16 November 2013

Canton, Mississippi - Terrific Rain and Wind-Storm

A terrific rain and wind-storm passed over this section the night of the 2d instant, blowing down trees, fences and some outhouses. Fortunately no harm was done to life. The storm came from a northeasterly direction, and lasted several hours. The next morning a large number of strange birds, some of them dead or wounded from being hurled against houses, trees and other obstacles, were found lying on the ground. Others, apparently uninjured, were captured. They certainly belong to the sea-fowl species, and resemble the penguin, though they are not so large. They are about the size of a common teal duck. They have a head like the game chicken, with a beak like the crow. their wings and legs are very short, and they have web feet. The feathers on their back and neck are dark green and black, while those on their breast are a brilliant, silvery gray. They have no tails, and many of them when found were sitting up erect or were walking or waddling slowly. Some of them, ostrich-like, tried to conceal themselves by burying their heads in the weeds or grass. None of them attempted to fly. As they are strangers to the ornithology of this locality, the supposition is they were caught up by the wind on the seacoast, miles away, and were wafted hitherward.

April 8, 1885. Memphis Daily Appeal 45(84): 2.