10 July 2012

Another Mysterious Pacific Coast Bird

A nondescript bird was shot in Tacoma on Saturday, June 20th, by two ladies — Mrs. Harper, recently from Seattle, and Mrs. Emma Kauffman of Tacoma. The creature was only disabled by the shot, and the ladies, thinking it was an owl, bravely essayed to capture it; but it seems they woke up the Tartar. It sprang, kangaroo-like, upon the women and fastened its teeth in the arm of Mrs. Kauffman, and retained its hold until it was choked to death by their united efforts. The wound inflicted was quite severe and painful. This monstrosity measured from tip to tip of the wings, 5 feet 7½ inches; diameter of eye, 1⅜ inches; length of ears, 4½ inches; its feet and toes were each 1 foot 3 inches long, armed with six powerful talons. Its beak resembled that of a goose, except that it was pointed and filled with teeth, incisors and grinders. Mrs. Harper has taken this strange bird to San Francisco.

July 3, 1874. Sacramento Daily Union 47(7253): 4. From the Tacoma Tribune.