Wednesday, April 8, 2009

connecticut, where the woodpeckers live


Specimen of a "Lewis woodpecker"
[Asyndesmus lewis, collected Camp Chopunnish, Idaho, 1806]
Preserved skin and feathers
Courtesy of Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology, Boston (71)

The woodpecker displayed above may be the only specimen collected during the Lewis and Clark expedition to survive intact. Lewis first saw the bird on July 20, 1805, but did not get a specimen until the following spring at Camp Chopunnish on the Clearwater River in Idaho. Lewis's description of the bird's belly is still accurate when examining the specimen today: "a curious mixture of white and blood red which has much the appearance of having been artificially painted or stained of that colour."
We're in Connecticut til Easter, and hoping to see some birds and squirrels tomorrow.

{Woodpecker from here}

2 comments:

jane said...

why the dead bird?
See you soon.
Aunt Jane

abigail said...

I like the dead bird.