The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, April 6, 1806
Clark, April 6, 1806
Sunday April 6th 1806. Two Indians Came last night very late to our Camp and continued all night. early we had all the meat packed up and our Canoes loaded ready for to Set out and after an early brackfast at which time all things were ready and we Set out and proceeded to the Camp of Gibson & party about 9 miles, they had killed 3 Elk at no great distance and Wounded two others so badly that we expect to precure them. Sent a party of Six men with Shannon who had killed the Elk to bring in the Elk, and formed a Camp, near which we had a Scaffold made ready to dry the meat as Soon as it Should arive. Reubin Field killed a bird of the Quail kind or Class which was whistleing near our Camp it is larger than the quail or partridge as they are Called Kentucky and Virginia. it's form is presisely that of our partridge tho its plumage differs in every part. the upper part of the head, Sides and back of the neck, including the Croop and about of the under part of the body is of a bright dove coloured blue, under neath the under beak, as high as the lower edge of the eye, and back as far as the hinder part of the eyes and thence comeing down to a point in the front of the neck about 2/3rd of it's length downwards, is of a fine dark brick red. between this brick red and the dove colour there runs a narrow Stripe of pure white. the ears are covered with some coarse dark brown feathers. just at the base of the under chap there is a narrow transvirce Stripe of white. from the crown of the head two long round feathers extend backwards nearly in the direction of the beak and are of a black Colour. the length of these feathers is 21/2 inches. one overlais and Conseals the other which is Somewhat Shorter and Seems to be raped in the plumage of that in front which folding backwards colapses behing and has a round appearance. the tail is composed of 12 dark brown feathers of nearly equal length. the large feathers of the wings are of a dark brown & are reather Short in purpotion to the body of the bird. in this respect very Similar to the partridge. the covert of the wings and back are of a dove Colour with a Slight admixture of redish brown. a wide Stripe which extends from Side to Side of the body and occupies the lower region of the breast is beautifully varigated with the brick red white & black which perdominates in the order they are mentioned and the Colours mark the feathers transversely. the legs are covered with feathers as low as the Knee; these feathers are of dark brown tiped with a dark brick red as are also those between and about the joining of the legs with the body. the foot is presisely that of the Common partridge except that they are as also the legs white. the upper beak is Short, wide at it's base, black, convex, curved downwards and reather obtusely pointed. it exceeds the under chap considerably which is of a white colour, also convex under neath and obtusely pointed. the nostrils are remarkably Small, placed far back and low down on the Sides of the beak. they are covered by a thin proterant elastic, black leather like Substance. the eyes are of a uniform pierceing black colour. this is a most butifull bird I preserved the Skin of this bird retaining the wings feet & head which I hope will give a just Idea of the bird. it's loud note is Single and Consists of a loud Squall, intirely different from the whistling of our partridge or quailes. it has a chiping note when allarmed like our partridge.- to day there was a Second of those birds killed which presisely resembles that just discribed. I believe those to be the mail bird the female, if so, I have not yet Seen.-.
at 6 P.M. Shannon and party returned with the flesh of five Elk. the two he had wounded in the morning he found dead near the place he had Shot them. we had the meat cut into thin pices and Scaffored with a fire under it to dry out, which we expect in the course of the night Can be effected. four Indians from the great rapids visited us to day and Continued all day. they give the Same account of the Scercity of provisions above the falls as has already been given by others. This Supply of Elk I think by useing economey and in addition of roots and dogs which we may probably precure from he Nativs on Lewis's river will be Sufficient to last us to the Chopunnish where we Shall Meet with our horses-. and near which place there is Some deer to be precured.
Frazer killed a pheasent of the Common kind. Jos. Field killed a vulture of that Speces already discribed. in the evening late the Indians left us and returned to their village. we detected that fires be kept under the meat all night. and tha Drewyer and the two Fields proceed on to the next bottom and hunt untill we Should arive. 9 miles