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

American Goldfinch

Capt. Lewis, June 8, 1805--we breakfasted and set out  about sunrise and continued our rout down rhte river bottoms through the mud and water as yesterday, tho' the road was somewhat better than yesterday and we were not so often compelled to wade in the river. we passed some dangerous and difficult bluffs. the river bottoms affording all the timber which is to be seen in the country they are filled with innumerable little birds that resort thither either for shelter of to build their nests. when sun began to shine today these birds appeared to be very gay and sung most inchantingly; I observed among them the brown thrush, Robbin, turtle dove linnit goaldfinch, the large and small blackbird wren and several other birds of less note, some of the inhabitants of the praries also take reffuge in these woods at night or from a storm. the whole of my party to a man except myself were fully pe[r]suaided that this river was the Missouri, but being fully if opinion that it was neither the main stream, nor that which it would be advisable for us to take, I determined to give it a name and in honour of Miss Maria W____d. caled it Maria's River.

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