The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, April 7, 1806

Lewis, April 7, 1806

Monday April 7th 1806. This morning early the flesh of the remaining Elk was brought in and Drewyer with the Feildses departed agreeably to the order of the last evening. we employed the party in drying the meat today which we completed by the evening, and we had it secured in dryed Elkskins and put on board in readiness for an early departure. we were visited today by several parties of indians from a village about 8 miles above us of the Sahhalah nation. I detected one of them in steeling a peice of lead and sent him from camp. I hope we have now a sufficient stock of dryed meat to serve us as far the Chopunnish provided we can obtain a few dogs horses and roots by the way. in the neighbourhood of the Chopunnish we can procure a few deer and perhaps a bear or two for the mountains. last evening Reubin Fields killed a bird of the quail kind it is reather larger than the quail, or partridge as they are called in Virginia. it's form is precisely that of our patridge tho it's plumage differs in every part. the upper part of the head, sides and back of the neck, including the croop and about 1/3 of the under part of the body is of a bright dove coloured blue, underneath the under beak, as high as the lower edge of the eyes, and back as far as the hinder part of the eyes and thence coming down to a point in front of the neck about two thirds 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 stiff dark brown feathers. just at the base of the under chap there is narrow transverse 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 longest of these feathers is two inches and an half, it overlays and conceals the other which is somewhat shorter and seems to be raped in the plumage of that in front which folding backwards colapses behind and has a round appearance. the tail is composed of twelve dark brown feathers of nearly equal length. the large feathers of the wings are of a dark brown and are reather short in proportion to the body of the bird in that rispect very similar to our common 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 occupyes the lower region of the breast is beautifully variagated with the brick red white and black which pedominate 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 a dark brown tiped with the dark brick red as are also those between and about the joining of the legs with the body. they have four toes on each foot of which three are in front and that in the center the longest, those one each side nearly of a length; that behing is also of good length and are all armed with long and strong nails. the legs and feet are white and imbrecated with proportionably large broad scales. 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 underneath 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 protuberant elastic, black leatherlike substance. the eyes are of a uniform piercing black colour. this is a most beautifull bird. I preserved the skin of this bird retaining the wings feet and head which I hope will give a just idea of the bird. it's loud note is single and consists of a loud squall, intirely different from the whistling of our quales or partridge. it has a cherping note when allarmed something like ours.- today there was a second of these birds killed by Capt C. which precisely resembled that just discribed. I believe these to be the male bird the female, if so, I have not yet seen.- the day has been fair and weather extreemly pleasant. we made our men exercise themselves in shooting today and regulate their guns found several of them that had their sights moved by accedent, and others that wanted some little alterations all which were compleatly rectifyed in the course of the day. in the evening all the Indians departed for their village.