Nutcracker impressed leaders of Lewis and Clark expedition

Our Fine Feathered Friends

clarks-nutcracker-on-wall-3790703_1920 Photo by Mike Goad/Pixabay.com • A Clark’s nutcracker surveys its surroundings from a rocky outcrop. Both William Clark and Meriwether Lewis made detailed notes about their observations of this bird in what would become the western states of Idaho and Montana.

The United States and the world observed the 215th anniversary of the launch of the historic Lewis and Clark Expedition on May 14. Retrospectively, I cannot even begin to imagine what it would have been for a birder to have been a member of that expedition. Although Meriwether Lewis and William Clark would not have considered themselves birders in the modern sense, the entries in their journals testify that they had a thorough grasp of the avian life that surrounded them as they explored the American west.

Last week’s column focused on Lewis’s woodpecker, a bird named for Lewis. In addition to the woodpecker, a genus of plants known…

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