22 February 2010

Hudson Bay Collection Included First-ever Described Eskimo Curlew

When a species of small curlew got shot and collected on the western coast of Hudson Bay, there is nothing known which conveys something of particular importance occurred for that unknown day. The event was probably of subdued significance for the three men shooting different birds at various places in Canada. They were out and in pursuit about the mouth of the Churchill River, Fort Albany in James Bay and nearby Moose Fort, Fort Prince of Wales, Fort York, and the Severn River where it empties into the bay.

Their distinctive collecting endeavours in 1768 and 1769 Canada - based on subsequent consideration - document a variety of species of a time more than 240 years before present, including a curlew which was later carefully studied and described to the scientific community for the first time.

Andrew Graham was governor of the Hudson's Bay Company post at the Severn River at Hudson Bay. Humphrey Martin was involved with the effort from his place at Fort Albany. And William Wales (also spelled Wailes) was visiting at the Churchill River.

Each bird was subject to a blast of gun-shot which sent it to the ground, and thence picked up and kept, for latter care and preparation back at each mans quarters. The specimens were then eventually transported to England for further evaluation. There were apparently more than 75 returned in carefully packed boxes.

Essential to this scenario was William Wales. By some type of order from the Royal Society, he was sent to Churchill, apparently with the primary purpose of viewing the transit of the planet Venus. But his voyage contributed much more than stellar stuff as he was at the Bay for thirteen months, which provided an valuable opportunity to consider a variety of other topics.

Although the essential ornithological result was his caring for the specimens shipped eastward, his brief yet interesting personal journal issued in the Philosophical Transactions in 1770, convey the time and place when the birds were being pursued.

Journal of William Wales

The date of departure from Europe was May 31, 1768 with basically no narrative for the voyage until reaching the island of Resolution at the entrance of Hudson's Straits on July 23rd. Eskimaux were the subject of his first notations. A few days later, the travelers arrived at Cape Churchill, on August 7th. On the 10th, based on the scribbles noted in the journal, the surgeon of the factory walked some people about to show them the nearby country. Soil and some flora were the primary topics noted in the record.

There was also a fine paragraph about the foremost observations of the local birds:

"They saw some wild ducks and curlews, but could handle none of them: they shot a few birds, much about the size, colour, and make of a woodcock: these they call here stone-plover. They saw another bird, not much unlike a quail, which they call here the whale-bird, from its feeding on the offal of those fish after the oil is boiled out of it. Besides those, they saw many, and great variety, of the gull, or sea-mew kind; and also of small birds, like our linnets, larks, &c. But the most extraordinary bird yet met with is, Mr. W. knows not for what reason, called a man-of-war, and feeds on the excrements of other birds; its way of coming at its food is also a little extraordinary; he pursues the bird which he pitches on for his supply, until fear makes it void what he wants, and so soon as this happens, he catches the morsel in his mouth; after which he leaves that bird and pursues another."

Insects were also discussed, so the variety of natural history subjects ranged from geology to plants and fauna and entomology.

The narrative conveys additional notes of the birds seen and pursued.

"Mr. W. gives the following short abstract of the circumstances of their residence at Churchill in Hudson's Bay. They arrived at Churchill just in the height of what is called the small bird season, which consists of young geese, ducks, curlews, plovers, &c. This begins about the latter end of. July, and lasts till the beginning of September, when the greater part of these birds leave that part of the country. The geese then begin to go fast to the southward, and continue to do so until the beginning of October. This is called the autumnal goose-season, in which every person, both native and European, that can be spared, is employed; but they seldom kill more geese at this time than they can consume fresh. By the middle of October the ground is generally covered with snow. The partridges then begin to be very plentiful; and as soon as that happens, the hunters repair to such places as they think most probable to meet with plenty of game in. The English generally go out in parties of 3 or 4, taking with them their guns, a kettle, a few blankets, a buffalo, or beaver skin coverlid, and a covering for their tent; which is made of deers skins, dressed by the natives, and sewed together, so as to make it of a proper form and size. In pitching their tents, they have an eye also to their own convenience with respect to shelter from the winds, and getting of fire-wood; which, it will easily be imagined, makes a considerable article here in the necessaries of life, at this season of the year."

During this period, the men at Churchill River were prepping for winter, with its arrival no uncertain prospect. Clothing was being given especially close attention.

"But, to return to Hudson's Bay. November the 6th, the river, which is very rapid, and about a mile over at its mouth, was frozen fast over from side to side, so that the people walked across it to their tents: also the same morning, a half pint glass of British brandy was frozen solid in the observatory. Not a bird of any kind was now to be seen at the factory, except now and then a solitary crow, or a very small bird about the size of a wren; but our hunters brought us home every week plenty of partridges and rabbits, and some hares; all of which are white in the winter season; and the legs and claws of the partridges are covered with feathers, in the same manner as the other parts of their bodies."

North-land winters were harsh. A brief section of the journal mentions how the head of "Mr. W.'s" bed-place" got frozen to the boards even though it was inside a shelter made of three feet of stone, and lined with inch boards.

"Before the end of February, these boards were covered with ice almost half as thick as themselves."

The journals continues to convey the frigid conditions of any northern winter, but in this case in the early weeks of 1769:

"It was now almost impossible to sleep an hour together, more especially on very cold night, without being awakened by the cracking of the beams in the house, which were rent by the prodigious expansive power of the frost. It was very easy to mistake them for the guns on the top of the house, which are 3 pounders. But those are nothing to what we frequently hear from the rocks up the country, and along the coast; these are often bursting with a report equal to that of many artillery fired together, and the splinters are thrown to an amazing distance."

The spring thaw started in late March, especially during mid-day, and the first rain was near the end of April. Grass began to grow. The Gooseberry bushes put of buds.

As the land opened, attention was focused on the pending arrival of the migratory fowl.

"The latter end of April, the hunters began to come home from the partridge tents, in order to prepare for the spring goose season, which is always expected to begin about that time; and is, in truth, the harvest to this part of the world. They not only kill, so as to keep the whole factory in fresh geese for near a month, but to salt as many as afterwards make no inconsiderable part of the year's provision. There are various sorts of the geese, as the grey-goose, the way-way, the brant, the dunter, and several more. The gander of the dunter kind is one of the most beautiful feathered birds ever seen, its colours being more bright and vivid than those of the parrot, and far more various."

Notes of the birdlife were done, but Wales carried on at Churchill until his departure, and arrival at England, where the Royal Society of London received and appreciated the collected birds.

Johann Reinhold Forster was given the specimens to closely examine and carefully consider, and then identify based on the current knowledge of birds from the region. The essential results were thence published in 1772 in an issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.

Avifauna of the Times

Quite a fine variety of birds have been denoted for the Hudson Bay region during this period of time. According to the published sources, the following is a list of the known species, listed in a sequence based on modern taxonomy constricts.

Greater White-fronted Goose
Snow Goose
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Common Eider
Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Common Goldeneye
Ruffed Grouse
Spruce Grouse
Willow Ptarmigan
Rock Ptarmigan
Sharp-tailed Grouse
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Common Loon
Horned Grebe
American White Pelican
American Bittern
Bald Eagle
Rough-legged Hawk
Golden Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Sandhill Crane
Whooping Crane
Northern Lapwing
Black-bellied Plover
Eskimo Curlew
Hudsonian Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Wilson's Snipe
Red Phalarope
Bonaparte's Gull
Herring Gull
Arctic Tern
Parasitic Jaeger
Passenger Pigeon
Great Horned Owl
Snowy Owl
Northern Hawk Owl
Great Gray Owl
Short-eared Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Hairy Woodpecker
American Three-toed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Northern Shrike
Gray Jay
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Horned Lark
Black-capped Chickadee
Boreal Chickadee
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Blackpoll Warbler
American Tree Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Snow Bunting
Rusty Blackbird
Pine Grosbeak
Red Crossbill
Common Redpoll

Interesting details are given in the seminal work by the attentive Mr. Forster. His article has all the trivial details of essential importance and convey a spectacular glimpse in the era when new species were being collected by gun and described by latter analysis.

The following is the article as originally published and which within is an essential presentation of something of importance to the historic ornithology of the region.

XXIX. An Account of the Birds sent from Hudson's Bay; with Observations relative to their Natural History; and Latin Descriptions of some of the most uncommon.

By Johann Reinhold Forster, F.R.S. Read June 18-25, 1772. This article was published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 62: 382-433. (Volume 13).

I. Land-Birds.

I. Acciptres - Rapacious. Faun. Am. Sept.

I. Falco, Falcon.

I. Columbarius. 182. 21. Pigeon Hawk. [Merlin]. Faun. Am. Sept. [= Fauna Americana Septentrionalis, published by Forster in 1771, with the title: A Catalogue of the Animals of North America.] p. 9. Catesby I, t. 3. Epervier de la Caroline. Brisson I, p. 378.

Severn River, No 19.

This species is called a small-bird hawk at Hudson's Bay. It is migratory, arriving near Severn River in May, breeding on the coast, and then retiring to a warmer climate in autumn. It feeds on small birds; and, on the approach of any person, will fly in circles, making a hideous shrieking noise. The breast and belly are yellowish, with brown streaks, which are not mentioned by the ornithologists, though their descriptions answer in other respects. It weighs six ounces and a half, its length is 10 1/2, the breadth 22 1/2. Catesby's figure is a very indifferent one.

Falco, 2. Spadiceus. New Species. Chocolate Falcon. [Rough-legged Hawk].

Faun. Am. Sept. p. 9.

This species, at first sight, bears some resemblance to the European Moor Buzzard, or Aeruginosus, Linn. but is much less, and wants the light spots on the head and shoulders. No description was sent along with it.

Falco, 3. Sacer. [perhaps an immature Peregrine Falcon] Brisson, I. p. 337. Sacre de Busson, Oiseaux, (edition in 12 mo.) Tom. II. p. 349. t. 14. Faun. Am. Sept. p. 9.

Severn River, No 16.

Speckled Partridge Hawk, at Hudson's Bay. The name is derived from its feeding on the birds of the Grous tribe, commonly called partridges, at Hudson's Bay. Its irides are yellow, and the legs blue. It comes nearest the Sacre of Brisson, Busson, and Belon; but Busson says it has black eyes, which is very indistinct; for the irides are black in none of the falcons, and in few other birds; and the pupil, if he means that, is black in all birds. It is said, by Belon, to come from Tartary and Russia, and is, therefore, probably a northern bird. It is very voracious and bold, catching partridges out of a covey, which the Europeans are driving into their nests. It breeds in April and May. Its young are ready to fly in the middle of June. Its nests, as those of all other falcons, are built in unfrequented places; therefore, the author of the account from Severn River could not ascertain how many eggs it lays; however, the Indians told him it commonly lay two. It never migrates, and weighs 2 1/2 pounds; its length is 22 inches, its breadth 3 feet.

2. Strix, Owl. 4. Brachyotos. The Short-eared Owl. Brit. Zoology, folio, plate B. 3. octavo, I. p. 156. Faun. Am. Sept. 9.

Mouse Hawk at Hudson's Bay. It answers the description and figure in the British Zoology; but its ears or long feathers do not appear. The smallness of the head has, probably, given occasion to call it a hawk, though it does not fly about in quest of prey, like other hawks (as the account from Severn River says); it sits quiet on the stumps of trees, waiting mice with all the attention of a domestic cat, being an inveterate enemy of those little animals. It migrates southward in autumn; and breeds along the coast. Its irides are yellow. Its weight is 14 ounces; its length 16 inches, the breadth 3 feet.

Strix, 5. Nyctea. 132. 6. Snowy Owl. Faun. Am. Sept. 9.

Churchill River, No 7. White Owl.

It seems to be in its winter dress, as it is intirely [sic] white. The feet are covered with long white hair-like feathers to the very nails, but there are none of the soles or under parts of the toes.

Strix, 6. Funerea. 133. 11. Canada Owl. [Northern Hawk-Owl]. Faun. Am. Sept. 9.

Severn River, No 13. Churchill River, No 11.

Cabeticuch, or Cabaducutch, is the Indian name of this bird. Linnaeus's description answers perfectly. The male, which in the class of birds of prey is generally smaller, is, however, in this species, larger than the female, according to the account from Severn River. Its colour is likewise much blacker, and the spots more distinct. The eyes are large and prominent; the irides of a bright yellow. The weight is 12 ounces; its length 17 inches, the breadth 2 feet. It has only two young at one hatching.

Strix, 7. Passerina. 133. 12. Little Owl. [Northern Saw-whet Owl] 12 Brit. Zool. Faun. Am. Sept. 9.

(The number belonging to this bird is lost, but is most probably that from Severn River, No 15. called Shipomospish by the natives).

The crown of the head is speckled with white, as in the Strix funerea.

Strix, 8. Nebulosa. New species. The grey Owl. [Great Gray Owl]. Severn River, No 36.

This fine non-descript owl lives upon hares, ptarmigans, mice, &c. It has two young at a time. The specimen sent over is said to be one of the largest. It is not described by any author. Its weight is 3 pounds, length 16 inches, breadth 4 feet.

3. Lanius, Shrike. 9. Excubitor. 135. 11. Great Butcher-bird. [Northern Shrike]. Brit. Zool. Cinereous Shrike. Faun. Am. Sept.

Severn River, No 11.

White Whiskijohn at Hudson's Bay. The specimen is a male; it weighs two ounces and a half, is seldom found on the coast, but frequent about a hundred miles inland; and feeds on small birds. It corresponds with ours in every respect.

II. Picae. Pies. Faun. Am. Sept.

Corvus, Crow. 10. Canadensis. 158. 16. Cinereous Crow. [Gray Jay]. Faun. Am. Sept. 9.

Severn River, No 9 and 10.

These birds are called Whiskijohn and Whiskijack at the Hudson's Bay. They weigh 2 ounces; and are 9 inches long, and 11 broad. Their eyes are black, and their feet of the same colour. Their characters correspond with the Linnean description. They breed early in spring; their nests are made of sticks and grass, and built in pine trees; they have two, rarely three, young ones at a time; their eggs are blue; they fly in pairs; the male and female are perfectly alike; they feed on black moss, worms, and even flesh. When near habitations or tents, they are apt to pilfer every thing they can come at, even salt meat; they are bold, and come into the tents to eat victuals out of the dishes. They watch persons baiting the traps for martins, and devour the bait as soon as they turn their backs. These birds lay up stores for the winter, and are seldom seen in January, unless near habitations; they are a kind of mock-bird; when caught, they pine away and die, though their appetite never fails them.

Corvus, 11. Pica. 157. 13. Magpie. [Black-billed Magpie]. Brit. Zool. Fauna Am. Sept. 9.

Albany Fort, No 5.

It is called Oue-ta-kee aske, i.e. Heart-bird, by the Indians. It is a bird of passage, and rarely seen; it agrees, in all respects, with the European magpie, upon comparison.

Picus, Woodpecker. 12. Auratus. 174. 9. Gold-wing Woodpecker. [yellow-shafted subspecies of the Northern Flicker]. Faun. Am. Sept. 10. Catesby, I. 18.

Albany Fort, No 4, the large Woodpecker.

The natives of America call this bird Ou-thee-quan-nor-now, from the yellow colour of the shafts of the quill and underside of the tail feathers. It is a bird of passage; visits the neighbourhood of Albany Fort in April, leaves it in September; lays from four to six eggs in hollow trees, feeds on small worms and other insects. Its descriptions answer exactly.

Picus, 13. Villosus. 175. 16. Hairy Woodpecker. Faun. Am. Sept. 10. Catesby I. 19.

Severn River, No 56.

The specimen sent over is a female, by its wanting the red on the head. The description of Linneus and Brisson agree; only the two middlemost feathers are black, the next are of the same colour, but have a white rhomboidal spot near the tip; the next are black, with the upper half obliquely white, the very tip being black; the next after that are white, with a round black spot on the inner side close to the base, and the lower part of the shaft is black, the outermost feathers are quite white, the shaft only at the base being black.

14. Tridactylus. 177. 21. Three-toid Woodpecker. Faun. Am. Sept.

Severn River, No 8.

A female, weight 2 ounces, length 8 inches, breadth 13; eyes dark blue, legs black. It builds its nest in trees, lives in woods upon worms picked out of trees, is not very common at Severn River. The descriptions answer.

III. Gallinae. Gallinaceous. Faun. Am. Sept.

6. Tetrao, Grouse. 15. Canadensis, 274.3. Canace, 275. Faun. Am. Sept. 10. Spotted Grous. [Spruce Grouse]. Gelinotte du Canada, male et femelle, Pl. enl. 131 et 132. Busson Oiseaux II. p. 279. 4to. Brisson I. p. 203. t. 20. f. i, 2, and p. 201, app. 10. Edwards, t. 118 and 71.

Severn River, No 5. Woodpartridge.

These birds are all the year long at Hudson's Bay, and never change the colour of their plumage. The accounts from Hudson's Bay say, there is no material difference between the male and female; which must be a mistake, as they are really very different. Linneus's descriptions of the Tetrao Canadensis, and Canace, both answer to the specimens sent over, so that, after comparing them, I find they are only one and the same species. I suppose dividing them into two, was occasioned by Brisson's and Edwards's descriptions, being taken from specimens sent from different parts of the continent of America, and perhaps caught at different seasons. Mr. de Busson has, I find, the same opinion with me, and by comparing the drawings of Edwards, with those of the Planches enluminées, it is put beyond a doubt. These birds are very stupid, may be knocked down with a stick, and are frequently caught by the natives with a stick and a loop. In summer they are good eating; but in winter they taste strongly of the pine spruce, upon which they feed during that season, eating berries in summer. They live in pine woods, their nests are on the ground; they generally lay but five eggs.

Tetrao, 16. Lagopus, 274. 4. White Grous. [Willow Ptarmigan]. Faun. Am. Sept. 10. Ptarmigan. Br. Zool. Lagopéde de la Baye Hudson. Busson Oiseaux II. p. 276. Edw. t. 72.

Severn River. No 1-4. Willow-partridges.

The Hudson's Bay ptarmigan has been separated from the European in the British Zoology, and afterwards by M. de Busson: however I must own, I cannot yet find the differences which they assign to these species. They contend that the Hudson's Bay bird figured by Edwards is twice as big as the European ptarmigan; Mr. Edwards, I think, does not intimate this, when he says, the bird is of a middle size, between partridge and pheasant; he on the contrary supposes them to be the same species. The British Zoology, after Willoughby, says, the ptarmigan's length is 13 3/4 inches. The account from Severn River says it is 16 1/4 inches. The breadth in the British Zoology is said to be 23 inches. The breadth in the Hudson's Bay birds, according to the accounts from Severn River, is 23 inches. Willoughby's ptarmigan weighed 14 ounces; that in the British Zool. illustr. t. 13. 19 ounces; that from the Hudson's Bay (1 1/2 lb) 24 ounces. These differences are of little consequence, and far from increasing the Hudson's Bay bird to double the size of the European. The British Zoology says, there is a difference in the summer colours; but Mr. Edwards informs us, that he compared the Hudson's Bay bird with the descriptions of former ornithologists, and found them to answer; he likewise assures us he had the same bird from Norway. Therefore I cannot help dissenting from the British Zoology, in this one particular, and thinking with Linneus and Brisson, that the European and Hudson's Bay ptarmigans are the same, especially as the colours vary very much in the different sexes and at different seasons.

To this we may add the testimony of a gentleman well versed in natural history, who, having had opportunities of comparing numbers of Hudson's Bay and European ptarmigans, assured me that he did not see any difference between them. They go together in great flocks in the beginning of October, living among the willows, of which they eat the tops (Whence they have got the name of willow partridges): about that time they lose their beautiful summer plumage, and exchange it for a snowy white dress, most providently adapted by its thickness to screen them against the severity of the season, and by its colour against their enemies the hawks and owls, against whose attacks they would otherwise find no shelter. Each feather is double, that is, a short one under a long one, to keep them warm. In the latter end of March, they begin again to change their plumage, and have got their full summer dress by the end of June. They breed every where along the coast, and have from nine to eleven young at a time; making their nests on the ground, generally on dry ridges. They are excellent eating, and so plentiful that ten thousand have been taken at Severn, York, and Churchill Forts. The method of netting or catching them, is as follows: a net made of jack-twine, twenty feet square, is laced to four long poles, and supported in front with the sticks, in a perpendicular situation; a long line is fastened to these supports, one end of it reaching to a place where a person lies concealed; several men drive the ptarmigans (which are as tame as chickens, especially on a mild, snowy day), towards the net, which they run to, as soon as they see it. The person concealed draws the line, by which means the net falls down, and catches 50 or 70 ptarmigans at once. They are sometimes rather wild, but grow better humoured (as Mr. Graham says) by being driven about, for they seldom forsake those willows which they have once frequented.

Tetrao. 17. Togatus, 275.8. Shoulder-knot Grous. [Ruffed Grouse]. Grosse Delinotte du Canada. Pl. enl. 104. Briss. I. 207. t. 21. f.1. Busson Oiseaux II. p. 287.

Severn River, N 60 and 61. Albany Fort 1 and 2.

This bird answers the descriptions given of it by the ornithologists in all respects, and perfectly resembles the figure in Brisson, and in the Planches enluminées. It differs from Edwards's ruffed heathcock, t. 248. or Linneus's Tetrao umbellus, as the latter has not the shining black axillar feathers, or shoulder-knot, but a ferruginous one, is much less, and has brighter colours. M. de Busson, however, thinks they are the same, and suspects at the same time, that the bird which he calls la grosse Gelinotte du Canada (and which is the same with the Society's specimens) is the female of Mr. Edwards's bird, t. 248. This conjecture is destroyed by the specimens now sent from Hudson's Bay, which by the accounts from thence are expressly said to be males. The shoulder-knot grouses bear the Indian name of Puskee, or Puskuskee, at Hudson's Bay, on account of the leanness and dryness of their flesh, which is extremely white, and of a very close texture, but when well prepared is excellent eating. They are pretty common at Moose Fort and Henly House, but are seldom seen at Albany Fort, or to the northward of the above places. In winter they feed upon juniper tops, in summer on goose berries, raspberries, currants, cranberries, &c. They are not migratory, staying all the year at Moose Fort; they build their nests on dry ground, hatch nine young at a time, to which the mother clucks, as our common hen does; and on the least appearance of danger, or in order to enjoy a comfortable degree of warmth, the young ones retire under the wings of their parent.

N.B. A specimen, which is supposed to be either a young bird or a female, wants the blueish black shoulder-knot; but it is the same in all other respects.

Tetrao, 18. Phasianellus. [Sharp-tailed Grouse]. Linn. Syst. Nat. Ed. X. p. 160. n. 5. Edw. 117. Longtailed Grous. Faun. Am. Septentr. 10.

Severn River, No 6 and 7. Albany Fort, No 3.

This bird, which Mr. Edwards has drawn plate 117, was by Linneus in the tenth edition of his System, ranged as a new species of grous or tetrao, by the specific name of Phasianellus (alluding to the name of Pheasant which it bears at Hudson's Bay, and likewise to its pointed tail). He afterwards in the new or twelfth edition of the System, p. 273. makes it a variety of the great Cock of the Wood, or Tetrao Urogallus, probably from the account in Mr. Edwards, that the male struts very upright, is in general of a darker colour than the female, and has a glossy neck. These circumstances, however, are not sufficient to bring them under the same species, for it is known that the males of all the grous tribe, and indeed of most of the gallinaceous birds, are used to strut in a very stately manner, and that the colours of their plumage are much more distinct than those of the females. But the specific difference alone, which Linneus assigns to the cock of the wood, absolutely excludes our Hudson's Bay species; he calls it Tetrao pedibus hirsutis, cauda rotundata, axillis albis. Whoever examines Mr. Edwards's figure, and the specimens now in the Society's possession, will find the tail very short, but pointed, the two middle feathers being half an inch longer than the rest, (Mr. Edwards says two inches) and the axillae, or shoulders, by no means white: besides this difference, the colour and size of the Hudson's Bay bird are likewise vastly different from those of the cock of the wood. Its length is 17, inches, its breadth 24 and, as Mr. Edwards justly says, it is somewhat bigger than the common pheasant. The great cock of the wood is as big as a turky; and its female, which is much less, however far exceeds our bird, it being 26 inches long, and 40 broad. See British Zool. octavo, p. 200. The figures given of the female of the T. Urogallus, or great cock of the wood, in the Br. Zool. folio, plate M, and the Planche enluminée 75, will serve upon comparison as a convincing proof of the vast difference there is between the Hudson's Bay pheasant grous and the European cock of the wood. The figure, which Mr. Edwards has given of the former bird, does not exactly correspond with the Society's specimens, as he has represented the marks on the breast half-moon shaped, though they are heart-shaped as those on the belly in the dried bird; that is, they are white spots, with a pale brownish yellow cordated brim. Nor can I agree with Mr. Edwards, when he calls this bird the long-tailed grous from Hudson's Bay; for its tail is really very short, in comparison with that of other grouse, and its smallness and acuteness afford one of the most distinguishing characters of the species.

The native Indians call these pheasant grouses, Oc-kiss-cow: they are found all the year long, amongst the small juniper bushes, of which the buds are their principal food, as also the buds of birch in winter, and all sorts of berries in summer. They never vary their colours; nor is there any great difference between the male and female, except in the caruncula or comb over the eye, which in the male is an inch long, and 3/8 of an inch high. The account from Albany Fort adds, that the colour of the male is somewhat browner, and almost a chocolate on the breast. Their flesh is of a light brown, exceeding juicy, and they are very plump. They lay from 9 to 13 eggs; their young can run almost as soon as they are hatched; they make a piping noise somewhat like a chicken. The cock has a shrill crowing note, not very loud; but when disturbed, or whilst flying, he makes a repeated noise of cuck, cock. They are most common in winter at Albany Fort.

Before I leave the genus of grouses, I must observe that their feet have a peculiarity, taken notice of by few authors; the toes, in several species, have on each side a row of short flexible teeth, like those of a comb; so that the toes appear pectinated. The species, which are known to have such pectinated toes, are,

1. The great Cock of the Wood, Tetrao Urogallus, Linn.
2. The Black Cock, T. Tetrix, Linn. [Black Grouse]
3. The Spotted Grous, and {T. Canadensis, and T. Canace, Linn. [Spruce Grouse]
4. The Ruffed Grous, T. Umbellus, Linn. [Ruffed Grouse]
5. The Shoulder-knot Grous, T. Togatus, Linn. [Ruffed Grouse]
6. The pheasant Grous, T. Phasianellus. [Sharp-tailed Grouse]
7. The Hazel Hen, T. Bonasia, Linn.
8. The Pyrenaean Grous, T. Alchata, Linn.

This is a circumstance, which ought to be attended to in all other species of grouses, as it may in time afford a distinguishing character for a division in this great genus; the ptarmigan, or T. Lagopus, Linn. is without these teeth.

IV. Columbae. Columbine. Faun. Am. Sept.

7. Columba, Pigeon. 19. Migratoria. 285. 36. Migratory Pigeon. [Passenger Pigeon]. Catesb. I. 23. Kalm II. p. 82, t. Passenger Pigeon, Faun. Am. Sept. II. Severn River, No 63. Wood-Pigeon.

These pigeons are very scarce so far northward as Severn River, but abound near Moose-fort, and further inland to the southward. Their common food are berries and juniper buds in winter; they fly about in great flocks, and are reckoned good eating. This account is confirmed by Kalm in his travels (English edition) Vol. II. p. 82 and 311. They hatch only two eggs at a time, and their nests are built in trees. Their eyes are small and black, the irides yellow, the feet red: the neck finely glossed with purple, brighter in the male. They weigh 9 ounces.

V. Passeres. Passerine. Faun. Am. Sept.

8. Alauda. Lark. 20. Alpestris. 289. 10. Klein, Hist. of Birds, 4to, p. 73. Shore Lark. [Horned Lark] Faun. Am. Sept. 12. Catesb. I. 32.

Albany Fort, No 6.

This species is indifferently described by Linneus, who says that all the tail-feathers on their inner web are white, (rectricibus dimidio interiore albis); though it does not appear that he saw a specimen of it himself. Both the quill and tail-feathers are dusky, and in both the outermost feather only has a white exterior margin. The coverts of the tail are of a pale ferruginous colour, and two of them are nearly as long as the tail itself. The scapulars are ferruginous; in the male, the head and whole back have a tinge of the same colour, marked with dusky streaks; in the female, the back is grey, and the dusky stripes of a darker hue. The crown of the head is black in the male, dusky in the female; the forehead is yellow, the bill and feet are black, the belly of a dirty reddish white. These larks are migratory, they visit the environs of Albany Fort in the beginning of May, but go further northward to breed: they feed on grass-seeds, and buds of the sprig-birch; run into small holes, and keep close to the ground, from whence the natives give them the name of Chi-chup-pi-sue.

9. Turdus. Thrush. 21. Migratorius, 292. 6. American Thrush. Fieldfare. [American Robin]. Kalm I. p. 90. Faun. Am. Sept. II. Catesby I. 29.

Severn River, No 59. Albany Fort, 7, 8, 9.

The descriptions of these birds in various authors coincide with the

specimens; at Severn River they appear at the beginning of May, and leave the environs before the frost sets in. At Moose Fort, in the north latitude 51o. they build their nest, lay their eggs, and hatch their young in the space of fourteen days; but at York fort and Severn settlement this is done in 26 days: they build their nests in trees, lay four beautiful light-blue eggs, feed on worms and carrion: when at liberty they sing very prettily, but confined in a cage, they lose their melody. There is no material distinction between the male and female. Their weight is 2 1/4 ounces, the length 9 inches,39 and the breadth 1 foot; they are called red birds at Hudson's Bay; their Indian name is Pee-pee-chue.

Turdus, 22. [Rusty Blackbird].

Severn River, No 54 and 55, male and female.

From the striking similarity with our blackbird, the English at Hudson's Bay have given this bird the same name. However, upon a close examination, I find the difference very great between our European blackbird, and the Hudson's Bay or American one. The plumage of the male, instead of being deep black without any gloss, as in ours, has a shining purple cast, not unlike the plumage of the Gracula Quiscula, Linn. or shining Gracule, Faun. Am. Sept.; or the Maize thief, of Kalm. The female indeed is very like our female blackbird, being of a dusky colour on the back, and a dark grey on the breast. The feet and bill are quite black in both sexes; the former have the back claw almost as long again as any of the other claws. There are no vestiges of yellow palpebrae in either the male or the female; the bill in both is strong, smooth, and subulated; the upper mandible being carinated, but very little arched, and without any tooth or indenture whatever, on the lower side. The nostrils are as in other thrushes. This bird has no bristles at the base of its bill, its feet have such segments as Scopoli in the Annus I. Historico-Naturalis attributes to the stares. Instead of being solitary and living retired like the European blackbirds, these American ones come in flocks to Severn River in June, live among the willows, build in all kinds of trees, and return to the southward in autumn. They feed on worms and maggots; their weight is 2 1/4 ounces, and they are nine inches long, and one foot broad. One that was kept twelve months in a cage pined away, and died. Notwithstanding these circumstances, I cannot help remaining undetermined with regard to this bird, which at first sight is like the blackbird, has the bill of a thrush, and the feet and gregarious nature of a stare. It is to be hoped, that future accounts from Hudson's Bay may inform us further, of the nature of this bird, its time of incubation, the number of eggs it lays, and the colour of those eggs, together with the note of the bird, the difference and characteristick marks of both the male and female, and other circumstances, which may serve to determine to what genus and species we are to refer this bird.

10. Loxia, Grosbeak. 23. Curvirostra, 299. I. Crossbill. [Red Crossbill]. Br. Zool. Faun. Am. Sept. 11. The small variety.

Severn River, No 27 and 28.

This bird comes to Severn River the latter end of May, breeds more to the northward, and returns in autumn, in its way to the south, departing at the setting in of the frost. The irides in the male are of a beautiful red, in the female yellow: the weight is said to be 10 ounces (probably by mistake for 1 ounce, as it is impossible so small a bird should weigh more), the length is 6 inches, the breadth 10.

24. Enucleator, 299. 3. Pine Grosbeak. Br. Zool. and Faun. Am. Sept. Edw. 123, 124. Pl. enl. 135, f. 1.

Severn River, No 29, 30.

It answers to the descriptions and figures of the ornithologists pretty well; only Edwards's female has the red too bright, which is rather orange in our specimen, on the head, neck, and coverts of the tail. This bird only visits the Hudson's Bay settlements in May, on its way to the north, and is not observed to return in autumn; its food consists of birch-willow buds, and others of the same nature; it weighs 2 ounces, is 9 inches long, and 13 broad.

11. Emberiza. Bunting. 25. Nivalis. 308. I. Greater Brambling, Br. Zool. Snowbird, Snowflake, ibid. Snow-bunting. Faun. Am. Sept. II.

Severn River, No 24-26.

The bird, in summer dress, corresponds exactly with the description of the greater brambling, Br. Zool. The description of the snowflake, or the same bird in winter dress, ibid. vol. IV p. 19 is somewhat different, perhaps owing to the different seasons the birds were caught in, as it is well known they change their colour gradually. They are the first of the migratory birds, which come in spring to Severn settlement; in the year 1771 they appeared April the 11th, stayed about a month or five weeks, and then proceeded further northward in order to breed there; they return in September, stay till the cold grows severe in November, then retire southward to a warmer climate. They live in flocks, feed on grass-seeds, and about the dunghills, are easily caught under a small net, some oatmeal being strewed under it to allure them; they are very fat, and fine eating. The weight is 1 ounce and 5 drams, the length 6 1/2 inches, and the breadth 10 inches.

Emb[e]riza 26. Leucophrys. New Species. White-crowned Bunting. [White-crowned Sparrow].

Severn River, No 50. Albany Fort, 10.

This elegant little species of Bunting is called a hedge sparrow at Hudson's Bay, and has not hitherto been described. It visits Severn settlement in June, and feeds on grass-seeds, little worms, grubs, &c. It weighs 3/4 of an ounce, and is 7 1/2 inches long, and 9 inches broad; the bill and legs are flesh-coloured; the male is not materially different from the female, its nests are built in the bottom of willow bushes, it lays three eggs of a chocolate colour. It visits Albany Fort in May, breeds there, and leaves it in September.

Fringilla, Finch. 27. Lapponica. 317. I. [possibly Hoary Redpoll]. Faun. Suec. 235.

Severn River, No 52.

It is called Tecurmashish, by the natives at Hudson's Bay. The description in Linneus's Fauna Suecica concides exactly with the specimen; that in his System answers very nearly: Mr. Brissons's description (though he quotes Linneus, and Linneus quotes him) is widely different. The specimen sent over is a female; the males have more of the ferruginous colour on the head; the eyes are blue, the legs dark brown. It is only a winter inhabitant near Severn river, appears not before November, and is commonly found among the juniper trees; it weighs 1/2 of an ounce, its length is 5 inches, and its breadth 7.

Fringilla. 28. Linaria. 322. 29. Lesser red headed Linnet. [Common Redpoll].

Br. Zool.

Severn River, No 23.

The descriptions of Linneus, Brisson, and the British Zoology, answer perfectly well. The figure in Planche enluminée 151. f. 2. has a quite ferruginous back contrary to all the descriptions and the specimen before us, in which all the feathers on the back are dusky, edged with dirty white.

29. Montana, 324. 37. Mountain Sparrow, Tree Sparrow [American Tree Sparrow].

Br. Zool. Edw. 269. Brisson III. p. 79. Faun. Am. Sept.

Severn River, No 20.

This seems to be a variety, as its tail is rather longer than usual, and forked; it answers nearly to the descriptions given by the ornithologists, and seems to be a female, as it has no black under the throat and eyes, and no white collar. The bill and legs are black, the eyes blue. At Severn settlement it arrives in May, goes to breed further northwards, and returns in autumn: the weight is 1/4 of an ounce, the length 6 1/4 inches, and breadth 10. I was inclined to make this bird a new species, on account of the many differences between it and the mountain sparrow; but considering the specimen sent over was not in the best order, and might be a female, I thought it best to leave it where it is, till we are better informed.

Fringilla. 30. Hudsonias. New Specimen. [Slate-colored Junco]

Severn River, No 18.

This is certainly a nondescript species; it only visits Severn settlement in summer, not being seen there before June, when it stays about a fortnight, goes further to the northward to breed, and passes by Severn again in autumn on its return south. It is very difficult to procure, and therefore it could not be determined whether the specimen was a male or female. It frequents the plains, and lives on grass-seeds; it weighs 1/2 an ounce, is 6 1/4 inches long,56 and 9 inches broad: it has a small blue eye, and a whitish bill faintly tinged with red; the whole body is blackish, or of a foot colour, the belly alone with the two outermost tail feathers on each side being white. It is to be wished that more specimens and circumstantial accounts of this bird were sent over, which would enable us to determine its character with more precision.

Muscicapa, Flycatcher. 31. Striata. New Species, Striped Flycatcher. [Blackpoll Warbler]

Severn River, No 48 and 49. Male and Female.

This species visits Severn River only in summer, feeding on grass-seeds, etc.; it weighs half an ounce, is 5 inches long, and seven broad; the male is widely different from the female: this species is entirely nondescript.

14. Motacilla, Wagtail. 32. Calendula. 337. 47. Ruby-crowned Wren. [Ruby

crowned Kinglet.] Edw. 254. Faun. Am. Sept.

(The number belonging to this bird is lost; however, it is most probably that sent from Severn river, No 53.)

It answers to the descriptions and the figure of Edwards; its weight is 4 drams, its length 4 inches, and its breadth 5. It migrates, feeds on grass-seeds and the like, and breeds in the plains; the number of eggs is not known.

15. Parus, Titmouse. 33. Atricapillus. 341. 6. Black Cap Titmouse [Black-capped Chickadee.]

Albany Fort, No 11.

The description given by Linneus answers, and so does M. Busson's in most particulars, except that the quill-feathers are not white on the inside. These birds stay at Albany Fort all the year, yet seem most numerous in the coldest weather; probably being then more in want of food, they come nearer the settlements, in order to pick up all remnants. They feed on flies and small maggots, and likewise on the buds of the sprig-birch, in which they perhaps only search for insects; they make a twittering noise, from which the native call them Kish-kiss-ke-shish.

Parus. 34. Hudsonicus. New Species. Hudson's Bay Titmouse. [Boreal Chickadee].

Severn River, No 12.

This new species of titmouse, is called Peeche-ke-ke-shish, by the natives. They are common about the juniper bushes, of which the buds are their food; in winter they fly about from tree to tree in small flocks, the severest weather not excepted. They breed about the settlements, and lay 5 eggs; they have small eyes, with a white streak under them, and black legs: the male and female are quite alike; they weigh half an ounce, are 5 1/8 inches long, and 7 inches broad.

Hirundo, Swallow. 35. [Barn Swallow nest beneath the windows; Cliff Swallow or Bank Swallow along the river banks]

Severn River, No 58.

The swallows build under the windows, and on the face of steep banks of the river, they disappear in autumn; and the Indians say they were never found torpid under water, probably because they have no large nets to fish with under the ice. The specimen sent answers in some particulars to the description of the Martin, Hirundo Urbica, Linn. but seems to be smaller, and has no white on the rump. I have, therefore, thought it best to leave the species undetermined, till further informations are received from Hudson's Bay, on this subject.

2. Water-birds. VI. Grallae, Clovenfooted. Faun. Am. Sept.

17. Ardea, Heron. 36. Canadensis. 234. 3. Edw. 133. Canada Crane. [Sandhill Crane]. Faun. Am. Sept. 14.

Severn River, No 35.

Blue Crane. The account from Severn settlement says, there is no material difference between the male and female; however, the specimen sent over, I take to be a female, as its plumage is in general duller than that figured by Edwards, and as the last row of white coverts of the wing are wanting. These cranes arrive near Severn in May, have only two young at a time, retire southward in autumn; frequent lakes and ponds, and feed on fish, worms, &c. They weigh seven pounds and a half, are 3 1/4 feet long, and 3 feet 5 inches broad; the bill is 4 inches long, the legs 7 inches, but the leg and thigh 19.

Ardea. 37. Americana. 234. 5. Hooping Crane. [Whooping Crane]. Edw. 132. Catesby, I. 75. Faun. Am. Sept. 14.

York Fort.

Edwards's figure is very exact; Catesby's is not so good, as it represents the bill too thick towards the point.

38. Stellaris, 239. 21. Varietas. The Bittern. [American Bittern]. Br. Zool. Edw. 136. Faun. Am. Sept. pag. 14.

Severn River, No 14.

At first sight, I thought the specimen sent from Hudson's Bay, was a young bird; but upon nearer examination and comparing it with Mr. Edwards's account and figure, I take it to be a variety of the common bittern peculiar to North America; it is smaller, but upon the whole very much resembles our bittern. Mr. Edwards's measurements and drawings correspond very well with the specimen.

This bird appears at Severn river the latter end of May, lives chiefly among the swamps and willows, where it builds its nest, and lays only two eggs at a time; it is very indolent, and, when roused, removes only to a short distance.

18. Scolopax, Woodcock. 39. Totanus. 245. 12. Spotted Woodcock. [c.f. Greater Yellowlegs and/or Lesser Yellowlegs] 70 Faun. Am. Sept. 14.

Albany Fort, No 16.

This bird is called a yellow leg at Albany fort, from the bright yellow colour of the legs, especially in old birds; a circumstance, in which it varies from the descriptions of Linneus and Brisson, probably because they described from dried specimens, in which the yellow colour always changes into brown. It agrees in other respects perfectly well with the descriptions: it comes to Albany fort in April or beginning of May, and leaves it the latter end of September. It feeds on small shell fish, worms, and maggots; and frequents the banks of rivers, swamps, &c. It is called by the natives Sa-sashew, from the noise it makes.

Scolopax. 40. Lapponica. 246. 15. Red Godwit. [Hudsonian Godwit]. Br. Zool. Faun. Am. Sept. 14. Ed. 138.

Churchill River, No 13.

Linneus describes this bird very exactly in his Systema Naturae: the middle of the belly has no white in the Society's specimen, as that had from which the description in the Br. Zool. octavo I. p. 353, 354, was taken. All the other characters correspond.

Scolopax. 41. Borealis. New Species. Eskimaux Curlew. [Eskimo Curlew]. Faun. Am. Sept, 14.

Albany Fort, No 15.

This species of Curlew, is not yet known to the ornithologists; the first mention is made of it in the Faunula Americae Septentrionalis, or catalogue of North American animals. It is called Wee-kee-me-nase-su, by the natives; feeds on swamps, worms, grubs, &c; visits Albany Fort in April or the beginning of May; breeds to the northward of it, returns in August, and goes away southward again the latter end of September.

19. Tringa, Sandpiper. 42. Interpres. 248. 4. Turnstone. [Ruddy Turnstone]. Edw. 141. Faun. Sept. 14.

Severn River, No 31 and 32.

This species is well described by the ornithologists; its weight is 3 1/2 ounces, the length 8 3/4 inches, and the breadth 17 inches; it has four young at a time; its eyes are black, and the feet of a bright orange: this bird frequents the sides of the river.

43. Helvetica. 250. 12. [Black-bellied Plover] Brisson, Av. V. p. 106. t. 10. f. 2.

(The number was lost, perhaps it is No 17, from Fort Albany, upon that supposition the account is as follows: "the natives call it Waw-pusk-abreashish, or white bear bird; it feeds on berries, insects, grubs, worms, and small shell-fish; visits and leaves Albany fort at the same time with the Scolopax Totanus, and Borealis.")

I find this bird answers very well to its description; the throat, breast, and upper part of the belly are blackish, as in the descriptions, but mixed with white lunulated spots, which are neither described nor expressed in Mr. Busson's figure, and may be owing to the differences of sex, or climate.

VII. Anseres. Web-footed. Faun. Am. Sept.

29. Anas, Duck. 44. Marila. 196. 8. Scaup Duck. Br. Zool. Faun. Am. Sept. 17.

Severn River, No 44 and 45. Fishing Ducks.

Linneus's description, and the figure in the Br. Zoology, folio, plate Q. p. 153, agree perfectly well with the specimens. The female, as Linneus observes, is quite brown, the breast and upper part of the back being of a glossy reddish brown; the speculum of the wing and the belly are white. The eyes of the male have very bright yellow irides; those of the female are of a faint dirty yellow. The female is two ounces heavier than the male, which weighs one pound and an half, is 161/2 inches long, and 20 inches broad.

Anas. 45. Nivalis. Snow Goose. Faun. Am. Sept. p. 16. Lawson's Carolina. Anser niveus Briss. VI. 288. Klein. Anser nivis. Schwenkfeld, Marsigli. Danub. p., 802. t. 49.

Severn River, No 40, and a young one, No 41. white Goose.

These white geese are very numerous at Hudson's Bay, many thousands being annually killed with the gun, for the use of the settlements. They are usually shot whilst on the wing, the Indians being very expert at that exercise, which they learn from their youth; they weigh five or six pounds, are 2 2/3 feet long and 3 1/2 broad; their eyes are black, the irides small and red, the legs likewise red; they feed along the sea, and are fine eating; their young are bluish grey, and do not attain a perfect whiteness till they are a year old. They visit Severn river first in the middle of May, on their journey northward, where they breed; return in the beginning of September, with their young, staying at Severn settlement about a fortnight each time.

The Indian name is Way-way, at Churchill river. Linneus has not taken notice of this species.

Anas. 46. Canadensis. 198. 14. Canada Goose. [Hutchins' Goose] Faun. Am. Sept. 16. Edw. 151. Catesby I. 92, &c.

Severn River, No 42.

The Canada Geese are very plentiful at Hudson's Bay, great quantities of them are salted, but they have a fishy taste. The specimen sent over agrees perfectly with the descriptions and drawings. At Hudson's Bay this species is called the Small Grey Goose.

Besides this, and the preceding white goose, Mr. Graham, the gentleman who sent the account from Severn settlement, mentions three other species of wild geese to be met with at Hudson's Bay; he calls them,

1. The large Grey Goose. [a larger subspecies of the Canada Goose].
2. The Blue Goose. [blue phase Snow Goose].
3. The Laughing Goose. [Greater White-fronted Goose].

The first of these, the large grey goose, he says, is so common in England, that he thought it unnecessary to send specimens of it over. It is however presumed, that though Mr. Graham has shown himself a careful observer, and an indefatigable collector; yet, not being a naturalist, he could not enter into any minute examination about the species to which each goose belongs, nor from mere recollection know, that his grey goose was actually to be met with in England. A natural historian, by examination, often finds material differences, which would escape a person unacquainted with natural history.83 The wish, therefore, of seeing the specimens of these species of geese, must occur to every lover of that science. Mr. Graham says, the large grey geese are the only species that breed about Severn river. They frequent the plains and swamps along the coast. Their weight is nine pounds.

The blue goose is as big as the white goose; and the laughing goose is the size of the Canada or small grey goose. These two last species are very common along Hudson's Bay to the southward, but very rare to the northward of Severn river. The Indians have a peculiar method of killing all these species of geese, and likewise swans. As these birds fly regularly along the marshes, the Indians range themselves in a line across the marsh, from the wood to high water mark, about musket shot from each other, so as to be sure of intercepting any geese which fly that way. Each person conceals himself, by putting round him some brush wood; they likewise make artificial geese of sticks and mud, placing them at a short distance from themselves, in order to decoy the real geese within shot: thus prepared, as soon as the flock approaches, they all lie down, imitating the call or note of geese, which these birds no sooner hear, and perceive the decoys, than they go straight down towards them; then the Indians rise on their knees, and discharge one, two or three guns each, killing two or even three geese at each shot, for they are very expert. Mr. Graham says, he has seen a row of Indians, by calling round a flock of geese, keep them hovering among them, till every one of the geese was killed. Every species of geese has its peculiar note or call, which must greatly increase the difficulty of enticing them.

Anas. 47. Albeola. 199. 18. The Red Duck. [c.f. Merganser]. Faun. Am. Sept. 17. Edw. t. 100. Sarcelle de la Louisiane. Brisson VI. t. 41. f. 1.

Severn River, No 37 and 38. Fishing Birds.

The descriptions and figures answer very well with the male, except that the three exterior feathers are not white on the outside, but all dusky.

The female is not described by any one of the ornithologists; and therefore deserves to be noticed, to prevent future mistakes. The whole bird is dusky, a few feathers on the forehead are rusty, and some about the ears of a dirty white; the breast is grey, the belly and speculum in the wings white; the bill and legs are black.

Anas. 48. Clangula. 201. 23. Golden Eye. [Common Goldeneye] Br. Zool. Faun. Am. Sept. 16.

Severn River, No 51.

These birds frequent lakes and ponds, and breed there: they eat fish and slime, and cannot rise off the dry land. The legs and irides are yellow; their weight is 2 3/5 pounds, and their measure 19 inches in length, and two feet in breadth. The specimen sent is the male.

Anas. 49. Perspicillata. 201. 25. Black Duck. [Surf Scoter]. Faun. Am. Sept. 16. Edw. 155.

Churchill River, No 14.

This species is exactly described, and well drawn by Edwards. The Indians call it She-ke-su-partem. It ought to come into the first division of Linneus's ducks, "rostro basi gibbo," as its bill is really very unequal at the base.

Anas. 50. Glacialis. 203. 30, and Hyemalis, 202. 29. Edw. t. 156. Swallow tail. [Long-tailed Duck]. Br. Zool. Faun. Am. Sept. 17.

Churchill River, No 12.

At Churchill River the Indians call this species, Har-har-vey,89 it corresponds with Edwards's description and drawing, plate 156, but differs much from Linneus's inexact description of the Anas Hyemalis, to which he, however, quotes Edwards. Upon the whole it is almost without a doubt that the bird represented by Edwards, plate 280, and Br. Zool. folio, plate Q. 7, and quoted by Linneus for his Anas glacialis, is the male, and that the bird figured by Edwards t. 156, and quoted by Linneus for the Anas Hyemalis, is the female, of one and the same species. Linneus mentions a white body (in his Anas hyemalis) which in Edw. Tab. 156, and in the Society's specimen, is all brown and dusky, except the belly, temples, a spot on the back of the head, and the sides of the rump, which are white. Linneus says, that the temples are black; in the specimen now sent over, and in Mr. Edwards's figure, which Linneus quotes, they are white; the breast, back, and wings, are not black as he says, but rather brown and dusky. A further proof, that Linneus's Anas Glacialis and Hyemalis are the same, is that the feet in both t. 156 and 280 of Edwards are red, and the bill black, with an orange spot.

Anas. 51. Crecca. 204. 33. Varietas. Teal. [Green-winged Teal]. Br. Zool. Faun. Am. Sept. 17.

Severn River, No 33, 34. Male and female.

This is a variety of the teal, for it wants the two white streaks above and below the eyes; the lower one indeed is faintly expressed in the male, which has also a lunated bar of white over each shoulder; this is not to be found in the European teal. This species is not very plentiful near Severn river; they live in the woods and plains near little ponds of water, and have from five to seven young at a time.

Anas. 52. Histrionica. 204. 35. Harlequin Duck. Faun. Am. Sept. 16. Edw. t. 99.

This bird had no number fixed to it; it agrees perfectly with Edwards's figure.

Anas. 53. Boschas. 205. 40. Mallard Drake. [Mallard]. Faun. Am. Sept. Br. Zool.

Severn River, No 39.

It is called Stock Drake at Hudson's Bay, and corresponds in every respect with the European one, upon comparison.

21. Pelecanus, Pelican. 54. Onocrotalus. 251. 1. A variety. [American White Pelican]

This variety of the pelecan, agrees in every particular with Linneus's oriental pelecan (Pelecanus onocrotalis orientalis), but has a peculiar tuft or fringe of fibres in the middle of the upper mandible, something nearer the apex than the base. This tuft has not been mentioned by any author, and is likewise wanting in Edwards's pelican, t. 92. with which the Society's specimen corresponds in every other circumstance. The P. Onocrotalus occidentalis, Linn. or Edw. t. 93 American pelican [Brown Pelican], is very different from it : the chief differences are the colour, which in our Hudson's Bay bird is white, but in Edwards's is of a greyish brown; and the size, which in the white bird is almost double of the brown one. The quill-feathers are black, and the shafts of the larger ones white. The Alula, or bastard wing, is black. The bill and legs are yellow.

22. Colymbus, Diver. 55. Glacialis. 221. 5. Northern Diver. [Common Loon]. Br. Zool. Faun. Am. Sept. 16.

Churchill River, No 8. Called a Loon there.

This bird is well described and drawn in the British Zoology, in folio.

56. Auritus, a 222. 8. Edw. 145. Eared Grebe. [Horned Grebe]. Faun. Am. Sept. 15.

Severn River, No 43.

This is exactly the bird drawn by Edwards, t. 145. The specimen sent over is a female. It differs much from our lesser crested Grebe. Br. Zool. octavo I. p. 396, and Br. Zool. illustr. plate 77. fig. 2. and Ed. 96. fig. 2. However, in both these works, it is looked on only as a variety, or different in sex. Mr. Graham has the same opinion.

It lives on fish, frequenting the lakes near the sea coast. It lays its eggs in water, and cannot rise off dry land. It is seen about the beginning of June, but migrates southward in autumn. It is called Sekeep, by the natives. its eyes are small, the irides red; it weighs one pound, and measures one foot in length, and one third more in breadth.

Larus, Gull. 57. Parasiticus. 226. 10. Arctic Gull. [Parasitic Jaeger] Br. Zool. Faun. Am. Sept. 16. Edw. 148. 149.

Churchill River, No 15.

This species is called a Man of War, at Hudson's Bay. It seems to be a female, by the dirty white colour of its plumage below; it agrees very well with Edwards's drawing, and that in the Br. Zool. illustr.

24. Sterna, Tern. 58. Hirundo (Variety), 227. 2. The greater Tern. [?Arctic Tern]. Br. Zool. Faun. Am. Sept.

(The number belonging to this bird is lost, perhaps it is No 17, from Churchill River, called "A sort of Gull, called Egg-breakers, by the natives.")

The feet are black; the tail is shorter and much less forked than that described and drawn in the Br. Zool. The outermost tail-feather likewise wants the black, which that in the British Zoology has. In other respects it is the same.

Descriptiones Avium Rariorum

e Sinu Hudsonis.

1. Falco sacer.

Falco, cera pedibusque coeruleis, corpore, remigibus rectricibusque fuscis, fasciis pallidis; capite, pectore & abdomine albis, maculis longitudinalibus fuscis.

Habitat ad sinum Hudsonis et in reliqua America Septentrionali; victitat Lagopodibus & Tetraonum speciebus.

Descr. Magnitude Corvi.
Rostrum, cera, pedes coerulea; rostrum breve, curvum, coeruleo-atrum; mandibula utraque, basi pallide coerulea, apice nigrescente, utraque emarginata.
Caput tedium pennis albidis, maculis longitudinalibus, fuscis.
Oculi magni; irides flavae.
Gula alba, fusco-maculata.
Dorsum et tectrices alarum, plumis fuscis, ferrugineo-pallide marginatis, maculatisque, maculis rachin non attingentibus.
Pefius, venter, crissum, tectrices alarum inferiores, & femora alba, maculis longitudinalibus nigro-fuscis.
Remiges fusco-nigri, viginti duo; primores apicibus margine albis, maculis ferrugineo-pallidis, intra majoribus, transversis, extra minoribus, rotundatis.
Rectrices duodecim, supra fuscae, fasciis circiter duodecim & apice albidis; infra cinereae, fasciis albidis.

2. Strix nebulosa.

Strix capite laevi, corpore fusco, albido undulatim striato, remige sexto longiore, apice nigricante.

Habitat circa Sinum Hudsonis, victitat Leporibus, Lagopodibus, Muribusque.

Descr. Rostrum fusco-flavum, mandibula superiore superius magis flava.
Oculi magni, iridibus flavis.
Caput facie cinerea, e pennis fusco et pallide cinereo alternatim striatis. Pone hasce pennas collum versus est ordo plumularum fuscarum ad utramque genam, semicirculum nigrum efficiens.
Occiput, cervix, et collum fusca, pennis, marginibus albo-maculatis.
Pectus albidum, maculis longitudinalibus transversisque fuscis.
Abdemen album, superius uti pectus maculis longitudinalibus, sed inferius striis transversis notatum.
Dorsum totum et teclrices alae, caudaeque confertim ex fusco & albido undulatostriatae.
Alae fuscae; remiges primores fusci, griseo transversim fasciati, fasciis latis nebulosis.
Remex sextus, reliquis longior, apice magis nigricans; primus vero reliquis primoribus brevior. Remiges reliqui pallidiores, obscurius fasciati.
Cauda rotundata, reflricibus duodecim: duae intermediae paullo longiores, totae cinerascente albido fuscoque undulatim striatae, lineis duplicatis fuscis transversis pluribus. Reftrices reliquae fuscae albido substriatae.
Pedes tecti pennis albidis fusco-striatis.
Magnitude fere Strigis Nycteae, Linn.
Longitudo unciarum 16 pedis Anglicani.
Latitude pedum quatuor.
Pondus librarum trium.

3. Tetrao phasianellus.

Linn. Ed. X. p. 160. n. 5.

Tetrao pedibus hirsutis, cauda cuneiformi, remigibus nigris, exterius albo-maculatis.

Habitat ad Sinum Hudsonis.

Descr. Magnitude fere Tetraonis Tetricis. Linn.
Rostrum nigrum.
Oculorum irides avellaneae.
Caput, collum & dorsum testacea, nigro transversim fasciata : macula albida interrostrum et oculos : latera colli notata maculis rotundatis albidis.
Dorsum testaceum, plumis omnibus late nigro-fasciatis.
Uropygium magis albido-cinereum, nigredine fimbriata secundum rachin plumarum.
Pectus & Venter albida, maculis cordatis fusco-testaceis in ventre saturatioribus.
Alarum tectrices dilute testaceo, nigro, alboque transversim fasciatae, maculis pluribus rotundis albis. Remiges primores nigri, latere exteriore albo-maculati; secundarii fusci, apice & ad marginem exteriorem albo subfasciati: postremi vero testaceo fasciati, apice tantum albi.
Rectrices breves, exteriores pallide fuscae, apice albae, duae intermedia reliquis longiores, testaceo-maculatae.
Pedes plumis albo-griseis vesti digitis pectinatis.
Longitude unciarum 16 pedis Anglicani.
Latitude pedum duorum.

4. Emberiza leucophrys.

Emberiza remigibus rectricibusque fuscis, capite nigro, fascia verticis, superciliisque niveis.

Habitat in America Boreali ad Sinum Hudsonis.

Descr. Magnitude circiter fringillcs coelibis.
Rostrum rubrum, s. carnei coloris : Nares subrotundae.
Caput fascia verticali lata Candida, paululum ante rostrum desinente; fascia atra lata lata ad utrumque latus fasciae albae. Supercilia alba, desinentia in lineas, fasciam albam verticalem adtingentes; arcus dein atri, ex angulis oculorum, fere in occipite confluentes.
Collum cinerascens, in pectore dilutius.
Dorsum ferrugineo-fuscum, marginibus plumularum cinereis.
Alae fuscae; remigum primorum margines exteriores tenuissimi pallidi, interiores cinerascentes : secundarii & pennae tectrices fuscae, marginibus latiusculis, versus apicem albis, efficientibus fasciam albam; super quam fascia altera alba ex maculis albis in apice tectricum minorum, s. plumarum scapularium. Alulae albae. Remiges subtus cinerei, marginibus albis.
Pectus cinereum, abdomen dilutius, fere album.
Crissum & plumulae femora tegentes lutes centia.
Uropygium cinereo-fuscum.
Cauda aequalis; rectrices duodecim fuscae, marginibus paullo pallidioribus, subtus cinereae.
Pedes carnei coloris, digito intermedio & ungue postico reliquis longioribus. Longitude unciarum 7 pedis Anglicani.
Latitude inter alas extensas 9 unciarum pedis Anglicani.
Cauda partem tertiam longitudinis totius aviculae efficit.
Alae complicatae paululum ultra caudae exortum protenduntur.
Pondus drachmarum sex.

5. Fringilla Hudsonias.

Fringilla fusco-cinerascens, rostro albido, pectore inferiore, abdomine, rectricibusque quatuor extremis albis.

Habitat in America Boreali.

Descr. Magnitude circiter fringillae carduelis.
Rostrum albidum, rubedine aliqua imbutum.
Oculi parvi, coerulei.
Corpus totum cinereo-nigricans, s. potius fuliginosum.
Pectus inferius & abdomen alba.
Remiges fusci, cinereo-marginati: alae complicatae mediam fere caudam adtingunt.
Rectrices fuscae, extimae utrinque duae totae albae, tertia fusca, macula oblonga alba, ad latus interius, prope rachin, apicem attingens; reliquae totae fuscae.
Pondus semunciae.
Longitude unciarum 6 1/4 pedis Anglicani.
Latitude unciarum novem.

6. Muscicapa striata.

Muscicapa cinereo-virens, dorso nigro striato, subtus flavescenti-alba, gula lateribusque pedloris fusco maculatis.

Habitat ad Sinum Hudsonis.

Quum mas a foemina multum differat, utique congruum est, utrumque sexum separatim describere.

Descr. Mas.
Rostrum trigonum, mandibu superiore paululum longiore, ante apicem leviter emarginata, nigra; inferiore basi flavescente.
Nares subrotundae.
Vibrissce nigrae.
Caput supra totum atrum ad oculos usque. Genee a rostro in occiput totae albae; occiput albo & nigro variegatum.
Gula flavescenti-alba maculis fuscis.
Pectus albidum, lateribus, sive versus occiput maculis nigris variegatum.
Dorsum cinereo-virens, striis sive maculis longitudinalibus nigris latioribus, e plumulis nigris, margine virentibus.
Abdomen album.
Uropygium cinereum, nigro-maculatum.
Alae fuscae; remiges primores pallido marginati, secundarii apice tenuissimo albo; duae ultimae margine exteriore albo; tectrices fuscae, majores flavescenti albo, minores candido in apice maculatae, unde fasciae albae binae in alis.
Cauda fusca; rectrix utrinque prima s. extima, latere interiore macula magna alba, marginem interiorem attingente; proxima s. secunda macula oblonga minore alba, etiam marginem interiorem attingente; utrinque tertia, latere interiore versus apicem albo-marginata.
Pedes lutei; ungues breves, pallide fusci.
Magnitude circiter Pari atricapilli; Linn.
Longitudo 5 unciarum.
Latitude 7 unciarum pedis Anglicani.
Rostrum, alae, cauda, abdomen, uropygium, pedes & mensurae ut in mare.
Caput flavo-virens, striis brevibus tenuibusque longitudinalibus nigris; linea flavissimaa basi rostri incipiens super oculos ducta; palpebrae flavae.
Gula, genae & pectus albido-flava; maculae sparsae oblongiusculae fuscae, ab utroque oris angulo usque in pectoris latera.
Dorsum, ut in mare, sed viridius, & striae nigrae minores.

7. Parus Hudsonicus.

Parus capite fusco-rubescente, dorso cinereo, jugulo atro, fascia suboculari, pectoreque albis, hypochondriis runs.

Habitat ad Sinum Hudsonis.
Descr. Rostrum subulatum, integerrimum, atrum, basi e regione narium tectum fasciculis setarum ferruginearum, lineas 4 (unciae pedis Anglicani) longum. Caput fusco-ferrugineum, fascia sub oculis alba; gula atra, nigredine extensa sub hac fascia alba.
Dorsum cinereo-virens, e plumis longioribus, fuscis, apice tantum cinereo-viren
tibus, s. olivaceis.
Pectus & Abdomen alba, sed plumae omnes basi nigrae, apice tantum albae.
Latera abdominis & lumbi ferruginei.
Alae fuscae, remigum margine omni cinereo.
Cauda fusca, rotundata, rectricibus 12, margine cinereis.
Uropygium tectum plumulis aliquot nigris, apice albido-rufis.
Pedes nigri; digitus posticus cum ungue anticorum digitorum medio, duplo longior.
Longitudo unciarum 5 1/8 pedis Anglicani.
Latitude unciarum 7.
Cauda uncias 2 1/2 longa.

8. Scolopax borealis.

Scolopax rostro arcuato, pedibusque nigris, corpore fusco, griseo-maculato, subtus ochroleuco.

Habitat in Sinus Hudsonis inundatis, & pratis humidis, victitans vermibus & insectis : mense Aprili vel initio Maii primum visa est, circa Castellum Albany, inde in terras magis arcticas migrat, ibique nidificat; redit ad idem castellum mense Augusto; regiones Australiores petit circa finem Septembris.

Affinis scolopace arquata Linn. sed differt corpore triplo minore, rostro ratione corporis breviore, colore in dorso saturate fusco, in abdomine ochroleuco.

Descr. Caput pallidum, lineolis confertis longitudinalibus fuscis: sinciput saturate fuscum, pallido maculatum.
Rostrum nigricans, arcuatum, longitudine duarum unciarum pedis Anglicani, mandibula inferiore basi rufa.
Collum, pectus, abdomen & crissum ochroleuca; pectore colloque lineolis longitudinalibus fuscis confertioribus, abdomine & crisso fere nullis, vel tenuibus notatis.
Femora semi-tecta plumulis ochroleucis, fusco maculatis.
Latera abdominis sub alis praesertim, rufa, pennis transversim fusco fasciatis.
Dorsum totum saturate fuscum, pennis margine albido griseis.
Alae fuscae; remiges primores immaculati, primores rachi tota alba; reliqui, s. secundarii pallide griseo-marginati. Tectrices late griseo-marginati. Tectrices inferiores alae, ferrugineae fusco transversim fasciatae. Alae complicatae fere mediam caudam attingunt.
Uropygium fuscum, marginibus maculisque pennarum albidis.
Cauda brevis, fusca, rectricibus albido transversim fasciatis.
Pedes nigri, s. coerulescentes.
Longitudo unciarum 13 1/2.
Latitudo circiter unciarum 21.

9. Anas nivalis.

Anas, rostro cylindrico, corpora albo, remigibus primoribus nigris.

Habitat in America Boreali, per Sinum Hudsonis migrans.

Descr. Corpus totum album, magnitudine anseris domestici nostratis.
Rostrum luteum, mandibulis subserratis.
Oculi iride rubra.
Remiges decem primores nigri, scapis albis : tectrices infimae cinereae, scapis nigris ; pennae duae alulae, itidem cinereae, scapis nigris.
Pedes rubri.
Longitudo pedum duorum & unciarum ofto.
Latitude pedum 3 1/2.
Pondus librarum 5 vel 6.

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