The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, September 17, 1804
Lewis, September 17, 1804
one of the hunters killed a bird of the Corvus genus and order of the pica & about the size of a jack-daw with a remarkable long tale. beautifully variagated. it note is not disagreeable though loudit is twait twait twait, twait; twait, twait twait, twait.
F I from tip to tip of wing 1 10 Do. beak to extremity of tale 1 81/2 of which the tale occupys 1 1 from extremity of middle toe to hip 51/2
it's head, beak, and neck are large for a bird of it's size; the beak is black, and of a convex and cultrated figure, the chops nearly equal, and it's base large and beset with hairs- the eyes are black encircled with a narrow ring of yellowish black it's head, neck, brest & back within one inch of the tale are of a fine glossey black, as are also the short fathers of the under part of the wing, the thies and those about the root of the tale. the belly is of a beatifull white which passes above and arround the but of the wing, where the feathers being long reach to a small white spot on the rump one inch in width- the wings have nineteen feathers, of which the ten first have the longer side of their plumage white in the midde of the feather and occupying unequal lengths of the same from one to three inches, and forming when the wing is spead a kind of triangle the upper and lower part of these party coloured feathers on the under side of the wing being of dark colour but not jut or shining black. the under side of the remaining feathers of the wing are darker. the upper side of the wing, as well as the short side of the plumage of the party coloured feathers is of a dark blackis or bluish green sonetimes presenting as light orange yellow or bluish tint as it happens to be presented to different exposures of ligt- the plumage of the tale consits of 12 feathers of equal lengths by pairs, those in the center are the longest, and the others on each side deminishing about an inch each pair- the underside of the feathers is a pale black, the upper side is a dark bluefish green which like the outer part of the wings is changable as it reflects different portions of light. towards the the extremely of these feathers they become of an orrange green, then shaded pass to a redish indigo blue, and again at the extremity assume the predominant colour of changeable green- the tints of these feathers are very similar and equally as beatiful and rich as the tints of blue and green of the peacock- it is a most beatifull bird.- the legs and toes are black and imbricated. it has four long toes, three in front and one in rear, each terminated with a black sharp tallon from 3/8ths to 1/2 an inch in length.- these birds are seldom found in parties of more than three or four and most usually at this season single as the balks and other birds of prey usually are- it's usual food is flesh- this bird dose not spread it's tail when it flys and the motion of it's wings when flying is much like that of a Jay-bird-
The White turkey of the black hills from information of a french lad who wintered with the Chien Indians About the size of the common wild turkey the plumage perfectly white- this bird is booted as low as the toes-