinmallard only, reather smaller. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): unnamed
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Shoveller Duck
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Northern Shoveler
    • Patterson (comments): 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.

    • Holmgren:
      • DUCK, uncommon (5-8-06) with wide beak. Northern shoveler, Anas clypeata, L. 1758.
      • DUCK, yellow-legged (4-25-06) cinnamon teal, Anas cyanoptera, Vieillot 1816, or possibly gadwall, Anas strepera, L. 1758, or northern shoveler, as above.

    • Moulton (April 25, 1806): The northern shoveler, Anas clypeata [AOU, 142], not a new species; see Lewis's detailed description at May 8, 1806. Burroughs, 191; Holmgren, 29.

    • Moulton (May 8, 1806): Northern shoveler, first mentioned on April 25, 1806. Coues wrote the interlineation in pencil; it may have been Biddle who drew the red vertical line through several lines to "dark brown feathers."


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  • Osprey
    L&C "fishing hawk"

    Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2009, Vancouver Lake Lowlands, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Osprey, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington (left) and Vancouver Lake Lowlands, Washington (right). Left image taken May 16, 2010. Right image taken June 14, 2009.

    Lewis, May 7, 1805, while in Montana:
    "... we continue to see a great number of bald Eagles, I presume they must feed on the carcases of dead anamals, for I see no fishing hawks to supply them with their favorite food.    the water of the river is so terbid that no bird wich feeds exclusively on fish can subsist on it; from it's mouth to this place I have neither seen the blue crested fisher nor a fishing hawk. ..."


    Lewis, August 10, 1805:
    "... I saw several bald Eagles and two large white headed fishinghawks    boath these birds were the same common to our country. ..."


    Lewis, March 7, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... the fishing hawk with the crown of the head White and back of a mealy white, and the blue crested or King fisher are found on every part of the Columbia and it's waters and are the same with those of the U' States.    the fishing hawk is not abundant particularly in the mountains. ..."


    "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): fishing hawk
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): American Osprey
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Osprey

    • Holmgren:    HAWKS
      • "fishing" (5-7-05) osprey, Pandion haliaetus, L. 1758.

    • Johnsgard:   Osprey Pandion haliaetus:    The "white-headed fishing hawk" was seen by Captain Lewis on August 9, 1805, near present-day Grayling, Montana. Lewis also noted that it had not been seen below the mouth of the Yellowstone River. He was clearly already familiar with this wide-ranging and fish-eating species, which favors hunting in clear water. Its population trends have been volatile, as like the bald eagle and other fish-eating birds it was seriously affected by pesticide poisoning during the mid- twentieth century.

    • Moulton (May 7, 1805):    The bald eage, the osprey, Pandion haliaetus [AOU, 364]. Burroughs, 208, and the belted kingfisher, Ceryle alcyon [AOU, 390], already known to science. Holmgren, 31; Burroughs, 237–38.

    • Moulton (August 10, 1805):    The bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus [AOU, 352], and the osprey, Pandion haliaetus [AOU, 364].


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  • Passenger Pigeon ... possible Band-tailed Pigeon
    L&C "wild pigions"
    A Band-tailed Pigeon would be "NEW BIRD", Passenger Pigeon would not

    Image, 2010, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Band-tailed Pigeon, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken May 27, 2010.

    If Lewis and Clark did see the Band-tailed Pigeon in the Idaho area, it would be a NEW BIRD, previously not known to science. See comments by Holmgren and Johnsgard.

    Weather diary, February 12, 1804:
    "... Pigeons, ducks of varis kinds, and gese have returned ..."


    Clark, July 12, 1805:
    "... a fiew wild pigions about our Camp. ..."


    Lewis, July 13, 1805, while in Montana:
    "... I saw a number of turtledoves and some pigeons today.    of the latter I shot one; they are the same common to the United States, or the wild pigeon as they are called. ..."


    Lewis, August 26, 1805, while in Idaho:
    "... Saw great numbers of the large Black grass hopper.    Some hars which were verry wild, but few Birds.    a number of ground Lizards; Some fiew Pigions ..."


    Lewis, July 25, 1806, along the Yellowstone River, Montana:
    "... R. Fields and myself killed nine pige[ons] which lit in the trees near our camp    on these we dined. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): pigeon
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Passenger Pigeon
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Passenger Pigeon

    • Holmgren:    PIGEON, WILD (2-12-04) passenger pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius, L. 1766. Now extinct but then abundant in East. Lewis shot one (7-13-05) to verify identification since they had not yet been reported so far west (Montana). Birds still farther west (8-26-05, Lemhi Valley, east-central Idaho) might have been the band-tailed pigeon, Columba fasciata, Say 1823, not then known to science, though the difference in its fan-tail from passenger's pointed tail would likely have been noted. The common pigeon, Columba livia, L. 1758, had not then multiplied as a feral species as it has today and would not have been seen anywhere on the Expedition Trail. The smaller mouring dove was mentioned several times as "turtledove" and would not have been mistaken for the passenger pigeon by such experienced woodsman.

    • Johnsgard:   Passenger Pigeon Ectopistes migratorius:    This now-extinct but once extremely common pigeon was first mentioned on February 12, 1804, near the mouth of the Missouri River at the start of their trip. Captain Lewis mentioned the birds again near the White River in southern South Dakota on September 16, 1804. They were also seen in west-central Montana on July 12 and 13, 1805, near the mouth of the Sun River, and one was shot by Captain Lewis on the 13th. On the return trip Lewis noted them near Missoula on July 5, 1806, and also along Cut Bank River in northwestern Montana on July 25, 1806. Captain Clark likewise mentioned seeing pigeons along the Yellowstone River on July 25, 1806. These latter sightings may well have involved the band-tailed pigeon (Columba fasciata), as the passenger pigeon is only known with certainty to have occurred in northern Montana. The passenger pigeon was last reported from the Montana region in 1875, from what is now South Dakota in 1884, and from North Dakota in 1892. The last wild birds observed anywhere were seen about 1900, and the last-known individual died in captivity in 1914.

    • Moulton (July 12, 1805):    The passenger pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius [AOU, 315]. Burroughs, 233–34.

    • Moulton (August 26, 1805):    The ground lizard is probably the eastern short-horned lizard, Phrynosoma douglassi brevirostre, while the pigeons may be passenger pigeons, Ectopistes migratorius [AOU, 315], although Holmgren suggests the possibility of the band-tailed pigeon, Columba fasciata [AOU, 312], this far west. Benson (HLCE), 88; Burroughs, 233–34; Holmgren, 32.


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  • Pectoral Sandpiper ... or Stilt Sandpiper
    L&C "green legged plover"

    Image, 2012, Fernhill Wetlands, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2012, Fernhill Wetlands, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Pectoral Sandpiper (left) and Stilt Sandpiper (right), Fernhill Wetlands, Forest Grove, Oregon. Left image taken September 4, 2012. Right image taken October 7, 2012.

    Ordway, September 21, 1804:
    "... here we Saw the Sand bars covered with [green?] W. head [leged] plovvers.    Capt. Lewis Shot Some of them for his dinner ..."


    Weather diary, September 22, 1804:
    "... a little foggy this morning, a great number of green leged plove passing down the river, also some geese & brant ..."


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    PLOVER (8-16-04, and many other citings) Used for most medium sized shorebirds, some not identified.
      • "green-legged" (9-22-04) stilt sandpiper, Calidris himantopus, Bonaparte 1826, or pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotus, Vieillot 1819.

    • Moulton (September 21, 1804):    Probably the bird Clark called the "green leged plove" in his weather remarks for September 22; perhaps either the stilt sandpiper, Calidris himantopus, or the pectoral sandpiper, C. melanotos.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, September 22, 1804):    Perhaps the stilt sandpiper, Calidris himantopus [AOU, 233], or the pectoral sandpiper, C. melanotos [AOU, 239].


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  • Pine Siskin ... or Cassin's Finch ... or House Finch ... or Purple Finch ... or Common Redpoll
    L&C "linnet"

    Image, 2008, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2010, Shillapoo Wildlife Area, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Pine Siskin (left) and House Finch (right). Left image taken November 15, 2008, Vancouver, Washington. Right image taken February 14, 2010, Shillapoo Wildlife Area, Vancouver, Washington.
    Image, 2010, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2010, Gaston, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Cassin's Finch (left) and Purple Finch (right). Left image taken July 28, 2010, Mount Hood, Oregon. Right image taken January 9, 2010, Gaston, Oregon.

    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): linnet
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Pine Siskin
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Pine Siskin
    • Patterson (comments): Cassin's Finch, linnet is (more or less) the European equivalent to House Finch (which, in turn, is often referred to as "house linnet" in early bird texts). This leads me to suspect that the bird seen was reddish (though no actual description was given). The location on the Marias River fits for Cassin's Finch, though Red Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, and even Pine Siskin are credible guesses.

    • Holmgren:    "linnet" (6-8-05) Name for a European species not seen in North America. Used for any small bird with red crown, especially common redpoll, Caruelis flammea L. 1758; purple finch, Carpodacus pupurea Gmelin 1789; house finch, Carpodacus mexicanus Muller 1776.

    • Johnsgard:   (Pine Siskin Carduelis pinus):    Captain Lewis mentioned seeing the "linnet" on the Marias River on June 8, 1805, a bird name that has sometimes been associated with the pine siskin. However, several other small finches have historically been called linnets, and Lewis's identification seems rather unlikely given the location and date.

    • 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.


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  • Purple Martin
    L&C "black martin"

    Image, 2009, Julia Butler Hansen NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Purple Martin, male, Julia Butler Hansen NWR, Washington. Image taken May 8, 2009.

    Weather diary, May 4, 1805:
    "... the black martin makes it's appearance.    the snow has disappeared.    saw the first grasshoppers today.—    there are great quantities of a small blue beatle feeding on the willows.— ..."


    Clark, May 4, 1805:
    "... I Saw the black martin to day— ..."


    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. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    MARTIN (4-4-06) English name for swallows (except barn swallow) and similar insect-eaters. See BEE-MARTIN. Probably coined from Mars, Roman god of war, because these birds are especially warlike in defending nest and territory and on migration gather in huge flocks, like armies.
      • "bank" (3-27-06) bank swallow, Riparia riparia L. 1758.
      • "black" (5-4-05) purple martin, Progne subis L. 1758.
      • "brown" (8-25-04) bank swallow.
      • "common" (4-4-06) purple martin, usually species meant if only "martin" is used.
      • "martin that builds globular mud nest" (5-31-05) cliff swallow, Hirundo pyrrhonota Vieillot 1817. Formerly Petrochelidon pyrrhonota.

    • Moulton (May 4, 1805):  :  The purple martin, Progne subis [AOU, 611].

    • 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":


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  • Red-breasted Merganser ... or Common Merganser
    L&C "redheaded fishing duck"

    Image, 2009, Vancouver Lake, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Common Merganser, female (front) and Red-breasted Merganser, female (rear), Vancouver Lake, Washington. Image taken November 27, 2009.

    Lewis, June 21, 1805, in the vicinity of Great Falls, Montana:
    "... a species of fishing ducks with white wings, brown and white body and the head and part of the neck adjoining of a brick red, and the beak narrow; which I take to be the same common to James river, the Potomac and Susquehanna. ..."


    Lewis, July 20, 1805, in "Courses and distances":
    "... saw a number of the read head ducks; also several sand hill Crains. ..."


    Lewis, July 24, 1805:
    "... we also saw a great number of Crains & Antelopes, some gees and a few red-headed ducks ..."


    Lewis, August 2, 1805:
    "... saw a number of beaver dams and the inhabitants of them, many young ducks both of the Duckanmallard and the redheaded fishing duck, gees, several rattle snakes, black woodpeckers, and a large gang of Elk ..."


    Weather diary, March 27, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... blew hard about noon.    rained greater part of the day.    the small or bank martin appeared today, saw one large flock of them. waterfowl very scarce, a few Comorant, geese, and the redheaded fishing duck are all that are to be seen. ..."


    Lewis, May 9, 1806:
    The red headed fishing duck is common to every part of the river and are found as well in the Rocky Mountains as elsewhere; in short this was the only duck we Saw within the Mountain on the Columbian waters. they feed principally on Crawfish; and are the Same in every respects as those on the Ohio and rivers in the mountains of the atlantic Ocian.


    "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): red-headed fishing duck
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Red-breasted Merganser
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Red-breasted Merganser
    • Patterson (comments): Red-breasted Merganser, though Common Merganser is also common on the river and only females of either species have red heads.

    • Holmgren:    DUCKS
      • "fishing" (red-headed) (6-21-05) common merganser, Mergus merganser, L. 1758.

    • Johnsgard:   Merganser Mergus sp.:    Lewis and Clark's "red-headed fishing duck" was judged by Elliott Coues to be the red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator). This description applies only to female or immature male mergansers and would also fit the common merganser (Mergus merganser). Indeed, the common merganser is the typical breeding species of this region. Mergansers were observed on June 21, 1805, in the vicinity of Great Falls, as well as near the present-day locations of Helena (July 20, 1805), Townsend (July 24, 1805), and Whitehall (August 2, 1805). They are largely confined to fairly clear streams that permit visual hunting for fish, and common mergansers still breed locally in western Montana.

    • Moulton (June 21, 1805):    Either the female red-breasted merganser, Mergus serrator [AOU, 130], or the female common merganser, M. merganser [AOU, 129]. Holmgren, 29; Burroughs, 189.

    • Moulton (July 24, 1805):    Perhaps the same as the "red-headed fishing duck" noted on June 21, 1805, that is, either the red-breasted or common merganser.

    • Moulton (August 2, 1805):    The fishing duck is either the female red-breasted merganser, Mergus serrator [AOU, 130], or the female common merganser, Mergus merganser [AOU, 129]. Burroughs, 189; Holmgren, 29. The black woodpecker is Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis [AOU, 408]. See descriptions at July 20, 1805, and May 27, 1806.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, March 27, 1806):    Either the female red-breasted merganser, Mergus serrator [AOU, 130], or the female common merganser, M. merganser [AOU, 129]. Holmgren, 29; Burroughs, 189–90.


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  • Red-breasted Sapsucker
    L&C "small white woodpecker with red head"

    Image, 2009, Vancouver Lake, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Red-breasted Sapsucker, Vancouver Lake, Washington. Image taken December 11, 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, March 24, 1806, while on the Lower Columbia River:
    "... Saw a white woodpecker with a red head of the small kind common to the United States;    this bird has but lately returned.    they do not remain during the winter. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): small white woodpecker with red head
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Northern Red-breasted Sapsucker
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Red-breasted Sapsucker
    • 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".

    • Holmgren:    WOODPECKERS
      • "red-headed woodpecker" (5-28-05) the red-headed woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus, L. 1758. The date places the above observation as being near the confluences of present-day Dog Creek and Judith River with the Missouri River in Fergus County, northcentral Montana, close to the farthest western limits of its breeding range. The woodpecker with all red head seen near the Pacific Coast (Fort Clatsop 3-4-06) would have been the red-breasted sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber, Gmelin 1788, often mistaken for the Easterner.

    • 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 (March 24, 1806):    The red-breasted sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber [AOU, 403]; see March 4, 1806. Burroughs, 241.


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  • Red-headed Woodpecker
    L&C "red-headed woodpecker"

    Weather diary, May 28, 1805:
    "... saw a small white and black woodpecker with a red head; the same which is common to the Atlantic states ..."


    Weather Diary, July 16, 1806:
    "... Saw the Cookkoo or rain crow and the redheaded woodpecker. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): red-headed woodpecker
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Red-headed Woodpecker
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Red-headed Woodpecker

    • Holmgren:    WOODPECKERS
      • "red-headed woodpecker" (5-28-05) the red-headed woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus, L. 1758. The date places the above observation as being near the confluences of present-day Dog Creek and Judith River with the Missouri River in Fergus County, northcentral Montana, close to the farthest western limits of its breeding range. The woodpecker with all red head seen near the Pacific Coast (Fort Clatsop 3-4-06) would have been the red-breasted sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber, Gmelin 1788, often mistaken for the Easterner.

    • Johnsgard:   Red-headed Woodpecker Melanerpes erythrocephalus:    Few notes were made on this common and widespread species. In the expedition's Meteorological Register of May 28, 1805, it was noted that a "small black and white woodpecker with a red head, the same which is common in the Atlantic States" was seen in northern Montana near the mouth of the Judith River. It was also seen July 16, 1806, near Great Falls and near present-day Fort Peck on August 3, 1806. Unlike some similar-sized woodpeckers such as the downy and hairy, this is a seasonally migratory species, at least in the northern states. Its rangewide population has declined significantly in the past four decades.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, May 28, 1805):    The red-headed woodpecker, Malanerpes erythrocephalus [AOU, 406]. Holmgren, 34.

    • Moulton (July 16, 1806, Weather Diary):    Red-headed woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus [AOU, 406].


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  • Red-winged Blackbird
    L&C "black bird"

    Image, 2009, Kings Pond, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Red-winged Blackbird, male, Kings Pond, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken April 30, 2009.

    Clark, August 25, 1804, near Spirit Mount, South Dakota:
    "... 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. &. ..."


    Lewis, September 17, 1804, while at the Big Bend of the Missouri River, passage describing the Black-billed Magpie:
    "... 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 (has an agreeable note something like goald winged Blackbird) note is not disagreeable though loud— it is twait twait twait, twait; twait, twait twait, twait. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Johnsgard:   Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus):    Captain Clark observed large numbers of a "black bird" near Spirit Mound in Clay County, South Dakota (opposite Dixon County, Nebraska), on August 25, 1804. Swenk tentatively identified this species as the lark bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys). However, by August the lark bunting's breeding season is over, and males would be molting out of their nearly all-black breeding plumage and into a brown plumage. Other more common and permanently black-plumaged birds in that region are better possibilities, including various blackbirds and grackles. Gary Moulton has suggested that Clark observed the red-winged blackbird, which seems a much more likely choice, as by late August these abundant birds would be forming migratory flocks. One of the most numerous of North American songbirds, this species may number in excess of 100 million birds. However, although it probably increased greatly during the first half of the twentieth century, its overall population has been declining significantly over the past four decades as breeding habitats have been increasingly converted to agriculture.

    • 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): the "jack-daw" is an European bird of the Crow family.


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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.

    For quotes and commentary see:   Broad-tailed Hummingbird


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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.

    For quotes and commentary see:   Brewer's Blackbird


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  • Sandhill Crane
    L&C "large blueish brown or sandhill Crain"

    Image, 2007, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Sandhill Cranes, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken October 5, 2007.

    Lewis, July 21, 1805:
    "... saw several of the large brown or sandhill Crain today with their young.    the young Crain is as large as a turkey and cannot fly they are of a bright red bey colour or that of the common deer at this season.    this bird feeds on grass prinsipally and is found in the river bottoms. ..."


    Clark, October 31, 1805, while on Hamilton Island:
    "... Jo. Fields Shot a Sand hill Crane. ..."


    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): sandhill crane
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Sandhill Crane
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Sandhill Crane

    • Holmgren:    CRAIN, CRANE, any large crane, egret or heron.
      • "blue" (2-13-04) great blue heron, Ardea herodias, L. 1758.
      • "brown" (7-21-05) immature or smaller subspecies of sandhill crane.
      • "sandhill crane" (2-29-05) Grus canadensis, L. 1758.
      • "white" (3-25-04) great egret, Casmerodius albus, L. 1758, Formerly American egret, common egret.
      • "white with black wing tips (4-11-05) whooping crane, Grus americana, L. 1758.

    • Johnsgard:   Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis:    The first mention of sandhill cranes by Lewis came on July 15, 1805, in the vicinity of the Gates of the Rocky Mountains, Montana, where several examples of the "large brown or Sandhill crain" were seen leading young. A living young bird was also brought into camp on July 19, 1805, near Three Forks, Montana. Lewis eventually released it. Greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) continue to survive in the northern Rocky Mountain region and have been increasing both regionally and nationally in recent decades as a result of long-term protection.

    • Moulton (July 21, 1805):    The sandhill crane, Grus canadensis [AOU, 206], already known to science. Burroughts, 185–86. Holmgren considers the "brown" as an immature or smaller subspecies of the sandhill crane. Holmgren, 29.

    • 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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  • 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.

    For quotes and commentary see:   Piping Plover


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  • Snow Goose
    L&C "white brant", "grey brant"

    Image, 2009, Sauvie Island, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Snow Geese, Sauvie Island, Oregon. Image taken February 21, 2009.

    Lewis, April 9, 1805:
    "... we saw a great number of brant passing up the river, some of them were white, except the large feathers in the first and second joint of the wing which are black.    there is no other difference between them and the common gray brant but that of their colour—    their note and habits are the same, and they are freequently seen to associate together. I have not yet positively determined whether they are the same, or a different species. ..."


    Lewis, May 5, 1805, while in Montana:
    "... The white brant ascociate in very large flocks, they do not appear to be mated or pared off as if they intended to raise their young in this quarter, I therefore doubt whether they reside here during the summer for that purpose. this bird is about the size of the common brown brant or two thirds of the common goose, it is not so long by six inches from point to point of the wings when extended as the other; the beak head and neck are also larger and stronger; their beak legs and feet are of a redish or fleshcoloured white. the eye is of moderate size, the puple of a deep sea green incircled with a ring of yellowish brown.    it has sixteen feathers of equal length in the tale; their note differs but little from the common brant, their flesh much the same, and in my opinion preferable to the goose, the flesh is dark.    they are entirely of a beatifull pure white except the large feathers of the 1st and second joints of the wings which are jut black.    form and habits are the same with the other brant; they sometimes ascociate and form one common flock. ..."


    Clark, November 2, 1805, while near Crown Point, Oregon:
    "... Saw great numbers of waterfowl of Different kinds, Such as Swan, Geese, white & grey brants,    ducks of various kinds, Guls, & Pleaver. Labeach killed 14 brant Joseph Fields 3 & Collins one. ..."


    Lewis, March 8, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... The white brant is very common in this country particularly below tidewater where they remain in vast quantities during the winter.    they feed like the swan gees &c on the grass roots and seeds which they find in the marshes.    this bird is about the size of the brown brant or a third less than the common Canadian or wild goose.    the head is proportionably with the goose reather large; the beak also thicker shorter and of much the same form, being of a yellowish white colour except the edges of the chaps, which are frequently of a dark brown. the legs and feet are of the same form of the goose and are of a redish white or pale flesh colour.    the tail is composed of sixteen feathers of equal length as those of the geese and brown brant are and bears about the same proportion in point of length. the eye is of a dark colour and nothing remarkable as to size.    the wings are rether longer compared with those of the goose but not as much so as in the brown or pided brant.    the colour of the plumage of this bird is unifomly a pure white except the large feathers of the extremities of the wings which are black.    the large feathers of the 1st joint of the wing next to the body are white.    the note of this bird differs essentially from that of the goose; it more resembles that of the brown brant but is somewhat different.    it is like the note of young domestic goose which has not perfectly attainted it's full note.    the flesh of this bird is exceedingly fine, preferable to either the goose or pided brant. ..."


    "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): white brant
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Lesser Snow Goose
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Snow Goose

    • Holmgren:    BRANT (3-7-04)
      • "grey" (11-2-05) blue goose, Chen Caerulescens caerulescens, L. 1758. Formerly a full species, now a subspecies with snow goose (white brant).
      • "white with black wing tips" (10-17-04) snow goose, Chen caerulescens hyperborea, Pallas 1769.

    • Johnsgard:   Snow Goose Chen caerulescens:    Captain Lewis reported "great numbers" and "large flocks" of "white brant" on April 9 and 13, 1805, between Fort Mandan and the Little Missouri River, and again on May 5, near Prairie Elk Creek. The ones he described were of the usual white-plumaged morph type; the "gray brant" he described as also present in the flocks might have been young of the previous year or perhaps adults or young of the so-called "blue goose" genetic variant, which are mostly dark grayish brown. He also described a "common brown brant" two-thirds the size of the "common goose" (Canada goose), which might have been one of the smaller races of the Canada goose. The "pided" (pied) brant seen and carefully described later in Oregon was the greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons), which also migrates through the Great Plains in large numbers (see note below). In Montana snow geese were reportedly seen as far west as the vicinity of Wolf Point (May 5, 1805). Snow goose populations have increased very significantly in North America during the last four decades, largely because they have adjusted their migrations to exploit the protection afforded by wildlife refuges, and are now perhaps more abundant than at any time in American history.

    • NOTE: Johnsgard stated the "pided brant" was the Greater White-fronted Goose, however, in Lewis's March 15, 1806, description of the Greater White-fronted Goose, he describes it in relation to the "pided brant". Therefore, the "pided brant" can not be the Greater White-fronted Goose. In Lewis's description of the Snow Goose, he refers to the "brown or pided brant", today's Brant. See Brant for more descriptions.

    • Moulton (April 9, 1805):    Lewis here makes a distinction between the blue phase and white phase of the snow goose, Chen caerulescens [AOU, 169], a distinction recognized by ornithologists only recently when the blue became a subspecies of the white. Holmgren, 28; AOU, 67. The majority of the brant were probably Branta bernicla [AOU, 173].

    • Moulton (May 5, 1805):    The snow goose, noted in detail on March 8, 1806. Lewis was correct about their breeding habits; they breed in northern Alaska and arctic Canada.

    • Moulton (November 2, 1805):    (white and grey brant) ... The white and blue color phases of the snow goose, Chen caerulescens [AOU, 169], described on March 8, 1806.

    • See also:


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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

    For quotes and commentary see:   Dusky Grouse


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  • Spotted Sandpiper
    L&C "small sand snipe"

    Image, 2009, Hockinson, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Spotted Sandpiper, Hockinson, Washington. Image taken June 15, 2009.

    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. ...


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    SNIPE (3-5-06) common snipe, Gallinago gallinago, L. 1758.
      • "sand snipe" (3-5-06) spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia, L. 1766.
      • "size of common snipe" (6-4-05) see CURLEW, Eskimo

    • 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.


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  • Sprague's Pipit
    L&C "little singing lark of the Missouri"

    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. ...


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    LARKS
      • "singing" (3-5-06) "little singing lark of the Missouri" not seen here. Probably Sprague's pipit, Anthus spragueii, Audubon 1844, often called Missouri skylark.

    • 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 (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.


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  • Turkey Vulture
    L&C "turkey buzzard"

    Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Turkey Vulture, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken August 28, 2010.

    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, April 9, 1806:
    "... we saw some turkey buzzards this morning of the speceis common to the United states which are the first we have seen on this side the rocky mountains. ..."


    Clark, April 12, 1806, while in the Bonneville Dam to Cascade Locks area:
    "... I saw a turkey buzzard which is the 3rd which I have Seen west of the rocky mountains.    the 1st was on the 7 inst. above quick Sand river. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): turkey buzzard
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Turkey Vulture
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Turkey Vulture

    • Holmgren:    BUZZARD
      • "common" (6-5-05) or turkey (4-9-06) turkey vulture, Cathartes aura, L. 1758.
      • "of the Columbia" (10-30-05, 1-2-06) California condor, Gymnogyps califorinianus, Shaw 1798.

    • 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 (April 9, 1806):    Turkey vulture, Cathartes aura [AOU, 325]. Burroughs, 203–4; Holmgren, 28.


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  • Varied Thrush ... (Pacific Varied Thrush)
    L&C "bluish brown robbin", "Columbian robbin"

    Image, 2009, Lacamas Lake, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Varied Thrush, female, Lacamas Lake, Washington. Image taken January 30, 2009.

    Lewis, September 20, 1805:
    "... This morning my attention was called to a species of bird which I had never seen before.    It was reather larger than a robbin, tho' much it's form and action.    the colours were a blueish brown on the back the wings and tale black, as wass a stripe above the croop 3/4 of an inch wide in front of the neck, and two others of the same colour passed from it's eyes back along the sides of the head.    the top of the head, neck brest and belley and butts of the wing were of a fine yellowish brick reed.    it was feeding on the buries of a species of shoemake or ash [Mountain Ash] which grows common in country & which I first observed on 2d of this month. ..."


    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. ..."


    Lewis, January 31, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... Charbono found a bird dead lying near the fort this morning and brought it to me    I immediately recognized it to be of the same kind of that which I had seen in the Rocky mountains on the morning of the 20th of September last.    this bird is about the size as near as may be of the robbin.    it's contour also is precisely the same with that bird.    it measures one foot 3 1/4 Inches from tip to tip of the wings when extended.    9 1/4 inches from the extremity of the beak to that of the tail.    ... [more description not included here] ...    this is a beatifull little bird.    I have never heard it's note it appears to be silent.    it feeds on berries, and I beleive is a rare bird even in this country, or at least this is the second time only that I have seen it.—    between the legs of this bird the feathers are white, and those which form the tuft underneath the tail are a mixture of white and a brick red. ..."


    Weather diary, February 4, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... the last night clear and could    the Netul frozen over in several places.    all the waterfowls before innumerated still continue with us.    the bird which resembles the robbin have now visited us in small numbers    saw two of them yesterday about the fort; they are gentle. ..."


    Lewis, March 4, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... the Columbian robbin heretofore discribed seems to be the inhabitant of the woody country exclusively. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): bluish brown robbin
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Pacific Varied Thrush
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Varied Thrush

    • Holmgren:    ROBIN
      • "robin" (4-23-05, 6-8-05) American robin, Turdus migratorius, L. 1766.
      • "Columbian or Rocky Mountain" (9-20-05, 1-31-06, 2-4-06) varied thrush, Ixoreus naevius Gmelin 1789. Often called Alaskan robin or Oregon robin because of its resemblance.

    • Moulton (September 20, 1805): The varied thrush, Ixoreus naevius [AOU, 763], already known to science but not to Lewis. He gave a longer description in January 31, 1806. Burroughs, 252–54.

    • 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.

    • Moulton (January 31, 1806): The varied thrush, Ixoreus naevius [AOU, 763], already known to science. Lewis recalled correctly the date of his first notice of the bird. The robin used for comparison is Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761].


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  • Western Kingbird ... or Eastern Kingbird
    L&C "bee martin or kingbird"

    Image, 2010, Sandy River Delta, Oregon, click to enlarge Image, 2009, Sandy River Delta, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Western Kingbird (left) and Eastern Kingbird (right), Sandy River Delta, Oregon. Left image taken June 3, 2010. Right image taken May 25, 2009.

    Weather diary, May 25, 1805:
    "... saw the kingbird, or bee martin;    the grouse disappear ..."


    Lewis, June 10, 1805:
    "... the bee martin or Kingbird is common to this country tho' there are no bees in this country, nor have we met with a honey bee since we passed the entrance of the river [Kansas] ..."


    Lewis, July 1, 1806:
    "... 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): bee martin or kingbird
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Kingbird
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Tyrannus sp.
    • Patterson (comments): Western Kingbird

    • Holmgren:    BEE-MARTIN (5-25-05, 6-10-05) eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus, Linnaeus 1758.

    • Johnsgard:   Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus or Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis:    Few specific notes were made on these rather conspicuous songbird species, and not enough information was offered to distinguish which kingbird species was seen. In the expedition's Meteorological Register of May 25, 1805, it was noted that the "king-bird or bee-martin" had returned seasonally to the vicinity of the mouth of the Musselshell River. Kingbirds are rather late spring arrivals in the northern United States, as they winter in tropical America. The eastern species is more likely to have been seen than the western, since the eastern would have been the one familiar to the explorers and would not have attracted special attention. Also, it is more often found closer to water than the more arid-adapted western species. Kingbirds of undetermined species were also noted on June 10, 1805, near the mouth of the Marias River, and on August 2, 1806, near present-day Missoula. The eastern kingbird's rangewide population has declined significantly during the past four decades.

    • Moulton (Weather diary, May 25, 1805):    Perhaps the eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus [AOU, 444]. Holmgren, 28. See also June 10, 1805.

    • Moulton (June 10, 1805):    Either the eastern kingbird or the western kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis [AOU, 447]. The latter would be more common in Montana. Cf. Burroughs, 244, and Holmgren, 28.

    • 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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  • 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, 2012, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Gray Jay, adult, Alpine Campground, Mount Hood, Oregon. Image taken August 3, 2012.
    Image, 2010, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Western Scrub-Jay, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken April 15, 2010.

    For quotes and commentary see:   Gray Jay


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  • Western Wood-Pewee ... or Say's Phoebe
    L&C "peawee"

    Image, 2010, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2008, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Western Wood-pewee, Vancouver, Washington (left), and Say's Phoebe, Ridgefield NWR, Washington (right). Left image taken May 25, 2010. Right image taken March 30, 2008.

    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): peawee
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Wood Pewee
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Western Wood Pewee

    • Holmgren:    PEAWEET, PEAWIT, PEWIT (4-16-06) In England an old fold name for the lapwing, a bird of the plover family, imitating its plaintive two-note call. Lapwings are rare visitors to the U.S. -- especially on the notheast coast -- but the name was often given to other American species with similar two-note calls, especially small gray birds of the flycatcher family now known as pewees or phoebes. Lewis's "uncommon" species of this date is probably Say's phoebe, Sayornis saya, Bonaparte 1825.

    • 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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  • Whimbrel
    L&C "large grey plover", "Jack Curloo"

    Image, 2012, Woodland Bottoms, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Whimbrel. Image taken May 26, 2012, from Woodland Bottoms, Washington.

    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): Hudsonian Curlew
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Whimbrel

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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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  • Whip-poor-will
    L&C "whiper-will"

    Weather diary, June 11, 1804:
    "... many small bird are now setting    some have young, the whiper-will setting ..."


    Weather diary, September 6, 1806:
    "... heard the whipper will    Common to the u states at Soldiers river. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): whip-poor-will
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Eastern Whip-poor-will
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Whip-poor-will

    • Holmgren:    WHIPPER WILL
      • "whipper will" (6-11-04, 8-5-06) whip-poor-will, Caprimulgus vociferus, Wilson 1812.
      • "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:    Whip-poor-will Caprimulgus vociferus:    Captain Clark heard whip-poor-wills calling on September 6, 1806, in the vicinity of present-day Blair, Nebraska, and he had also heard them earlier during the trip upstream through Missouri and Kansas. September is remarkably late for whip-poor-wills to call, as this species has usually finished vocalizing by early August. It has apparently moved gradually northward during the past two centuries and now breeds as far north as southern South Dakota. However, rangewide whip-poor-will populations have declined significantly across North America during the last four decades, as have populations of the ecologically similar common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor).


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  • Whooping Crane
    L&C "white Crain"

    Weather diary, March 25, 1804:
    "... Saw the 1st White Crain return ..."


    Lewis, April 11, 1805:
    "... saw some large white cranes pass up the river—    these are the largest bird of that genus common to the country through which the Missouri and Mississippi pass. they are perfectly white except the large feathers of the two first joints of the wing which are black. ..."


    Lewis, October 26, 1805:
    "... Saw great numbers of white Crains flying in Different directions verry high ..."


    Clark, October 26, 1805:
    "... Great numbers of white Crain flying in different Directions verry high ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): large white crane
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Whooping Crane
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Whooping Crane
    • Patterson (comments): Some Whooping Cranes some Sandhills ... white cranes claimed along the Columbia River were almost certainly not Whooping Cranes.

    • Holmgren:    CRAIN, CRANE, any large crane, egret or heron.
      • "white" (3-25-04) great egret, Casmerodius albus, L. 1758, Formerly American egret, common egret.
      • "white with black wing tips (4-11-05) whooping crane, Grus americana, L. 1758.

    • Johnsgard:   Whooping Crane Grus americana:    Near the future site of Fort Berthold, North Dakota, some "large white cranes" were seen passing up the Missouri River on April 11, 1805. They were accurately described as being entirely white except for the larger wing feathers. These currently extremely rare and nationally endangered birds were also reported from western Oregon by Captain Clark, but there is no other evidence that whooping cranes ever occurred that far west, and so this identification seems questionable.

    • Moulton (March 25, 1804):    Apparently the now rare and endangered whooping crane, Grus americana [AOU, 204], which could be found in Illinois in the 1800s. Burroughs, 184–85. But perhaps the great egret, Casmerodius albus [AOU, 196], described by Lewis on August 2, 1804. Holmgren

    • Moulton (April 11, 1805):    The whooping crane, Grus americana [AOU, 204], now an endangered species. Cutright (LCPN), 129.

    • Moulton (October 26, 1805):    The endangered whooping crane, Grus americana [AOU, 204].


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  • Wild Turkey
    L&C "turkey"

    Image, 2010, Underwood, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Wild Turkey, Underwood, Washington. Image taken February 2, 2011.



    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): turkey
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Eastern Wild Turkey
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Wild Turkey

    • Holmgren:    TURKEY (7-1-04, 7-26-04) wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, L. 1758.
      • "white turkey of Black Hills" (9-17-04) Not seen. Described to Lewis and Clark by a young Frenchman who had spent the winter with the Chien Indians of the Black Hills. Wild turkeys could have been in the area and white birds occur naturally in the wild, but this was probably a sage grouse since the boy described it as "booted as low as the toes" - meaning feathered - and turkeys are bare-legged. The white-tailed ptarmigan, Lagopus leucurus, Richardson 1831, also has feathered legs, but is only about a third turkey size. The sage grouse, while not all white, does have a white breast and seems white in comparison to the turkey's bronze tones.

    • Johnsgard:   Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo:    Wild turkeys were killed and eaten by the expedition in Kansas and Nebraska. They were seen in large numbers on July 1, 1804, near present-day Leavenworth, Kansas, and one was killed on July 25, 1804, near present-day Council Bluffs. Another was killed the next day at the same camp, and others were taken on July 30 in what is now Washington County. Others were killed on August 5, 1804, on the Iowa side (now Harrison County) and one on August 9 on the Nebraska side (now Burt or Douglas County). Another was killed September 4 (now Knox County, Nebraska), and turkeys were seen above the mouth of the Niobrara River along the present Nebraska-South Dakota border (Boyd or Charles Mix County, respectively) on September 5. Others were killed in the same general boundary area on September 5 and 8. On the expedition's return trip through Nebraska wild turkeys were seen along the shorelines in present-day Nemaha and Richardson County. Although extirpated from the Missouri Valley of Nebraska and Kansas by shortly after the turn of the twentieth century, reintroduction efforts in both states have been successful. Wild turkey populations have increased significantly in North America during the last four decades, largely through releases and wildlife management practices.

    • 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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  • Wilson's Snipe ... (Common Snipe)
    L&C "common snipe"

    Image, 2009, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Wilson's Snipe, Ridgefield NWR, Washington. Image taken November 3, 2009.

    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. ...


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    SNIPE (3-5-06) common snipe, Gallinago gallinago, L. 1758.
      • "sand snipe" (3-5-06) spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia, L. 1766.
      • "size of common snipe" (6-4-05) see CURLEW, Eskimo

    • 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.

    • NOTE: The Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) was split by AOU in 2002 into the Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago), the Eurasian bird, and the Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata), the American bird.


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  • Wood Duck
    L&C "wood duck", "summer duck"

    Image, 2009, Kings Pond, Washington, click to enlarge Image, 2010, Ridgefield NWR, Washington, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Wood Duck, male, King's Pond (left) and Ridgefield NWR (right), Washington. Left image taken April 28, 2009. Right image taken March 20, 2010.

    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 ..."


    Weather diary, March 31, 1806, while at Cottonwood Beach, across from the entrance to the Sandy River:
    "... The Summer or wood duck has returned.    butterflies and Several Species of insects appear. Musquitoes are troublesome this evening    Encamp opposit quick Sand river    The Summer Duck has returned    I saw Several to day in a small pond. ... The waterfowls are much plentyer about the enterance of quick Sand river than they were below. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Patterson (what L&C described): summer duck
    • Patterson (conjectures, mostly from Coues, in Burroughs, 1961): Wood Duck
    • Patterson (current AOU equivalent): Wood Duck
    • Patterson (comments): 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.

    • Holmgren:    DUCKS
      • "summer-duck", folk name for wood duck.
      • "wood-duck" (6-16-04), Aix sponsa, L. 1758.

    • Johnsgard:   Wood Duck Aix sponsa:    The "summer duck" was quite familiar to Captain Lewis, who referred to it by that name on July 29, 1805, remarking that he had seen it as far west as the vicinity of Three Forks, Montana. However, unidentified ducks were also seen in some numbers during the river ascent through Nebraska, from as early as August 15, 1804 (present-day Dakota County), to September 5, 1804 (present-day Thurston or Burt County). As Swenk concluded, these most probably were wood ducks, which would have been common along the wooded Missouri River shorelines in late summer. Wood ducks were also reportedly seen in the vicinity of Great Falls, Montana, on June 19 and 23, 1805. Wood duck populations have increased significantly in North America during the last four decades, and their breeding range has expanded both to the west and north, partly as a result of the widespread erection of nesting boxes.


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  • Wood Stork
    L&C "Stalks"

    Clark, November 3, 1805, first draft:
    "... river wide The Countrey below quick Sand river on the Lard Side is low Piney Countrey. Passed the lower point of the Island at 3 1/2 miles long & 1 1/2 wide— emence quantity of Geese, Brants, Ducks & Sea otter, Some of the large & Small kind of Swan, & Sand hill Cranes—also luns & White gulls ..."


    Clark, November 3, 1805, near Government Island:
    "... below quick Sand River the Countrey is low rich and thickly timbered on each Side of the river, the Islands open & Some ponds &nbps;  river wide and emence numbers of fowls flying in every direction Such as Swan, geese, Brants, Cranes, Stalks [NB: Storks], white guls, comerants & plevers &c.    also great numbers of Sea Otter in the river ..."


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    STALKS (STORKS) (11-2-05) wood stork, Mycteria americana, L. 1758. Formerly miscalled wood ibis, this is the only stork species in North America. Its presence along the Columbia is rare, but no other long-legged white bird looks stork-like and white cranes, egrets and herons, are cited elsewhere.

    • Moulton (November 3, 1805):
      • Some of these birds may be identified as the sandhill crane, Grus canadensi [AOU, 206], and the double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus [AOU, 120].
      • Although the wood stork, Mycteria americana [AOU, 188], was once considered to be one of the bird's identified, this information may not be valid since its range is well south of Lewis and Clark's path.
      • The swans (noted as the "large & Small kind" in the first draft) would be the trumpeter swan, Cygnus buccinator [AOU, 181], and the tundra, or whistling, swan, C. columbianus [AOU, 180].
      • The other references are too obscure for precise identification. Holmgren, 33; Burroughs, 199–200.


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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.

    For quotes and commentary see:   Western Meadowlark


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  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
    L&C

    Image, 2008, Silver Lake, Ohio, click to enlarge
    Click image to enlarge
    Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male, Silver Lake, Ohio. Image taken October 19, 2008.

    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. ..."


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    SAPSUCKER (2-8-05, 4-8-05) yellow-bellied sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius, L. 1766. Also known to Lewis and Clark as "small speckled woodpecker".

    • 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.


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  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo ... or Black-billed Cuckoo
    L&C "rain craw"

    Weather Diary, July 16, 1806:
    "... Saw the Cookkoo or rain crow and the redheaded woodpecker. ..."

    Lewis, July 16, 1806:
    "... there are a great number of geese which usually raise their young above these falls about the entrance of Medicine river    we saw them in large flocks of several hundred as we passed today. I saw both yesterday and today the Cookkoo or as it is sometimes called the rain craw.    this bird is not met with west of the Rocky Mountains nor within them.— ..."


    Commentary:

    • Holmgren:    CROW
      • "rain-crow" (7-16-06) folk name for Old World cuckoos, transferred to American species: yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus L. 1758; black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus, Wilson 1811.

    • Moulton (July 16, 1806):    Either the yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus [AOU, 387], or the black-billed cuckoo, C. erythropthalmus [AOU, 388]. Holmgren, 29. The range of the former does extend well beyond the Rockies to the west.


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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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