14 June 2012

A Monster Bird in California

Last Tuesday evening about seven o'clock, says the Winnemucca (Cal.) Register of August 9, the people in the lower town were startled by the sudden appearance of a huge monster we are at a lost to know whether to call fowl or beast, not-withstanding it had wings and could fly. It was certainly the biggest creature ever seen in this country with feathers. If a bird, it belongs to a giant species unknown to American ornithology. Our attention was first attracted by hearing some one sing out, "Holy Mother, see that cow with wings." We stepped to the door just in time to see the monster alight with something of a crash on the roof of Mrs. Collier's dwelling house, where it remained for several minutes taking a quiet survey of the land and the astonished multitude who stood gazing at that unexpected visitor. It could not have weighed less than seventy or one hundred lbs., with a pair of ponderous wings, which, when stretched out to the breeze, must have been fully twelve feet from tip to tip. Its color was that of a raven, with the exception that the tip of its wings and tail were white. An "old salt," who happened to get sight of the bird, thinks he must be a renegade member of the condor family. He says he has frequently met with such "critters" on the coast of South America.

Tuesday Evening would have been August 1, 1871.
September 15, 1871. Macon (Georgia) Telegraph and Messenger 6126): 2.