The Journals of Lewis and Clark

Clark, January 31, 1806

Friday January 31st 1806

Sent a party of Eight men with the hunters to renew their Serch for the Elk, and also to hunt; they proceeded but a fiew miles before they found the river So obstructed with ice that they were obliged to return. Jo. Field arrives this evening, informs us That he had been hunting in Company with gibson and willard for the last four days in order to obtain some meat for himself and the other Salt-makers, and that he had been unsucksessfull untill yesterday evening when he had fortunately killed two Elk, about six miles distant from this place and about 8 from the Salt works; he left gibson and willard to dry the meat of those Elk, and had come for assistance to carry the meat to the Salt Camp; for this purpose we ordered four men to accompany him early in the morning. discovered that McNeal had the pox, gave him medicine. Chabono found a bird dead lying near the Fort this morning and brought it in, I reconized it to be the Same kind of that which I had Seen in the Rocky Mountains at severl different times. this berd is about the Size as near as may be of the robin. it's contour is also presisely the Same with that bird. it measured one foot 3/4 inches from tip to tip of the wings when extended. 91/4 inches from the extremity of the beak to that of the tail. the tail is 33/4 inches in length, and Composed of 11 feathers of the Same length. The beak is Smoth, black, convex and cultrated; 1 1/8 inchs from the point to the opening of the Chaps and 3/4 only uncovered with feathers, the upper Chap exceeds the other a little in length. a fiew Small black hairs garnish the Side of the upper chap. The Eye is of a uniform deep Sea green or black, moderately large. it's legs feet and tallants are white; the legs are of 11/4 in length and Smoth; four toes on each foot, of which that in front is the Same length of the leg including the tallants, which is 4 lines; the 3 remaining toes are 3/4 of an inch, each armed with proportianably large tallons. the toes are Slightly imbricated. the tallons are curved and Sharply pointed. The Crown of the head from the beak back to the neck imbracing rather more than half the circumphrence of the neck, the Back and tail is of a bluish dark brown; the two outer feathers of the tail have a little dash of white near the tips, not proceivable when the tail is foalded. a fine black forms the ground of the wings; two Stripes of the same colour passes on either side of the Head from the base of the Back along the Side of the head to it's junction with the neck, and embraces the eye to its upper edge; a third Stripe of the Same Colour 3/4 of an inch in width passes from the Side of the neck just above the buts of the wings across the troop in the form of a gorget. the throat or under part of the neck brest and belly is of a fine Yellowish brick red. a narrow Stripe of this Colour also Commences just above the center of each eye, and extends backwards to the Neck as far as the black Spots reaches before discribed, to which it appears to answer as a border. the feathers which form the 1st and Second range of the coverts of the two joints of the wings next the body are butifully aped with this Brick red; as is also each large feather of the wing on the Short Side of its plumage for 1/2 an inch in length Comencing at the extremity of the feather which form the first or main Covert of the wing. This is a butifull little bird. I have never herd its notes it appears to be Silent. it feeds on berries, and I believe is a rare bird even in this country-. 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 Brick red.