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The Philosophy of Despair By David Starr Jordan Characters: 30465

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02

During the past ten years, while the season was open on wild turkeys, I have made a rule to leave the gun at home and hunt the turkey with the "camera" instead.

On countless occasions I have sat on the bank of a beautiful creek in Alabama watching and waiting for these noble birds to appear and pose. Time and patience, that's what it takes; likewise to know the ways of the bird.

On one occasion I had found their great tracks on the sandbank, and, noting it as a favorite crossing, made an impromptu blind to mask the camera lest the birds get the least glimpse of it or myself. It took me over two months to get an opportunity for the picture which I secured at last one afternoon as the sun was getting low. I had been calling at intervals, and just when least expected, there they were, moving slowly but watchfully toward the creek and across the scope of the lens. My finger was quick to reach the button as they stepped to the sandy bank, and turned to note that no enemy lurked behind. The click of the shutter startled them but little, and they walked quietly away. I knew I had a good negative, as the late afternoon sun shone brightly on their gorgeous plumage, and they were barely fifteen feet from where I sat.

Not one man in a million has ever had the opportunity of viewing one of these birds in life in the woods at ten to fifteen feet-nor ever will, and to these I hope the photographs will be a pleasure; for to see a ten-year-old gobbler so near, when he is not frightened-and you without gun or other means to injure him-so you may enjoy the most majestic bird the eye of man ever rested on, is not only a feast for the eye, but a pleasant memory that will be with you forever.

In November, 1899, in Alabama, I began to hunt with the camera, and for six months-with the exception of one day only, on which a terrific storm raged-not a day passed that I was not after turkey pictures, sometimes not seeing one in two or three weeks, then again encountering twenty-five to forty in one day. I spoiled several hundred plates in this time, snapping at every chance that occurred. There is no possibility of a time exposure on such sensitive birds, and one twenty-fifth of a second is scarcely quick enough. Often the click of the shutter, so like the snap of a gun when missing fire, sent them whirling into the air or scattered them, pellmell, afoot. I have stalked and crawled to their scratching places and sat concealed with camera masked on an old log or in a hollow stump, till sundown; all day, and the next and the next.

I have made three or four exposures in a day, gone home, developed the negatives, and found nothing on them but shadows-taken in shade; but at other times there was the just reward when all the plates came out with every image "perfect." Then, again, it would rain almost daily for a month or two. Still I went, camera slung over my shoulder, covered with a rubber sheet, hoping for sunshine.

Once I discovered a bearded hen and tried five weeks to catch her with the lens, and never saw her but twice during that time. The next season I found her again in company with three other hens. I called them within ten or twelve feet. This time it had been sunlight all day, but just a minute before they came near enough a thin haze covered the sun. Still, I pressed the button and got a dim negative of her and of one of her playmates, and have not seen her since.

To successfully photograph wild turkeys the greatest care must be taken in having a blind perfectly natural in appearance. Once in the blind, do not move; never mind the wind; wild turkeys cannot smell you any farther than you can them, but they can outsee anything except the heron, crane, and hawk, and you must get within fifteen or twenty feet of them in the bright sunshine, or no picture. Find their scratching places and hide behind a log, or make a blind of brush and green leaves, etc. Be sure to hide all the camera save the disk of the lens, and they will see that nearly every time. I have had them discover the lens and approach within two feet and peer at it with curious wonder, whine and purr, until satisfied it would not harm them, then walk serenely away.

At times when I saw a flock or an individual feeding at a distance, I would take my call and invite them to advance, "stand up and look pleasant," and if in the humor they would often comply. I have a friend living in New Orleans with whom a hundred happy hours have been spent in the camp, wild woods, and along the stream, chiefly in quest of these noble fowls. He and I have exchanged letters once a week for the past quarter of a century. Of course I regale him with every new photograph taken of turkeys. One day I mailed him several that set him afire, and on a certain day friend Renaud came to me with his old 10-gauge which has served him thousands of times.

The next morning when day broke we sat on the crest of a pine ridge adjacent to the hummock bordering the "Big-bee" river swamps, over which the turkeys roosted at night. Ere long the gray of the eastern horizon began to melt in to a rosy hue, and suddenly out of the deep swamp came the shrill, guttural but mighty pleasing "Gil-obble-obble-obble," of a turkey, echoing along the slopes and through the vales of the surrounding forests.

After a while we heard him gobble on the ridge, so I took my call and began to pipe a few words in turkey vernacular, which the old gentleman seemed to comprehend by the way he gave ready reply. By this time the turkeys had all flown down, several gobbling in as many directions. Several were approaching slowly, and we could hear them below the crest of the hill. Luck favored us, so far as nothing yet had disturbed them, and they gradually came nearer, until presently a remark from my companion, "Old Gobbler in sight?" "See him coming, two of them, yes, three"; and on they came, their great black breasts glowing in the bright sun, while their long beards swung from side to side.

Suddenly, when within thirty paces of us, one of them spied Renaud's new drab corduroy cap, which contrasted vividly with the black and charred log behind which we were hid, and "Put," "put;" all were gone, helter-skelter.

Renaud's heart was broken-mine wrecked.

"Why in the d-dickens didn't you shoot?" I asked, mad as a hornet.

"I wanted to get them in position to get the two largest ones."

"Gee! you ought to have made sure of that fellow with the immense beard, and chance another on the rise or run;" but just as we were waxing into a fine quarrel, R. remarked in a whisper, "They are coming back."

"Yes," I replied, "and several others with them-some old ones and some yearlings; so make no mistake this time, and be sure of one of the old ones."

They were very near now, and as I made a low call all stopped and some gobbled; then on they came in a careless manner, neither strutting nor exhibiting any special passion.

I quickly got in my camera work, and ducked my head in time to see the beautiful things walking away from the gun; then two well-measured reports-and the smoke clearing away showed two grand old patriarchs flopping over on the pine straw and soon lying still. I am not sure which was the proudest-I as particeps criminis or he as executioner.





[1] Marsh, O. C. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., Phila., 1870, p. 11. Also Am. Jour. Sci., IV, 1872, 260. In a letter to me under date of April 25, 1912, Dr. George F. Eaton of the Museum of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., writes that "Type of Meleagris altus is in Peabody Museum with other types of fossil Meleagris." At the present writing I am not informed as to what these "other types" are; and I am writing of the opinion that the museum referred to by Doctor Eaton has no fossil meleagrine material that has not, up to date, been described. See also Amer. Nat., Vol. IV, p. 317.

Cope, E. D. "Synopsis of Extinct Batrachia, etc." Meleagris superbus (Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., N. S. XIV, Pt. 1, 1870, 239). A long and careful description of M. superbus [superba] will be found here, where the species is said to be "established on a nearly perfect right tibia, an imperfect left one, a left femur with the condyles broken off, and a light coracoid bone, with the distal articular extremity imperfect."

[2] Shufeldt, R. W., "On Fossil Bird-Bones Obtained by Expeditions of the University of Pennsylvania from the Bone Caves of Tennessee." The Amer. Nat., July, 1897, pp. 645-650. Among those bones were many belonging to M. g. silvestris. Professor Marsh declined to allow me to even see the fossil bones upon which he based the several alleged new species of extinct Meleagrid? which he had described.

[3] Marsh, O. C. [Title on page 120.] Meleagris antiqua. Amer. Journ. Sci., ser. 3, II, 1871, 126. From this I extract the following description, to wit:-

Meleagris antiquus, sp. nov.

A large Gallinaceous Bird, approaching in size the wild Turkey, and probably belonging to the same group, was a contemporary of the Oreodon and its associates during the formation of the Miocene lake deposits east of the Rocky Mountains. The species is at present represented only by a few fragments of the skeleton, but among these is a distal end of a right humerus, with the characteristic portions all preserved. The specimen agrees in its main features with the humerus of Meleagris gallopavo Linn., the most noticeable points of difference being the absence in the fossil species of the broad longitudinal ridge on the inner surface of the distal end, opposite the radial condyle, and the abrupt termination of the ulnar condyle at its outer, superior border.


Greatest diameter of humerus at distal end 12. lines

Transverse diameter of ulnar condyle 3.4 "

Vertical diameter of same 4. "

Transverse diameter of radial condyle 4.25 "

The specimens on which this species is based were discovered by Mr. G. B. Grinnell of the Yale party, in the Miocene clay deposits of northern Colorado.

Ibid. IV, 1878, 261. [Title on p. 256.] "Art XXX. Notice of some new Tertiary and Post-Tertiary Birds." From this article by Professor Marsh I extract the following:

Meleagris celer, sp. nov.

A much smaller species of the same genus is represented by two tibiae and the proximal half of a tarso-metatarsal, which were found together, and probably belonged to the same individual. The tibia is slender, and has the shaft less flattened from before backward than in the last species [M. altus]. The distal half of the shaft has its anterior face more distinctly polygonal. From the head of the tibia a sharp ridge descends a short distance on the posterior face, where it is met by an external ridge of similar length. The tarso-metatarsal has the external ridge of the proximal end more prominent, and the posterior tendinal crest more ossified than in the larger species. The remains preserved indicate a bird about half the bulk of M. altus.


Length of tibia 183. mm

Greatest diameter of proximal end 34. "

Transverse diameter of shaft at middle 9.6 "

Transverse diameter of distal end 16.5 "

Antero-posterior diameter of outer condyle 10. "

Transverse diameter of proximal end of tarso-metatarsus 19. "

Antero-posterior diameter 14. "

On page 260 is described Meleagris altus:

Meleagris altus [Marsh]. Proc. Phila. Acad. 1870, p. 11, and Amer. Nat., Vol. IV, p. 317. (M. superbus Cope, Synopsis Extinct Batrachia etc., p. 239.)

(Followed by description and the following measurements of the fossil bones.)

Length (approx.) of humerus 159.5 mm

Greatest diameter proximal end 42. "

Greatest diameter distal end 33. "

Length of coracoid 122. "

Transverse diameter of lower end 37.5 "

Length of femur 150. "

Transverse diameter of distal end 31. "

Length of tibia 243. "

Transverse diameter of distal end 18. "

Length of tarso-metatarsus 176. "

Transverse diameter of proximal end 23. "

Distance from proximal end to spur 110. "

(A number of differences as compared with existing species are enumerated)

[4] Shufeldt, R. W. A Study of the Fossil Avifauna of the Equus Beds of the Oregon Desert. Journ. Acad. Nat. Sci., Phila., ser. 2, IX, 1892, pp. 389-425. Pls. XV-XVII. Advance abstracts of this memoir were published in The Auk (Vol. VIII, No. 4, October, 1891, pp. 365-368). The American Naturalist (Vol. XXV, No. 292, Apr., 1891, pp. 303-306, and ibid. No. 297, Sept., 1891, pp. 818-821) and elsewhere. Although no turkeys were discovered among these fossils, there were bones present of extinct grouse.

[5] Upon examining this material after it came into my hands, I found first, in a small tube closed with a cork, the distal end of the right humerus of some large bird. The cork was marked on the side, "Type," on top "Mel. antiquus. G. Ranch. Col. G. B. G. August 6, 1870." The specimen is pure white, thoroughly fossilized, and imperfect. The second of the two specimens received is in a small pasteboard box, marked on top "Birds. Meleagris, sp. nov. N. J., Meleagrops celer (type)." The specimen is the imperfect, proximal moiety of the left tarso-metatarsus of a rather large bird. It is thoroughly fossilized, earth-brown in color, with the free borders of the proximal end considerably worn off. On its postero-external aspect, written in ink, are the words "M. celer."

[6] In making this statement, I take the words of Dr. Geo. Bird Grinnell as written on the cork of the bottle containing the specimen to be correct, and not the locality given elsewhere. (The A. O. U. Check-List of North American Birds. Third Edition, 1910, p. 388.) Moreover, the specimen is pure white, which is characteristic of the fossils found in the White River region of Colorado. This is confirmed by Professor Marsh in his article quoted above.

[7] Shufeldt, R. W. "Osteological Studies of the Subfamily Ardein?." Journ. Comp. Med. and Surg., Vol. X, No. 4, Phila., October, 1889, pp. 287-317.

[8] Shufeldt, R. W. Amer. Nat, July. 1897. p. 648. I have had no occasion to change my opinion since.

[9] Audubon, J. J. "The Birds of America," Vol. V, pp. 54-55. Even in Audubon's time the wild turkeys were being rapidly exterminated. At this time M. g. silvestris does not occur east of central Pennsylvania.

[10] Columella. (De Re Rustica, VIII, cap. 2.) Edwards (Gleanings, II, p. 269). 1760?

[11] Newton, Alfred. A Dictionary of Birds. (Assisted by Hans Gadow, with contributions from Richard Lydekker, Chas. S. Roy, and Robert W. Shufeldt, M. D.) Pt. IV, 1896, p. 994. The quotation is from the Art. "Turkey," and in further reference to its name, Professor Newton remarks, "The French Coq and Poule d'Inde (whence Dindon) involve no contradiction, looking to the general idea of what India then was. One of the earliest German names for the bird, Kalekuttisch Hiim (whence the Scandinavian Kalkun) must have arisen through some mistake at present inexplicable; but this does not refer, as is generally supposed, to Calcutta, but to Calicut on the Malabar coast (Notes and Queries, ser. 6, X, p. 185).

"But even Lin

n?us could not clear himself of the confusion, and, possibly following Sibbald, unhappily misapplied the name Meleagris, undeniably belonging to the guinea-fowl, as the generic term for what we now know as the turkey, adding thereto as its specific designation the word gallopavo, taken from the Gallopavus of Gesner, who, though not wholly free from error, was less mistaken than some of his contemporaries and even successors."

[12] Baird, Spencer F. The Origin of the Domestic Turkey. Rep. of the Comm. of Agricul. for the year 1866. Washington Gov. Printing Office, 1867, pp. 288-290. In this article Professor Baird undertakes to demonstrate "that there are two species of wild turkey in North America; one confined to the more eastern and southern United States, the other to the southern Rocky Mountains and adjacent part of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona; that the latter extends along eastern Mexico as far south at least as Orizaba, and that it is from this Mexican species and not from that of eastern North America that this domestic turkey is derived." [Reprinted in Hist. of N. Amer. Birds, III, p. 411, footnote.]

[13] Bennett, E. T. "The Gardens and Menagerie of the Zo?logical Society delineated." [The Drawings by William Harvey; Engr. by Branston and Wright, assisted by other artists] London, 1835. Further on, this article will be quoted on other points, as it treats of the entire history of the wild turkey.

[14] In the original work, here quoted, names of persons and some other nouns are printed in capitals-an old custom which publishers of the present work decided not to follow. My MS. was made to agree with the original in all particulars. R. W. S.

[15] Pennant, Thos. Esqr. F. R. S. "An Account of the Turkey." Phil. Trans. of the Royal Society of London. Vol. LXXI for the year 1781. London [Art.] No. 1. Communicated by Joseph Banks, Esqr., P. R. S. Read December 21, 1781, pp. 77, 78.

Pennant's contribution fills a large place in the literature of the wild turkey, and further on I shall take occasion to quote still more extensively from it. It starts in by giving in brief the characters of the turkey, and in describing the wild turkey he cites the previous works of Josselyn (Voyage); Clayton (Virginia); Catesby, Belon, Gesner, Aldrovandus, Ray, Buffon, and others. He gives a "Description" of the bird, especially the "Tail," and adds that a "White Turkey"-"A most beautiful kind has of late been introduced into England of a snowy whiteness, finely contrasting with its red head. These I think came from Holland, probably bred from an accidental white pair; and from them preserved pure from any dark or variegated birds." (p. 68.)

He presents variation in "Size," quoting Josselyn (New-Eng. Rarities); Lawson (History of Carolina); and Clayton (Phil. Trans.). Also their "Manners"; their being "Gregarious"; "Their Haunts," "Place," and much else, having more to do with their habits than their history, and consequently not legitimately to be touched upon in this chapter.

[16] Coues, Elliott. "History of the Wild Turkey." Forest and Stream, XIII, January 1, 1879, p. 947.

Another work I have examined on this part of our subject is D. G. Elliot's "Game Birds of America," and the turkey cuts in this book were copied by Coues into the last edition of his "Key to North American Birds," and very poorly done. Dr. D. G. Elliot's superb work, illustrated by magnificent colored plates by the artist Wolfe, on "A Monograph of the Phasianid? or the Family of the Pheasants," I have not examined. The copy in the Library of Congress was out on a loan when I made application for it. Several plates of different species of wild turkeys are to be found in it.

[17] Pennant's article is illustrated by a folding plate giving the leg of a turkey bearing a supernumery toe situated in front of the tibiotarsus with the claw above. The note in reference to it is here reproduced in order to complete the article. Philos. Trans., Vol. LXXI, Ab. III, p. 80:

"To this account I beg leave to lay before you the very extraordinary appearance on the thigh of a turkey bred in my poultry yard, and which was killed a few years ago for the table. The servant in plucking it was very unexpectedly wounded in the hand. On examination the cause appeared so singular that the bird was brought to me. I discovered that from the thigh-bone issued a short upright process, and to that grew a large and strong toe, with a sharp and crooked claw, exactly resembling that of a rapacious bird."

[18] Bartram, William. Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogalges or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Choctaws. Containing an account of the soil and Natural Productions of those regions; together with the observations on the manners of the Indians. Embellished with Copper Plates.

The original edition of Bartram is cited in the Third Instalment of American Ornithological Bibliography by Elliott Coues (the references being pp. 83 and 290 bis). Bull. U. S. Geol. and Geogr. Surv. Terr. 1879, p. 810, Govm't Printing Office. It is here in this work of his that Bartram designates the domestic turkey as Meleagris gallopavo, Linn.; and the wild turkey of this country (M. occidentalis) (p. 83) as M. americanus (p. 290 bis).

[19] Barton, P. S. The Philadelphia Medical and Physical Journal, Vol. II, 1806, pp. 162-164. Coues, in his Ornitho. Biblio., cited above, omits the words, "The Philadelphia," which gives trouble to find the work in a library; he also has the year wrong, giving 1805 for 1806-the latter being correct. The copy I consulted had no Pl. 1, with the article, that I happened to see.

[20] Clinton, De Witt. Trans. Lit. and Philos. Soc., New York, 1, 1815, pp. 21-184. Note S. pp. 125-128.

[21] Owen, R. P. Z. S., V. 1837, pp. 34, 35.

[22] Le Conte, John. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. of Phila. IX, 1857, pp. 179-181. The distinctive characters and the habits, as given by this author of the wild and domesticated turkeys of the United States, are doubtless of some value; but the deductions he draws from the comparisons made are, as we know, quite erroneous. I have not examined the article by E. Roger in the Bull. Soc. Acclim. cited by Coues in his Ornitho. Biblio. as having appeared in the "2c Ser. VII, 1870, pp. 264-266." Either the year or the pagination, or both, of the citation is wrong, and as many of the copies were out at the time of my search, and the others distributed through several libraries, I failed to obtain it. R. W. S.

[23] Gould, J. 2. On a new turkey, Meleagris Mexicana. P. Z. S. XXIV, 1856, pp. 61-63. (In his Ornithol. Bibliogr.) Coues remarks upon this as follows: "Subsequently determined to be the stock whence the domestic bird descended, and hence a synonym of M. gallopavo, Linn."

This paper was extensively republished at the time, generally under the title of "A new species of turkey from Mexico" [all citing the P. Z. S. article]. One journal quoted it as follows: "Mr. Gould exhibited a specimen of turkey which he had obtained in Mexico, and which differed materially from the wild turkey of the United States. At the same time this turkey so closely resembled the domesticated turkey of Europe that he believed naturalists were wrong in attributing its origin to the United States species. The present specimen was therefore a new species, and he proposed to call it Meleagris Mexicana, which, if his theory was correct, must henceforth be the designation of the common turkey." Amer. Jour. Sci. XXII, 1856, p. 139. Under the same title this latter was reprinted in Edinb. New Philos. Journ. n. s., iv, 1856, pp. 371, 372. See also Bryant, H. "Remarks on the supposed new species of turkey, Meleagris Mexicana, recently described by Mr. Gould." Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist. vi, 1857, pp. 158, 159. "In the Proceedings of the Zo?logical Society of London for 1856, page 61," says Professor Baird, "Mr. Gould characterizes as new a wild turkey from the mines of Real del Norte, in Mexico, under the name of Meleagris Mexicana, and is the first to suggest that it is derived from the domesticated bird, and not from the common wild turkey of eastern North America, on which he retains the name of M. gallopavo, of Linn?us. He stated that the peculiarities of the new species consist chiefly in the creamy white tips of the tail feathers and of the upper tail coverts, with some other points of minor importance. I suggest that the wild turkey of New Mexico, as referred to by various writers, belongs to this new species, and not to the M. gallopavo." (loc. cit. p. 289.) Compare the above with what Professor Baird states in the series of the Pacif. Railroad Reports, vol. ix, p. 618, with the remainder of the above quoted article, which is too long to reproduce here.

[24] Bennett, E. T. "Publ. with the sanction of the council under the superintendence of the Secretary and Vice Secretary of the Society. Birds. Vol. II. London, 1835, pp. 209-224." There is a very excellent wood-cut of a turkey illustrating this article (left lateral view), of which the author says: "Our own figure is taken from a young male, in imperfect plumage, brought from America by Mr. Audubon. Another specimen, in very brilliant plumage, but perhaps not purely wild, forms a part of the Society's Museum" (p. 223). Bennett derived most of his information about the habits of the wild turkey in nature "from an excellent memoir by M. Charles Lucien Bonaparte, in his continuation of Wilson's American Ornithology."

"In that work M. Bonaparte claims credit for having given the first representation of the wild turkey;* and justly so, for the figures introduced into a landscape in the account of De Laudonniere's Voyage to Florida in De Bry's Collection, and that published by Bricknell in his Natural History of North Carolina, cannot with certainty be referred to the native bird. They are besides too imperfect to be considered as characteristic representations of the species. Much about the same time with M. Bonaparte's figure appeared another, in M. Viellot's Galerie des Oiseaux, taken from a specimen in the Paris Museum.

"It is somewhat singular that so noble a bird, and in America at least by no means a rare one, should have remained unfigured until within five years of the present time; all the plates in European works being manifestly derived from domestic specimens." Bennett was aware that Audubon's Plates were published about this time, for he mentions them. He also was well informed in matters regarding the crossing of the wild male turkey with the female domestic one, and with the improvement in the breed thus obtained.

* Note: Newton disputes this and says: "In 1555 both sexes were characteristically figured by Belon (Oiseaux, p. 249), as was the cock by Gesner in the same year, and these are the earliest representations of the bird known to exist." (Dict. of Birds, pp. 995, 996.)

[25] Newton states that this assertion "is wholly untrustworthy," as carp, pickerel (and other commodities) both lived in this country (England) long before 1524, "if indeed they were not indigenous to it." (Dict. of Birds, p. 995).

[26] No two authors seem to agree upon the exact date when the turkey was really introduced into England. Here Bennett states positively 1530; Professor Baird has it 1541; Alfred Newton 1524, and so on.

[27] Leland's Collectanea, (1541).

[28] Dugdale. "Origines Juridiciales."

[29] Shufeldt, R. W. "The Ancestry of the American Turkey," Shooting and Fishing, Vol. 24, No. 13, New York, July 14, 1898, p. 246. "Wild and Domesticated Turkeys," Ibid. No. 17, August 11, 1898, p. 331. "A Reply to the Turkey Hunters," Ibid. No. 23, September 22, 1898, pp, 451, 452. "The Wild Turkey of Arizona," Ibid. Vol. 32, No. 5, New York, May 22, 1902, pp. 108, 109.

[30] Nelson, E. W. "Description of a New Subspecies of Meleagris gallopavo and proposed changes in the nomenclature of certain North American birds." Auk, XVII, April 1900, pp. 120-123.

[31] Among the luxuries belonging to the high condition of civilization exhibited by the Mexican nation at the time of the Spanish conquest was the possession of Montezuma by one of the most extensive zo?logical gardens on record, numbering nearly all the animals of that country, with others brought at much expense from great distances, and it is stated that turkeys were supplied as food in large numbers daily to the beasts of prey in the menagerie of the Mexican Emperor. (Baird, ibid. pp. 288, 289.)

[32] Ogilvie-Grant, W. R. "A Hand-book to the Game-Birds." (Lloyd's Nat. Hist., London, 1897, pp. 103-111.) Genus Meleagris. Describes briefly some of the North American Turkeys, and also M. ocellata (full page colored figure). Nest and eggs of all described in brief.

[33] Michaux, F. "Travels in N. Amer." 1802 Eng. Trans., p. 217. See also the following: Blyth, E., "Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist.," 1847, vol. xx., p 391. This author points out that these turkeys in India are flightless, black in color, small, and the appendage over the bill of great size.

[34] Dixon, E. S. "Ornamental Poultry," 1818, p. 34. This author also noted the interesting fact that the female of the domesticated turkey sometimes has the tuft of hair on her breast like the male. Bechstein refers to the old German fable or superstition that a hen turkey lays as many eggs as the gobbler has feathers in the under tail-coverts, which, as we know, vary in number. (Naturgesch. Deutschlands, B iii, 1793, s. 309.).

[35] "Gardener's Chronicle," 1852, p. 699.

[36] Darwin, Charles. "Animals and Plants Under Domestication," Vol. 1, 1868, pp. 352-355. Other facts of this character are set forth here which are of interest in the present connection.

[37] Darwin, Charles. "The Origin of Species," 1880, pp. 70, 158. He also shows that the young of wild turkey are instinctively wild.

[38] Woodhouse, Dr. (Amer. Nat. vii, 1873, p, 326.).

[39] Henshaw, H. W. Rept. Geogr. and Geol. Expl. and Surv. West of the 100th meridian. 1875. Chap. III. The Ornith. Coll. 1871-1874, p. 435.

[40] Caton, J. D. "The Wild Turkey and Its Domestication." Amer. Nat. xi, No. 6, 1877, pp. 321-330, also Ibid. vii, 1873, where this author states that "The vision of the wild turkey is very acute but the sense of smell is very dull." (p. 431.)

[41] Bendire, Charles, "Life Histories of North American Birds with Special Reference to Their Breeding Habits and Eggs." Washington, Govmt. Printing Office, 1892.

[42] Some of the English books contain descriptions of the eggs of our wild turkeys, as for example "A Hand-book to the Game-birds." By W. R. Ogilvie-Grant. (Lloyd's Nat. Hist.) London, 1897, pp. 103-111.

[43] Shufeldt, R. W. "Osteology of Birds," Education Dept. Bull. No. 447, Albany, N. Y., May 15, 1909. N. Y. State Mus. Bull. 130, pp. 222-224; based upon a former contribution which appeared in The Journal of Comparative Medicine and Surgery, July, 1887, entitled "A Critical Comparison of a Series of Skulls of the Wild and Domesticated Turkeys." (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris and M. domestica.)

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