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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Journals Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

Ruffed Grouse

Capt. Lewis, Sept 20, 1805--[Saw] three species of Pheasants…a brown and yellow species that a goodeel resembles the phesant common to the Atlantic States.

Capt. Lewis, February 5, 1806--Filds brought with him a phesant which differed but little from those common to the Atlantic States; it’s brown is reather brighter and more of a redish tint. it has eighteen feathers in the tale of about six inches in length. this bird is also booted as low as the toes. the two tufts of long black feathers on each side of the neck most conspicuous in the male of those of the Atlantic states is also observable in every particular with this.

Capt. Lewis, March 3, 1806--The small brown pheasant is an inhabitant of the same country and is of the size and shape of the specled pheasant which it also resembles in it’s economy and habits. the stripe above the eye in this species is scarcely perceptable, and is when closely examined of a yellow or orrange colour instead of the vermillion of the outhers. it’s colour is an uniform mixture of dark and yellowish brown with a slight mixture of brownish white on the breast belley and the feathers underneath the tail. The whol compound is not unlike that of the common quail only darker. this is also booted to the toes. the flesh of this is preferable to either of the others and that of the breast is as white as the pheasant of the Atlantic coast.

Capt. Clark, March 3, 1806--The small Brown Pheasant is an inhabitant of the same country and is of the size and shape of the Speckled Pheasant, which it also resembles in it’s economy and habits, the stripe above the eye in this species is scarcely perceptable and is when closely examined of a yellow or orrange colour instead of the vermillion of the outhers. it’s colour is an uniform mixture of dark and yellowish brown with a slight mixture of brownish white on the breast belley and the feathers under the tail. The whole compound is not unlike that of the common quaile only darker. this is also booted to the toes. the flesh is tolerable and that of the breast is as white as the Pheasant of the Atlantic coast.

 
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