The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, March 8, 1806

Clark, March 8, 1806

Saturday March 8th 1806

Bratten is much better this morning, his back givs him but little pain. Collins returned early in the morning, and informed us that he had killed three Elk about five miles distance on the edge of the prarie in point Adams. one of them fell in a deep pond of water and he could not git to it. the other two he butchered and Saved. he saw two large herds of Elk in that quarter. we Sent Drewyer & Jos. Field to hunt these Elk, a party was also Sent with Labiesh for the flesh of the Elk which Drewyer and himself had killd up the Netul, they returned with it in the evening. Shields, R. Field and Frasure returned this evening from the Kilhawanackkle unsuccessfull haveing Seen no Elk. McNeal and Goodrich haveing recovered from the Louis veneri I detected them to desist from takeing the murcury or useing in future. willard is yet complaining and is low Spirited.

The White Brant is very common in this country particularly below tide water where they remain in vast quantities dureing the winter. they feed like the Swan Goose &c. on the grass and roots & Seeds which they find in the marshes this bird is a little larger than the brown brant and a fourth less than the common wild or Canadian goose. the head is proportionably with the goose reather large; the beak thicker Shorter and of 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 pail 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 perpotion in point of length. the Eye is of a dark colour and nothing remarkable as to Size. the wings are reather longer compared with those of the goose, but not as much So as is the brown or pieded brant. the colour of the plumage of this bird is uniformly 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 a young domestic goose which has not perfectly attained its full note. the flesh of this bird is exceedingly fine, prefferable to either the goose or pieded brant. the neck is Shorter in prpotion than that of the goose.

The Brown or pieded brant are nearly the Size and much the Same form of the white brante 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 Common or Canadian Goose but rather darker in consequence of Some 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 junction of the tail. the beak, legs and feet are dark, with a greenish cast; the breast and belly are of a lighter colour than the back and is also intermixed, irregularly, with dark brown and black feathers which gives it a pieded appearance. the flesh of this bird is dark, and in my estimation reather better than that of the goose. the habits of this bird is nearly the same with the goose and white brant, with this difference that they do not remain in this Climate in Such numbers dureing the winter as the others. I See no difference between this bird and that Called Simpilly the Brant Common to the Lakes and frequently Seen on the Ohio and Mississippi in large flocks &c.

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 purpotion; their beak is also thicker and Shorter. their notes are more like those of our taim geese, in all other respect they are the Same with the large Goose with which, they So frequently ascoiete, that it was Some time after I first observed this goose before I could whether it was a distinct Speces or not. I have no hesitation now in declareing them a distinct Species. the large Goose is the Same as that common to the Ohio, and atlantic coast, and known by the appellation of the wild, or Canadian Goose.