June 21, 1877. Forest and Stream 8 (20): 320.
Wet Weather Birds
Game is plenty at present. Many varieties of plover, snipe, ducks, geese and cranes; and I believe more plenty around Cherry Hill than anywhere else I have been. I shot, a few days since, a bird of a variety I never killed before. I think it is what your Texas correspondent calls "wet weather birds." I can give but a meager description, as I took no measurements, but sent it away to be set up. It was apparently about as large as a common tame pigeon, but wings, tip to tip, measured full thirty-six inches, and probably fifteen inches tip of bill to end of tail. Its bill was about 1¾ to 2 inches long, dark red to brown in color, shaped like a pigeon's; head black, with full, dark eye, surrounded by a white ring about a quarter inch in width; back and top of wings a fawn color; breast and under portions a very delicate pink; legs small, slender and medium length, dark red color, three front toes web-footed, one back toe, or a ghost of one. Some of the long feathers in the wing were considerably spotted with black. Can you name it?
A German told me they called them in his country, Moeve, which meant sea dove.
There are numbers of birds of various varieties never seen here before, brought hither by our "full protective" law I suppose. Prairie chickens are nesting, and prospects are now fair for a greater number of them this fall than was ever known. Yours.