Explorers and Expeditions
Lewis and Clark

What bird was named for William Clark?

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August 31, 2009 2:36AM

Clark's nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana): Lewis first described this bird near Tendoy, Idaho, on August 22, 1805: "I saw today a species of woodpecker which fed on the seeds of the pine. Its beak and tail were white, it's wings were black, and every other part of a dark brown, it was about the size of a robin." He later described it in more detail when they were camped at Camp Chopunnish: "The beak of this bird is 1 1/2 inches long, is proportionally large, black and of the form which characterizes this genus...The feet and legs are black and imbricated with wide scales. The nails are black and remarkably long and sharp, also much curved. It has four toes on each foot of which one is in the rear and three in front. The toes are long particularly that in the rear."