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NORTH AMElllOAN FAUiNA 



ISTo. 27 



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' wrtnlxT INi. VMi^ I 




A lUOHXiU'AL iNVKSTKiATlOX OK THK 
ATUABAvSKA MACKKNZIK HE(UON 



jWAHU a, I' 
A NT qtoiom* 







WASHINGTON 




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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

BUREAU OF BIOLOOICAL SUKVKY 



NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA 

N"o. 27 

[Actual date of ymblication, Octol)er 26, 1908] 




A BIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE 
ATHABASKA-MACKENZIE REGION 



EDWARD A. PREBLE 

ASSISTANT, BIOLOGICAL SURVEY 



rrt'iiart'd iinrU-r the clirLM'tion of 
Dr. C. HART MERRIAM 

CHIEF OF BUREAU OF BIOLOGICAL. SURVEY 




\VASiiiN(rr()N 

a O V K K X M K X T V U I X T I X <; O FFI <3 E 

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LETTER OF TRA>JSM1TTAL 



U. S. Department of Agriculture, 

Biological Survey, 
Washinffton, D. 6'., April 13, 1008. 
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith, for ])ublication as 
North American Fauna No. 27, a report on the natural history of 
the Athabaska-Mackenzie region, by Edward A. Preble. It is based 
mainly on the results of two expeditions conducted by the author in 
the interests of the Biological Survey — the first in 1901, the second 
in 1908-4. The report was completed by Mr. Preble in the fall of 
1900, but owing to the condition of the printing fund was not sent 
to the printer until April, 1908. During the interval a large num- 
ber of additional notes were incorporated, so that it now represents 
the state of knowledge of the region in the spring of 1908. The 
facts here brought together fill a broad gap in our knowledge 
of Boreal America, and connect the work previously done in the 
Hudson Bay region on the east with that in Alaska on the west, 
on which the Biological Survey is still engaged. 
Respectfully, 

C. Hart Merriam, 
Chief, Biological Survey, 
Hon. James Wii^on, 

Secretary/ of Agriculture, 



CONTENTS. 



Page. 

Introduction i 9 

Itinerary 11 

Expedition of 1901 11 

Continuation of investigations during 1903 and 1 904 13 

Physical geography and climatology of the Mackenzie Basin 16 

The Athabaska Valley - 17 

rhe basin of Athabaska Lake 21 

The Peace River Valley 23 

The basin of Great Slave I^ke 26 

The Liard River Vallev 30 

The Mackenzie River Valley 32 

Seasonal phenomena in Mackenzie Valley, 1903-4 37 

Seasonal phenomena at Fort Simpson, winter 1903-4 37 

Seasonal phenomena on Mackenzie below Fort Simpson, sum- 
mer 1904 41 

The basin of Great Bear Lake 42 

The Barren Grounds 46 

Life zones of the Athabaska-Mackenzie region 49 

Arctic zone ^ 50 

Hudsonian zone 51 

Canadian zone 52 

Previous* explorations and collections 54 

Earliest explorers, Heame and Mackenzie, 1770-1793 54 

Franklin, 1819, to Simpson, 1839 57 

The Franklin search expeditions, 1845-1855 64 

Kennicott's expedition, 1859, and its results 70 

Later expeditions, 1862-1907 74 

General account of routes traversed by Biological Survey parties during 1901, 

1903, and 1904 85 

Route between Edmonton, Alberta, and mouth of Mackenzie 85 

Tables of distances 109 

Route between Great Slave and Great Bear lakes 110 

Note on boundaries of region treated 125 

Mammals of the Athabaska-Mackenzie region 126 

Birds of the Athabaska-Mackenzie region 251 

Reptiles and batrachians of the Athabaska-Mackenzie region 500 

Fishes of the Athabaska-Mackenzie region 502 

Trees and shrubs of the Athabaska-Mackenzie region 515 

Bibliography 535 

Index 569 

5 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PLATES. 

Page. 

Plate I. Map of Athabaska-Mackenzie region Frontispiece 

II. Map of life zones Athabaska-Mackenzie region 50 

III. Fig. 1.— Main channel of Athabaska at Grand Rapid. Fig. 2.— 

Left bank of Athabaska at Grand Rapid 88 

IV. Fig. l.—Fort Chipewyan, Athabaska Lake. Fig. 2.— Shore of 

Athabaska near Fort McMurray. Fig. 3. — Athabaska land- 
ing 88 

V. Fig. 1. — Uprooted trees, result of landslip. Fig. 2. — View in 

muskeg. Fig. 3. — Slide terraces, Athabaska River 92 

VI. Fig. 1. — Road on Smith Portage. Fig. 2. — Grove of aspen 

poplars, Athabaska River 92 

VII. Fig. 1.— Slave River near Smith Landing. Fig. 2. — Bank 
worn by current, Slave River. Fig. 3. — Foresting on island, 

lower Slave River 96 

VIII. Fig. 1.— Fort Smith, Slave River. Fig. 2.— Fort Resolution, 
Great Slave Lake. Fig. 3. — Hay River post, Great Slave 

Lake 96 

IX. Fig. 1. — Summit Loon Island, Great Slave Lake. Fig. 2. — Bay 

near Fort Rae. Fig. 3.— Fort Rae, Great Slave Lake 100 

X. Fig. 1. — Fort Simpson, Mackenzie River. Fig. 2. — Fort Provi- 
dence, Mackenzie River. Fig. 3. — Camp of Slavey Indians 

near Fort Providence 100 

XL Fig. 1.— Mount Camsell from Mount Tha-onMha. Fig. 2.— 

Mount Tha-on^'-tha from mouth Nahanni River 104 

XII. Fig. 1. — Summit Mount Tha-on''-tha. Fig. 2. — Junction of 

Nahanni and Mackenzie 104 

XIII. Fig. i.~Fort Good Hope, Mackenzie River. Fig. 2.— Fort 

Wrigley, Mackenzie River. Fig. 3. — Main buildings at Fort 
McPherson 108 

XIV. Fig. 1. — Muskeg pond, height of land. Fig. 2.— Lake and 

mountain country near Lake St. Croix 108 

XV. Fig. 1.— Rapid near MacTavish Bay. Fig. 2.— Rapid on 

Lower Grandin River .' 118 

XVI. Fig. 1. — San<ly bay near Leith Point. Fig. 2.— Rocky shore 
we^t of Mc Vicar Bay. Fig. 3. — Semibarron shore near Ix?ith 

Point 118 

XVII. Fig. 1. — Biological Survey camp near Leith Point. Fig. 2. — 

Shore of sandy bay west of McVicar Bay 122 

XVIII. Fig. 1. — Bank of upper Bear River. Fig. 2. — Trapper's cabin 

near Fort Franklin. Fig. 3. — Mount Charles, Bear River . . 122 

7 



8 ILLUSTRATIONS. 

Plate XIX. Map of distribution of Barren Ground caribou {Rangifer arc- 

ticus) i:^ 

XX. Map of distribution of Parry m&Tmot (Citellus pamji) and re- 
lated forms 162 

XXI. Fig. 1. — Snare set for rabbit {Lepus americanus). Fig. 2. — 

Rabbit in snare. Fig. 3. — White spruce denuded by rabbits. . 200 
XXIL Fig. 1. — Lynx {Lynx cajiadengM) in snare. Fig. 2. — Snare set 

for lynx 210 

XXIII. Fig. 1. — Nest and eggs Arctic great homed owl (Biifn) v. mb- 

arcticus). Fig. 2. — Nests of cliff swallow (Petrochelidon 

lunifrom) 372 

XXIV. Fig. 1.— White spruce near I^ith Point. Fig 2.— Dwarfed 

trees, upper slopes Mount Tha-on^-tha 518 

XXV. Fig. 1.— Mat of Dryas mUgrifolia. Fig. 2.— Wild rcjses (Rosa 

acicularis) 528 

TEXT FIGURES. 

Fig. 1. Athabaska River near La Biche River 17 

2. A brul6 or fire-swept forest, Athabaska River 18 

3. Valley of stream filled with ice 42 

4. Fort Anderson, Anderson River. (From skeUh by Petitot) 72 

5. Bowlder-paved shore, Athabaska River 89 

6. Roche Trempe-l'eau, or Rock by the Riverside 104 

7. Bear Rock, at mouth of Bear River 105 

8. Entrance to Ramparts, Mackenzie River 106 

9. Lower end of Ramparts, Mackenzie River 107 

10. Map of former distribution of elk ( Cervua canadcngis) 129 

11 . Map of distribution of moose { Alces americanus) 131 

12. Map of former distribution of bison {BUon bison and B. b. athabascae) . 144 

13. Map of distribution of musk-ox ( Ocibos moschatus ) 151 

14. Scales of cones collecteil by red squirrel {Sdurus hwlsonicxm) 171 

15. Nesting i>ond of red-throated loon ( Gavia stelfata ) 258 

16. Creeping juniper {Juniperus sabina) 519 



No. 27. NOETH AMEEIOAN FAUNA. October, 1908. 



A BIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE ATHABASKA- 
MACKENZIE REGION. 

By Edward A. Pbeble. 



INTKODUCTION. 

The greater part of Boreal America falls naturally into three great 
regions — the region tributary to Hudson Bay, that drained by the 
Mackenzie and its tributary rivers, and that whose waters unite to 
form the Yukon. . The present report deals with the natural history, 
especially the higher vertebrates, of the second of these great areas. 
Though not offering to the student of geographic distribution so 
many problems as the Alaska region, where the various combinations 
of boreal, humid, and alpine conditions have resulted in the differ- 
entiation of many well-marked races, the region drained by the Mac- 
kenzie in many respects is the most interesting, of these great natural 
divisions. Many mammals, some of them among the most valuable 
of the fur-bearing species, range over it, and also extend over large 
portions of adjoining areas. Within its borders live the last wild 
herds of that all but extinct species, the American bison, while an- 
other equally notable ruminant, the musk-ox, abounds on its Barren 
Grounds, where probably it is destined to make its last stand. 

In the spring, when its rivers and swamps are freed from the grasp 
of the long Arctic winter, the region becomes the resort of millions of 
birds which hasten to breed within its borders. These include repre- 
sentatives, and in some cases the bulk of the individuals, of most of 
the migratory game birds, which are of great economic importance 
in the United States, where many of them winter. 

Though explored nearly a century later than Hudson Bay and 
consequently not furnishing so many species new to science (for 
many animals first described from Hudson Bay are common to both 

1) 



10 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. (xo. L'7. 

regions), the interior region richly repaid an examination of its 
zoological wealth. As is often the case, the desire for the promotion 
of trade, here evidenced by the long search for a feasible Northwest 
Passage, played an important part in the exploration of the region. 
In the narratives of the hardy pioneers of the North are recorded 
many observations on the native animals, enabling the later student 
to compare the present and former status of many species. 

The first white man to enter the Mackenzie region was Samuel 
Heame, of the Hudson's Bay Company, who in the years 1770 and 
1771 made a journey on foot from Fort Prince of Wales (now 
Churchill) on Hudson Bay, to the mouth of Coppermine Kiver. 
Nearly twenty years elapsed before another explorer penetrated be- 
j^ond Great Slave Lake. In 1789 Alexander ihickenzie, of the North- 
west Company, an early rival of the Hudson's Bay Company, fol- 
lowed to its mouth the great river which now bears his name, thus 
being the second white man to set eyes on this part of the Arctic 
Ocean. Following his notable exploration was a period of thirty 
years, during which our knowledge of the geography and natural 
history of that part of Arctic America remained at a standstill. Then, 
with the first journey of Franklin, in 18'J0, began a series of explora- 
tions which extended over a i>eriod of about thirty years, in connec- 
tion with which the study of the natural history and geography of 
the country was carried on as systematically as the time and resources 
of the explorers allowed. During these various journeys, the zoologi- 
cal results of which were published both in systematic works and in 
the narratives of the various explorations, the sum of knowledge con- 
cerning the natural history of the region was greatly iiicrcased. 

In 1859 Robert Kennicott visited the Mackenzie region and re- 
mained three years. That gifted naturalist, sent north in the interests 
of science by Professor Baird, of the Smithsonian Institution, so im- 
pressed the various officers of the Hudson's Bay Company with whom 
he came in contact that they forthwith became zoological collectors, 
and during the next few years sent to the Smithsonian Institution 
thousands of mammals, birds, eggs, and other specimens, in this brief 
period probably adding more to our knowledge of the natural history 
of this part of the great Northland than had been accunnilated since 
it was fii'st entered. Unfortunately Kennicott was called to other 
fields, where he died in 18Gr>, and no rei>ort on this work was ever 
published. Still, during the thirty-odd years since these collections 
were made, many additions to knowledge have resulted from the 
elaboration by others of the extensive material thus accunnilated. 

Although much had l>een accomplished, yet at the close of the nine- 
teenth century much remained to be done. The unprecech^nted activ- 
ity in the study of the geographic distribution and variation of 
animals, the migration of birds, and the economic relations of the 



1908.] EXPEDITION OF 1901. 11 

various species to man, displayed during the last decade or two in 
other parts of North America, rendered a more detailed study of this 
northern region desirable. The recent increase in knowledge of the 
zoology of Labrador, the Hudson Bay region, and Alaska left the 
great interior region drained mainly by the Mackenzie (see Frontis- 
piece) the most neglected large area in North America. The need 
of material from this area became so urgent that the Biological Sur- 
vey, in the early spring of 1901, determined to send there one of its 
trained field naturalists to obtain representative collections of the 
mammals, birds, and plants. This was tlie more necessary since the 
early material, consisting mainly of alcoholic specimens or skins with- 
out flesh measurements, is not now in a condition satisfactory for 
comparison. As it was evident that only a part of the region could 
be satisfactorily examined in a single season, it was determined to 
make first a reconnaissance of the region about Athabaska and Great 
Slave lakes. Accordingly, in the spring of 1901 I was detailed for 
this service, accompanied, as on the trip to Hudson Bay, by my 
brother, Alfred E. Preble, then of Tufts College, Massachusetts. 

ITINEKAKY. 
EXPEDITION OF 1901. 

As on our previous trip," arrangements were made with the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, whose trading posts are scattered over nearly 
the whole of British America, to furnish subsistence and means of 
transportation. Realizing that it w^as desirable to start as early in 
the season as possible, in order that the time of arrival of the migra- 
tory birds could be noted, we left Washington on April 23, 1901, and 
reached Edmonton, Alberta, the termination of our railroad journey, 
on April 29, having stopped over a day at Winnipeg, Manitoba, to 
confer with the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company. After per- 
fecting plans and securing supplies we left Edmonton on the after- 
noon of April 30 for Athabaska Landing, a small settlement and 
trading post on Athabaska River, nearly 100 miles distant by wagon 
road to the north of Edmonton, where our journey by canoe was to 
begin. 

Because of the marshy character of the country, which had been 
liberated only a short time from the grasp of the semiarctic winter, 
the roads were almost impassable, and five days were consumed in 
reaching Athabaska Landing. The Hudson's Bay Company's scow, 
sent annually to Fort Chipewyan on the opening of navigation, was 
ready to depart, and on May 6 we left Athabaska Landing by canoe 
in company with the scow, on which a part of our heavy baggage 

« See N. Am. Fauna. No. L>2, 11)02. 



12 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

was shipped, as the rapids which begin about 155 miles below can not 
be ruu by a heavily loaded canoe. 

Being delayed somewhat by stormy weather, and by portaging at 
the Grand Rapid, we reached Fort McMurray on May 14, and the 
mouth of the Athabaska three days later. Athabaska Lake to the 
eastward of the delta and the portion between the mouth of the 
Athabaska arid Fort Chipewyan had been open only a few days, and 
was still full of floating ice, which under the influence of the strong 
current was hurrying toward the outlet. The traverse among the 
grinding floes to Fort Chipewyan was made during the night of May 

17. Here we remained until June 5, moving camp twice in order to 
work the different kinds of ground in the vicinity. On June 5 we 
started down Rocher River, and entering Slave River, as the stream 
is called after uniting with the Peace, descended it to Smith Landing, 
stopping for a few days at several favorable points. We left Smith 
Landing June 18, and crossing the lO-mile portage to Fort Smith, 
spent ten days investigating the fauna in that vicinity. 

Leaving Fort Smith on June 21>, we descended Slave River to 
Great Slave Lake, collecting a little on the way, and reached Fort 
Resolution on July 4. Here we worked in company until July 9, 
when I left my brother to examine the place more thoroughly, and 
crossed to Fort Rae, making collections on the way, and arriving July 

18. The next ten days I spent in the vicinity of Fort Rae, securing 
a good representative series of the small mammals and many inter- 
esting birds. 

On July 29 the steamer Wrigley^ returning from the mouth of the 
Mackenzie, reached Fort Rae. The next day at daylight I went 
aboard and arrived at Fort Resolution the following morning, where 
I was joined by my brother. With our united collections we left Fort 
Resolution on the afternoon of August 1, when the Wrigley resumed 
her journey, and steaming continuously, except when a stop was made 
to ' wood up,' reached Fort Smith on August 3. On August 5 we 
crossed Smith Portage to Smith Landing, where the Hudson's Bay 
Company's steamer Grahame^ which plies between that point and 
Fort McMurray, lay moored to the bank. A stop of a day at Smith 
Landing was improved by adding to our collection. Li^aving on the 
afternoon of August 6, we reached Fort Chipewyan on the evening 
of the next day, and P^ort McMurray on the evening of August 10. 

We left Fort McMurray on August 12 on one of the company's 
scows, by means of which the furs are transported to Athabaska 
Landing by tracking, and traveled slowly up the Athabaska, collect- 
ing when possible, and reaching Grand Rapid on August -20. Here, 
the rapids being passed, we obtained a canoe in order to have a better 
opportunity to collect than was afforded when traveling on scows. 
The weather was very favorable, and we reached Athabaska Landing 



1908.] EXPEDITION OF 1903-1904. 13 

on August 29, two days ahead of the transport, having obtained many 
interesting specimens on the way. Being obliged to wait for our 
baggage, we utilized the time collecting in the vicinity. Leaving 
Athabaska Landing with our baggage and specimens on September 
1, we reached Edmonton on the afternoon of September 4, shipped 
our collections, and as soon as practicable left for Washington, where 
we arrived on September 15. 

CONTINUATION OF INVESTIGATIONS DUBING 1903 AND 1904. 

In the spring of 1903, the results of our work in 1901 having been 
elaborated but not published, I was sent to complete our work in the 
Mackenzie region. This was especially desirable, since on the previ- 
ous trip we had penetrated only as far as Great Slave Lake. On the 
second trip, in addition to my brother, I was accompanied by Merritt 
Gary, an assistant in the Biological Surve3^ We left Washington 
May 2, Edmonton May 11, and Athabaska Landing May 16. Collect- 
ing when opportunity afforded, but not stopping to do any detailed 
work, we reached Fort Chipewyan June 2 and Fort Resolution June 
19. Here the party was divided, my brother and Gary proceeding to 
the Mackenzie and working there until obliged to start back with the 
southward trip of the boats, while I made a trip northward through 
almost unknown country to the eastern part of Great Bear Lake. 

My companions left on June 26, reaching Hay River the following 
day and remaining there until July 1. Thence they proceeded to 
Fort Providence, situated on the Mackenzie a few miles below the out- 
let of the lake, and there remained until July 8. Descending the 
Mackenzie past Fort Simpson, at the mouth of the Liard, they made 
their next stop at the mouth of Nahanni River, about 75 miles below 
tHe latter place. Here they spent several days, ascending a near-by 
mountain and obtaining many interesting and valuable specimens. 
They left this place July 19 and voyaged down the river to Fort 
Wrigley, where they remained until July 22, when the steamer Wriff- 
ley arrived on her upward trip, and they were obliged to start on their 
return. Their journey to Athabaska Landing, where they arrived on 
September 2, was made by the same conveyances utilized on our pre- 
vious trip. Many interesting specimens and records were obtained 
during their return trip, especially along the Athabaska. The time 
from September 2 to 15 was spent on the river above Athabaska Land- 
ing, and good series of the smaller mammals and many desirable birds 
were obtained. 

In the meantime I had crossed Great Slave Lake to Fort Rae, 
accompanied by James MacKinlay, formerly of the Hudson's Bay 
Gompany, and engaging two Fort Rae Indians as guides and canoe- 
men, had started northward for Great Bear Lake, following a chain of 
lakes and rivers by way of Lake St. Groix. It had been my intention 



14 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. I no. 27. 

to cross by one of the Indian routes to the upper Coppermine and to 
descend that stream, but various circumstances rendered this impos- 
sible and I was obliged to take the shorter, more westerly route. 

Leaving Fort Rae on July 30, we traversed the remainder of the 
Northern Arm and its extension, Lake Marian, and on August 1 
began the ascent of Grandin River, first explored and named by 
Petitot, a missionary who traveled a great deal in this region. Nu- 
merous rapids and the consequent portages made progress slow, and 
the height of land, 80 miles slightly west of north of Fort Rae in a 
straight line, but much farther by the river, was reached August 6. 
Up to this time only a few small lakes had been traversed, but beyond 
our route lay mainly through large and small lakes, l)etween which 
we sometimes made portages and sometimes followed the streams, now 
flowing northward toward Great Bear Lake. My guide turned back 
on August 22, and I reached Great Bear Lake, accompanied by Mr. 
MacKinlay and one Indian, three days later. Coasting along its semi- 
barren southern shore, where we were sometimes delayed by northerly 
storms for days at a time, we reached its western extremity Septeml)er 
17. Ten days were spent near the site of Fort Franklin, the winter- 
ing station of Franklin's second northern expedition, and here many 
desirable specimens were taken. Then we left for the Mackenzie, 
descending Great Bear River. Its rapid current bore us swiftly on 
our way, but the spray, freezing thickly on the paddles and gunwales, 
warned us that navigation would soon be closed. We reached F'ort 
Norman, at the mouth of Bear River, on September 30, and there saw 
white faces for the first time since leaving Fort Rae two months 
before. 

More than 300 miles of upstream navigation still lay between us 
and Fort Simpson, where I intended wintering. We remained at 
Fort Norman, therefore, only long enough to secure provisions, and 
on October 2 commenced to track up the Mackenzie. During the 
first few days good progress was made, but snow soon began to fall 
almost nightly, making tracking slow and difficult. We reached 
Fort Wrigley on October 11, and left the next morning on the last 
stage of our journey, still confident of reaching Fort Simpson before 
navigation closed, although the indications pointed to a much earlier 
winter than usual. The snow, however, increased in depth, and on 
Octol>er 15, near Nahanni River, the ice began to drift in earnest. 
Two days were spent in struggling against it. On the morning of 
October 17 the water had become so thick with ice and slush that 
further progress was impossible. Accordingly the canoe was pulled 
up beyond high-water mark and camp was made, and accompanied 
by the Indian I pushed on to the fort on foot. We were still 50 miles 
from the post, were obliged'to carry blankets and provisions, and, as 
walking was veiy difficult, we were nearly three days on the way. As 



1908.] EXPEDITION OF 1903-1904. 15 

$oon as possible a dog sled was dispatched to our camp, and the lighter 
and more valuable articles were brought up to the post, while the 
remainder of the outfit was securely cached to await conditions more 
favorable for transportation. 

From October 20, 1903, to June 1, 1904, I remained at Fort Simp- 
son. A good collection of the winter birds and smaller mammals was 
made; and being in one place during the entire spring migration, I 
was able to secure many valuable notes and specimens. I had planned 
to make a trip down the Mackenzie in the summer and accordingly 
left Fort Simpson on June 1. Stopping for several days at Fort 
Norman and Fort Good Hope, and a shorter time at a few other 
points, I reached Fort McPherson, on the lower Peel, on July 1. 
Here I remained until the arrival of the steamer Wrigley on July 10. 
and on the following day started on my long homeward journey. 
Steaming day and night, for there was nearly continuous daylight, I 
reached Fort Simpson on July 26, Fort Resolution August 1, and Fort 
Smith August 3. Thence, by the same conveyances before utilized, I 
journeyed up the Slave and Athabaska, arrived at Athabaska Land- 
ing on September 1, and reached Edmonton September 4. From here 
I shipped my collections and as soon as possible left for Washington. 

During the progress of my work in the north I was assisted in 
many ways by numerous persons, to all of whom my cordial thankj^ 
are hereby extended. Acknowledgments are especially due to my 
field assistants, Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Gary, whose labors 
added so materially to the results obtained, and to J. W. Mills and 
H. W. Jones, of Fort Simpson, who in the spring of 1904 procured 
many specimens and notes, and have since sent me additional informa- 
tion. James MacKinlay also, who accompanied me on my Great Bear 
Lake trip, assisted by every means in his power. Through the cour- 
tesy of C. C. Chipman, commissioner of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
arrangements were made to secure transportation and supplies at the 
company's posts throughout the region. I wish to make acknowledg- 
ment to all the employees of that company with whom I came in 
contact. Their number makes it impracticable to mention names. 
To the other traders, and to the missionaries, I am also under many 
obligations. I must refer also to Roderick MacFarlane, of Winni- 
peg, whose name occurs so often in these pages, and whose vast fund 
of information, the result of many years' experience in the north, 
has been at my disposal. 

During the preparation of this report I have been assisted mate- 
rially by the officials of the United States National Museum and the 
Smithsonian Institution, especially by Gerrit S. Miller, jr., and 
Robert Ridg\vay, in charge of mammals and birds, respectively, 
who have given me free access to the collections under their control. 
I have also received much help and encouragement from various mem- 



16 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. JT. 

bers of the Biological Survey. The photographs (except the one of 
the lynx, on Plate XXII, which was contributed by J. W. Mills) 
were taken by members of the Biological Survey — some by Merritt 
Cary, the greater number by myself. 

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATOLOGY OF THE MACKEHZIE 

BASIN. 

The Mackenzie Basin is here to be understood, in a broad sense, 
as comprising the area drained by the Mackenzie and its tributaries, 
and in addition a large section to the north and northeastward of 
Great Slave and Great Bear lakes, drained bj' the Coppermine and 
other smaller rivers tributary to the Arctic Ocean. Thus con- 
sidered, it comprises a-* vast region in the northern part of North 
America, with an area of nearly 700,000 square miles, bounded roughly 
as follows: On the north by the Arctic Ocean; on the east by the 
valleys of the Great Fish, Thelon, Telzoa, and Churchill rivers; on 
(he south by the Churchill and Saskatchewan valleys; and on the west 
by the main range of the Rocky Mountains. (See Frontispiece.) 

The principal lakes of this region form a more or less connecteil 
system, which is a part of a series extending from Lake Superior to 
the Arctic Sea. These lakes lie along the junction of the primitive or 
granitic and the newer limestone formations, usually heading in the 
primitive belt and outletting in the limestone district. They are of 
irregular shape, usually sending long arms eastward into the primi- 
tive formation and north and south along the junction of the two 
systems, though in some cases the southern arms have been filled by 
the sediment-bearing streams which enter them. In addition to the 
large lakes thousands of smaller ones arc scattered over the entire 
region. 

With the exception of a large area at the north, mainly outside 
the actual drainage basin of the Mackenzie, this region for the most 
part is covered with woods — the great transcontinental coniferous 
forest. The principal trees of this forest are the white and black 
spruces, whose ranges are coextensive with its limits, and the canoe 
l>irch, tamarack, aspen and balsam poplars, Banksian pine, and 
balsam fir, which are common in the southern part of the belt, and 
which terminate, counting fi-om the north, in about the order given. 
With these are associated, generally in the form of undergrowth, a va- 
riety of shrubs, some of which, also, have a continuous distribution 
through the forest zone, while others are more or less restricted in 
range." 

For convenience of reference this great region may be divided into 
several areas: The Athabaska Valley; the basin of Athabaska Lake; 

^ See list of trees and shrubs, p. 515, for detailed limits of range of the several 
species. 



1908.1 



PHYSICAL GEOCJRAPHY — ATHABASKA VALLEY. 



17 



the Peace River Valley, iricliuling the Slave; the basin of Great 
Slave Lake; the Liard Kiver Valley; the Mackenzie Valley proper; 
the basin of Great Bear Lake; and the region to the north and east 
of that body of water, and drained by the Anderson, Coi)perniine, 
and smaller rivers which enter the Arctic Ocean. These areas will 
be considered in the order given. 




Fig. 1. — Lc'ft bank Athabaska River near La Biche River. 



THE ATHABASKA VALLEY. 

The Athabaska River rises in the Rocky Mountains near Moinit 
Brown, at an altitude of about 5,700 feet, and pursues a northeasterly 
and northerly course for nearly GOO miles to Athabaska Lake, falling 
in this distance some 5,000 feet, and being interrupted by several s(»ries 
of rapids. In the first :^00 miles of its course it falls about 4,000 feet, 
and receives in succession Baptiste River from the west, the McIx»od 
and Pembina from the south, and the I^i^sser Slave, draining the 
large lake of that name, from the west. Below its confluence with 
the last-named stream, the Athabaska turns southeastward for some 

44131— No. 27—08 2 



18 



NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



[so. 27. 



ijO miles and then resumes its northerly course. In the course of 
the next 150 miles it receives in succession La Hiche Kivt'r from the 
east (fig:. 1); Quito or Callin<r Kiver from the west: Hi«r Month 
Brook from the east: Pelican Kiver from the west: and Houm» River 
from the east. Just below the mouth of the last river the Athabaska 
strikes a range of low hills, and in forcing a passage through them 
is deflected eastwanl, and for a distance of alxMit 75 mile*^ contains 
many rapids, falling in this distance some 4(M) Uh}{. At the low(»r end 
of this stretch it receives the waters of Clearwater Kiver, its princii)al 
tributary lx*low Ix^ssiu' Slave Kiver. The Clearwater risi^s on the 
height of land between the Churchill and the *\thal):i>ka, and. i)nr- 
suing a nearly straight easterly couive for some 150 milc<, mingles its 
limpid waters with the : ediment-laden Hood of the latter stream. In 




Vir,. L'. — A linilr or flro-swopt ft. rest, AtbniKiska IMvpf. lu'low (Irand lianiil. 



the low(»r part of its course the Cl(*arwater occupies a deep valley 
and is very rapid. Thirty or forty miles above its mouth it is joined 
by the Pembina, a stream of about equal A'olume. 

Pelow the mouth of the Clearwater the Athabaska pursues a nearly 
direct course ncu'thward, receiving Keil, Moose, an<l Tar rivtMs from 
the W(»st, and enters Athabaska Lake through a numbiT of channels 
inclosing alluvial islands. Besides the rivers mentioned, scores of 
lesser streams enter the Athabaska throughout its coui'se. 

The country drained by the Athabaska is mainly a rolling plain, 
and with the excei)tion of a few areas of semiprairie land is well 
wcKided with a forest composed mainly of spruce, tir. j)ine, tamarack, 
poplar, birch, and willow. A large part of its surface is oc(ui)ied by 
mossy swamps, called nuiskegs (PI. V. fig. 2), and hundnM^ of ponds 



i 



1»08.] PHYSICAL GEOGBAPHY ^ATHABASKA VALLEY. 19 

and lakes, of which Lesser Slave, 70 miles in length, is by far the 
largest, occupy its shallow valleys. Immense areas have l)een swept 
by fire (fig. 2), sometimes repeatedly, and in places the original forest 
covering has been destroyed and small prairies have succeeded. 

The country l^nng between the Athabaska and Peace rivers, and 
drained in part by the latter stream, may be best characterized by 
quoting in part the account by McConnell, who examined it in the 
summer of 1889: 

The country between the Peace and Athabasca rivers north of I^esser Slave 
I^ke, comprising an area of about 44,000 square miles, ♦ ♦ ♦ may be 
described as a gently undulating wooded plain, diversified with numerous shallow 
lakes, muskegs and marshes. Small prairie patches, manifestly due to forest 
il res, occur north of the west end of lesser Slave Lake, at several points along 
the lioon and Wabiscaw rivers, ♦ * * but their total area is relatively 
insignificant. 

The rolling plains between Peace River and the Athabasca are relieved by 
several high ridges or plateaus, all of which owe their origin to a diflferential 
denudation of the soft rocks on which the plains are based. Of these Marten 
Moimtain is situated north-east of Lesser Slave Lake, above which it rises to 
the height of about 1,000 feet. The Buffalo Head Hills commence abruptly 
about fifty miles above the mouth of the liOon Kiver, with an elevation of 
about 2,500 feet above the Sea, and running in a south-south-westerly direc- 
tion die away opposite the mouth of Battle Kiver, while Birch Mountain ex- 
tends for nearly ninety miles along the lower imrt of the Athabasca, from which 
it is separated by a plain fifteen to twenty miles wide. Among the smaller 
elevations are Trout Mountain, which is situated north of the Wabiscaw River, 
and the Thickwood Hills, which lie south of Birch Mountain. The uplands of 
the district, like the lowlands, are all wooded, and are dotted everywhere with 
lakes and marshes.** 

The climatic conditions of the various parts of Athabaska Valley 
vary considerably, accordin^^ to location. The more open portions 
of the upper part of the valley, though lying at a considerable alti- 
tude, enjoy the ' chinook ' winds, which so temper the climate that 
it compares favorably with more easterly regions lying much farther 
south. Lack of detailed data precludes the possibility of comparing 
absolutely the climatic conditions of the upper and lower Athabaska, 
but the effects of the ' chinook ' winds are felt to some extent through- 
out the course of the river. 

The following table will give a good idea of the climatic conditions 
at Athabaska Landing:'^ 

«Ann. Kept. (ieol. Surv. Canada, V (new ser.), pp. 6D, TO, 1803. 

*The tables of temperatures given in this reiM)rt, unU^ss otherwise noted, 
art* compiled from the Iteport of the Meteorological Service of Canada for the 
year IJKX). This seems to have been about an average year, and, by using tem- 
peratures taken sinniltaneously over the whole country, the figures for the 
different sections are more strictly comr>arable than they would be if repre- 
senting different years. All records are in degrees Fahrenheit. 



20 



NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



[NO. 



Summaries of temperatures taken at Athabaska Landing, Alberta, during the 

year 1900. 



Month. 


Mean daily 
maximum. 


Mean dally 
minimum. 


Extreme.s. 
Maximum. Minimum. 


Monthly 
mean. 


January 




February ._ ' 








Marrh ' _ _ 




1 


April 

May - 

June _ 

July 

AuiTUSt _ _ 

September 


&4.7 
C8.7 
68.9 
72.4 
67.9 
57.9 
49.0 
22.9 
23.3 


27.4 
38.5 
43.6 
42.1 
40.3 
2!».2 
22.2 

— 2.2 

- 5.9 


75.0 

78.0 

a'i.o 

81.0 
81.0 
7K.0 


13.0 
28.0 
29.0 
28.0 
27.0 
vx n 


41.1 
5.S.6 

.'i«i.2 
.'»7.2 

:>\A 

4'{ (i 


October. 


67.0 . 8.0 
54.0 -^<7.8 
4,', — '>7 fi 


'Xy « 


November 


10 3 


December 


S 7 











In this table the figures for the first three months are not availal>le, 
but this lack may be atoned for in a measure by presenting the cor- 
responding figures for Edmonton, on the Saskatchewan, al)oiit f>0 
miles almost directly south of Atliabaska Landing, thougli the former 
locality, being more southern and considerably nearer the mountains, 
is seen to have a slightly warmer climate. 

Summaries of temperatures taken at Edmonton, Alberta, during the year JVOO, 



Month. 



January 

February. _. 

March 

.\prll 

May 

June 

July-. 

Au?Ui<t 

September. 

October 

Novemt)er.. 
December- -. 



Year.. 



Mean daily Moan daily 



Kxtronies. 



maximum, 



27.0 
16.0 
30.7 
57.7 
68.7 
70.7 
71.7 
«7.0 
.'i9.7 
49.4 
29.9 
31.8 



minimum. 



7.2 

- 4.9 
9.1 

a'>.i 

42.fi 
48.0 
47.2 
45.2 
36.9 
31.4 
13.6 
14.5 



Maxinuim, 



48.0 
40.0 
;').'>. 
78.0 
78.0 
8(i.0 
82.0 
80.0 
76.0 
68.0 
62.0 
44.0 



AJ.O 



Minimum. 



JiO.O 
-40.0 
-20.0 
2*3.0 
.*«.:) 
37.0 

:tf.o 
:«.o 

12.0 

22.0 

-KJ.O 

- 9.5 



Monthly 
mean. 



19. U 
m.\ 
rM.7 

59..^ 
59.4 
.Vi.l 
4«.3 
40.4 
?1.7 
23.1 



37.7 



The climate of the lower Athabaska may l)e fairly represented by 
the data for Fort Chipewyan, given on a succeeding page. 

As intimateh' connected with the climatology of a region, data re- 
garding the freezing and breaking up of the rivers are of inten^st. 
In all northern rivers navigation is interrupted, before the actual 
closing of the stream, by drift ice. This is mainly w which has 
formed in the eddies and Avhich, by a slight rise of water, the usual 
result of its formation, or from the accumulation of snow upon it, 
becomes detached and descends the current, continually adding to its 
own volume. This continues until the increasing cold causes the 
mass to jam and become solidly cemented. After the breaking up of 
the rivers in spring the ice, of course, continues to run for a longer or 
shorter period. 



1908.] 



PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY — ATHABASKA LAKE. 



21 



The following table shows the dates of the opening and closing of 
the Athabaska at Fort McMurray during a series of years : *» 

Table showing condition of Athabaska at Fort McMurray, 



Year. 


River 
opened. 


Ice 
drifting. 

<— 

Oct. 27 
Oct. 26 
Nov.U 
Oct. 14 
Nov. 1 
Oct. 30 


River 
closed. 

Nov. i' 


1 Year. 


River 1 Ice 
opened. | drifting. 


River 
closed. 


1878 


Apr. 18 


! 1884 

1885 _ 


Apr. 27 
Apr. 9 
Apr. 16 
Apr. 27 
May 4 


Oct. 18 
Oct. 23 
Nov. 4 
Oct. 22 
Nov. 3 


Oct. 28 


1879 


Nov. 18 


1880 


May 2 
Apr. 21 
Apr. 24 
Apr. 25 


1886 


Nov.U 


1881 


Nov. 12 
Nov. 8 
Nov. 10 


1887 


Oct. 24 


1882 


1 1888 


Nov. 9 


18ft< 


i 









THE BASIN OF ATHABASKA LAKE. 

Athabaska Lake is long and narrow and lies in a general easterly 
and westerly direction. Its greatest length is about 195 miles; 
greatest width, 35 miles; and area, approximately 2,850 square miles. 
Its elevation above the sea is about G90 feet. 

The principal tributary of Athabaska Lake is the river of the 
same name, just described. Its capacity for deposition is so great 
that, assisted by the Peace, it has filled up a large portion of what 
was originally the western part of Athabaska Lake, and has isolated 
several good-sized sheets of water, the largest of which, Lake Claire, 
is some 35 miles in length. 

The north shore of Athabaska Lake is mainly rocky and sparsely 
wooded, and is broken by the mouths of a number of insignificant 
streams, which help to drain the unexplored country to the north- 
ward. On its southern side, whose shores are mainly low and sandy, 
Athabaska Lake receives the waters of William, Grand Rapid, and 
several smaller rivers, which drain a large extent of country, also 
unexplored. 

Black River, draining a very large area of rocky, sparsely wooded 
country, flows into the extreme eastern end of Athabaska Lake. 
It rises in Wollaston Lake, 1,300 feet above the sea, on the height of 
land between Athabaska Lake and the Churchill. Black Lake, the 
principal expansion in its lower portion, receives the waters of 
Chipman River from the north, and Cree River, draining the large 
lake of the same name, from the south. 

*»The data given in tliis report regarding tlie condition of the rivers have 
been compiled from various sources, but are based almost entirely on records 
kept in their daily journals by the employees of the Hudson's Bay Company. 
It may be well to state that slight discrepancies regarding the time of occur- 
rence of certain events, as recordeii by different observers, have been noted. 
For Instance, one may record the date of the first npi)earance of drifting ice, 
while another takes the date when the ice appeared in quantity. The total 
of error in this regard, however, is Inconsiderable. 



32 



NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



[no. 27. 



Wollaston Lake has the further distinction of contributing to 
the waters of Hudson Bay by way of CcK'hrane River, which flows 
through Reindeer Lake into the Churchill. 

Reindeer Lake, though outside the drainage basin of Athabaska 
Lake, may be briefly alhided to. It is 135 miles in length from 
north to south, and the northern half averages 30 miles in width. 
Its shores are rough and rocky and are mainly sparsely wooded. Its 
northern end lies within a comparatively short distance of the Bar- 
ren Grounds, and a trading post at that point is the only one in the 
Athabaska region which is resorted to by the Eskimo. 

The following table, showing the dates of occurrence of certain 
events during a series of years at I^c du Brochet Post, Reindeer 
Lake, is condensed from a schedule sent me by R. MacFarlane. It 
was compiled by Josc»ph Hourston, for some years managt^r of this 
Hudson's Bay Company post, near the north end of Reindeer Lake. 
Certain items not of general interest have been omitted : 



Dales of seasonal erenrts at Lac du Brochet Post, Rritnlrcr Lake. 















First 
Barron 




First 


First 


First 


Ground 


Year. 


thaw 


crow 


iroose 


caribou 




set In. 


seen. 


seen. 


tfoinsr 














north- 














ward. 


1873 










1874 


Apr. 27 


Apr. 


19 


May 


5 


May 9 


1875 - 


May 4 


Apr. 


28 


May 


11 


Apr. 26 


187®. 


May 2 


Apr. 


22 


May 


8 


May 17 


1877 


Apr. 10 


-Apr. 


14 


Apr. 


27 


Apr. 21 


1878 


Apr. 2 


Apr. 


10 


Apr. 


19 


Apr. 27 


1879_ 


Apr. 11 


Apr. 


15 


Apr. 


24 


Apr. 24 


1880. 


Apr. 23 


Apr. 


23 


May 


5 


May 12 


1881.-_ 


Apr. 18 


Apr. 


21 


May 


4 


Apr. 22 


1882 


Apr. 14 


Apr. 


17 


May 


3 


-Apr. 20 


1883 


Apr. 13 


Apr. 


10 


.Apr. 


25 


...do... 


1884. 


Mar. 31 


Apr. 


15 


May 


3 


May 1 


1885... 


Apr. 2 


Apr. 


11 


Apr. 


29 


(*) 


1888. 


Apr. 10 


Apr. 


14 


Apr. 


23 


(^) 


1887 


Apr. 7 


Apr. 


11 


May 


? 


(*) 


1888 - — - 


Apr. fi 


•Apr. 


15 


May 


* 


(*) 


188J) 


Mar. 18 


Apr. 


« 


Apr. 


17 


(^) 


1890 












Apr. 10 















Arrival I 
of Barren 
Ground [ 
caribou i 
from i 
north. 



T 



First 






white 






par- 


Las!t nets 


First 


tridge 


set in 


nets set 


(willow 


oi>en 


under 


ptannl- 


water. 


Ice. 


ffan) 






seen. 







(•) 

I Nov. 14 

I Oct. 27 

, Oct. 29 

I>ev. '28 

Xov.12 

Nov. 18 

I Nov. 26 



Oct. 24 
Dec. 15 
Nov. 6 

(•) 

(«) 

(•) 

(-) 

(«) 
Dec. 21 



I 



I 

Oct. 24 , 

Oct. 11 I 

Oct. 17 

Oct. 19 

Oct. 2.S ' 

Oct. 19 

Oct. 24 
....do... 

Oct. 10 
Oct. ft 
Oct. 7 . 

Oct. PJ 
Oct. 6 

Oct. 17 

Oct. 19 

Oct. 24 
Oct. 8 I 



Oct. 20 
Nov. 3 
Oct. 29 
Oct. 28 
Oct. 31 
Oct. 10 
Oct. 2(J 
Oct. 20 
Oct. 14 
Nov. 2 
...do — 
Oct. 20 
Oct. 15 
Oct. 12 
Oct. 19 
Oct. 29 
(Jet. 19 



Oct. 25 
Nov. 6 
Nov. 9 
Oct. 29 
Nov. 6 
Oct. 28 
Oct. 31 
Oct. 28 
Oct. 18 
Nov. 10 

I Nov. 12 
Oct. 27 
Oct. 2«.) 
Nov. 6 
Oct. 24 

I Nov. 3 
Oct. 25 



I 



I 



• Did not come. 



•• None pass«»d. 



The climate of Athabaska Lake is not radically different from 
that of other parts of the Mackenzie region wliich are practically 
removed from the influence of the warm Pacific winds. Though it 
lies at a low altitude, the proximity of the lake to the Barren (irounds, 
from which winds are frequent, keeps its average temperature rather 
low. An occasional Avarm west wind slightly tempc^rs the winter 
climate. The Peace and Athabaska break up at their mouths about 
the 1st of May, but the neighboring part of the lake usually does 
not open until about the middle of May, and the eastern part prob- 



1908.} 



PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY — PEACE RIVER VALLEY. 



28 



ably not before June. The lake usually closes at Fort Chipewyan 
some time in November. 

The following table illustrates the temperature conditions at P^ort 
Chipewyan, Athabaska Lake: 



Summaries of temperatures taken at Fort Chipeiryan tUiring the year 1900, 



January 

February- 
March 

AprIL 

May 

June 

July 

Auirust 

September- 
October 

November.. 
December... 



Month. 



Mean daily Mean daily 



Extremes. 



Monthly 



|maxlmum.. minimum. Maximum. | Minimum. »"«»"• 



Year. 



il 
, < 

I 

,4 

,8 ' 

:Ji 

3 

,5 I 
,4 ! 



-18.9 

-22.2 

-7».*6 

29.6 

41.9 

48.5 

51.0 

47.7 

37.6 

28.0 

1.7 

- 2.7 



I 



I2.r, 
7.0 I 
41.0 ' 
66.0 I 
70.0 I 
81.0 ' 
79.0 i 
83.0 I 
68.0 
58.0 I 
40.0 
29.0 I 

83.0 , 



-36.0 

-42.0 

-39.5 

8.5 

25.5 

ri.O 

38.0 

31.5 

24.0 

15.0 

-18.0 

34.0 



-12.2 
-14.9 
4.2 
39.5 
51.8 
58.3 
G0.5 
58.0 
46.6 
35.7 
9.3 
5.5 



-42.0 



28.5 



The following table has IjecMi compiled from records taken at Fort 
Chipewyan, Athabaska Lake, probably by R. MacFarlane. 



Dates of sea^tonal events at Fort Chipewyan, Athabaska Lake, 



Seasonal event. 



Snow bunting first noted... 

Canada goose llrst noted 

Crow flrst note<l 

Frogs flrst notcL. 

Robin flrst noted 

Snow goose first noted 

Snow buntinj? arrived from north. 
Ptarmigan arrived from north 



188:?. 



Apr. 9 
Apr. 16 
May 8 
...do... 



Oit. 12 Ort. 14 
Oct. 11 Oct. 18 



1886. 



Mar. L2. I Mar. 29 

Apr. 13 Apr. 11 

Apr. 21 I .\pr. 12 

Apr. 30 May 8 



.May "4 
Oct. 1 


Apr. 2:i 
.._.do.-. 
Oct. 9 







Apr. 5 
Apr. 11 
Mar. 2.7 
May 2 
Apr. 26 
Apr. 28 



Oct. 28 



THE PEACE RIVER VALLEY. 

Peace River is the largest of the aflluents of the Athabaska-Mac- 
kenzie system, and bein^ in fact much larger than the Atliabaska, 
may b(» considered the main river. It rises on the western side of the 
Rocky Mountains and is already a «:ood-sized stream when it breaks 
through that range. Its principal feeders west of the range are the 
P'inlay and the Parsnij). The former river rises near the headwaters 
of the Skeena and flows southeasterly. The Pai*snip rises close to some 
of the head feeders of the Fraser. at an altitude of about 12.500 feet, 
and flows northward, uniting with the P^inlay in latitude HCP. Here 
the river turns eastward through the mountains, the pa.ss boing about 
1,000 feet above sea level, and the mountains on eu-h side rising 
some 4,500 feet higher. The tree limit on these mountains occurs at 
about 4,000 feet. 



24 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

From the confluence of the Finlay and the Parsnip, the Peace flows 
in a general easterly direction for some 80() miles to its junction with 
the Smoky, falling in this distance a little less than S(M) ft^»t. The 
country through which it flows may be considered as a plateau, in 
which it has excavated a rather deep valley. A nnmlMM* of streams. 
Pine River from the south l^eing one of the largest, discharge their 
waters into it. Back from the river the country is mainly level or 
rolling, and is thinly wooded. 

Smoky River is the largest tributary of the Peace. Its principal 
branches rise on the eastern slope of the RcK'ky Mountains, and it 
drains a large extent of thinly wooded and prairie country. 

Below the mouth of the Smoky the Peace turns and pursues n 
winding though general northerly coui-se nearly to Fort Vermilion. 
It is bordered at first by steep sandstone clilTs, but its valley gradu- 
ally becomes wider and shallower. Extensive plains, comparatively 
level and clothed with gi'ass or a sparse* growth of poplars, border 
it on both sides. North of Fort Vermilion this character of country- 
is said to extend to the valleys of Hay and Buffalo rivers. The coun- 
try In^tween Peace River and Cireat Slave Lake, however, is very im- 
l)erfectly known. 

Between Fort Vermilion and the Peace- Athabaska Delta the Peace 
is very broad and contains many wocnled islands. Red and Loon 
rivers, coming from the south, are its principal tributaries. The 
country drained by them has been alluded to briefly in describing the 
Athabaska. (See p. 19.) Vermilion Falls, a formidable rapid, inter- 
rupts navigation a short distance above the mouth of Red River, and 
another, usually called the ' Little Rapid,' occurs at some distance 
below. 

The Quatre Fourches, an offshoot of the Peace, connects that stream 
with Athabaska Lake, and a few miles below, Rocher River also joins 
the Peace. These streams traverse the Peace- Athabaska Delta, and 
their currents run to or from Peace River, being dei)cndent on the 
relative heights of the water in Peace River and Athabaska Lake. 
(See p. OH.) The delta is a vast nuirsh, partially wooded with poplars 
and willows and studded with hundreds of reedy lakes. 

Below the delta the combined stream, here called the Slave, turns 
abruptly northward and flows for a distance of about TO miles in a 
general northerly direction to the Smith Rapids. It is a broad, 
rather deep stream with a moderate current, and its low banks are 
well wooded with spruce, poplar, and willow. It receives in this 
stretch no tributaries of importance, but drains many outlying 
marshes. In latitude 00° it cuts through *' a gneissic spur from the 
Laurentian district to the east," forming the Smith Rapids, some 10 
miles in length. Below here it flows in a rather irregular manner 
for about 175 miles in a general northwesterly direction to Great 



1908.] 



PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY — PEACE RIVER VALLEY. 



25 



Slave Lake. In this stretch it has an average width of about half a 
mile, and its banks are high at first, but gradually diminish. The 
country bordering it is level and mainly well wooded, but to the west 
are extensive tracts of prairie, especially in the region of Salt River, 
its principal tributary, which enters the Slave from the Avest IG miles 
below the rapids. Slave River enters Great Slave Lake througli an 
extensive delta, in forming Avhich it has silted up an extensive arm of 
the lake. 

The Peace River Valley, as here considered, exhibits the greatest 
diversity of climatic conditions at the same reason of any of the re- 
gions now under discussion, excepting possibly the Liard River Valley. 
Its extreme upper portion, lying at a comparatively low altitude and 
near the Pacific, has a relatively niild winter climate, Avhile its lower 
part at the same season is surrounded by almost Arctic conditions. 
Its middle part, just east of the mountains, seems to l)e characterized 
by violent extremes of temperature, judging by the figures for Dun- 
vegan, the only post for which I have been able to obtain a complete 
record. For the extreme upper and lower portions, exact data being 
wanting, data for near-by localities may be substituted. Thus the 
temperatures for Stuart Lake, a locality lying close to and at about 
the same altitude as the extreme headwaters of the Parsnip, probably 
represent approximately the conditions in the valley of the upper 
Peace. In the same way the table for Fort ChipcAvyan, elsewhere 
given (see p. 23), may be taken as an index of the climate of the lower 
Peace River proper, and that for ITay River, Great Slave Lake (see 
p. 28), as fairly representing the lower Slave. 



Summaries of iempcratureH taken at Stuart Lakr. 

the year WOO. 



Britinh CoUtinhia, (luring 



January 

February. -. 

March 

Aprtl 

May 

June 

July. 

Ausrust 

September- 
October 

November.. 
December... 

Year-. 







Extremes. 




Mean ilaily 


Moan daily 




Monthly 


maximum. 


mininniin. 


.MaximiniK, Minimum. 


mean. 


18. « 


3.4 


44.0 ' -29.7 


n.o 


14.1 


- 3.0 


33.9 , -38.6 


5.5 


. 23.1 


2.3 


45.0 1 -30.2 


12.7 


42.9 


21.5 


04.0 


14.2 


32.2 


r>2.2 


27.5 


(w.O 


20.2 


39.9 


59.4 


:«.2 


77.5 


22.2 


44}.3 


64.4 


:«.3 


81.0 


31.2 


51.3 


iiOJi 


35.3 


70.0 


18.2 


47.4 


iVj.O 


28.9 


(J8.0 


19.2 


41.9 


39.7 


22.4 


54.0 


2.1 


31.0 


27.7 


11.3 


43.0 


-27.4 


19.5 


30.0 


15.8 


43.0 


-15.6 


22.9 



30.8 



The ' Chinook ' winds exert a powerful, though irregular, influence 
on the climate of the middle Peace River Valley and, together with 
a favorable soil, allow a considerable amount of agi'icultural de- 
velopment. 



26 



KOBTH AMERICAK FAUNA. 



[Jfo. »7. 



The following table shows the monthly extremes and means of 
temperature at Fort Dunvegan " from observations made during 

1880-84:" 

Summaries of temperatures taken at Fort Dunvegan, Peaee Hirer, during 

1880-188^, 



Month. 



January.. 
February. 
March--.. 

April 

May - 

June 

July 



Extremes. 
Maximum. Minimum. 



48 
45 
55 

73 I 
79 I 
87 
87 



Monthly | 
mean. 



-62 


-n.9 


-65 


2.« 


-52 


S».3 


—27 


35.1 


20 


50.1 


SO 


5S.9 


S4 


00.5 



Month. 



August 

September.. - 

October 

November... 
December 



Year. 



Kxtremefl 
Maximum. Minimum. 





Monthly 


m. 


mean. 


31 


57.4 


22 


45.7 


- 4 


31.6 


26 


16.5 


80 


- 4.9 



-62 I 



29.9 



The following table relating to Fort St. John, Peace River, gives 
the dates of ojxMiing and closing of the river, and other phenomena 
dependent on the climatic conditions, during a series of years: 

Dates of oecurrenee of certain events at Fort ^7. John. Peaee River, 



Year. 






1885 _.„ ' 

1806 i Apr. 19 Apr. 

1807 Apr. 21 

1808.— 

1869 

1870 

1871 _ 

1872 

1873 

1874. 

1875 Apr. 16 Apr. 15 

1887. _...!- Apr. 26 

1888... ' May 1 

1889 I Mar. 30 

1890 _ Apr. 30 

1891 - I Apr. 17 



Potatoes ^*^^**^*'^ lee drift- 1 RJver 
planted., ^^/^^ ing. . c1o«h1. 



- Nov. 12 : Dec. 10 

Apr. 30 Sept. 25 Nov. 7 , Dec. i 

Nov. 8 ' Dec. 3 

Ai»r. 20 Sept.30 Nov. 7 , Nov. 17 

Apr. 23 '._ Nov. 8 I 

Apr. 26 .-..._ I 

Apr. 18 Nov. 10 Nov. 15 

Apr. 19 ' _. Nov. 8 Nov. 28 

Apr. 23 ..I Apr. 26 Sept. 20 Nov. 4 , Nov. 90 



Apr. 19 Apr. 21 



May 5 Sept. 22 Oct. 31 . 
May 8 



.!_ 



Dec. 3 
Nov. 16 
Nov. 24 
Dec. 21 



I 



THE BASIN OF GREAT SLAVE LAKE. 

Great Slave I^ke may be briefly described by quoting in part the 
account of R. G. McConnell : 

Gresit Slave I^ke, so far as known, has a superficial areji, including islands, 
of about 10,400 stiuare miles, and ranks fifth among the great lakes of Jhe 
continent." No complete survey of its shores, however, has yet Ixvii made, ami 
our knowledge of its geography is still confineil to the dlseonuivte*! e.xplorations 
of Heame, Mackenzie, Franklin. Rack, and Petitot.* These give the lake a 
total length from east to west of about 288 miles. Its width is variable, and 
in one place exc«»etls sixty miles. It is situated along the western margin of the 
Archiean axis, and had originally the form of a great cross with one arm i>ene- 



oit is exceeded in size, by Superior (31.500), Huron (28.S()0), Michigan 
(22,:^)0), and (Jrejit Bear (11,4(K)). IMcConnell.j 

*The less known eastern part of the lake has l>een carefully examined 
recently (181)9) by Dr. Robert Bell and J. Macintosh Rell. of the Tannaian 
<4e<»logical Survey, but. as far as I know, the reiwrt on the work has not yet 
been published. 



1908.1 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY — GREAT SLAVE LAKE. 27 

trating the crystal iine schists, while two others stretched north and south 
along the junction of these with the newer sedimeutaries, and the fourth ex- 
tended over the flat-lying Devonian to the west. The southern arm, as stated 
before, has been siltetl up by Slave River. 

The eastern or archsean portion of the lake has an irregular outline, and is 
dotted with rocky islands. It is reported to be much deeper than the western 
part, and its water is exceeilingly clear and limpid. 

♦ ♦ ♦ The northern arm is situate<l nearly opiK)site the mouth of Slave 
River, and is narrow and filleil with islands. At its upper end it contracts, and 
opens out again under the name of I^ike Brocliet, which conmiunicates in turn 
by a short river with Marten I-^ike. Yellow Knife River, at tlie mouth of which 
old Fort Providence was situated, and which Franklin ascended on his way to 
the C^piiermine, enters this arm from the east. 

The [western I arm of Great Slave Lake rests on the flat-lying Devonian 
limestones, and is wider, and presents a greater expanse of water, unbroken by 
islands, than either of the other divisions. Its southern shore has a gently 
sinuous outline, and is characterizetl by low banks and gently shelving beaches, 
which are often thickly strewn with boulders. The banks : s pointe<l out by 
Richardson are often built up of drift timber. The northern shore is more 
uneven, and is indenttnl by stnoral deep bays. The water of (ireat Slave Lake 
between Slave River and the Mackenzie, is never entirely clear, as a i>ortion of 
the setliment brought down by the former stream is held in susi)ension and 
drifts slowly eastward for a hundred miles. The impurity of tlie water is 
fsiiecially noticeable along the southern shore, and the shallowness of this part 
of the lake is undoubtedly caused by the partial settlement of the suspended 
materia l.« 

Great Slave Lake lies wholly within the forested region, though 
some of its eastern affluents drain large areas of treeless country. 
Its southwestern shores, being watered by rivers coming from the 
south and southwest, are Avell wooded, while the northern shores, 
exposed for most of the year to cold winds from the north and Avatered 
by colder streams, are poorly wooded. The soil conditions, also, being 
more favorable on the southern side of the lake, exert a marked influ- 
ence on the foresting. 

The Eastern Arm of the lake, however, is largely removed from 
these modifying influences, and the conditions on its northern and 
southern borders are more nearly uniform. Several streams, whose 
courses and drainage are practically unknown, enter this arm on the 
southern side. Hoarfrost Kiver, draining Walmsley Lake, and Lock- 
hart River, carrying the waters of Mackay, Aylmer, Clinton-Colden, 
and Artillery lakes, which lie almost wholly in the Barren Grounds, 
fall into this arm near its eastern extremity. The country bordering 
its northern shore is rocky and sparsely wooded, and contains a great 
many lakes, but the streams flowing thence into Great Slave Lake are 
few^ in number and comparatively insignificant. 

The Northern Arm of Great Slave Lake, as before stated, lies along 
the junction .of the primitive and the ncAver formations. Its eastern 
shore, therefore, is mainly composed of granite, while its western 

« Ann. Kept. Can. Geol. Surv., IV, p. 65 D et seq., 1891. 



28 



•NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



[so. 



border is of limestone. Yellowknife Kiver, a considerable stream 
which rises near the Coppennine and drains a nnnil)er of lakes, enters 
this arm on its eastern side. At the head of the Northern Arm. in an 
expansion named Lake Marian, or Lac du lirochet, (Jrandin River 
discharges its waters. This stream has several branches, the main one 
being Marten River, which forms the outlet of s(»veral large Ixxlies of 
water, of which Marten Lake is the largest, (irandin River j>roix*r 
descends from a few small lakes near the low height of land to the 
northward and receives from the northeast, al)ove its junction with 
Marten River, a small unexplored stream. The country drained hy 
these rivei*s is mainly rocky and poorly wooded. 

To the westward of the Northern Arm and north of the main 
body of Great Slave Lake lies a low, broad plateau, dotted with maii^' 
lakes and muskegs. It contains no rivei^s of consi»quence and is 
mainly rather thinly wiKMled, though a uuiuIkm* of largt^ prairies 
occur in the western part, north of the outlet of (ireat Slave Lake. 

The country to the southward of the nuiin part of (Ireat Slave 
Lake is mainly flat and swampy. Kagle Mountain, a low, isolated 
range, lies a short distance south of the extreme western end of the 
lake. The principal stream is Hay River, which ris<^s closi» to the 
height of land betwwn the Nelson and the Peace, far to the south- 
west. The country drained by it is practically unknown, but is 
reported to be low and swampy and mainly well wooded, though 
it contains much gi*assy prairie. Hay River InMug said to mark the 
northern limit of this character of country. To the eastward of 
Hay River, Buffalo and Little Buffalo rivers enter the lake. So 
far as known the country drained by them is similar to that bor- 
dering Hay River. Slave River, the principal affluent of (ireat Slave 
Lake, has already be(»n described. 

The main facts in regard to the climate of Great Slave Lake mav 
be gathered by reference to the accom])anyiug table of teni|K*ra- 
tures taken at Hay River post, at the mouth of the river of that 
name. 

Summaries of lemprraturrs taken at Hajf Rirrr, Great Shire Lake, duritiff 

the year 1900. 



January.- 
Pebniary. 

Mardi 

April 

May. 



June 

July 

August 

September- 
October 

November.. 
December- 



Month. 



Mean daily Mean daily 
inaximuni.! ndniinuiii. 



I 



Kxtromps. 
Maximum. Minimum. 



Monthly 
moan. 



- a.7 

- 7.1 

47.8 
M.4 
♦57.3 
72.1 
«8.S 

:>8.:> 
40. a 

15.2 

- 2.fi I 



-26.0 
-29.:i 

-i;^.:> 

22. $• 

:u.7 I 

4«.0 
38.1 
22. « ' 

- 2.ij 

-10.8 



S.O ' 

«.0 
4(i.O i 
fiS.O 
72.0 

7y.o 

8.').0 
8;{.o 
7<J.0 

«1 .0 

;«.o 

24.0 



Year. 



-47.0 
-44.0 
-41.0 I 
Ti.O I 
•20.0 I 
31.0 1 
42.0 : 
:«.o I 
28.0 
8.0 
28.0 
♦O.O 

-47.0 



-18.3 

-18.3 

1.0 

35.3 

4r>.ej 
5r».4 
eo.7 

4S.3 

31 .:■» 

6.3 

- 4.1 

24.9 



1JH)8.] PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY — GREAT SLAVE LAKE. 29 

, . These temperatures for Hay River, however, are not strictly rep- 
resentative of Oreat Shive Lake, since this post is situated at the 
mouth of a large river which heads far to the southwestward, a fact 
which probably considerably influences the climate at its mouth. 
The temperature conditions at other points on the southern shores of 
the lake probably do not differ materially during an average j^ear 
from those here recorded. On the Northern and Eastern arms, 
however, the spring and autumn temperatures are considerably lower. 
The wintei's are severe and the conditions recorded at that season 
by the thermometer are intensified by high winds which sweep over 
the surface of the lake and in the autumn keep it from freezing until 
a late date. Ice forms to a considerable thickness and persists until 
midsummer. I have no exact data regarding the time of the freezing 
and breaking up of the ice during a series of years, but the dates 
given by McConnell (loc. cit.) probably represent about the average 
time. He says: 

Ice forms in the bays and alon^ the shores of Great Slave I^ke between the 
20th and the last of October, and the whole lake is nsually fast by the middle 
of November." The ice attains a thickness of from six to eljjht feet. In the 
spring the disrnption of the ice takes place about the 1st of July, but sometimes 
occurs as early as the 20th of June and as late as the 10th of July. 

In the main or western part of the lake the ice breaks up earlier 
than in the eastern part. At Fort Rae, according to Russell, it dis- 
appears earlier than in the main body of the lake. The following 
table was ccmipiled by him from the journals kept at the Hudson's 
Bay post: 

Dates of hreakiiKj up and setting of ice in the Northern Arm (it Fort Rae, 



Year. 


^'^niK^'' Ice set. 




Year. 


'/^r'^|i-«et. 


185'/ 




June 1 1 Oct. 19 
Juno 7 


1883... _ 

1884 

1885.... 
1803—. 


:::::::::::::::: 


June 3 


1858 


1 June 23 1 


1859 _ __ 


May 30 


1 June 18 


1854 

1880 


_._ 


Oct. f\ 

1 Oct. 28 


Oct. 19 



After the disruption of the ice the floes are tossed back and forth 
by the Avinds until finally they become disintegrated. In 1903 a little 
ice still remained about the western end of the lake until July 1, and a 
week earlier the ir/vV/Zr//, cr()ssi!ig from the outlet to Fort Resolution, 
had made its way Avith difficulty among the drifting floes. In the 
eastern part of the lake the ice does not entirely disappear in some 
seasons until late in June. 

^ The center of the lake has been known to remain open until the 1st of 
December (fide Kichardson). 



80 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so. 27. 

THE LIABD RIVER VALLEY. 

A short account of Liard River may well lx»^iii with a brief descrip- 
tion by R. (i. McConnell, who descended it from Dease Lake in the 
summer of 1887. He says in part : 

The Llanl Ulver Is one of the three principal trlbutarios of tho Mackenzie, 
the other two being the Athabasca and the Teact*. It has its sources west of 
the KiK'lvy Mountains, one of its branches reaching to within one hundnnl and 
fifty miles of the sea, mid drains the eastern part of the l)roken c<»nntry lying 
between that range and the coast nionntains. Its bran(*hes spread throngh four 
degrees of latitude, from 58** N. to (i'2° N., and lnterl<»ck with those of the 
Yukon, Stikine. Skeena, and Peace Rivers. In its np|K»r part it divides at inter- 
vals Into four nearly equal streams, the Mud or Black Kiver. Dease River. 
Frances River, and the branch which retains the ctanmon nnnie. Of these the 
latter and Black River are still practically unknown. ♦ ♦ ♦ Rising in the 
elevated country- west c»f the Ro<»ky M(>untains. the Llanl falls rajudly toward 
the east, the difference in altitude between the ni(»uth of the Dease and the 
Mackenzie amounting to nearly 1.<J5() f<H»t. and is characteriz<»tl nearly everj^- 
where by imi»etuous currents, by dangerous rapids and narrow whirlixH^l-filletl 
caAons. The des<'ent of the river is greatest and its rajiids most numerous, 
while passing through, and for some dlstantv on either side of the Ri>cky 
Mountains. After leaving the fcHithills it is nearly frei* from interruptlous until 
near Its junction with the Mackenzie, where a series of str(>ng riffles (K*cur8.*» 

In its upper portion the Liard lx»ars a strong superficial resemblance 
to the upper Peace, bein^ formed by large north and south ti*ending 
branches which unite west of the mountains and, like the Peace, cut 
eastward through the nuiin range of the Rocky Mountains. The 
Frances, one of these branches, is formed by several streams Avhich 
rise close to the headwaters of the Pelly and flow southward, while 
the Dease takes its waters from Dease Lake, near the source of one of 
the branches of the Stikine. Below the junction of the Frances and 
the Dease the united river passes eastward through llie mountains, 
being interrupted by a series of dangerous rapids and receiving sev- 
eral affluents, most of Avhich are very imjMTfectly known. Fort Nel- 
son River, entering the Liard from the south, is its principal branch 
east of the mountains. It rises near the headwaters of Pine River 
(north), and pursues a very tortuous, though general northerly, 
course to the Liard. Below the junction the Liard flows northerly 
and then northeasterly, still being bordered on the west(»ru side by a 
spur of the Rocky Mountain range. The country east of the lower 
Liard is mainly low and swampy in character. It is drained by 
Black River and many smaller streams. The valley of the lower 
Liard is heavily wooded, the largest tree lieing the balsam poplar 
{PopuluH hahatnifvra), which here attains perfection of habit, and 
from which the river is said to take its name. The other forest trees 
also are those common to the whole region. 

a Ann. Rept. Can. Geol. Surv., IV, p. 33L>, 1891. 



1908.] 



PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY LIARD RIVER VALLEY. 



31 



The climate of the Liard River Valley, like that of the Peace, 
varies widely in the diflFerent sections. The upper part of the river, 
lying west of the mountains, enjoys a climate much tempered by the 
warm Pacific winds. The upper Nelson River also, the principal 
tributary of the Liard east of the mountains, lies far to the southward 
and sufficiently near the Pacific to come within its modifying influ- 
ence. Unfortunately no exact data regarding the temperature of the 
upper Liard or the Nelson are at hand; hence the conditions there 
can not l)e compared directly with those on its lower course. The 
average temperature conditions on the lower Liard may be fairly 
represented by those taken at Fort Simpson in 1900, given on page 34. 
The warm westerly winds which reach the valley of the Liard extend 
their influence as far as its mouth and have been known to cause a 
pronounced thaw there even in January, the coldest month. This 
modifying influence is apparent in the character and progress of 
vegetation, the migration of birds, and in other phenomena. It 
is especially manifest, however, in its relation to the breaking up 
of the river and the attendant effect on the conditions along the banks. 
Furthermore, the disruption of the Liard ice starts that in the 
Mackenzie also, which thus opens considerably earlier than would be 
the case were it not affected by its warmer tributary. This, of course, 
has its natural effect in accelerating the progress of vegetation on the 
banks of the Mackenzie below the I^iard. 

The following table shows the dates of the opening and closing of 
the Nelson at Fort Nelson during a series of years : 

Dates of opening and closing of Nelson River at Fort Nelson, 



Year. 



1887 Oct. 23 

1888 _ May 7 i Oct. 31 

1889 , Apr. 10 ] Nov. 10 



River 



River 



opened, closed. 



Year. 



River 
opened. 



1890.. - Apr. 30 

1891... : Apr. 22 



River 
closed. 



Nov. 4 



The following table shows the dates of the closing of the Liard at 
Fort Liard during a series of years : * 

Dates of closing of Liard River at Fort Liard. 



Year. 



1878- 



Date of 
closing. 



Year. 



Oct. 29 , 1881 



1879 I Nov. 7 I 1882.. 

1880 i Nov. 9 I 1883.. 



Date of I 
closiner. { 



Year. 



Date of 
dosing. 



Year. 



Nov. 13 1884.- Oct. 31 1888.... 

Nov. 7 I 1886 Nov. 20 I 1889 

Nov. 9 'I 1887 ....i Nov. 9 , 1890 



I 



Date of 
closing. 



Nov. 5 

Nov. 14 

Do. 



The dates of the opening of the Mackenzie at the mouth of the 
Liard during a series of years appear in a table given on page 36. 

At Fort Liard the river is said to break up generally about the 1st 
of May. The approximate dates for the years given may be ascer- 



32 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so. 27. 

tained by consulting this table and by assuming that the Liard 
opened at Fort Liard a few days earlier, sinctj the disruption of the 
Liard ice is almost invariably the immediate cause of the opening 
of the Mackenzie below their junction. 

An account of the j)rogress of the seasons and attendant phe- 
nomena at Fort Simp<on, as observed from Octolx»r, 1903, to June, 
1904, appears in the discussion of the Mackenzie Valley. (See p. 37.) 

THE MACKENZIE RIVER VALLEY. 

The Mackenzie (taken in a restricted sense as comprehending only 
that part of the river known under this name) has a course of over 
900 miles from (ireat Slave Lake to the Arctic Sea. As its imme- 
diate valley is more fully describinl elsewhere (see p. 100), the present 
account may be confined to a few general statements and brief de- 
scTiptions of the country bordering it on either side. It averages 
over a mile in width and is usually deep, with a current of from 2 
to (» miles an hour. Its general course is to the northwest. It is bor- 
dered mainly by sandy or gravelly beaches and occupies a narrow, 
comparatively shallow valley, througli which it flows in a succession 
of gentle curves. Many low islands, usually well wooded, occur 
throughout its course. Its rcK'ks are chiefly Devonian. 

Issuing from (ireat Slave Lake, the Mackenzie first follows a 
general westerly course for nearly 300 miles. The tributaries which 
it receives in this stretch, with the exception of the Liard, already 
described, are of minor importance. The Horn Mountains, a long 
ridge less than a thousand feel in height, lie in an easterly and west- 
erly direction at some distance north of the middle of the stretch. 
To the southward of the river occur other lower ranges, the principal 
one l)eing Trout Mountain. These mountains are very imperfectly 
known. A large part of the country' bordering this part of the 
Mackenzie is of a swampy nature, and it is all well wooded. Nearly 
all the species of trees of the great subarctic forest are represented. 
(See p. 1().) 

A short distance north of latitude 02° the Mackenzie strikes a spur 
of the Rocky Mountain system, the Nahanni Mountains, is deflected 
toward the north, and for some distance flows close to their base.s. 
At the point where the Mack(»nzie first approaches them the nearest 
peaks are from 2,000 to •J,r)00 feet in height and are si)arsely wooded 
to their summits. Farther back they rise much higher, and above 
an altitude of -J.^OO feet are treeless. In early summer these moun- 
tains are capped with snow, but this dissippears entirely beneath the 
almost continuous sunlight of midsummer. The North Nahanni 
River, occupying a deep, narrow valley, issues from the mountains at 
this point, and joins the Mackenzie by several shallow mouths. 
(See PI. XII, fig. ±) Its course has never been explored. 



1908.] PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY MACKENZIE RIVER. 33 

Continuing northward, the Mackenzie is bordered on the west by a 
broad expanse of mountain country, mainly unexplored. A few 
low^ spurs of the same system cross the river and appear in the 
form of isolated peaks or disconnected ranges to the eastward of its 
v^alley. The principal western tributaries between latitude 02° and 
55"^ are the Red Rock and Gravel rivers. In the same interval the 
Mackenzie receives several small streams Avhich drain the countr^^ 
east of the river. One of the largest of these is the Blackwater. 
Mount Clark, which is visible from the riAer at some distance below 
the mouth of this stream, has an estimated altitude of 8,500 feet, and 
is the highest of the mountains east of the Mackenzie. The most 
conspicuous landmark in the inmiediate valley is Roche Trempe-reau, 
a limestone mass Avhich rises abruptly from the water's edge a short 
distance north of latitude G3°. Bear River, the principal eastern 
tributary of the Mackenzie, joins it just south of latitude G5°. As 
the outlet of Great Bear Lake, it is described in its proper place (p. 
t4). Below its mouth, on the north side of the Mackenzie, is Bear 
Rock, 1^00 feet in height. (See fig. 7, p. 105.) This mount is com- 
posed mainly of Devonian limestone. 

Below here the Mackenzie resumes its general northwesterly course. 
Wolverene Rock, 100 miles below Bear Rock, is formed, like that 
3minence, by an uplift of the Devonian limestone, and is about 
1,000 feet in height. Twenty-five miles l)eloAv here a rocky ridge 
crosses the river, forming the Sans Sault Rapid. The next important 
feature in the valley of the Mackenzie is the defile called the ' Ram- 
parts.' (See fig. 8, p. 100.) Here the river contracts from a width 
if 2 miles to about 500 yards, and flows for about 7 miles between 
precipitous limestone cliffs, which in places rise to a height of 250 
feet. 

Below Sans Sault Rapid the Mackenzie recedes from the moun- 
:ains, and they are not again visible until the delta is reached. Ilare- 
>kin River enters the Mackenzie from the east a short distance north 
if the Ramparts. It drains a large extent of rocky wooded country 
letween Great lU^ar Lake and the Mackenzie. For a long distance 
3elow here the Mackenzie maintains a general north w^esterly course. 
Al few fair-sized streams enter it from the east, but from the west 
it receives no tributaries of importance. In about latitude 67° 40' 
it turns rather abruptly at right angles, and for about 50 miles 
follows a course considerably south of west. It is here bordered, 
especially on the north, by high clay banks, through Avhich several 
yood-sized streams cut their way. The river then turns northward 
igain and maintains a northwesterly direction to the delta. The 
lefile called the ' Narrows ' or ' Lower Ramparts ' is encountered 
lear 67° 40', and at its lower end Arctic Red River, from the south, 

44131— No. 27—08 3 



84 



NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



fNo. 27. 



diftcharpes its muddy waters. As far as known the. country borderinp 
this part of the Mackenzie on Iwth sides is rolling, well watered. 
and fairly well wooded. A few miles 1h»1ow Arctic Red River the 
high banks of the Mackenzie gradually In^come lower and the river 
spreads out into the delta. Peel River, the largt»-t tributary of the 
Mackenzie except the Liard, also enters the head of the delta by 
several mouths. 

Peel River is fed by a numlx»r of larg(» tributaries, which rise 
in the mountains some 400 miles to the southward of its mouth. The 
main river has l)een asc(»nded to near its head, but the country drained 
by it is very imperfectly known. 

The Mackenzie Delta (KTupies a triangular area nearly 100 miles 
in length and 50 miles broad at its widest part. The various branclu*> 
inclose si»veral largi* islands and a multitude of smaller ones. At 
the head of the delta these islands are well w(K)ded with spruct> an<l 
balsam poplar. Lower down these trees give way to willows, which 
continue to the s(»a. To the westward of the d(»lt:i lie-; a range of 
high hills. th(» northern extremity of tiie Rocky Mountains. They 
rise to a height of from 1,200 to IJM) feet, and their lower slopes 
only are wooded. The Caribou Mountains, apparently a continuation 
of the ridge which crosses the Mackenzie at the l>ow<»r Ramparts, 
lie to the eastward of the delta. They rise to a h(Mght of 700 to 800 
feet and are less rugged than the mountains we-:t of the delta. 

The climate of tlu* Mackenzie Valley is fairly indicated hy the 
tables of temperature whicii follow. They were tjiken in IIKK), Avhich 
seems to have been a year of idwut average conditioiH. 

Sitmmarirfi of trmprruturcH taken at Furt Simpson, Markcnzh , diirinf; the pvar 

1000. 



Month. 



January 

F«'*»ruary 

M:ir!:- 

ApHl 

May-- 

.TlHIO 

Jjily 

Aii^nst _. 

Scp:«> liber 

Oct .hor 

X()V«»nil)Pr 

r>or**inb€r 



Many 


Mt>a(i daily 








Montlily 


imni. 


ininiinii!!). 


.M 


ixfinuin. Mi f.::irM. 


mean. 


1«.2 


-:«.;-• 


1 


:..<) 


.-.1.0 


-24.S 


l».2 


:«.:i 




n.n 


'<>..-. 


-21.4 


12.8 


-17.4 




;;!».o 


:.i).o 


2.,1 


41 .2 


17.8 




(V) 


.'i.O 


•«*..> 


r-iM 


:?.-). 2 




m.o 


27.0 


43.9 


m.'A 


4.-.. 3 




H0.(» 


27. C 


-.7..^ 


m.\ 


4.'). 7 




7i).:> 


.-^i.r. 


r»7.6 


Cm.O 


41.1 




7.s.() 


27.0 


M.5 


56. K 


31.7 




71. (► 


23.0 


4.'i.7 


2ft. 


1*>.2 




40.0 


3 ' 


24.1 


.-.4 


- S.7 




2:i.() 


-2<<.0 


— 1.7 


7.3 


2r).i 




l:{.<) 


18.0 ■ 


-13.7 



Year. 



The temperatures of the extreme upper Ma(*kenzic are undoubt- 
edly slightly low(»r than thost^ reconled for Fort Simpson, but com- 
parabh* data are not at hand. 

For purpose*^ of comparison corresponding figures for points in 
the vallev of the lower Mackenzie and for Herschel Island follow. 



1908.] 



PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY — MACKENZIE RIVER. 



35 



These figures show that the winter climate of the upper and lower 
Mackenzie varies but slightly, while the summer climate is consid- 
erablv cooler to the northward. 



Summarictf of temperatures taken at Fort Good Hope, Maekenzie, during the 

year J 900. 



Month. 



January.- 
Fobruary. 

Mart'h 

Aiirll 

May.. 

June - 

July.* 



1 Extremes. 

Maximum. Minimum. 



,.l 



11.0 
6.0 
24.0 ' 
48.0 
TrfJ.O ! 
SO.O ' 
83.0 I 



-62.0 

-46.0 

-17.0 1 

-20.0 I 

14.0 \ 

29.0 I 

39.0 , 



Monthly 
mean. 



-3o.7 
-26.1 
- 7.6 
19.5 
37.2 
56.6 
59.6 



Month. I 



Extremes, 
i Maximum. Minimum. 



.\ugust. 

Sei»tember 

October 

November 

Doecmber 

Year 



75.0 
60.0 ! 
34.0 I 
21.0 . 
- 6.0 I 

83.0 ' 



23.0 
12.0 
-22.0 
-47.0 
50.0 



Monthly 
mean. 



49.2 

37.9 

12.3 

-15.9 

-24.3 



-62.0 



13.6 



t^unimarieft of temperatures taken at Fort MePherson, Maekenzie, during the 

year tUOO. 



w--,,.,. Mean daily.Mean daily 

-^"""^- maximum.! minimum. 

January i -22.4 i -37.6 

February _ ...i -14.8 i -31.2 

March i 5.3 i -14.6 

April-... - 24.2 I 2.6 

May - 31.8 I 20.4 

June. 60.2 j M).8 



Extremes. 



Maximum.: Minimum. 



16.7 ' 
6.0 



18.9 I 
85.0 I 



-00.6 
-47.4 
-47.2 
-22.0 
5.0 
26.8 



Monthly 
mean. 



-30.0 

-23.0 

- 4.7 

13.4 

26.1 

fiO.6 



tiummaries of temperatures taken at Nersehel /stand, Maekenzie, during the 

year liWO. 



Month. 
January ..... . 


Mean daiiy 
maxlinu!!!. 

-17.1 
- 12.2 
- .1 
9.9 
22.6 
43.2 
48.7 
43.5 
.•«.3 


Mean daiiy 
minimum. 

-28.2 
24.6 

-15.2 
3.5 
11.8 
31.1 
:i6.6 

;«.4 

29.3 


Extreme.^. 

Maxi:mmi.| Minimum. 

18.9 -49.4 
11.5 -35.2 
25.4 -39.4 

27.2 ' -20.4 

35.3 1 - 1.0 
55.2 1 18.7 
f«.3 1 2(».6 

62.8 1 23.9 

55.9 1 17.3 
:i8.7 -10.5 
34.2 -27.8 

- 1.5 -42.6 


Monthly 
mean. 

-22.6 


Febnmry . -.. .. 


-18.4 


March 

.\prll _ 


- 7.6 
3.2 


May 


17.2 


June. 

July 

August 


37.1 
42.7 
38.4 


September 


33.8 


October _ 


17.6 


9.1 


13.4 


Novernber 


5.4 1 - 9.2 
-11.7 1 -23.1 


-1.9 




-17.4 






Year. _ _ _ 




6-2.8 1 -49.4 


9.8 




1 





As has been stated, the warm winds from the Pacific sometimes 
exert a deci(h*d though temporary influence o\\ the climate of the 
Mackenzie, and the Liard, opening early, disrupts the Mackenzie ice 
l>elow" the confluence. The removal of the icy covering of an immense 
river and the blending with its flood of the waters of a warmer tribu- 
tary necessarily affect c(mditions along its banks. The ice in the 
Liard, having broken its bonds, is forced against that of the Mac- 
kenzie, through which it opens a passage, and urged on by the 



36 



NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



[xo. 



immense pressure behind it breaks its way seaward, occasionally 
becoming damme^l and raising the level of the water until the in- 
creased pressure again clears a channel. At Fort Simpson, near lati- 
tude 02°, the ice continues to drift in quantity for some days after its 
disruption. About ten days, on the average, after the Mackenzie 
opens at this point, or about the time that the breaking ice hasi-eached 
latitude 05°, the upper Mackenzie ojjens and the channel is filled 
again with floating ice. Sometimes a third consignment of floes, 
from the ' Little Lake ' or from (treat Slave Lake, fills its current. 

The following table shows the dates of the opening and closing of 
the Mackenzie at Fort Simpson during a series of years: 

Tabic nhincihg cotidifioti of Markrnzir at Fort Simpson. 



Year. 



1876 

1877 

1878 

1879 

1880- 

1881 

1882 



I 



Maokenzfe n|)ened— , 

\bovP ^*"* ! "*^'^*f 
Llard. i 



At mouth 
of Liard. 



I 



May 14 
May 8 
...do... 
May 3 
May 7 
May 13 
May 7 
May 1 



I 



May 19 
May 17 
May 19 
— do-. 
._-do-. 
May 20 
May 5 



Nov. 4 
I Nov. 1 
Oct. 10 
Nov. 12 
Nov. 2 
Oct. 12 
Nov. 1 
Oct. 28 



jMackcnzio o|>eiit»il— 

''"'• l^ViZVJ' "^-"th'of ''^''i^^*-- 
or i.iara. ,^j^^^,_ 



First 



Nov. 17 
Nov. 28 
Nov.2t} 
Nov. 20 
Nov. 2ft 
Nov. 18 
Nov.;« 
Nov. 20 



1884. 

188.-) 

ISiHi 

1903 

1904 

19ft'. 

190fi 

1907 



I 



May 12 
May 2 
May 3 



May H 
Miiy 7 
May 27 



Apr. 20 
May r. 
May 3 



May 13 
.May II 
May 10 



. Ort . 

Oft. 

Oct. 
"Ort. 



: Oct. 2« 



River 
closed . 



Nov. 18 
Nov. 20 
Nov.2r» 
Nov. 18 

Nov. 2.-. 
--.do.. 



I 



■ From the Liard. The ice from the Mackenzie above the Liard began to run Oct. 18. 
*Had not Hosetl on Nov. 24. 
•"Had not begtm to drift Nov. 1. 

The following table shows the dates of occurrence of certain phe- 
nomena at Fort Xorman, distant from Fort Simpson about ISO miles 
by the river. Some of the years being represcMited in the Foil 
Simpson table also, the rates of progress of the o})ening and closing 
of the river may \)e noted : 

Table nhfiwinu votuUtion of Mackcnziv and date of first snrnr at Fort \ornuin, 

Mackenzie. 



Year. 



River 
opened. 



1872 

1873 May 17 

1874 May 25 

187.') May 24 

1870 May 19 

1877 May 12 

1878 

1879lI"II!'May"'9" 
1880. May 22 



FIrHt 
snow . 



First 
Ice. 



River 
close. I. 



Sept. 28 
...do... 
Oct. 15 



Oct. 10 
Sept. 25 
Sept. 28 
Oct. 3 
Oct. 7 



Oct. 7 
Oct. 21 
Nov. 2 
Oct. 23 
...do... 
Oct. 18 
Oct. 22 
Oct. 20 
Oct. 22 



I 



Nov. 
Nov. 1 
Nr>v.l 
Nov. 
....do. 

Nov." 

Nov. 

Nov. 1 



Year. 



River 
oi>cne<l. 



Kfrst 
.•<n(»w. 



First I River 
Uv. I closed. 



1881 0«'t. 2 Oct. 7 

1882 May II Oct. !» Oct. 14 

188.1 May 11 ... «i »... (»ct. 21 

1884- May 28 

188"i-._ -. 

188r, 

1887 May 21 Sc;.t.2{ 

1888 May 19 

1904 May 21 



Nov. 12 
Nov. 14 
Nov. 10 



Oct. 
Oct. 



IS Nov. 13 
5 I Nov. !S 



In the autunni of 1903 the ice in Peel River at Fort McPherson 
commenced to drift on ()ctol)er 4, and the river set fast on ( )ctober 12. 
In the following spring it opened on ilay 2:\. The lowest tempera- 
ture registered there during the same winter was — (>()•, 



1908.] SEASONAL PHENOMENA MACKENZIE VALLEY. 87 

SEASONAL PHENOMENA IN MACKENZIE VALLEY, 1903-^. 

As a contribution to the climatologj' of the Mackenzie Valley, it 
may be well to present a brief account of the progress of the seasons 
and attendant phenomena from October 1, 1903, to July, 1904. The 
first three weeks in October were spent in ascending the Mackenzie 
from Fort Norman, at the mouth of Bear River, to Fort Simpson, at 
the mouth of the Liard. The fact that these notes were taken while 
the party was traveling detracts but little from their value, since the 
conditions in different parts of this stretch of river were nearly uni- 
form at that time. The period from October 20, 1903, to June 1, 
1904, was silent at Fort Simpson, and the month of June in descend- 
ing the Mackenzie to its delta. 

When the Mackenzie was reached, on September 30, 1903, by de- 
scending Bear River, a marked contrast was noted between the condi- 
tions left behind at Great Bear Lake and those encountered on the 
Mackenzie. The temperature was considerably higher, and several 
species of small birds wiiich had practically disappeared from Great 
Bear Lake were common. The high mountains on the west side of 
the Mackenzie were covered with snow. 

During the first few days of October, as we were ascending the 
Mackenzie, the weather was mostly fine, with southerly winds part of 
the time. The nights were frosty and ice formed on still water. The 
blue flowers of a gentian (apparently Gentkina acuta) ^ the latest 
flowers observed, were seen on October 3. During the night of Octo- 
ber 7 (above Blackwater River) a little snow fell, but it disappeared 
during the following day. On the night of October 12 (above Fort 
Wrigley) 4 inches of snow fell, and on the night of October 14 
another fall of snow occurred. Some ice was st^n drifting on the 
west side of the Mackenzie on Octol>er 15 (above mouth Xahanni 
River).* On the following day the drifting ice had greatly increased 
in quantity, and on October 17 our progress by canoe was arrested. 
At this time the last of the tree sparrows and a few other hardy 
species left for the South. Snow fell on the nights of October 17 
and 18 while we were continuing on foot to Fort Simpson, and the 
drifting ice ((mtinually increased in quantity. 

SEASONAL PHENOMKNA AT FORT SIMPSON. WINTER 1003-4. 

The Liard was partially closed at it.s mouth on October 21, but broke 
away once or twice before it finally set fast. . The weather from Octo- 
ber 21 to 25 was considerably milder than it had been during the pre- 

^ It slionld he nott'd that the ui>i)earauce of drifting ice at this early date was 
almost uii[)recedeuted. 



38 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [sa 27. 

vious week, and on the 2Gth and 27th it became still wanner and the 
ice practically ceased running. On October 28, however, the weather 
became colder and the ice again api^earod. From this date it contin- 
ued to run and the snow steadily accumulated. The thermometer did 
not rise above the freezing point, and consequently there was no 
thawing, except to a very slight extent in sheltered spots directly 
exposed to the sun. A\Tiile the river remained open its expanse of 
ice-laden water added greatly to the intensity of the cold. From the 
same cause the trees and shrubs were nightly loaded with ice crystals. 
On the night of November 7 the minimum temperature i^ecorded was 
— 10°, and on the night of November 15 a temperature of — 27° was 
registered. 

During the night of November 18 the river finally set fast. In 
this process the drifting ice accumulates until it has so filled the river 
that it jams in some place where it has partially bridged the channel. 
Against this barrier the oncoming floi»s, laden with saturated snow, 
are pushed by the current, and becoming h)dged in all possible posi- 
tions are almost instantly cemented together by the intense cold. 
This process continues upstream, usually without interruption, until 
the whole river is closed. As a result the surface of the river becomes 
extremely rough and is almost impassable until the drifting snow 
fills the interstices and (he projecting points are somewhat rounded 
off by evaporation. The time of the closing of a river depends greatly 
on the height of water. 

During November and Deceml)er the cold steadily increased in 
intensity and the snow gi'adually accumulated. When no thaw 
occurs the snow remains so light and powdery that it does not settle 
appreciably. On the shortest days the sun rose in the southeast about 
0.80 o'clock and, after describing a low arc over the tree tops, set 
al>out 2.30. KvQU at midday its heat was scnircely appreciable. After 
the middle of December the thermometer scarcely ever rose above zero. 
From January 1 to March 12, 1004, it rose above zero on only 
eight occasions, as follows: January (>, 3^; January 7, 1°; January 
28, 2° ; February 24, 2° ; February 25, 5° ; February 27, 4° ; March 4, 
4"^: March 5. 4°. The lowest temperature recorded was — 54°, on 
January 20 and 21. During the third week in January the average 
daily maximum was — 80"^; the average daily minimum — 45"^. 

A grave which was dug on February 2(), 11)04, afforded an oppor- 
tunity to ascertain the depth to which frost had penetrated. The 
location was a sandy knoll somewhat sheltered on the north by a 
thick growth of young trees and open to the south. Snow lay to a 
depth of about H feet. The frost had reached a depth of only 20 



1908.] SEASONAL PHENOMENA — MACKENZIE VALLEY. 39 

inches, but the excavation was not carried to a sufficient depth to reach 
the permanently frozen substratum." 

On March 20 the temperature first rose above the freezing point and 
from that date did not descend below zero. When the spring thaw set 
in the snow had attained a depth of nearly 4 feet. 

" In this connection it may be well to present some additional data regarding 
ground ice at Fort Simpson. The information was given me by A. F. Camsell, 
of that post. 

In excavating a cellar on a sandy ridge in the midst of a field on July 21, 
1903, frozen ground was reached at a depth of 7 feet. In October, 1903, an 
excavation made in the yard of the dwelling house revealed frozen ground at 
7 feet. Recent frosts had penetrated about 4 inches from the surface. This 
yard was sheltered by a high, tight fence. 

In October, 1001, a pit was sunk beneath an engine house which had con- 
tained a fire during two previous winters, and frozen ground was encountered 
at a depth of 25 feet. A foot of frost was succeeded by a foot of thawed 
ground, beneath which frozen ground was a,gain reached and was i)enetrated 
a short distance. Two years later the hole was deeijened 3 feet through 
ground which had thawed since the pit was originally dug, and frozen ground 
was again encountered. It is proper to state that this pit was situated only a 
few feet from the edge of the river bank, where the effect of the summer heat 
would l)e greater than in a situation where the soil was not exposed to this 
lateral influence. 

Relating to the same phenomenon at Fort Simpson, Richardson says : *' In 
October 1836, a pit sunk by Mr. MTherson, in a heavy mixture of sand and 
clay, to the depth of IG feet 10 inches, revealed 10 feet 7 Inches of thawed soil 
on the surface, and feet 3 inches of a i)ermanently frozen layer, beneath which 
the ground was not frozen." (Arctic Searching Exi>etlition, I, p. 100, 1851.) 

Permanently frozen ground occurs in many parts of the north. According to 
some authorities, its southern limit is the isotherm of 32°. It is unfortunate 
that more observations regarding this phenomenon, esi)ecially as regards tiie 
thickness of the frozen substratum, have not bt»en recordeil. There is reason 
to believe that in muskegs and niarsh(»s the summer thaw penetrates to a 
shorter distance than in dry ground. On June 3, 11)01, in a marshy ponU near 
Fort Chlpewyan, which had been free from ice for about a month, the muddy 
bottom was still frozen solidly. In the middle of June, 1904, the bottom of a 
muskeg at Fort Norman flooded with a foot of water was still solid. In such 
situations it is likely that the covering of cold water prevents the summer 
heat from iienetrating to any considerable depth. 

McConnell contributes the following: "Around Great Slave I^ke the soil 
seldom thaws out to a greater depth than eight feet, and in many of the muskegs 
and marshes ice remains throughout the year at a deiith of about two feet. In 
descending the Mackenzie the frozen soil gradually approaches the surface. At 
Fort Norman at the end of summer it lies at a depth of about six feet, at l^^>rt 
(■(khI Hoi)e at about four feet, and at the mouth of Peel River at about two fei»t. 
The thickness of the frozen stratum was not ascertaineil.'* (Ann. Rept. Can. 
(Jwl. Surv., IV, p. 32 D, 1891.) 

Richardson states that in the vicinity of Fort Franklin the soil during the 
greater part of the year "is firmly frozen, the thaw In the two seasons 
[1825-201 we remaincnl there never penetrating more than twenty-one inches 
from the surface of the earth." (Franklin's Narr. Second ExiKKiition to Polar 
Sea, Appendix, p. XI, 1828.) 



40 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

The progress of the season at P^'ort Simpson from March to June, 
1904, as indicated by the temperatures of successive weeks, is shown 
in the following table: 

TvminraiurvH of xuvcvHHivc wcekn, sprinff of tUO^, at Fort Simitfton, Mackenzie 

Rivrr, 



First I Kei'ond Third \ Fourth 
wwk. . wwk. week. ■ week.* 



9..'> , 



I 

Average of datily ntaxhna: i 

March - 2.8 I - 2.7 

April .- I 3».4 42.7 

May _ - -.. - ' m.O I 50.S 

Juno _ j «2.1 G3.1 I 00.0 

Average of dally iiilniiiiu: I I 

March i ^'..4 , -2<>.8 i -Irt.O i 3.8 

April ' 11.8 2:?. 4 23,4 33.5 

May i 30.(5 3,1.2 I 38.8 1 84.5 

Juue- _-. .- I 39.7 44.1 43.8 48.6 



57.9 
58.2 
T0.4 



• The • fourth week ' iiuludra the last nine or ten days of the month. 

On March 19 a flock of white-winged crossbills, evidently migrants, 
was seen. On March 28 the first hawk owl of tlie spring was ob- 
served, and snow^ fleas {Achoriitvs) appeared. About the same time 
several species of small birds, which had Uhmi si^en rarely during 
the winter, appeared in larger numln^rs. On March :^0 the buds and 
cattins on the willows and alders imparted a brown tinge to the 
hillsides, where thes(». slirubs were common. On the same date snow 
buntings, which had been ab.sent since the middle of Decemlwr, reap- 
peared. On April 2 many small grayish moths were s(»en in the 
woods. On April 17 a mourning-cloak butterfly {KuntneHsa)^ was 
seen. By April 18 the snow had nearly disappeared from the fields. 
Mos(|uitoes (Culex aimulatn^) first ap})eared on April 20, and were 
biting on April 24, but did not become troublesome until over a 
month later. The sap of the white birches U^gan to flow freely on 
April 20. On April 23 a small space of open water was seen near 
the mouth of the Liard. Frogs were first observed on April 28. 

On April 29 Liard River broke up. Its advancing flood fii*st 
opened a channel nearly straight across tlu» Ma(k(»nzi(», forcing the 
ice with irresistible power up on the opiK)site l)ank in immense piles. 
At the same time a mound (>0 or 70 feet in height was formed at the 
mouth of one of the channels of the Liard, several immense cracks 
opened in the white expanse before the post, and the hugi* sheets 
w(»re soon broken uj). The stui)endous amount of force ex(»rted by the 
river uj)on th(» broad expansi* t)f ice. 5 feet in thickness, as with a 
grinding roar it folds and crushes the mighty sheets like cardboard, 
reducing them to powder and forcing them jtloft in great mounds, im- 

"A list of tho buttortlies of the region has boen publislicd by Merritt Cary 
(Proc. U. S. Nat. Mas., XXXI, pp. 42r»-4r»7, IIHK;). 



1908.1 SEASONAL PHENOMENA MACKENZIE VALLEY. 41 

presses the beholder, who is likewise occupied- in considering the pos- 
sibility of the river being dammed sufficiently to overflow the ground 
on which he stands. Such a catastrophe has destroyed more than one 
post on the Mackenzie in years past. On this occasion the immense 
volume of ice blocked the channel below the post and did not begin 
to move in earnest until the night of May 2, when the jam broke 
and the water, which had risen several feet, again fell. 

At this time a few ducks appeared in open places on the river. On 
May G a small quantity of snow fell. The leaves of Ribcs oxyacan- 
thoides began to appear on May 8. By this time the river was nearly 
clear of ice below the mouth of the Liard, but above its mouth the 
ice in the Mackenzie was still intact. On May 10 large sheets of 
the Mackenzie ice broke away and floated down, but the river did not 
open from above until May 18. The water then rose and became filled 
with ice, but on the following day was nearly clear again and had 
fallen. On this date the leaves on aspens and birches were half an 
inch in length. About the middle of May blue violets ( Viola alherfina) 
blossomed. The weather continued warm and vegetation advanced 
steadily. On May 18 Viburnum jyaucriflprum and Popuhts bal- 
samifera put forth their leaves, and mountain cranberrj^ {Vitis- 
id(ea) was in flower. Birds were now coming fast and additional 
species were noted daily, but on May 21 the weather turned cold and 
stormy. This had the effect of retarding the advance of vegetation 
and the tide of bird migration. On May 22 Ribes oxyacanthoides 
and Calypso bulbosa were in flower. On May 23 a quantity of ice 
from the Little Lake, or from Great Slave Lake itself, came down the 
Mackenzie. The weather remained cold and stormy during the 
remainder of the month and the conditions of vegetation and of bird 
migration remained almost at a standstill. On May 29 several inches 
of snow fell. 

SBA80NAL PHENOMKNA ON MACKENZIE BELOW FORT SIMPSON, SUMMER 1904. 

On June 1, 1004, I left Fort Simpson, and spent the remainder of 
the month descending the Mackenzie. Though stops were made here 
and there, my general rate of travel kept pace with the advance of 
spring. The weather during the first few days of June was favor- 
able and vegetation made good ])rogress. On June 2, a few miles 
below Fort Simpson, the leaves of the tamaracks were just coming 
out, and they were in the same condition at Fort Xorman, 3*^ farther 
north, on Jmie 11. All along the river more or less ice still lay on 
the banks, but a few miles above Fort Norman the quantity was as- 
tounding. Many of the stranded cakes were upward of 20 feet in 
thickness. They had evidently come from the mouth of some tribu- 
tary which had frozen to the bottom, and whose waters, continually 
overflowing and freezing, had filled the valley with ice (see fig. 3). 



42 



NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



[NO. 



On June 17, below Fort Xorinan, a small quantity of snow fell. On 
June 21, at P'ort Good Hope, the leaves on most of the trees were 
about half grown. On the same date the sun was visible at midnight 
from a low hill near the post, and many birds were in full song at 
that hour. For the next three weeks, north of this i)oint, the sun was 
continually alK)ve the horizon. Vegetation now advanced rather 
faster than our rate of travel northward, but was not at its height 
when we reached the delta of the Mackenzie on June i^O. 




Fio. 



Vnlloy of small stream filled with Ice which has persisted until late. 
River l>elow Fort MacKay, May 29, 190;j. 



Athabaska 



THE BASIN OF GREAT BEAR LAKE. 

A short account of Great Bear Lake may l^egin with a portion of 
th(^ descripti(m by Richardson, who examined most of its shore line 
in 1825 and 182G. He says: 

(Ireat Bear I-alve is an extensive sbeet of water, of a very irre^nlar shape, 
beinK formed by tbe union of five arms or bays in a conmion center. The pr«it- 
est diameter of the lake, measuring nbout one hundred and fifty s*»opraphlcal 
miles, runs from the bottom of Dease Bay. which receives the priucii>al feeding 



1908.] PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY GREAT BEAR LAKE. 43 

Stream, to the bottom of Keith Bay, from wheuce the Bear Lake River issues, 
and has a direction of N.E. to S.W. The transverse diameter has a direction 
from N.W. by W. to S.E. by E., through Smith and M'Tavish Bays, and is 
upwards of one hundred and twenty miles In length.** M' Vicar Bay, the fifth 
arm of the lake is narrower than the others, and being a little curved at its 
mouth, api)ears less connected with the main body of water. The light blulsh- 
colouriHl water of Great Bear Lake is everywhere transparent, and is particu- 
larly clear near some primitive mountains, which exist in M'Tavish Bay. A 
piece of white rag, let down there, did not dlsapi)ear until it descended fifteen 
fathoms. The depth of water, in the center of the lake, was not ascertained; 
but it is known to be very considerable. Near the shore, In M'Tavish Bay, 
forty-five fathoms of line did not reach the bottom.^ 

Great Bear Lake, according to the Canadian Geological Survey, 
has an area of approximately 11,400 square miles and lies 391 feet 
above the level of the sea. Its shores, with the exception of parts of 
MacTavish Bay, are rather low. Its southern and western shores are 
well wooded, while its northern and eastern borders are more thinly 
forested. The immediate shores are mainly of sand or gravel and 
are usually devoid of trees, but are w-ell clothed with willows and 
various ericaceous shrubs and herbaceous plants. In most places 
along the south shore this treeless stretch is only a few hundred yards 
in width, and in the bays the forest extends to the water's edge. In 
the vicinity of Leith Point, however, a treeless area stretches from 
near MacTavish Bay to Mc Vicar Bay, and extends inland for several 
miles (see PI. XVI, fig. 3, facing p. 118). On this area the faunal and 
floral conditions are practically those of the Barren Grounds. 

The junction between the primitive or granitic rocks and the lime- 
stone formation crosses Great Bear Lake near its eastern extremity. 
To the eastward of the dividing line the shores are higher, especially 
around MacTavish Bay, where the mountains approach closely to the 
shore. The Grizzly Bear Mountain, which occupies the peninsula 
between Keith and McVicar bays, is upwards of 900 ^ feet high and 
several hundred feet of its upper portion are devoid of trees. On the 
opposite side of the lake, between Smith and Keith bays, a broad 
peninsula is occupied by the Scented Grass Hills, of about the same 
height and similar in structure to the Grizzly Bear Mountain. The 
mountains which border MacTavish Bay are so rocky that it is diffi- 
cult to trace the limit of timber on their sides. 

The northern shores of (Jreat Bear Lake are described as mainly 
low- and thinly wooded, although the country at some distance inland 
is better wooded. 



^ In reality about one hundred and fifiy. 

* Narr. Second Exp'd to Polar Sea, Appendix, p. 11, 1828. 

<^The altitudes of mountains jriven in this paper are mainly taken from pub- 
lished narratives, but being largely estimates, can be regarded only as approx- 
imate. Thus (irizzly Rear Mountain, stateil by Richardson to be 000 feet high 
(above the lake?), appeared to me to be higher than Mount Charles on Bear 
River, stated by Bell to be 1,500 feet high. 



44 



NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



[MO. 27. 



The tributaries of (ireat Boar Lake are comparatively few in 
number. Dease River, which discharges into tlio northeastern ex- 
tremity of the hike, is probably the best known of its feeders. It 
rises oh the ti-eeless height of land lx»tween Dease Bay and the lower 
Coppermine. Several important streams enter the lake from the 
north. Several others draining a very large extent of country to the 
soutjjward enter MacTavish and McVicar bays. The hitter recei\i>s 
also the waters of a chain of large lakes lying north of Marten I^ike 
(whirfi discharges into Great Slave Lake). The country drained by 
the southern tributarie^s is very rough and rocky, though fairly well 
wooded, and is traversed in various directions by ranges of low 
mountains. 

Bear River, which forms the outlet of Great Bear Lake, flows from 
its wes4<?ni extremity, and after following a general westerly coui'se 
for about 00 miles, joins the Mackenzie. It is mainly confined be- 
tween steep banks of sand or clay, is from 150 to 200 yards wide, and 
has a current of about miles an hour. About midway of its course 
it passes through a sandst(me chasm, forming a rapid nearly 8 miles 
in length. A ridge of hills, some of whose peaks attain a height of 
1.500 feet, crosses the river at this point. From the summit of the.se 
hills the surrounding country is seiMi to consist of a rolling wooded 
plain dotted with many lakes of various sizes. Below Bear River 
Rapid the river is wide and the current less impetuous. Bear River 
is extremely clear, and although it is joined by several muddy streams 
its waters still present a marked contrast to those of the Mackenzie 
at their confluence. 

The following table shows the summaries of the temperatures re- 
corded during a full year (being for parts of 1825 and 1S!>()), at Fort 
Franklin, Great Bear Lake, during Franklin's second journey (Nar- 
rative Second Expedition to Polar Sea) : 

Snmmarirs of tvmitcratHrcs fal-m at Fort FranlcJin from Srptrmhrr, /825, to 

AnOUftt, tS2(i. 



Date. 



Mean thiily Moan duily 
iiiaxiimiin. iiiiniinimi. 



Kxtrciiips. 



Si'pteinber. 

October 

Novornber.. 
Det'einbcr.-. 



•24.80 
8.39 

- 8.18 



.Tanuary 

February 

March 

April-... 

May 

June 

July* 

Auifust 



182fi. 



38. OR 
14.18 
3.7'i 
21.(>:i , 



Maximum. 



(K)..". 
40.3 

.3*2.:. 



10.17 


-.31.2;') 


11.8 


4.\l't 


-21.71 


•27.8 


3.87 


-•22.01 


31.8 


•24.83 


3.W 


4l.fi 


43.8l> 


27.47 


(il.O 



Minimum. 



.30.0 
-18.0 
-22.0 
-17..'> 

-49.0 
-3<».0 
-43.0 
-23.0 
1.0 



<10.21 
:>8.-21 



42. <H 
42.08 



sr).o 

74.0 



.30.0 



Year. 



-19.0 



M«»nthly 
mean. 



42.92 

20.28 

2.79 

-13.96 

-28.78 
-12.70 

- 8.21) 
i:).2l 

« IS.Oi' 
.'■>2.H. 
.'.l.tfi 



17.49 



« A8Bnme<l. Records for .Tune lost. 

* Temperature for the first eight daya of July supplied from ol)servatIon8 taken on the 
Mackenzie. ^ 



1008.] PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY GREAT BEAR LAKE. 45 

, It is evident that these figures are not comparable with thofle taken 
^In 1900 at various other points in the region. From its .position 
Fort Franklin should have a mean temperature at least as low, as Fort 
Good Hope, which, although situated a degree farther north, is at a 
lower altitude and on the banks of a northward flowing river. The 
temperatures of the three winter months would seem to indicate that 
the winter of 1825-26 was exceptionally mild, and the temperatures 
recorded by Richardson as taken elsewhere in the Mackenzie region 
during the same year seem also to point to the same conclusion. 

The following notes regarding the progress of the seasons at Fort 
Franklin, Great Bear Lake, are taken mainly from Richardson's 
accounts: 

The relative temperatures of December, January, and February 
differ considerably; either of these months may be the coldest in dif- 
ferent years. In some years snow exposed to the sun thaws very 
slightly during these months; in other winters there is no thaw what- 
ever. The snow attains its greatest depth, about 3 feet, in March. 
By April 10 the snow begins to thaw decidedly in the sunshine. F'rom 
the 1st to the 6th of May the earlier waterfowl arrive. The smaller 
streams break up about the 10th or 12th of May. Between the mid- 
dle and the end of May most of the small' birds arrive. ' At the end 
of May or early in June the earlier shrubs and herbaceous plants 
flower and sprout their leaves. Frogs are heard at the same time. 
By the last week of May there is bright light at midnight. No 
snow, excepting the remains of deep drifts, is left. On June 8 (1826) , 
the small lake was clear of ice, having been frozen for two hundred 
s'.nd forty days. By the middle of June summer is fairly established. 
Great Bear Lake begins to break up about June 20, and drift ice 
sometimes obstructs navigation until the first or second week in 
August. By the 2r)th of July blueberries (Vaccinium uliginosum) 
are ripe. At the lx»ginning of August stars are visible at midnight. 
By the last of August or first of September snow falls. Severe frosts 
set in by the last of September. In October, when the soil begins to 
freeze, the summer thaw has penetrated about 21 inches, beneath 
which the ground is perpetually frozen. The small lakes are frozen 
over by the 10th or 12th. of October, and the last of the waterfowl 
depart. The bays of Great Bear Lake are filled with new ice by the 
end of October or early in November, but the center of the lake does 
not freeze over until December. The ice attains a thickness of about 
8 feet. 

Bear River opens at its head early in May, the result (according to 
Kichardson) of its being fed by warm water from the depths of the 
lake. Probably from the same cause the lake remains open at the 



46 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

outlet until very late in the autumn, or throughout the winter. At 
the rapid of Bear River the ice forms from the bottom and sides and 
finally completely blocks the stream. The resulting overflow oon- 
tinually adds to the volume of ice, which reaches an enormous thick- 
ness. The heat of an ordinary sunmier is insufficient to melt this 
mass entirely, and great quantities of it usually persist on the south 
or sheltered bank throughout the season. This vast accumulation of 
ice probably prevents the lower part of the river from opening as 
soon as the early disruption of its upi>er part would seem to justify. 
Richardson states that the lower part usually opens in June, while 
Petitot gives the usual time as the la5=!t of May. In 1904 it was al- 
ready open when the Mackenzie broke up at Fort Norman on May 21. 

THE BABBEN GROUNDS. 

Under this heading will Ix^ considered the great area lying to the 
northward and northeastward of (ireat Bear and Great Slave lakes. 
It is watei-ed b}' the Anderson, Coppermine, (]ri*eat Fish, Thelon or 
Ark-i-linik, and many smaller rivers. With the exception of Great 
Fish River all those named are wooded to some extent on their upper 
portions, but by far the greater part of the area drained by them 
is treeless. It may be well to trace the northern boundary of the 
great transcontinental forest from the western shore of Hudson Bay 
to the mouth of the Mackenzie. 

Starting from the mouth of (liurchill River, Hudson Bay, the tret* 
line follows the shore closely for a few miles and then curves gently 
inland (see PL II). Tlience it extends northwesterly, cross- 
ing Nueltin, or Island Lake; Ennadai Lake on Kazan River; and 
Boyd Lake on the Dubawnt. Just north of GO^ on Artillery I^ke 
is the next point where we have a definite dividing line. Betw^een 
the Dubawnt and Artillerj' I^ake is the valley of the upper Thelon, 
or Ark-i-linik, along whose banks the forest extends in a narrow line 
far into the general tiveless area. This northward extending tongue 
of forest will be more fully described beyond. 

From Artillery Lake the line extends northwestward to Point 
Lake, curving toward the southwest in the interval and crossing Lake 
Macka}^ south of latitude G4°. From Point Lake, whose shores are 
])ractically devoid of trees, nearly to latitude ()7°, the banks of the 
Coppermine are so thinly wooded that the river may be taken as 
the approximate boundary of the woods. Spruces occur on the Cop- 
permine as far north as the mouth of Kendall River, but are absent 
from the summit of the divide be^tween there and Great Bear Lake 
and reappear on lower Dease River. Between Dease River and the 






1908.1 PHYSICAL, GEOGRAPHY BARREN GROUNDS. 47 

lower Anderson the boundary of the woods is not well known. The 
north shore of Great Bear Lake is thinly wooded and tongues of 
timber follow the northward-flowing rivers well into the Barren 
Grounds, on the Wilmot Horton to latitude 69°. The tree line 
crosses the Anderson to the northward of the same parallel, and 
thence extends northwestward to the mouth of the Mackenzie, prob- 
ably dipping to the southward in the interval, as is usually the case 
in the areas between rivers. West of the timl>ered delta of the 
Mackenzie a considerable area of treeless country occurs. 

In describing briefly the region whose southern boundary is thus 
roughly indicated, a part of MacFarlane's description of the Ander- 
son River region may be quoted. He says : 

The belt of timber which at Fort Anderwm extends for over thirty miles to 
the eastw.nrd. rapidly narrows and becomes a mere frinpre along the Anderson 
Iliver and disapiwars to the northward of the 60th parallel of latitude. The 
country is thickly Intersfiersed with sheets of water varying in size from mere 
l)onds to small and fair-sized lakes. In travelling north-eastward toward 
Franklin Kay, on the Arctic coast, several dry, swampy, mossy and i)eaty plains 
were passcnl before reaching the Barren Grounds proper. The country thence 
to the helght-of-land between the Anderson and the deep gorge-like valley 
through which the Wilmot Horton River (MacFarlane River of Petitot*s map) 
flows, as well as from the "crossing" of the latter to the high plateau which 
forms the western sea-bank of Franklin Ray, consists of vast plains or steppes 
of a flat or undulating character, diversified by some small lakes and gently 
Kloping eminences, not dissimilar in api>earance to portions of the north-west 
prairies. In the region here spoken of, however, the ridges occasionally assume 
a mound-like, hilly character, while one or two Intersecting affluents of the Wil- 
mot Horton flow through valleys In which a few stunted spruces, birches and 
willows api)car at intervals. On the banks of one of these, near the mouth, we 
observed a sheltered grove of larger growth, wherein moost* and musk-oxen had 
frequently browsed. * * ♦ 

The greater part of the Barren Grounds Is every season covered with short 
grasses, mosses, and small flowering i)lants, wliile i)atches of se<lgy or pi»aty 
soil occur at longer or shorter distances. On these, as well along the smaller 
rivulets, river and lake banks, Labrador tea. crow-berries, and a few other 
kinds of berries, dwarf birch, wlUow.s, etc., grow. I^rge flat spaces had the 
honey-combed api)earance usually presented In early spring by land which has 
l)een turned over in the autuum. There were few signs of vegetation on these, 
while stmie sandy and many other S|x>ta were virtually sterile.^ 

This description applies fairly well to the entire region north of 
Great Bear Lake and west of the Coppermine, as far as it is known. 
To the eastward of the Coppermine, within the region of the crystal- 
line rocks, the country is much more rugged and rocky. Thousands of 
lakes dot its surface, and they are often bordered by grassy plains 
and gentle slopes, on which, during the short summer, the bright 

« Canadian Record of Science, IV, pp. ri2. 53, 1890. 



48 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

flowers of a profusion of shrubbv and herbaceous plants lend their 
beauty to the landscape, and prove the apix^llation " Barren Grounds" 
to be a misnomer, though in many parts, from the nature of the soil, 
there is little plant life. Alders {Alnus ahwbetula) occur in a more 
or less dwarfed condition in favorable places well into the treeless 
area, and several species of willows, some of which here attain a 
height of 5 or feet, border some of the streams as far north as 
Wollaston Land. These are the only trees which occur even in a 
dwarfinl state on the Barren (irounds proper. 

The northward extension of the coniferous forest along the banks 
of northward-flowing rivers has already been referred to. The most 
remarkable example of this phenomenon is found on the Thelon, or 
Ark-i-linik, a stream tributary to Hudson Bay. It was first explored 
by Hanbury in 1801), and by J. W. Tyrrell during the following 
season. From a point near latitude C2|°, which is as far south as the 
river has l)een exploretl, and which is within the main area of the Bar- 
ren (Jrounds, a more or less continuous belt of spnu^ Iwrders the river 
as far north as latitude 041*^, a distance of over 200 miles by the river. 
A few species of woodland-breeding birds follow these extensions of 
the forest to their limits. 

No tables of temperature taken throughout the year at any point in 
the Barren Grounds being available, remarks on climatologj- may be 
confined to a few general statements and to more or less fragmentary 
records. The winters are, of course, very long and the summers short, 
with the intervening seasons practically wanting. Winter sets in soon 
after the 1st of SeptemlxT and persists until May, with only a short 
season of spring. During the short summer the progress of vegeta- 
tion is very rapi<l, but the s(»eds and berries are scarcely ripened 
before winter again asserts its sway. 

In the table which follows, an attempt is made to show approxi- 
mately the conditions of temperature on the Bari'en Grounds during 
the summer months. The records were taken by the expedition of 
J. W. Tyrrell l>etween Artillery Lake and the mouth of Chesterfield 
Inlet in the summer of 1900. From Jmie 1 to the first week in Sep- 
tember the party was traveling within the general limits of the Bar- 
ren (hounds. Observations were taken every three hours from 6 a. m. 
to p. m., and the highest and lowest of these temperatures recorder! 
daily have lx»en assumed, with but little probability of error, to rep- 
resent the maximum and minimum. As no observations were taken 
during the night the actual minimum would l)e lower in some cases. 
As the observations were made in 1000. the figures, so far as they go, 
are com[)aral)le with those taken during the same year in other parts 
of the Mackenzie region. 



ll>08.] 



LIFE ZONES. 



49 



Weekly summaries of temperatures, June to September, 1900, between Artillery 
Lake and Chesterfield Inlet. 



If eaD dafly maxima 

Jun« 

July 

August _ 

September 

tfean daily minima: 

June ^ 

July 

August 

September 



Plrst 
week. 


Second 
week. 


Third 
week. 


Fourth 
week. 


•47.0 
'^67.7 
»54.5 
*4d.O 


•00.4 
-64.2 
*54.0 


•65.7 
•49.8 
<5o.2 


»68.8 
^66.6 
i47.8 


36.7 

47.5 
36.1 


46.7 
52.6 
49.1 


48.5 
44.2 
46.1 


64.7 
49.8 
36.0 



I 



• Artillery Lake. 

• Kasba Lake to Hanbury River. 
^ Hanbury River. 

- Thelon River. 

• Theion River to Aberdeen Lake. 

f Schultz Lake to mouth Chestertield Inlet. 



' Chesterfield Inlet. 

* Lower Theion to Aberdeen Lake. 
' Theion River. 

f Theion and Hanbury rivers. 

* Hanbury River to Artillery Lake. 



The monthly means were as follows: June, 52.29; July, 55.51; 
A^ugust, 48.96.* 

Owing to the great thickness of their icy covering, some of the lakes 
>f the Barren Grounds are not clear of ice in backward seasons until 
July, or even August, when new ice has usually begun to form in 
jtill water. They generally break up in late June or early July. The 
rivers, having the advantage of a current, open earlier than the lakes. 

During a residence of about five years at Fort Anderson, on Ander- 
>on River, MacFarlane observed the river to set fast on two occasions 
is early as September 10, though once it remained open until October 
10. In 1857 the Anderson broke up at the mouth of the Lockhart on 
June 12. At Fort Anderson the dates of the opening of the river 
kvere as follows: 1801, about May 15; 1802, May 19; 1803, May 30; 
1864, May 31; 1805, June 2. During the last days of June, 1864, 
MacFarlane found nearly all the lakes on the Barren Grounds still 
covered with ice, though the rivers were open. 

In 1821, when Franklin's party started to descend the Coppermine 
m July 1, the lakes on its upper course w^ere still covered with ice. 
Vpparently the river had opened only a short time before. In 1849 
Doctor Rae noted the breaking up of the same river near its mouth 
)ii June 28. At this time the leaves of the dwarf birches were out, 
md the leaf buds of the willows had begun to develop. The lower 
>art of the river remained blocked with ice until Julv 13. 



LIFE ZONES OF THE ATHABASKA-HACKENZIE BEOION. 

The area treated of lies within the Boreal Region and comprises 
>arts of each of its three subdivisions — the Arctic, Iludsonian, and 
;]!anadian zones. The boundaries of these belts are shown on Plate II 
II as much detail as is possible with our present knowledge. 

44131— No. 27—08 4 



50 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

ABCTIC ZONE. 

The Arctic zone comprises the islands of the Polar Sea and the 
area commonly known as the ' Barren Grounds/ stretchinp across 
the northern pai*t of the continent north of the great transcontinental 
coniferous forest. The physical characteristics of the countrj' com- 
prised in the Arctic zone are given in the description of the Barren 
(irounds (p. 4G). Various shrubby plants are common, among which 
Rhodode^ndron lapponiciim^ Cassiope tetmgona^ and several dwarf 
willows are i^erhaps the most characteristic. Several other less strictly 
representative plants also are abundant. The zone is further charac- 
terized by the presence of certain mammals, as the lemmings of the 
genera Lemmus and Dierostonyx^ the Arctic fox, musk-ox. Barren 
Gn>und caribou, and polar hare. The birds which characterize this 
area are migratory, spending only the breeding season within its 
boundaries. They comprise, among the Anatida*, the various sixHMes 
of the genus Chen and one or two genera of maritime ducks. Among 
the Limicola*, the genera Lohipea^ Phalaropus^ Mnvrorhamph^iA^ 
Tringa and related genera, (Udidr'm^ TvyngltvH^ Xttmenius (Audnott- 
k'us and botr(dh), Squatarola^ Charadriuji^ and Arenaria, The Cial- 
lina* are i-epresented by Lagopua lagopus and L. rupestriH^ the 
Kaptores by the gyrfalcons, and the Passeres by Plectrophenax^ Col- 
cariuH l<ipponieus and C. pictus^ and Anthus. 

The southern extension of the Arctic zone, the Arctic-Alpine, 
occupies the treeless summits of mountains which lie within the 
forested area. It comprises in this region the summits of the Rocky 
Mountain Range. The inconsiderable barren areas that occur on 
the mountains east of the Mackenzie are near the main Barren 
Ground area and of course have closer affinities with the true Arctic 
than with tlie Alpine summits farther south. Since the mountain area 
west of the Mackenzie is practically unknown geographically, it is 
impossible to define the limits of the Arctic-Alpine area with even 
approximate accuracy. On these mountains timber line occurs, on the 
sixty-second parallel, at an altitude of about 3,000 feet, and at a 
diminishing altitude to the northward. As the l)est information 
available indicates that extensive areas lie above 5,000 feet, the 
amount of country to l)e classed as Arctic- Alpine nnist be very large. 
Farther south the zone occupies isolated i^eaks down to or below 
latitude 35°. 

The Arctic-Alpine zone along the northern Rocky Mountains is 
characterized by various dwarf willows and several other plants 
representative of the Arctic. Its mammals are the Dall sheep {Orh 
daUi)n the pika {Ochotonu), and probably the hoary marmot {Mar- 



North Am«fHe»n Fiuii^ Ho. 27, U. S. 0<pt. Agr., MolQfllcjl Survay 



Plate H. 




(Ad I 



Ufe Zones of Hudson Bay and Mackenzie Reqions 

I Canadian. ' » Huimonian. UncoioniD"Aiictic. 



I of Tranaition porera pari of the Saakatchewan Valley, but in not here shown.) 

tHt Mommut f>ffir«5 co.. w/iyMiNorow. o i. 



1S»08.] LIFE ZONES — ARCTIC. 51 

mota caligata)^ and lemmings of the genus Lemmiis. The charac- 
teristic birds include the white-tailed ptarmigan {Lagopus leucurus), 
the pipit {Anthtis ruhescens) and probably the rosy finch {Leu- 
coHticte tephrocotw) . 

HUDSONIAN ZONE. 

South of the Arctic zone lies the Hudsonian, a belt of more or 
less stunted timber. In the Mackenzie region it has no strictly 
diaracteristic mammals, Though the range of a red-backed vole {Ero- 
tomys dawsoni) is practically confined within its limits. Most of 
the woodland mammals necessarily have their northern limit within 
this zone. Such comprise the following: Rangifer caribou^ Alces^ 
*Sriuroptet*us^ Scmrus^ Casto/,, E rot amy 8^ Fiber ^ Erethizon^ Lepas 
(tmericanus, Lynx^ Lutra^ Lvtreola^ Mustelci^ and others. Among 
birds, the great gray owl {Scotiaptew mbulosum) ^ hawk owl {Surnia 
hIuIu caparovh)^ pine grosbeak {Pinirola e. leucura)^ and tree spar- 
row (Spizella monticoUi) breed principally within it. Its trees are 
those of the Canadian zone, though the Banksian pine {Pinus diva/i- 
rata) and balsam poplar (Poprdun baUamifera) barely enter its 
borders. Its shrubs are mainly species that overlap from the ad- 
joining zones. Among those which seem to reach their greatest per- 
fection in the Hudsonian may be mentioned Evipitvum nigrum^ 
Ledum palustre^ Vacmuam nliglnosnTn, Vitisidwa vitisidwa^ Oxy- 
coccns oxycoccuH^ and Betala nana. 

The northern limit of the Hudsonian, being the line dividing it 
from the Arctic, has just been defined; its southern boundary remains 
to Ik» indicated. On the southwest shores of Hudson Bay the zone 
occupies a strip about 200 miles in width. Thence its southern 
lK)undary extends inland, passing through xVthabaska Lake, and then 
bending northward crosses (Jreat Slave Lake just east of the mouth 
of Slave- River. Practically all of the northern shore of Great Slave 
Lake lies within its limits. Beyond here its lower boundary is very 
uncertain. It is bounded by a strip of Canadian country, probably 
only a few miles in width, extending northward along the Mackenzie. 
This southern influence ceases to be effective near the mouth of Bear 
River, and the southern limit of the Hudsonian may be considered to 
cross the Mackenzie near latitude 05*^. Thence it bends again south- 
ward, following the western border of the Canadian strip. Here, as 
on the eastern side, the position of the boundary is unknown, but 
l)ecause of the great altitude of most of the country west of the 
Mackenzie and north of the T^iard the Canadian zone influence can not 
extend far from the river and the Hudsonian must cover nearlv the 



52 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ixu. UT. 

entire area, exclusive of tlie alpine summits of the mountains. The 
Canadian of the Liard Valley is probably continuous, or nearly so. 
by way of the valleys of the Frances and Pelly, with the Canadian 
on the Yukon. 

CANADIAN ZONE. 

The Canadian zone im^liMles ail the country to the southward of the 
line just defined. It thus comprisc^s the Athabaska and Peace Kiver 
valleys, the Slave River Valley, and all the country sti'etchiiig south- 
ward from (iivat Slave I^ike, the upixT Mackenzie, and the lower 
Liard. Along the Mackenzie it sends a nari'ow tongue northward 
through thi"ee degi'ees of latitude. This strip merely represents the 
influence exerted on the fauna and flora by the warmer waters ami 
climate of the Liard and by the broad stretch of low count ly to the 
southward. 

Among the birds limited in their northward range by the upper 
border of the Canadian zone and which are more or less character- 
istic of it, are PlcoaUs arcticHs^ Boiuim u. umhelloideSy NvttaUonu* 
bo/raliif, Empalonax minimum, Zonotrhhia albicoUis^ Spizella />. ari- 
zon(t\ Mehhspiza Unrolnl and J/, (/eorr/i/uui^ Lanirireo 8olitariu». 
II('hnlnt/iop/iif(i cclata and //. pingrina^ Dendroica viagnoliiu 
Ilylorichla u, ,sfcahiMonf\ and //. (/. pidlani. 

The northern border of the Canadian zone in the Mackenzie region 
limits the successful cultivation of barley, potatcx's, and the more 
hardy root crops, although with s|x»cial care most of them are raised 
in certain favored localities in the southern pail of the Hudsonian. 
Even in the Canadian, however, an occasional failure occurs, in tho 
case of the less hardy crops, lx»caus(» of the occuri'ence of unusually 
late spring or early autumn frosts. In most parts of the Peace 
River Valley, and even in the lower Liard Valley, wheat is a success- 
ful crop. Peas, potatoes, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, "cabbages, 
lettuce, and onions are raised with a considerable degree of success 
as far north as Fort Xorman. near latitude ()r)°, near the northern 
extremity of the Canadian strip. Nearly or all of these meet with a 
fair amount of success at Fort Rae and also at Fort Good Hope, in 
the lower Iludscmian, but at Fort Rae the situation is especially 
favorable as regards slope exposure, and the permanent frost, which 
remains near the surface in most parts of the Hudsonian^ probably 
r(»treats to a much lower depth. At Fort GckkI Hope the almost 
continuous sunlight of sunmier probably comj^ensates in part for its 
extreme northern position. 






1908.1 



LIFE ZONES CANADIAN. 



53 



The following table shows the mean temperature of the two 
warmest months (usually June and July), and the mean temperature 
for the year at various stations in the Athabaska-Mackenzie region : 

2'ahlc showitig mean temperature of two wannest months of year and for entire 

year at various stations. 



Station. 



Edmonton (1900) 

Athabaska Landinir (1900). 
Fort Duuvegan (1880-18&l)_ 

Fort Chipewyan (1900) 

Hay River (1900) 

Fort Rae (1883) 



Mean of 

two IMean 
warmest i year, 
months. 



J 



69.3 
56.7 
59.0 
59.4 
58.0 
66.3 



37.7 



30.0 
28.5 
25.0 
22.3 



I 



Station. 



Mean of 

two 
warmest 
months. 



I 



Fort Simpson (1900) 

Fort Gtood Hope (1900). 

Port Pranltlin (1826) 

Port McPherson (1900).. 
Herschel Island (1900)... 



'F. 

57.4 

58.1 

•50.0 

fcjO.5 

40.0 



Mean for 
year. 



•F. 



13.6 
17,5 



9.8 



•Approximate. 



*June only. 



In the case of a few stations it would have been possible to obtain 
the means of two or more years, but it is believed that the figures 
for 1900, being more directly comparable, are, on the whole, more 
satisfactory and represent fairly well the normal conditions. It is 
manifest that these data are much too scanty to afford assistance in 
platting life zones or in formulating general laws, but a few signifi- 
cant points may be noted. If these figures are platted on a map, it 
will be seen that the mean temperature of the two warmest months 
is very uniform throughout the Canadian zone, the greater amount 
of sunlight compensating for the higher latitude in the case of the 
more northern localities, while the mean temperature for the year 
lowers rapidly tow^ard the northward. Omitting the means for 
Athabaska Landing, which seem to be lower than the position of the 
l)lace would warrant, the extremes for the two warmest months for 
the places within the Canadian zone are 57.4 and 59.4, and the 
average 58.4° F. Merriam considers that the mean temperature of the 
six warmest wrecks of summer has an important l)earing on the dis- 
tribution of species. Exact data for this period can be obtained for 
so few localities in the north that the figures would be of little value, 
but it is l)elieved that the mean temperature of the two warmest 
months would be found to be only a degree or two lower. Corre- 
spcmding temperature data for more easterly points in the Canadian 
zone vary only 2° or 3°, and lead to the conclusion that in that region 
a mean of approximately (50° F. for the six warmest weeks of summer 
characterizes the Canadian zone. 

Data for the Hudsonian and Arctic zones are less full, but so far 
as they go indicate that the limiting temperatures for the southern 
boundaries of the Hudsonian and Arctic zones are approximately 
57° F. and 50° F., as stated by Merriam." 



« Nat. Oeog. Magazine, VI. p. 2.SC, 181W. 



54 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. {so. 27 

FBEVIOUS EXFLOEATIONS AND COLLECTIONS. 
EABLIEST EXPLOBEBS, HEABNE AND MACKENZIE, 1770-1793. 

Samuel Hearno, who made his famous journey of exploration in 
1770-71, was the first civilized traveler to penetrate the Great Slave 
Lake region. Thougli not a naturalist, he liad a general knowledge 
of the larger birds and mammals, was a good observer, and recorded 
in his narrative many notes on the fauna.« 

During the eighteenth century the Indians of the unknown region 
west of Foil Princ»e of Wales (Churchill) on their occasional trad- 
ing visits brought to the post six»cimens of native copi)er, which 
they claimed to have discovered near the banks of a large river far 
to the northwestward. The Hudson's Bay Company, in accordance 
with its avowed policy of prosecuting discovery, finally decided to 
send an exj^edition to discover the source of the metal and at the 
same time to throw light on the supposed existence of a feasible 
passage by sea to the westward. Hitherto all the expeditions in 
search of the Northwest Passage had l)een by sea, but now the com- 
pany decided to undertake exploration by land. 

For this important mission Samuel Hearne, a factor in the serv- 
ice of the company, who for some yeai^s had been stationed at Fort 
Prince of Wales, was selected. He made three attempts, two of 
which were unsuccessful. The first failed because of lack of provi- 
sions, and the second because Hearne was plundered by his Indian 
companions and broke his sextant. On these trips he attempted to 
penetrate to the northwestward through the Barren Grounds; but 
on the third venture, leaving in Deceml)er, 1770, he kept more to 
the westward and, being in the wooded country, was able to provide 
himself with provisions and to travel with much less discomfort. 
As he was accompanied by a number of families of Indians as 
l)earers and hunters, his progress was necessarily slow and indirect, 
on accomit of the difficulty of crossing lakes and large rivers, and 
of ])roviding food for so many. His general line of travel was at 
first a little north of west to Clowey Lake, which was reached May 
8, 1771, and thence a little west of north to the eastward of Great 
Slave Lake, probably passing Artillery Lake, to the stream sinc*e 
called Coppermine River, which was reached probably near Sand- 
stone Rapid. At Bloody P'all, named from the circumstance, the 
Indians, small parties of whom had joined the company from time to 
time, fell upon a large party of Eskimos, then their bitter enemies, 
and, much to Hearne's horror and disgust, massacred the entire 
company. 



"For full references to publications, see Hil)lio^riipli.v. V- r»35. 



1908.1 PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS — HEARNE AND MACKENZIE. 55 

Desiring to satisfy himself that the river emptied into the sea, 
Ilearne proceeded to its mouth, where he arrived July 17. He then 
turned southward and in a general way retraced his outward course 
until he reached the vicinity of Point Lake, when he bore slightly 
westward and crossed Great Slave Lake somewhere to the eastward 
of the Northern Arm about the last of December, 1771. This lake 
he called the '*Athapuscow," and it has been by some supposed to 
be identical with the Athabaska, but a careful examination of his 
narrative and map renders this idea untenable.** Entering the com- 
parative level country south of the lake, a welcome change from 
'"the jumble of rocks and hills" which he had been traversing, he 
struck Slave River at a point where its banks were high — that is, 
at some distance south of the lake — and after following the river 
for some 40 miles turned off to the eastward, reached his outward 
track near Clowey Lake, and returned to Fort Prince of Wales over 
nearly the same route followed on the first part of his outward 
journey. 

The narrative of Hearne's journey, which was published in 1795, 
contains many notes on natural history, and in his closing chapter 
the author gives a more or less detailed account of many of the 
animals with which long residence in the north had made him 
familiar. 

The next traveler to be referred to in the present connection is 
Alexander Mackenzie, who, in the summer of 1789, descended to its 
mouth the great river which now bears his name. Since Hearne 
had penetrated the interior, hitherto unknown to the northward 
of the Saskatchewan, the fur traders of Canada had gradually 
extended their field of operations northward, first to the upper 
Churchill River, then by way of Isle a la Crosse and Methye Portage 
to Athabaska River, where a post was erected by Peter Pond in 
1778, about 40 miles above the mouth of the river. In 1785 trading 
houses were built on Great Slave Lake to the eastward of the mouth 
of the river, apparently near Stone Island. In 1787 the various 
private traders and small companies united under the name of the 
' North-West Company,' which was a most formidable rival of the 
Hudson's Bay Company until their consolidation in 1821. The post 
established on the Athabaska was removed in 1788 to the south 
shore of Athabaska Lake, about 8 miles east of the mouth of the 
river. It was named Fort Chipewyan and for some years was the 
principal post of the district. P'rom here Alexander Mackenzie 
started on his famous journeys of exploration. 

^ For a brief disc'iiRsion of this part of Ilea rue's route, l)y Doctor Richardson, 
s<»e Racli's Narrative Arctic I^iid ExpecUtion to Mouth of Great Fish River, pp. 
150-155, 183C. 



56 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

He left on June 3, 1789, and, descending Slave River, reached Great 
Slave Lake June 9. Ice delayed him until June 15, when he worked 
slowly across as wind and ice permitted, reaching Yellowknife Bay 
on June 23. Crossing the Northern Arm, he coasted the north shore 
of the lake and reached its outlet June 29. Tlien, entering the great 
river, he traveled with such exi)edition that he reached the mouth 
of Oreat Bear River July 6, and the mouth of the Mackenzie about 
the middle of the month. After a short examination of the vicinity 
he commenced his return against the stream. Great Bear River 
was passed on August 2, Liard River on August 13, and Great 
Slave Lake was reached on August 22. Retracing his course around 
the northern border of the lake, he reached the mouth of Slave River 
on September 3, the Slave [Smith] Rapids on September 8, and Fort 
Chij^ewyan on September 12. 

Three years later Mackenzie undertook another voyage of discovery 
and penetrated the unknown country lying beyond the most distant 
post on Peace, or L^njigah, River, as it was known to the nativei?. 
He left Fort Chipewyan on October 10, 1792, and passing through 
the smaller lakes to the westward of Athabaska I^ke entered the 
Peace and ascended it to a i>oint miles above its junction with 
Smoky River, or the ' Forks.' To this place men had been sent 
earlier in the season to prepare materials for the erection of a trad- 
ing post. Ills map and narrative show that up to that time three 
posts had been established on Peace River — the ' Old Establishment,' 
then abandoned, a short distance from Vermilion Falls; the ^ New 
Establishment,' evidently near the present site of Fort Vermilion, 
and a post called on his map ' McL(K»d's Fort,- about 83 miles l>elow 
the mouth of Smoky River. The site of the proposed post, called 
Fork Fort, was reached November 1, and here buildings were 
erected and the winter of 1702-03 was passed in trading with the 
Indians. On May 9, 1703, his westward journey was resumeil. 
Peace River and its tributary, the Parsnip, were ascended to a point 
near the source of the latter, and a traverse nuide to the Eraser River, 
supposed by Mackenzie to be the Columbia, and this was descendeil 
for some distance. Thence, by a journey on foot westward through 
the valley of "West Road' River (evidently the Blackwater), and 
by descending " Salmon • River (the Bella C(X)la), Mackenzie reached 
the Pacific late in July near King Island, a sliort distance north 
of Vancouver Island, thus IxMng the first traveler to cross the con- 
tinent north of Mexico. 

After examining a few miles of the coast and observing for lati- 
tude and longitude, Mackenzie retraced his course to the mountains 
and, after great exertions and much suffering from famine, reached 
l*eace River and, descending it, arrived at Fort Chipewyan in Sep- 



1908] PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS — FRANKLIN. 57 

tember, 1793. The narratives of these voyages, published in 1801, 
contain many intei-esting notes on the natural history of the region 
traversed. 

FRANKLIN, 1819, TO SIMPSON, 1839. 

The first journey of Captain (afterwards Sir John) Franklin to 
the Polar Sea was the beginning of a series of explorations which 
resulted in the accumulation of a vast amount of information relat- 
ing to the fauna of the region. The party, including Franklin, John 
Richardson, George Back, Robert Hood, and John Hepburn, an 
English seaman, left York Factory on September 9, 1819, and travel- 
ing by way of Oxford House and Norway House, arrived on October 
22 at Cumberland House, where they went into winter quarters. In 
order to arrange in advance for the further progress of the expedi- 
tion, Franklin, accompanied by Back, left Cumberland House on 
January 18, 1820, and traveling by way of Carlton House, Isle a la 
Crosse, and Methye Portage, arrived at Fort Chipewyan, their objec- 
tive point, on March 26. With the opening of navigation the re- 
mainder of the party pursued practically the same route and joined 
Franklin at Fort Chipewyan on July 13, and the entire party leaving 
five days later, reached Great Slave Lake on July 24. Starting 
from Moose Deer (now Mission) Island three days later, the party 
crossed Great Slave Lake to Fort Providence on the Northern Arm, 
where Indian guides and hunters for the descent of the Coppermine 
were engaged. The party left Fort Providence on August 2, ascended 
Yellowknife River, and traversing a series of lakes, established win- 
ter quarters on Winter River, after making a preliminary trip as far 
as the banks of the Coppermine. After passing the winter of 1820-21 
here they resumed their travels on June 14, 1821, dragging their 
boats and baggage on the ice. On July 1, at Red Rock Lake, they 
commenced the descent of the Coppermine, and on July 18 reached 
its mouth, the Indians turning back from this point. Leaving here 
July 21, the party, now numbering twenty persons, explored the 
coast to the eastward as far as Point Turnagain, which was reached 
August 16. Further progress in that direction being impossible, the 
return journey was commenced on August 22. Retracing their way 
along the coast to the mouth of Hood River, the party attempted to 
ascend that stream with the large canoes, but this being found im- 
possible, the journey toward Fort Enterprise was undertaken on foot, 
two small canoes, made from the material of the large ones, being 
carried for the purpose of crossing tlie rivers encountered. Owing 
mainly to the abandoning of their canoes by those deputized to carry 
them, the party experienced intense suffering from starvation and ex- 
posure. Several of the voyagers wandered and died, and Hood was 
murdered by one of the party, an Iroquois. The survivors assembled 



58 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

at Fort Enterprise about the last of October. Here two more of the 
voyagers died, and the wliole party must have perished from starva- 
tion but for the Indians under the chief Agiatcho, who supplied them 
with fooii. Tlie explorers were shortly afterward conveyed to Fort 
Providence, and thence to the trading post on Moose Deer Island 
(near Fort Resolution). In the spring of 1822, the party left Great 
Slave Lake, and proceeding by the same route followed when enter- 
ing the country, returned to England. 

The fauna of Melville Island was made known by the first expedi- 
tion of William P^dward Parry, in the Ilecla and the Griper. This 
navigator, entering Barrow Strait for the first time, passed through 
it to the westward and discovered Melville Island about the last of 
August, 1819. Coasting along its southern shore, the expedition was 
stopped by the ice on Septeml)er 24, and went into winter quarters in 
Winter Harbor, where it remained until the following August. In 
June, 1820, the ships being still fast in the ice, an exploring party 
sent out to the northward cn)ssed the island and discovered and 
named Liddon Gulf and Heda and (iriper Bay, and other parties 
made shorter trips in the same direction. On August 1 the ships were 
fi'eed from the ice, and working slowly westward reached Cape 
Dundas a few days later. From this point, land (Banks Land) was 
discerned to the southwestward, but l>eing unable to reach it on ac- 
count of the ice, or to penetrate farther to the westward, Parry re- 
traced his course through Barrow Strait and returned to England. 
Many notes on the natural history of the region appear in Parry's 
narrative of the voyage, and an account of the mammals and birds 
observed and collected was prepared by P^dward Sabine, naturalist 
to the expedition, and published as a supplement to the narrative. 
The narrative of Alexander Fisher, surgeon to the expedition, also 
contains a great many notes on natural history. 

In May, 1S24, Parry left England in the Ilecla and Fury on his 
third voyage to the Arctic; his second voyage, in 1821 and 1822, 
penetrated only as far westward as Melville Peninsula, and need not 
Ije noticed in detail. He reached I^ancaster Sound on September 
10, 1824, and Port Bowen, on the east side of Prince Regent Inlet, 
about the last of the month. Nearly a year was spent in the vicinity, 
and the expedition then returned to England. Reports on the nat- 
ural history were published by J. C. Ross. 

Franklin's second expedition to the Polar Sea was sent out to 
explore the coast line to the westward of the mouth of the Mackenzie 
and eastward to the Coppermine. The principal members were 
John Franklin; (ifeorge Back, second in conunand; John Richardson, 
surgeon and naturalist; Thomas Drunnnond, assistant uaturali.st; 
E. X. Kendall, and P. W. Dease, who was afterwards associated with 
Thomas Simpson in explorations west of the Mackenzie and east of 



1008.1 PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS — FRANKLIN. 59 

the Coppermine. The first five named entered the country by way 
of New York and the Great Lakes, and Franklin, Richardson, and 
Dnimmond, traveling a little in advance of the others, reached 
Cumberland House on June 15, 1825. Here Drummond remained, 
with the intention of making collections on the Saskatchewan and 
among the Rocky Mountains to the westward. Franklin and Rich- 
ardson left the following day, and on June 29, at Methye Portage, 
overtook the lx)ats which had left Cumberland House a short time 
previously with the heavier supplies. The party then descended 
the Clearwater and Athabaska to Fort Chipewyan, where Franklin 
remained until the arrival of Back's party, Richardson keeping on 
Avith the boats. On the arrival of Back's detachment, Franklin 
descended the Slave and Mackenzie to the mouth of Great Bear 
River. Here Franklin and Back separated, the former, accompanied 
by Kendall, to descend the Mackenzie to its mouth, while Back was 
to proceed to Great Bear Lake to the winter residence, Richardson 
having already preceded him there for the purpose of exploring the 
shores of the lake. Franklin, after making a preliminary survey 
of the Mackenzie to its mouth, returned to the prospective winter 
quarters, established near the head of Great Bear River by Dease, 
Avho had passed the previous winter at Great Slave Lake and had 
arrived here late in July. At this establishment, which had Ix^en 
named Fort Franklin, the entire party assembled on September 5, 
and passed the winter of 1825-26 in comparative comfort. On the 
breaking up of Bear River in the following suVnmer, they descended 
it and the Mackenzie, dividing into two parties on July 4 at Point 
Separation. Richardson and Kendall surveyed the Arctic coast 
eastward to the mouth of the Coppermine, and, traveling overland 
to the northeastern part of Great Bear Lake, crossed it to Fort 
Franklin, where they arrived on September 1. Richardson left at 
once for Great Slave Lake and Cumberland House, for the purpose 
of meeting Drummond and making spring collections on the Sas- 
katchewan.** In the meantime Franklin and Back had explored the 
Arctic coast to the westward of the Mackenzie for 374 miles, and 
returned to Fort Franklin, reaching there September 21. Franklin 
remained here until February, 1827, when, leaving Back to follow in 
the spring, he left for Cumberland House, w^here he joined Richard- 
son on June 18, 1827. Richardson, after leaving Fort Franklin, had 
proceeded to Great Slave Lake, where he passed a part of the winter 
collecting, and then proceeded on the snow to Carlton House, w^here 
lie was joined by Drummond on April 5, 1827. The two spent some 



« In nn old journal at Fort Simpson I found the record of Doctor Richardson's 
arrival at that post on September 14, 1826, and of his departure for Great 
Slave I-Jike two days later. He Is stated to have left Great Bear Liike on 
September 3. 



60 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so. 27. 

weeks liere in making collections, until Richardson left for C'uinber- 
land House, where he was joined by F'ranklin, as before indicated. 
Franklin and Richardson left almost immediately, and, voyaging 
by way of Lake Winnipeg and the Great Lakes, returned to England 
by nearly the same route which they had followed when entering the 
country. Drummond remained in the neighborhood of Carlton 
House for the purpose of making further collections, since Back's 
detachment, which he was to accompany to England, would not 
arri^ at Cuml>erland House from the interior for about two montha 
Whto Back arrived he was joined by Drummond, and the par^^ 
acco/mpanied by David Douglas, who was returning from a collecting 
trip*of three years to northern California and the banks of the Co- 
lumbia, and had crossed the Rocky Mountains by the Columbia 
portage road (Jasper Pass), returned to England by way of Oxford 
Lake and York Factory. 

In order to complete the account of this important expedition it is 
necessary to refer briefly to the itinerary of Thomas Drummond 
from the time of the departure of the main exi)edition from Cumber- 
land House in the summer of 18*25 to the time when he joined Rich- 
ardscm at Carlton House. He remained at Cumberland House until 
about August I, when he accompanied the Hudson's Bay Company's 
brigade to Carlton House, and leaving there September 1, reached 
p]dn;onton September 20. After two days- delay here he accompanied 
the l)riga(le overland to Fort Assinilwine, (m the Athabaska, near the 
mouth of the Mcleod. leaving here Octolwr 2, the party i-eacheil 
the mountains October 14. Drummond traveled nuiinly on foot and, 
as snow fell on the third day after they started, found this portion 
of the journey very (lisagit»eable. After proceeding about 50 miles 
(m the Columbia portage road he left the brigade, in company w ith a 
hunter who had been engaged to supply him with food during the 
winter, intending to pass that s4»ason on the * Smoking' River, so 
called from the burning IkhIs of coal on its banks. The snow lx*came 
so deep, however, that they had to give up the attempt to reach their 
proposed destinaticm, and leaving the mountains, went into winter 
quarters on Baptiste River, a tributary of the Athabaska. ' Here 
Drummond pass^nl the winter mainly alone, his only shelter l>eing a 
hut built of branches. About April 10, 1820, he left this place for the 
Columbia portage road, where he remained until August 10, when, in 
company with another hunter, he traveled along the mountains to the 
northward, reaching 'Smoking' River on Si»pteml)er 10 and the 
" headwater^ of the Peace ■'« on SeptemlnM' 24. He then set out on his 
return, and desiring to cross the portage to Columbia River, he com- 
menced drying provisions for the journey. Soon after reaching the 
portage, on Octolu^r 0, however, he received instructions from Cap- 



" l{ef(»rrii»«, inohahly. t<» <m»»» of tlit» s<»ntlu»rii tributaries of t\w iipiier Peace. 



VMiH.] PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS — LEADBEATER. 61 

lain Franklin to rejoin the expedition in the spring of 1827. He 
therefore proceeded only to the west end of the portage, and return- 
ing, commenced his journey down the Athabaska, floating down the 
river until it set fast and finishing the journey to Fort Assiniboine 
on foot. Then procuring horses, he proceeded to Edmonton, where 
he remained until March 17, when he left for CarUon House, arriving 
there April 5, when the welcome of Doctor Kichardson caused him to 
forget his previous hardships. 

The natural history material and notes accumulated on this expedi- 
tion were so extensive that it was decided that they should l)e published 
separately, instead of as an appendix to the narrative. The result 
was the series of magnificent volumes, the Fauna and P^lora Bore- 
ali-Americana, in which, in addition to the material collected on the 
Franklin expeditions, appeared the results obtained on the earlier 
voyages of Ross and Parry. This publication, the several volumes of 
which treated of the mammals, birds, fishes, insects, and plants, was 
for many years the chief source of information regarding the natural 
history of northern North America, and continues to be a standard 
work. 

During the early part of the last century Mr. I^adl)eater, a London 
collector and dealer in natural history specimens, obtained from time 
to time many birds from the country controlled by the Hudson's Bay 
Company, evidently securing tliem from employees of that com- 
pany. Probably only a few of these specimens were ever made known 
to science, but here and there are found references to interesting spe- 
cies obtained from this source. Bonaparte, in his 'American Orni- 
thology ' and in otlier articles published about the same time, records 
four species of birds ostensibly from "Athabasca Lake," or " near the 
Rocky Mountains," which he found in Leadbeater's collection. A 
careful consideration of the evidence seems to show that most of 
these specimens (and probably all of them) were really taken near the 
sources of Athabaska River. As the species are important it may be 
well to present the evidence in detail. In the Zoological Journal 
Bonaparte recorded two specimens of 'Fringilla vespertina ' " shot 
early in the spring on the Athapescow Lake near the Rocky Mts." ** 
In 'American Ornithology ' he figures in colors one of the same 
individuals, "shot early in the spring on the Athabasca Lake, near 
the Rocky Mountains,"^ and gives a minute description of a speci- 
men, evidently the one figured.^ 

A specimen of the Bohemian waxwing also is referred to by Bona- 
parte wuth the remark, " inliabits near the Rocky Mountains."^ In 

o/ool. Joiirn.. Ill, p. 41), 1S28. 
&Aui. Orn., II, IM. XV, li^:. 1, 1S2S. 
''Ibid., 11, pp. 7(>-7S, 1S28. 
^Zool. Journ., Ill, p. 51, 1828. 



62 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 1»7. 

^American Ornithology ' he figures this specimen,** a female, stating 
that it was shot on the 20th of March, 1825 (probably a mistake for 
1826) '*on the Athabasca River near the Rocky Mountains." Re- 
garding the same species Richardson says: 

This elegant bird boH only lately been detected in America, baving been dis- 
coveriMl, in tbe spring of 1820, near the sources of the Athabasca, or Elk River, 
by Mr. Druumioud, • • • and by myself tbe same season at (Jreat Beair 
I^ke, in latitude 05°. Si>ecimen8 procured at the former place, and trans- 
mitted to England by the servants of the Hudson^s Bay Company, were i-om- 
municated, by Mr. Leadbeater, to the Prince of Musignano, who has Introduced 
the si)ecies into his great work on tbe birds of the United States.* 

Bonapaile refers also to a specimen of ' Cinclus pallafdi? ' in Lead- 
beater's collection, stating that the species inhabits " near the Rocky 
Mountains, on the Athapescow Lake."' ** In 'American Ornithology ' 
lie gives the loc^ality as "Athabasca Lake." •* Richardson, after si)eak- 
ing of six?cimens jirociired by Drummond near the sources of the 
Atlial)aska, says: 

Several siK»c'imens, obtainetl at the same hx-ality and at the siune time with 
Mr. Drummond's, came into Mr. lieadbeater's hands through the Hudson *s Bay 
Company, one of which has been tlgurtnl and descTibwl by tbe Prince of Musig- 
nano in his splendid American <)rnitholc»gy.' 

Rallus nori'boract'fiKM also is recorded by Bonaparte from " the 
Athai)escow Lake near the RcK*ky Mountains,-' from a pair in Lead- 
beater's collection.^ In 'American Ornithology^ ■ he figures a Xew 
York specimen, but In the text states that he has *' information of 
its inhabiting near the most north-western lakes, such as the Atha- 
basca.'" ^ 

Of these four species, the first three are known to l>e more or less 
abundant near the sources of the Athabaska, and two of these, the 
evening grosl)eak and the water ousel, have not l)een foinid near Atha- 
baska Lake. Furthermore, we have Richardson's positive statement 
that in the case of two of these species, the Bohemian waxwing and 
(he water ousel, Leadbeater's specimens were taken near the source of 
the Athabaska. The remaining s|>ecies, the yellow rail, is nearly as 
likely to occur (here as at Athabaska Lake. It seems reasonably cer- 
tain, therefore, that all these specimens were taken near the sources 
of the Athabaska. 

John Ross sailed in the Victovi/ from f^ngland in May, 1821>, in 
search of (he Northwest Passage. He reached Lancaster Sound in 

«Ani. Om.. Ill, PI. XVI, ftp. 2, IS'JS. 

^ Fauna Boreal i-Americana, II. i>. *SVl, ISiU. 

''Zool. .Tourn.. Ill, p. 51. 1.S28. 

<*Am. Orn., III. PI. XVI, fig. 1, 182s. 

'^ Fauna Boreal i-Americana, II, p. 173. 1831. 

f Zool. Joum., Ill, p. 50, 1828. 

aXm. Orn., IV, p. 142, 1833. 



1908.] PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS BACK. 68 

early August, and Felix Harbor, Boothia, on September 30. Three 
years were spent in this vicinity, and overland journeys were made 
for about a hundred miles to the westward. The summer of 1832 was 
spent along the east coast of Boothia and North Somerset, between 
latitude 70° and 73°, and the next winter at Somerset House, in lati- 
tude 72° 40', after which Ross returned to England. The natural his- 
tory of the region was reported on by James Clark Ross, a nephew 
of the commander. 

The expedition of Back to the mouth of Great Fish River (since 
generally called Back River) was sent out to explore that stream, and, 
if possible, to render aid to the members of the expedition under Sir 
John Ross, whose prolonged absence had caused much apprehension. 
Richard King, surgeon and naturalist to the expedition, was second 
in command. Traveling by way of Montreal, the Great Lakes, the 
Saskatchewan, and Methye Portage, the party reached Fort Chipe- 
wyan on July 29, 1833. Descending the Athabaska and Slave rivers, 
they reached Great Slave Lake on August 8, and their prospective 
w^intering place, at the eastern end of the lake, August 18. During 
the autumn a preliminary survey to the head of Great Fish River was 
made, and the winter was passed at their establishment, which was 
named Fort Reliance. The party left here May 7, 1834, reached the 
head of Great Fish River, after great exertions, on June 28, and de- 
scending it, reached the mouth about August 1. 

Prevented by ice from exploring the coast to the eastward, the 
party, after being detained in the vicinity of Montreal Island for 
some days, began the ascent of the river ou August 22, reached 
Fort Reliance on September 27, and again wintered there. Back 
left on March 20, 1835, and returned to England, leaving King in 
charge of the expedition. King left with the remainder of the party 
on April 14, and after spending several days at the fishery near the 
narrow part of the lake, reached Fort Resolution on April 20. Here 
he remained until about June 10, when he turned southward, reach- 
ing Fort Chipewyan June 22, and Isle a la Crosse July 19, and re- 
turned to England by way of Lake Winnipeg and Hudson Bay. 

Captain Back did little to encourage the acquisition of natural his- 
tory specimens, and as King's regular duties took up most of his time, 
the latter could devote but little time to collecting. Most of the 
specimens were taken at P^ort Reliance, but many observations were 
made at Fort Resolution and at various other points on the route. 
Two narratives of the expedition were published. Back gives a few 
notes on natural history, and a zoological appendix by Richardson 
contains lists of the birds and mammals collected, the localities 
being in some cases indicated, and a few species being more ex- 
tensively annotated. King's narrative is replete with notes on natural 
history, and much light is thrown on many species which are merely 
listed in Back's narrative. 



64 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. I no. 27. 

The next journey of exploration in this region was that of Thomas 
Simpson and Peter Warren Dease, officers of the Hudson's Bay 
Company. While the object of their exi>edition was to further geo- 
graphic knowledge, they made many notes on the fauna of the coun- 
try, as nearly all Arctic travelers do, and secured a considerable 
collection of plants. 

Simpson left Fort Garry, the site of the present city of Winnipeg, 
on December 1, 1830, and, traveling on snowshoes, arrived at Fort 
Chii>ewyan, where he joined Dease, on February 1, 1837. They left 
Fort Chipewyan on June 1, and, descending the Slave and Mac- 
kenzie rivers, explored the Arctic coast westward to Point Barrow. 
They then returned to the Mackenzie, ascended it and Great Bear 
River, and, crossing (Jreat Bear Lake, built a i>ost near the mouth 
of Dease River, naming it Fort Confidence, and there sj^ent the 
winter of 1837-^8. They left here June G, 1838, and, after ascend- 
ing Dease River as far as was practicable, portaged to the Copper- 
mine. They then descended that river to the sea and explored the 
coast to the eastward as far as Point Turnagain, the farthest point 
reached by Franklin in 1821. Being unable to proc*eed farther, they 
returned to Fort Confidence, where they arrived on September 14, 
and again wintered there. During the summer of 1830, favored by 
an early spring, an unusually open sea, and their previous knowl- 
edge, they again followed the coast to the eastward, i*eaching the 
mouth of the stream named l)v them Castor and Pollux River, to 
the eastward of Back River. They then returned to Fort Confidence, 
which they abandoned, crossed Great Bear Lake, and reached Fort 
Simpson by water. Here Dease remained, while the ill-fated Simp- 
son (for he met an untimely death soon afterwards) resumed his 
journey as soon as winter set in and traveled over the snow to Red 
River. 

THE FRANKLIN SEARCH EXPEDITIONS, 1845-1855. 

An expedition which was to mark the beginning of a most notable 
epoch in the exploraticm of Arctic America sailed from England in 
1845. Sir John Franklin, with two ships, the Erebus and Tenor. 
and a crew numl>ering 120 persons, left England May 20, to complete 
the survey of the north coast of America and to accomplish the North- 
west Passage. " The Erebus and Terror were last seen by a whaling 
captain, Dannett, July 2G, 1845, moored to an icel>erg, 74° 40' X.. 
00° 18' W., waiting for an opening in the middle ice so as to cross 
to Lancaster Sound. Thus Franklin and his expedition vanished 
forever from the sight of civilized man." ((jreely.) 

In 1848 and 1840 a party under tlie command of Dr. John Richard- 
son, John Rae, of the Hudson's Hay Company, being second in com- 
mand, made a journey down the Mackenzie and along the Arctic coast, 



10<)8.] PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS — RAE. 65 

the primary object being to search for the party under Sir John 
Franklin, who had not been heard from since the summer of 1845. 
They traveled by way of New York, Montreal, the Great Lakes, and 
Lake Winnipeg, and reached Methye Portage, where for present pur- 
poses their journey may be said to have commenced, on June 28, 1848. 
Here they joined another detachment of the expedition in charge of 
John Bell, a chief trader of the Hudson's Bay Company. This 
party had ascended the rivers from York Factory during the pre- 
vious autumn and had wintered at Cedar Lake, on the Saskatchewan. 
Crossing Methye Portage, the party descended the Clearwater, Atha- 
baska, Slave, and Mackenzie rivet's. The two detachments having 
separated at the rapids of Slave River, Richardson and Rae pushed 
on with all possible speed, leaving the heavier boats to follow with 
the winter supplies, and skirted the Arctic coast eastward to the 
mouth of Coppermine River. Thence they traveled overland to the 
mouth of Dease River, Great Bear Lake. Near this point, on the 
site of Fort Confidence, established by Dease and Simpson, Bell, 
whose detachment had ascended Great Bear River and crossed Great 
Bear Lake for this purpose, had erected houses, and here the entire 
party passed the winter of 1848-49. As early in the spring of 1849 
as the season allowed the party divided, since but one boat was avail- 
able for further exploration on the Arctic Sea, and Richardson 
returned to England, while Rae made an attempt to reach Wollaston 
Land. Failing in this, he returned to Fort Confidence and ascended 
the Mackenzie to Fort Simpson. Doctor Richardson's narrative of 
the journey, which was published in 1851, is replete with information 
regarding the natural history, geology, botany, and physiography of 
the region. 

In the summer of 1851, under the auspices of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, Rae made a journey of exploration along the southern 
coasts of Wollaston and Victoria lands, still searching for the Frank- 
lin expedition. He left Fort Confidence on April 25 and traveled 
overland to Kendall River. Proceeding northward from here with 
dog sleds, with only two companions, he reached the Arctic coast near 
Point Lockyer, and crossing to Wollaston Land, now first visited by 
a white man, he traced its coast eastward to near Byron Bay and 
northwestward to Cape Baring, after which he returned to Kendall 
River. Meeting here his boat party from Fort Confidence, he de- 
scended the Coppermine as soon as it opened sufficiently, and trav- 
eling eastward through Dease Strait to Cape Alexander, crossed to 
Victoria Land and explored its coast eastward, partly by boat and 
partly on foot, to Point Pelly, near its eastern extremity. Unable to 
cross Victoria Strait, he returned westward and reached the mouth of 
the Coppermine on August 29. His reports on the sledge journey and 

44131— No. 27—08 5 



66 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. rxo. 27. 

l)oat voyage, addressed to the Hudson's Bay Company, were published 
by tlie Royal Geographical Society, and contain many notes on the 
fauna of the coast explored. 

The boat expedition of Lieutenant Pullen and Capt W. H. Hooper. 
dispatched from thi^Plot^er (under the command of Captain Moore), 
reached the vicinity of Point Barrow early in August, 1849, and Fort 
McPherson September 5. From here Pullen, with seven men, pro- 
ce(»ded up the Mackenzie to Fort Simpson, where he passed the win- 
ter. Hooper, unable for lack of provisions to ivmain at Fort Mc- 
Phei-son, left there Septenil)er 10 and ascended the Mackenzie to Fort 
Xorman, then situated on the left bank some distanc»c» al>ove its pres- 
ent site, where he arrived on Octol)er 0. On Xoveml)er 11 the party 
left for (ireat Bear Lake, traveling across country with dog sleds 
and reaching there Xovemlwr 19. Here the winter of 1849-50 was 
jiassed, the party occupying a small log house* near the site of Fort 
Franklin. During the winter Hooper passed back and forth l^etween 
(in^at Bear Lake and Fort Norman, spending much time at the latter 
place, wliere the renuiinder of the party joined him on May 8, 1850, 
and later in the montli proceeded up the Mackenzie and joined Pul- 
len on June 1. Tlience the united party ascended the Mackenzie to 
(ireat Slave Lake, intending to return to England, but met dispatches 
()rd(»ring further prosecution of the search on the seacoast. Acconl- 
ingly they returned down the Mackenzie, reaching Point Separation 
July 17. Tlience they voyaged eastward along the coast to Cape 
Batliiirst, where tliey were forced to abandon the search on account 
of ice. They conunenced tlieir return about the middle of August 
and ascended the Mackenzie to Fort Simpson, where they pas.sed the 
winter of 1850-51, and returned to England tlie following summer. 

About tliis time and during the next few years many other expe- 
ditions in search of the Franklin ])arty traversed the devious and 
ice-lK»si»t waterways of the Arctic north of the American continent, 
and, nuiinly by means of sledge journeys, explored nearly the entire 
(»xtent of coast line of the Parry Archipelago and the other great 
islands in that (juarter. Pi^ominent among these were the following, 
(»f which brief itineraries are given: 

The ships Lm/t/ Franklin and Sophia left P2ngland on April 13, 
1850, and arrived at Beechey Island on August 27, and Assistance 
Bay, at the southern extremity of Cornwallis Island, on Sept4*mber 
1*2. There the winter of 1850-51 was passed. Sledging parties ex- 
amined Wellington Channel and portions of the shores of North 
Devon, All>ert Land, Cornwallis Island, Baillie Hamilton Island, 
and Baring Island. In the narrative of the voyage, by P. C. Suther- 
land, many notes on natural history are given. 

The Prinrr Alhcrt reached Batty Bay, Prince Regent Inlet, on 
September 10, 1851, and wintered there. During the following spring 



11K>8.] PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS — m'cLINTOCK. 67 

William Kennedy and Lieutenant Bellot journeyed by sledges around 
North Somerset, crossing Prince of Wales Land on the way. The 
ship returned to England in the autumn of 1852. The narrative of 
(he voTOge, written by Kennedy, gives many natural history notes. 

The Assistance^ one of Edw^ard Belcher's squadron, reached Nor- 
thumberland Sound in Augtist, 1852, and wintered near latitude 77°, 
longitude 07°. During the autunm, and in the spring of 1853, the 
adjacent coasts of Cornwallis, Bathurst, and Melville islands were 
examined. The second winter was spent near the southern end of 
Wellhigton Channel, where the ship was abandoned in the summer 
of 1854. In Belcher's narrative are given a few notes on natural his- 
tory. Doctor McCormick, surgeon on one of the ships of the squad- 
ron, made a boat journey along the west coast of North Devon in 
the autumn of 1852. During this trip he made a great many natural 
history notes, which appeared in the narrative of his travels, pub- 
lished many years later. 

The Fox, Capt. L. M'Clintock, reached Port Kennedy, Prince 
Regent Inlet, in August, 1858, and went into winter quarters. Here 
a year was passed, during which the adjacent coasts of Prince of 
Wales Land, Boothia Felix, and King William Land were examined. 
In the course of these explorations the main object of the voyage was 
achieved — the ascertaining of the fate of the Franklin party. M'Clin- 
tock's parties found records deposited by the ill-fated expedition 
showing that the Erebus and Terror had passed the winter of 1845-40 
at Beechey Island, and during the following summer had sailed south- 
ward into Peel Sound, where the ships had been caught in the ice- 
pack and had there passed the winter of 1846-47. Sir John Franklin 
died on June 11, 1847, and by the following x\pril the total number 
of deaths had reached 24. On April 22, 1848, Crozier, then in com- 
mand, left the ships with 105 officers and men for Back River, by 
way of which they hoped to reach the trading posts. Here the written 
records ended, but M'Clintock by his explorations ascertained that, 
weakened by disease and starvation, they " died as they walked " 
along the west coast of King William Land, and not one succeeded 
in reaching the river. In M'Clintock's narrative many natural history 
rtotes are given, mainly referring to Bellot Strait. 

It is desirable to refer more particularly to the itineraries of a few 
other expeditions which have to do with the larger Arctic islands 
nearest to the Mackenzie Basin, and whose narratives are especially 
rich in natural histoiy notes. The expeditions selected are as fol- 
lows : 

Those of Collinson and M'Clure, in the Enterpn'se and Investi- 
gator, for Banks, Baring, Prince Albert, Wollaston, and Victoria 
lands; and of Kellett, in the Resolute, for Prince Patrick Island; 



68 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ixu. 27. 

tlio fauna of Melville Island had been made known i)ailially by 
Parry's first voyage, already mentioned. 

M'Clure, in the Inrentigntor^ which sailed in company with the 
Kiitcvprm'^ but l)ecanie separated from it, reached the vicinity of 
the Mackenzie by way of the Strait of Magellan, Sandwich Islands, 
and Bering Sea, about the middle of August, 1850. Following the 
coast eastward to Cape Parry, the I nresthfatov turned northward and 
entered Prince of Wales Strait, where it was frozen in near Princess 
Royal. Islands, and wintered. The ship was freed from the ice in 
July, 1851, but Ijeing unable to jjenetrate to Parrj^ Sound through 
the strait, M'Clure turned southward and skirting the southern, west- 
ern, and northern shores of Banks Land, entered Mercy Bay, where 
the ship was imprisoned on September 23, 1851. Here the i)arty, 
with the exception of some who left on April 15, 1853, for Dealy 
Island, remained until June 3, 1853, when the ship was abandoned. 
and the party taken by sledgi*s to Dealy Island, where the Intrepid 
and Refiolut<^ had wintert»d, and wiience Captain Kellett had sent 
Lieutenant Pim to the rescue. Another winter was passed in the 
ice, and the survivors finally reached England on the North Star^ the 
fii-st party to accomplish the Northwest Passage." Several narratives 
of this voyage were published. That of Alexander Armstrong, sur- 
geon on the hivestif/ator. which has been consulted in the present 
connection, has very full notes on natural history. 

Collinson in the Enter priit(\ becoming se])arated from the Inresti- 
ijafor and not l)eing aware that that vessel, a slow sailer, had entered 
the Arctic Ocean, did not push on during the summer of 1850 (the 
two ships having ordei-s to keep together), and withdrawing from 
the Arctic to winter, did not reach Mackenzie Bay until August, 1851. 
a year Ix^hind the Inrestujator, Sailing eastward and northward, 
Collinson entered Princt> of AVales Strait but a few days after 
MX^lure left it, and attempted to pass tlirough it, but was stopjDed by 
the ice. He then turned back and coasted Banks Land to Point Meek, 

" \V. K. Parry in l.s2<> failed to aecompHsh the Northwest Passage by only a 
few miles, and since then many other failures have been scored. Retreutly the 
feat lias Ikhmi achieved by ('apt. Uoald Amundsen in the (ijfia. This vessel, a 
sloop 7*5 feet lonj; and registering? 40 tons, sailed from Christ iania, Norway, dh 
tlie night of June 10, ltK>3, with a crew of seven men, all told. The iwrty 
reacluHl He<»chey Island on August 2*J. and sailed southward through Ptvl 
Sc»und to Petterson Bay, on the soutlieastern coast of King William Tjand. They 
wintered there and spent the spring and summer of 1904 in making sclentltio 
<rbservations in that region. Another winter was passed at the same place, and 
in the spring and early summer of VM)^\ the eastern coast of Victoria Land was 
charted north to latitu<U» 12' 10'. The <ljnn MX Petters<m Bay on Auinist l.'l 
penctnitiMl througli Simi)son, Dease, and Dolphin and T'nlon straits, and win- 
ten^l near (\i|m' Sabine, east of Herschel Island. The westward voya[?e was 
resunuMl in the summer of 1000, and the Ojija reached San Francisco in the 
early autumn. 



1908.] PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS — ANDERSON AND STEWART. 69 

on its western shore, but not knowing that M'Chire had followed 
this course, he turned back and wintered in Walker Bay, Prince 
Albert Land. Sledging parties were sent out in various directions 
during the winter and early summer, and after the ice broke up in 
August, 1852, Prince Albert Sound was surveyed. Collinson then 
sailed eastward between Wollaston and Victoria lands and the main- 
land to Cambridge Bay, where he was obliged again to seek winter 
quarters late in September. During the winter of 1852-53 sledging 
parties examined the southeastern coast of Victoria Land. The ship 
was liberated in August, 1853, and Collinson retraced his way west- 
ward, but was stopped by ice in Camden Bay, east of Point Barrow% 
and forced to spend another winter in the Arctic, after which he 
returned to England. In his journal, which w^as published in 1889, 
(\)llinson gives many notes on natural history, mainly referring to 
the wintering stations. 
. The Renohfte, Captain Kellett, and the Intrepid^ Captain M'Clin- 
tcK-k, two of the fleet of five vessels which the British Government 
sent out in 1852 to search for the Franklin expedition, wintered at 
Dealy Island, off the southern coast of Melville Island. During the 
spring of 1853 sledging parties under Mecham, M'Clintock, and 
others, examined nearly the entire coast line of Prince Patrick Island, 
and other portions of the adjacent region, one party under Lieutenant 
Pim reaching and rescuing the crew of the Invcatifjator^ as before 
mentioned. The Resolute and Intrepid were drawn out of winter 
quarters in August, 1853, but soon afterwards were caught in the 
ice, and after drifting during the following winter, were abandoned 
May 15, 1854, in Melville Sound, north of Prince of Wales Ishmd. 
Two others of the fleet, the Assistance and Pioneer^ being also aban- 
doned, the crews of the four vessels, as well as'that of tlie In restigator^ 
were taken home on the North Star, The abandoned Resolute es- 
caped from the ice, and after drifting a thousand miles through 
Lancaster Sound, Barrow Strait, and Baffin Bay, was recovered in 
Davis Strait north of Cape Dyer by Captain Buddington, an Ameri- 
can whaler, was purchased by the United States Government, and 
presented to (ireat Britain. MDougalPs narrative of the voyage of 
the Resolute has l)een examined in the present connection and many 
notes on the fauna of Prince Patrick Island and the adjacent region 
have been obtained from it. 

In 1855 James Anderson and James G. Stewart, of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, descended Back River to search for traces of the 
Franklin expedition. They left Fort Resolution June 22 and pro- 
ceeded to the eastern end of Great Slave Lake and thence by the lakes 
and rivers, encountering great difficulties, to the head of Back River, 
where they arrived about July 13. Back River was then descended 
to its mouth, and Montreal Island and portions of the shore of the 



70* NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. \yo. 27. 

adjacent mainland wei-e examined. The party then i-etraced its way, 
reaching the head of Back River August 31, and Fort Resolution 
September 16. The official report contains a few notes on the natural 
history of the region. 

KENNICOTT'S EXPEDITION, 1859, AND ITS RESULTS. 

The year 1859 marked the beginning of a period of nearly ten 
years, during which more light was thrown on the natural history 
of the Mackenzie River region than during any equal period before 
or since. This resulted from the visit of Robert Kennicott, an 
enthusiastic young naturalist sent to that region by Prof. S. F. Baird 
in the interests of the Smithsonian Institution. In the words of one 
of his northern friends: "During his three years' sojourn in that 
quarter he managed to infuse into one and all with whom he had any 
intercourse more or less of his own ardent, zealous, and indefatigable 
spirit as a collector." Reaching the Canadian border by way of 
Chicago and Lake Sujwrior, Kennicott left Fort William, on the 
north shore of Lake Superior at the mouth of Kaministiquoi River, 
on May 19, 1859, and traveled by way of Rainy Lake, I^ake of the 
Woods, and Lake Winnipeg to Norway House. From here he pro- 
ceeded up the Saskatchewan and by the well-known Methye Portage 
route to the Athabaska, where he arrived August 3, and, traveling 
rapidly down the rivers, reached Fort Simpson on August 15. Here 
he passed the autunui of 1859, except while making a trip to Fort 
Liard, which occupied three weeks. Early in January, 18()0, he 
made another trip to Fort Liard, where he remained until the last 
of Fel)ruary, and then returned to Fort Simpson, arriving on March 
8. On March 25 he joined a party going to Big Island, a trading 
post on the north shore and near the outlet of Great Slave Lake and 
near the island of that name. He arrived there on April 1 and 
remained until April 5, when he left for Fort Rae, arriving April 10. 
Here also he made but a short stay, leaving on April 16 for Fort 
Re^solution, where he arrived April 18. He remained at that place 
until some time in August, collecting assiduously and making many 
interesting observations. In August he descended the Mackenzie to 
Peel River (Fort McPherson), where he remained a short time and 
then crossi»d the mountains to La Pierre House, arriving on Septem- 
ber 18. After a stop of one day he descended the Porcupine to Fort 
Yukon. Here he remained until August, 1801, when he returned 
to Peel River, remaining there until late in December, and then went 
l)ack to La Pierre House. He remained there until January 31. 
1802, when he again set out for Peel River, where he arrived about 
three days later. In the s])ring he proceeded up the Mackenzie to 
Fort Simpson. He had intended to spend the coming summer at 
Fort Anderson, the newly established post on ^Vnderson River, but 



1908.] PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS KENNICOTT. 71 

at Fort Sinipsoii received news which necessitated his return to the 
United States. He arrived in Chicago on October 17. Of his life, 
mainly spent in scientific research, between that date and March, 
18G5, when he left the United States for Alaska to take charge of a 
party of surveyors in connection with the overland telegraph expedi- 
tion, and of his untimely death at Nulato on May 13, 1866, it is 
unnecessary now to speak. It is desirable, how^ever, to refer briefly 
to the labors of a number of gentlemen, mainly employees of the 
Hudson's Bay Company, who, during the visit of Kennicott to the 
Mackenzie and for several years afterwards, collected and forwarded 
to the Smithsonian Institution thousands of valuable specimens. 
Among them may l>e mentioned Roderick MacFarlane, B. R. Ro&s, 
James Lockhart, Lawrence Clarke, W. L. Hardisty, James Mc- 
Dougall, John Reid, C P. Gaudet, Strachan Jones, J. S. Camsell, 
Murdo McLeod, James Sibbiston, A. McKenzie, Andrew and James 
Flett, R. MacDonald, W. J. McLean, William Brass, Nicholas Taylor, 
and W. C. King. 

Of these Roderick MacFarlane, an officer of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, made by far the most extensive collections, mainly in the 
Anderson River region. A brief account of the circumstances under 
w^hich these collections were formed may begin with a few" notes 
regarding his first trip to this region, w^iich never before had been 
visited by a white man. He left Fort Good Hope on June 4, 1857, 
and pursued a general northeasterly course on foot to a large lake, 
which he called Canoe Lake. A party of Indians had canoes in 
readiness on this lake, and its outlet, called by him the Iroquois, 
was descended to a larger stream called the Lockhart, which was 
reached on June 11 after much difficult navigation and several long 
portages. The Lockhart at the point where they reached it was 
found to be a stream about 50 yards wide, easily navigable for 
canoes, and bordered by high, well-w^ooded banks. MacF'arlane de- 
scended this river to its junction with a larger one, named by him 
the Anderson, a stream var\Mng in width from 500 to 1,500 yards 
and supposed to be identical with the ' Beghula ' of Richardson. 
This river was reached June 13, and was found to be still full of 
floating ice, having broken up only on the previous day. On June 
14 he commenced the descent of Anderson River, having a party of 
ten persons in two canoes. It was his intention to follow^ it to its 
mouth, but when within about a day's journey of the sea he was 
forced by a large party of unfriendly Eskimo to abandon the canoes 
and the heavier portions of the baggage. Leaving here June 10, 
the members of the party retraced their way on foot and reached the 
mouth of the Lockhart on June 24. Obtaining a small canoe here, 
MacFarlane explored a considerable portion of the upper Anderson 



72 



NOBTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



lata 27. 



and returned to Fort Good Hope by an overland march to Hareskin 
River and by descending that stream. 

In the summer of 1800, the Hudson's Bay Company having decided 
to establish a post on the Anderson, MacFarlane made another trip 
to that river for the purpose of setting a party to work preparing 
himber for the construction of the buildings. On this occasion he 
followed a new route, leaving the Mackenzie a few miles below the 
site of old Fort Good Hope and pursuing a general easterly course 
through several lakes connected by portages of varying lengths to a 
stream (named by him the Onion River), a tributary of the Lockhart. 
I>escending the Lockhart to the Anderson, he found suitable timber 
on the Anderson River 10 miles above this junction. A temporary 
establishment was erected at this place, called by him ' Shantyville,' 




Fig. 4. — Fort Anderson, Anderson River (from sketch by Emlle Petltot, March. 18G5). 

and several men were left to prepare lumber, while MacFarlane re- 
turned to Fort Good Hope by practically the same route followed on 
his outward trip. Subsequently this new route was abandoned in 
favor of the earlier one, explored in 1857. 

In May, 1861, MacFarlane returned to the Anderson, and on the 
breaking up of the ice rafted the lumber down to the proposed site, 
on the right bank of the Anderson, approximately in latitude 68° 35', 
where the post was built during the summer (fig. 4). No natural his- 
tory work was done that season, but in the succeeding summer col- 
lecting was begun in earnest, and was continued, mainly during the 
summer seasons, until the post was abandoned in the sunmier of 
1866. In addition to MacFarlane's personal collections many speci- 



1008.1 PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS — MACPARLANE. 78 

mens were brought in by the Eskimo, mainly from Liverpool Bay, 
and by the local Indians. Each summer from 18G2 to 18G5, inclusive, 
when the trading season was over, MacFarlane made an overland 
trip to Franklin Bay, mainly in search of the eggs of water birds, 
and the breeding habits and eggs of many species were first made 
known through his efforts. In 1862 he left Fort Anderson, accom- 
panied by five Indians, on June 19, and pursued an easterly course for 
about 40 miles to the limit of the timbered country. On reaching 
the Barren Grounds he turned to the northeastward past Rendezvous 
Lake. No more timber was met with until he reached Wilmot 
Horton River at a point a little to the northward of latitude 69°. 
This river flows through a deep valley, and its immediate banks are 
fairly well wooded. Thence to the coast his course lay through the 
Barren Grounds. He reached Franklin Bay on June 25, and after a 
stay of about four days, during which the neighborhood was ran- 
sacked for specimens, retraced his coui*se to Fort Anderson. 

In 1863 he made a similar trip to Franklin Bay. Leaving Fort 
Anderson on June 20, he pursued practically the same route, but hav- 
ing a larger party, he divided it, instructing three of his men to fol- 
low a parallel course to the northward of his route, while another 
party pursued a similar course to the southward. At Rendezvous 
Lake, on the borders of the wooded country, the three parties met 
by appointment, the lake being named from this circumstance. From 
this point the party continued on to Franklin Bay, reaching it on 
June 29 at a point a few miles to the northward of the place visited 
in 1862. The coast for some distance in either direction was examined 
for eggs, and a small party of Eskimo visited a neighboring large 
island, on which many water birds were found nesting. That season 
he spent nine days on the coast and then returned to Fort Anderson, 
where he arrived on July 11. 

In 1864 a third collecting trip to the coast was made. This time 
five parties left Fort Anderson on June 18 and pursued parallel 
courses to Rendezvous Lake, where they assembled on June 24. 
Here several days were spent arranging and packing the collec- 
tions, which were then sent back to the post, as was customary, while 
the main party proceeded to Franklin Bay, reaching it on June 30. 
Three families of Anderson River Eskimo joined MacFarlane here 
and assisted in collecting. Three days were spent on the mainland, 
and a large island 3 miles off shore was visited in an ' oomiak ' on 
July 4, and ransacked for three days. On account of drifting ice and 
foggy weather the main shore was regained with difficulty after 
thirty hours' continual effort. In 1865 a similar trip to Franklin Bay 
was made, but further investigations in that quarter were prevented 
by the abandonment of Fort Anderson in the summer of 1866. 



74 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

The iiiiiueiisc amount of lalMir involved in these trijis may be 
imagined when it is considered that all the baggage, in addition to 
the collections, had to be carried on the backs of the party through 
woods and swamps, across streams and around lakes, over hills and 
mossy plains, regardless of the vicissitudes of an Arctic climate, A 
short account of his first visit to Anderson River, containing a few 
notes on the fauna and flora, was published by MacFarlane in 1890. 
He published also, about the same time, an annotated list of the birds 
and eggs obtained in the Anderson River region, and more recently a 
similar paper on the mammals of the north. 

B. R. Ross, at that time in charge of the Mackenzie district, also 
made large collections, mainly at Fort Simpson and Fort Liard, and 
published a number of articles on the natural history of the region. 
Of the others, Lockhart collected mainly on the Yukon and about 
Great Slave Lake; Clarke at Fort Rae; Hardisty about Great Slave 
Lake; Reid at Big Island ; (Jaudet at Peel River; Jones on the Yukon 
and at I^esser Slave Lake; Sibbiston at La Pierre House; Mackenzie 
alx)ut Great Slave Lake ; and Brass at Fort Halkett. 

The extensive collections thus brought together were unfortunately 
never published as a whole, though they contributed material for 
many general works and wen» distributed among several museums. 

LATEB EXPEDITIONS, 1862-1907. 

Between 1802 and 1S83 fimile Petitot, a French missionary, was 
stationed in various parts of the Mackenzie region and visited many 
districts which were previously unknown except to the natives. 
Some of his journeys were made by canoe, but most of his trips were 
made in winter on snowshoes. Immense areas north of Great Ifear 
Lake and the lower Mackenzie, and l^etween Great Bear and Great 
Slave lakes, were first explored by him and are still mainly known 
from his labors. In 1875 he published a treatise on the geography 
of the Athabaska-Mackenzie region. Between 1883 and 1893, after 
his return to France, he published five books, which contained the 
narratives of his many journeys. In addition he wrote many shorter 
articles on geography and anthropolog\\ Ilis books of travel, in 
particular, contain a great many notes on the fauna of the regions 
traversed. 

In 1875 Dr. A. R. C. Selwvn, of the Canadian Geological Survey, 
examined the upper part of Peace River as far down as the mouth of 
the Smok}\ Thence he returned westward, while John Macoun, 
botanist to the expedition, descended the Peace to Athabaska I^ke, 
and, ascending the Athabaska and Clearwater, reached Winnipeg by 
the Saskatchewan Plains. The report of the exi:)edition comprises 
a detailed geological and physiographical account of the routes 



1008.1 PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS ^DAWSON. 75 

traversed, with numerous detailed liotes on the flora and a few on 
the fauna. 

In the summer of 1879 Dr. G. M. Dawson, of the Canadian Geo- 
logical Survey, en route from Port Simpson, on the Pacific coast, 
explored some of the upper branches of Peace River and reached 
Edmonton by way of the upper Athabaska. In his report references 
are made to the fauna and flora of the region. 

In 1879 and 1880 Frederick Schwatka made a journey overland 
from near Chesterfield Inlet to King William Land and back, the 
final search for traces of the Franklin expedition. The summer of 
1879 was spent on King William Land. The party left here about 
November 1 and ascended Back River for some distance on the return 
journey. Many notes on the game animals of the region, especially 
of King William Land, appear in the narrative of the trip. 

In the summer of 1882 Dr. Robert Bell, of the Canadian Geo- 
logical Survey, explored La Biche River and made an examination of 
the Athabaska from the mouth of La Biche River to Athabaska Lake. 
He then ascended the Athabaska to the Clearwater, and that stream 
to Methye Portage. 

During the seasons of 1887 and 1888 R. G. McConnell, of the 
Canadian Geological Survey, made a detailed geological examination 
of portions of the Mackenzie region. Leaving the junction of the 
Dease and Liard rivers on June 25, 1887, he descended the Liard to 
Fort Simpson, where he arrived August 5. He then ascended the 
Mackenzie and Slave to Fort Smith, and spent the remainder of 
the season of open water in examining Slave River, Salt River, Hay 
River, and the southwestern shores of Great Slave Lake, reaching 
Fort Providence about October 1. The winter was passed at this 
post, from which trips were made to Fort Rae and other points. 
About May 1, 1888, he descended the Mackenzie on the ice to Fort 
Simpson, and, leaving there May 28, proceeded by boat to Fort 
McPherson on the Peel. From here he crossed the mountains by 
way of La Pierre House to the Porcupine, and descending it reached 
the Pacific coast by way of the Yukon and the Chilkoot Pass. 

In the summer of 1888 William Ogilvie, of the Canadian Depart- 
ment of the Interior, after spending the winter on the Yukon at the 
boundary between Alaska and Canada, crossed the mountains and as- 
cended the Mackenzie. He left his winter quarters early in March 
and descended the Yukon to the mouth of the Tat-on-duc. He then 
ascended this river on the ice, and from its head crossed to the head 
of the Porcupine. Here he encamped until the river opened, late in 
May, and then descended it in canoes to the mouth of Bell River, an 
easterly tributary. This was ascended to its head and a portage 
made by McDougall Pass to the head of Trout River, a branch of the 



76 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [sro. 27. 

Peel. On the lower Peel, on June 23, he met R. G. McConnell, who 
had just de^scended the Mackenzie. From here he ascended the 
Mackenzie and Slave rivers to Athabaska Lake, where he arrived late 
in October. In his narrative he gives many notes on the more con- 
spicuous birds and mammals, especially of the region traversed be- 
tween the Yukon and the Mackenzie. 

In the sunmier of 1888 James M. Macoun accompanied Thomas 
Fawxett, of the Dominion Lands Survey, on an exploration of the 
Athabaska from the mouth of Lesser Slave River to the junction of 
the Clearwater, up that stream, and thence to the Churchill. The 
party left Athabaska Landing on May 25, and ascended the Atha- 
baska to the mouth of Lesser Slave River, which was reached June 
5. From this point the expedition turned back and descended the 
river to Fort McMurray, reaching there late in June. The ascent of 
the Clearwater was commenced June 26, and the height of land to 
the waters of the Churchill was crossed by the Methye Portage, 
Thence, by way of La Loche or Methye, Buffalo, and Isle a la Crosse 
lakes, the party reached the Churchill, where explorations were con- 
tinued. On this trip J. M. Macoun took many notes on the birds, 
thus making the first detailed observations on the ornithology of that 
region and greatly extending the known ranges of many species. 
Unfortunately these notes remained unpublished for several years. 
They were fii'st put on record by John Macoun in his Catalogue of 
Canadian Birds, recently published. 

In the summer of 1889 R. (i. McConnell. of the Canadian (xeological 
Survey, explored a considerable portion of the country lying between 
Peace and Athabaska rivers to the north of Lesser Slave Ijake, fol- 
lowing several canoe routes and trails between the two rivers. 

In 1889 and 1890 Warburton Pike made a hunting and exploring 
trip into the interior of Mackenzie. From Fort Resolution, which 
he reached in the summer of 1889 by the usual route down the Atha- 
baska and Slave rivers, he went to Fort Fond du Lac, on the north 
shore of the eastern part of Great Slave Lake. Thence he made an 
early autumn trip northward to Lake Mackay and Lac de Gras, first 
explored and named by him, near the upper part of the Copp)ermine. 
In November and December he made another trip into the same region 
and well toward the Arctic Sea, and then returned to Fort Resolution. 
Late in the following spring, in company with James MacKinlay, 
he made another trip to Lake Mackay, and when navigation opened 
descended Lockhart River to Aylmer Lake, and, portaging to the 
headwaters of Back River, descended it as far as Beechey Lake. They 
then returned by way of Clinton-Colden and Artillery lakes to Fort 
Resolution. Thence Pike ascended the Slave and Peace rivers in an 
attempt to cross the mountains to the Pacific, but was obliged, after 
suffering gi'eat hardship from cold and famine, to relinquish the 



lOOaj PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS — OGILVIE. 77 

attempt. He then descended the Peace to Dunvegan, and lefti the 
country by way of. Lesser Slave Lake and Edmonton. His narrative 
of the explorations is replete with notes on natural history. 

In the summer of 1891 William Ogilvie, of the Canadian Depart- 
ment of the Interior, made an exploring trip through the region 
between the Liard and Peace rivers. He started from Athabaska 
Landing on July 14 and descended the rivers to Fort Simpson. 
Leaving here on August 28, he ascended the Liard and the Nelson 
to a point on Sicannie Chief River, where canoe navigation became 
impracticable, and then pursued a southerly course on foot to Fort 
St. John, on Peace River, where he arrived on Octol^er 21. From 
here he descended the Peace to Peace River Landing, and proceeded 
overland to I^esser Slave Lake and Edmonton. In his narrative of 
the trip, published a year or two later, he gives a great deal of infor- 
mation regarding the natural resources of the country, including 
many notes on its fauna, the most important relating to the wood 
bison and the musk-ox. 

In 1892 Miss Elizal>eth Taylor made a summer trip by means of 
the regular conveyances of the Hudson's Bay Company on the Atha- 
baska, Slave, and Mackenzie rivers to Fort McPherson and return. 
Being interested in natural history, she made collections of birds, 
mammals, fishes, insects, and plants. These collections, though not 
extensive, have already formed the basis of at least two papers — 
on the fishes and the Lepidoptera. A few of the birds which found 
their way into the collection of the United States National Museum 
are recorded in the present report. 

In the summer of 1892 J. B. Tyrrell, of the Canadian Geological 
Survey, assisted by I). B. Dowling, explored a portion of the shore 
of Athabaska Lake and a large extent of country lying between that 
lake and Churchill River. His report contains many notes on the 
fauna of the region. 

In the summer of 1898 J. B. Tyrrell, accompanied by his brother, 
J. W. Tyrrell, made a journey through the Athabaska n^gion for the 
purpose of geographical and geological research. I^eaving Athabaska 
Landing May 31, they descended the Athabaska to Fort Chipewyan. 
From this point they followed the north shore of Athabaska Lake 
eastward to its extremity, and then traveled by a series of rivers 
and lakes hitherto unexplored northeastward to the head of Chester- 
field Inlet. This was travei'sed to Hudson Bay, and thence the coast 
of the bay was followed to Fort Churchill, the lateness of the season 
causing much hardship. From Fort Churchill the party traveled on 
the snow, by way of York Factory an<l Norway House, to Winnipeg. 
The official report, by J. B. Tyrrell, comprises a very full geological 
and general description of the region, and many notes on its fauna 
and flora, while a popular account of the journey, by J. W. Tyrrell, 



78 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. {no. 1*7. 

also contains much inforniation on the natural history of the country 
explored. 

During the summer of 1894 J. B. Tyrrell, accompanieil by R. 
Munro-Ferguson, explored a canoe route northward through the 
Barren Grounds to the eastward of the route followed during the 
previous summer. They ascended the Saskatchewan to Cuml>erland 
House, and from that point reached Churchill River by the well- 
known route. Then descending Churchill River to the mouth of 
Reindeer River they ascended that stream to Reindeer I^ke. This 
lake was followed to its northern extremity, where the Hudson's Bay 
post Lac du Brochet is situated. From here the party ascended C/Och- 
rane or Icy River and pursued a northerly course never before ex- 
plored through Theitaga, Kasba, and Ennadai lakes, and Kazan 
River to Yath-Kyed Lake. From here the general course was east- 
erly, to the head of Ferguson River, and down that stream to Hud- j 
son Bay, which was reached on September 18. Fnim this point the I 
party reached Fort Churchill by water, and waiting there until the 
season was sufficiently advanced for winter travel, proceeded by 
snowshoe and dog sled to Winnipeg. 

The period between August, 1892, and September, 1894, was spent 
by Frank Russell, working under the auspices of the University of 
Iowa, in collecting ethnological and natural history specimens in cen- 
tral Canada. The time from August, 1892, to April, 1893, was spent 
mainly at Grand Rapids, near the outlet of the Saskatchewan, and 
need not be particularly noticed in the present connection. He left 
Edmonton on April 20, 1893, and Athabaska Landing May 3, and 
descending the Athabaska reached Fort Chipewyan about the middle 
of the month. Here he remained until June 20, most of the time col- 
le(?ting birds in the Athabaska-Peace delta. He then proceeded down 
the Slave and across Great Slave Lake to Fort Rae, arriving there on 
July G. A trip up Yellowknife River nearly to the Barren Grfuinds 
was made during the latter half of July and the first week in August, 
and another to Fort Resolution during September. Later in the fall 
he made several trips to the northward of Fort Rae and collected a 
series of caril>ou skins. During the early part of December he tniv- 
eled to Fort Resolution by way of Fort Providence, and in »Tanuary, 
1894, made a trip of alK)ut 50 miles to the southward of Fort Resolu- 
tion in search of wood bison, but without success. After this he re- 
turned to Fort Rae, and during March and April accompanied a 
party of Indians into the Barren Grounds to the northeast of that 
post after musk-oxen, securing a fine series of specimens. In May he 
traveled around the north shore of Great Slave Lake, and desivndetl 
the Mackenzie to Fort Providence. With the o]>ening of navigation, 
he descended the Mackenzie by steamer to Fort G<kk1 Hope and then 
voyaged to Hei-schel Island by canoe. After collecting for several 



1»08.] PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS — LORING. 79 

weeks in that vicinity he proceeded to San Francisco on the whaling 
steamer Jeannette. His report was published by the University of 
Iowa. 

During the latter part of the winter of 1894—95, Caspar Whitney 
made a journey to the Barren Grounds north of (}reat Slave Lake to 
hunt musk-oxen. He left Edmonton about the last of December, 1894, 
and traveled by sleigh to Lac La Biche and from there by snow-shoe 
and dog sled to Fort Smith. From here he made an unsuccessful trip 
to the westward after wood bison. On his return he w ent on to Fort 
Resolution and accompanied a party of Indians to their camp in the 
woods to tlie eastward of Fort Rae. From this place they traveled 
into the Barren Grounds to the northward of Point Lake, finding 
musk-oxen at several points. On his return he reached Fort Resolu- 
tion on the snow, but was obliged to complete his journey by canoe. 
Leaving Great Slave Lake early in May, he ascended Little Buffalo 
River, made a portage to Salt River, and thence following the usual 
route, reached Edmonton about the middle of June. 

During the seasons of 1894, 1895, and 1890, J, Alden Loring, of the 
Biological Survey, spent in the aggregate about nine months in field 
work in central and western Alberta. .Though considerable work was 
done on birds, the time was devoted mainly to manmials. Large 
series w^ere collected and many observations regarding their habits 
were made. He spent most of the month of September, 1894, at 
Edmonton. His immediate field of operations was on the south side 
of the Saskatchewan about South Edmonton, now Strathcona. For 
convenience this locality has been referred to as Edmonton, the dif- 
ference in position not being essential. 

During the seasons of 1895 and 189() he made two trips to the moun- 
tains in the Jasper and Henry House region, w^orking much of the 
ground covered by Drummond, and obtaining specimens from the 
type region of most of the species described, mainly by Richardson, 
from Drummond's collection. From Edmonton he traveled over 
the old Government trail, which follows in a general way the course 
laid out in 1876 as a possible route for the Canadian Pacific Raihvay. 
Following the road northwestward to St. Albert, the trail takes a 
general westerly direction for about 200 miles, making allowance 
for its irregular course, to Athabaska River. Beyond here the trail 
has a southwesterly direction to Jasper House and then follows the 
Athabaska to Henry House, about 15 miles distant in a direct line, 
but much farther by the river and trail. From here, running south- 
ward and then westward, it passes through the celebrated Yellow 
Head Pass, which leads to the headwaters of the Eraser. 

On his first trip Loring left Edmonton August 10, 1895, and travel- 
ing with a pack train, followed the trail westwaid to Jasper House. 
During the first 100 miles of this course the country is described 



80 NOBTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [»o. 27. 

by him as very uniforin in character, being gently rolling and mainly 
well wooded with poplar. Small lakes and muskegs occur frequently, 
making travel difficult. About 20 miles east of the 'Crossing' of 
McLeod River coniferous trees are first met with, and from here be- 
come more common as the mountains are approached. Jasper Hoik 
(abandoned) is situated in Jasper Valley, which is surrounded by 
high, rugged mountains. Some collecting was done in this vicinity, 
jind he then proceeded to the site of Henry House, and from there 
made a trip into the high mountains about 25 miles to the westward, 
but was prevented by the lateness of the season from doing mudi 
detailed work. He therefore retraced his course to Edmonton, whew 
he arrived early in November. 

In the summer of 189G luring made another trip to the same 
legion, this time starting earlier in the season and making more ex- 
tended explorations. Leaving Edmonton on May 25, he proceeded to 
Jasper House by the same route f ollowe<l the previous year. He then 
visited the high mountains about 15 miles south, of Henry House, 
where he collected July B to 21, securing many interasting specimens 
and notes. After a delay of about a month, caused by a serious acci- 
dent, he made a trip northward to Smoky River. Following the east 
bank of Stony River, a small stream coming from the northward and 
entering the Athabaska near Jasper House, he crossed the mountains 
to Smoky Valley, 50 miles north of Jasj^er House. Tlie trail was 
but little used and was so filled with fallen timber, the result of for- 
est fires, that often it was inexi)edient to follow it. Smoky Valley 
is long and narrow, mainly gi'own up to willows, and is evidenUy 
situated near the headwaters of Little Smoky River. After leaving 
this valley he crossed a low divide and descended one of the tribu- 
taries of Grand Cache, or Simonette River, which floivs northward 
into Smoky River. Sulphur Prairie, an open portion of the valley. 
is about 70 miles north of Jasper House. After following the valley 
for a short distance north of this point the party turned to the east- 
ward and then northward past Fishing Lake, a body of water evi- 
dently east of and tributary to (irand Cache River, and a dsiy or two 
later again entered the valley of the Simonette at Grand Cache 
Valley, about 120 miles north of Jasper House. Up to the time Fisli- 
ing Lake was reached the course had been mainly through high 
rugged mountains clothed mainly with poplars and pines, and hav- 
ing a distinct timber line. The valleys were often so occupied hv 
muskegs that the mountain sides were preferable for traveling, but 
there also progivss was very slow. Reyond the region of Fishing 
Lake the high mountains give place to foothills and rolling country. 
Grand Cache Valley is com[)aratively open and contains many lakes, 
souH* of which are of consideral)le extent. The principal trees are 
poplars, and the luxuriant grass and tempered climate make the 



1908.1 PBEVIOUS EXPLORATIONS M^EVOY. 81 

locality a suitable place for wintering horses. Beyond here a trail 
lying to the eastward of Smoky River was followed for about 50 miles 
in a general northerly course to a point near the mouth of Muskeg 
Creek, a tributary of Smoky River, and here some collecting was done. 
He left here about the last of September, and turning southward and 
following a route to the eastward of his nortlierly course lie returned 
to Jasper House by way of Baptiste River, striking the main Edmon- 
ton-JasiDcr trail some distance to the northeastward of Jasper House, 
and arriving there about October 8. From here he went into the ' 
high mountains to the westward, collecting in Caribou Basin, 15 miles 
west of Henry House, and in another valley 10 miles farther w^est, 
visited by him during the previous autumn, and named by him 
Rodent Valley, on account of the abundance of small rodents. He 
left here about Octolx^r 18 and returned by the trail to Edmonton, 
where he arrived early in November. Some of the results of Lor- 
ing's work in Alberta have already appeared in various reports, 
mainly published by the Biological Survey, but the greater part of 
the material collected by him is treated of for the first time in the 
present report. 

During the summer of 1897 and the winter following, C. J. Jones, 
better known as ' Buffalo Jones,' made a trip to the Barren (Irounds 
for the purpose of securing living musk-oxen. Reaching (ireat Slave 
Lake by way of the Athabaska and Slave rivers, he pr(x»eeded to the 
eastern end of the lake, accompanied by John Rea, a fur trader. Here, 
on the site of Fort Reliance, they built a log house and remained 
during the early part of the winter, making occasional short hunting 
trips. Late in February, 1898, they started on a longer trip, accom- 
panied by an Indian guide, who soon deserted them. After this Jones 
and Rea traveled over a large extent of country about upper Back 
River and eastward toward Chesterfield Inlet. They returned to their 
cabin on April 10. Here they remained until the ice broke up, when 
they traveled by boat to Fort Resolution, reaching there about the 
middle of July. After a short stay here they descended the Mackenzie 
to its mouth. Thence they ascended the Peel to Fort McPherson, and 
crossing the mountains to the Porcupine, descended it and the Yukon 
to the sea. The narrative of this trip, incorporated in ' Forty Years 
of Adventure,' compiled from the journals of Mr. Jones by Henry 
Inman, contains much information regarding the larger mammals of 
the region. 

In the summer of 1898 James McEvoy, of the Canadian Geological 
Survey, made a geological examination of the country between Ed- 
monton and Tete Jaune Cache, in British Columbia, following the 
trail between the tw^o points and examining large areas of country. 
Many notes on the fauna of the region are incorporated in his report. 

44131— No. 27—08 6 



82 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

He was juroinpanied by William ^^preadborou^h, who, working un- 
der (ho auspices of the Survey, devoted his time to ornithological field 
work, this h(Mn<r the tenth summer spent by him in similar work in 
various parts of Canada. His ornithological observations, together 
with many notes secured bymeml»ersof the Canadian (ieological Sur- 
vey (hiring various surveying trips, are incorporated in the * Catalogue 
of Canad.an Birds.' by John Macoun. the first part of which was 
puI)li^lH»d in r.UX), and which was completed in 1904. 

During tlie yeai-s ISDO to 181>1> A. J. Stone, working under the 
aus|)ices of tlie American Museum of Natural History*, traversed a 
cnn>ideral)lc portion of nortli western North America, mainly en- 
gaged in collecting the larger mammals and securing information 
icgarding their hal)its and ranges. For i)resent purpose's his itin- 
erary from (lie time he left Hell (iate Canyon, on the Liard, aliont 
l'»() miles above Fort Liard, with thi* l)reaking up of the ice in May. 
isiJS, nuiy be I)rielly considere<l. From here he descended the river 
alone lo Fort Liard. where h(» secured help, and, proceeding about 100 
miles fartlier down, made a trip into the Xahanni Mountains, study- 
ing the range of (h-is thiUi. Ueturning to the river, he descended it to 
il> mouth, r(»aching Fort Simpson about the middle of June. He 
then descended the Mackenzie to Fort Nonnan, and with a party of 
Indians traveled westward into tlie Rocky Mountain range, where he 
secured a fine series of Oris ddUi, Ueturning to Fort Norman, he 
continued on down tlie Mackenzie and ascended the Peel to Fort Mc- 
Pherson. In Octoln'r lie nuide a trip with dog sleds into the Rocky 
Mountains to the westward. Keturning to Fort McPherson, he trav- 
ersed the Mackenzie delta and tlie Arctic coast to Herschel Island 
in November, returning to Fort McPherson in December. In March, 
A])ril, and May, ISOO, he traveled eastward ahmg the Arctic coast to 
Caj)e Lyon and back, sledging a tluiusand miles and securing much 
informal ion regarding llie larger mannnals and geography of the 
region. In July lie crossed the Rocky Mountains to the Porcupine, 
nid de-cended ii lo the Yukon. 

In the Minnner of lSi)J) Dr. Robert Hell, of the Canadian Geological 
Snivey. a>sist(Ml by his n(»phew. J. Macintosli Bell, who was in charge 
of ;' s('j)ai;ite j)arty. exj)lored the shore lines of the eastern part and 
the Northern Arm of Great Slave Lake. Work was Ix'gun late in 
July and coini)l(»ted in Se])teml)er. Doctor Bell left P'ort Resolution 
on Sej)teniber 1*). leaving J. M. Bell to pass the winter there and to 
make further explorations during the following season. 

In r.KM) J. M. Bell left Fort Resolution, where he had passed the 
winter, on April 11. and crossed (ireat Slave Lake on the ice to Fort 
Providence. On the bi-eakin<r u]) of the Mackenzie he descended the 
livei' by >t earner an<l canoe to Fort Norman. He left here about the 
middle of June, accompanied by Charles Camsell, Charles Bunn, and 



1908] PREVIOUS EXPLORATIONS — HANBURY. 83 

two canoemen, and ascended Bear River to (Jreat Bear Lake, where 
he arrived on June 23, finding the ice on the lake still intact. On 
July 4 the ice had broken up sufficiently to permit him to start along 
the north shore, which was followed to Richardson Bay. From here 
a portage route was followed across the base of the Scented Grass 
Hills Peninsula, and the traverse across Smith Bay, by way of Tree- 
less Island, was safely accomplished. Coasting along the north shore 
of the lake, the party reached Fort Confidence, near the mouth of 
Dease River, on July 30. From this point a foot trip was made 
across the Barren Grounds to the lower Coppermine. After accom- 
plishing this trip the party left Fort Confidence on August 13 and 
coasted the eastern shore of Great Bear Lake, never before explored, 
to the southern part of MacTavish Bay. From here the party struck 
off to the southward, ascending the stream called the Camsell, and 
following a series of lakes and connecting channels. Being without a 
guide, they experienced much 'difficulty in finding their way, but 
finally encountered a party of Indians and under their guidance 
reached Foil Rae on September 20, and Fort Resolution on Septeml)er 
29. Thence the homeward journey was continued by canoe to Fort 
Chipewyan, and by snowshoe to Edmonton. Of the explorations 
about Great Slave Lake a short preliminary report only has been pub- 
lished, while J. M. Bell has published several short accounts, in which 
many references to the fauna are made, of his journey of 1900. 

David T. Hanbury, the well-known traveler and explorer, has con- 
tributed much toward our knowledge of the geography and natural 
history of the treeless regions of Keewatin and Mackenzie. On his 
first journey in this region he left Fort Churchill May 12, 1899, reach- 
ing Marble Island June 5, and the head of Chesterfield Inlet June 21. 
Canoe navigation commenced on Baker Lake early in July, and he 
reached its head July 19. Voyaging westward through Schultz and 
Aberdeen lakes, he reached the mouth of the Thelon, or Ark-i-linik, 
River on August 3. This unknown river, which was found to be 
fringed with spruces from a point 50 miles above its junction with the 
Dubawnt, and its western branch, now known as Hanbury River, 
were ascended, and the height of land crossed to Artillery Lake. 
While descending Lockhart River, its outlet, his canoe was over- 
turned, resulting in the loss of his geological and botanical specimens. 
He reached Fort Resolution September 25 and Edmonton in the early 
winter. 

In 1901, having decided to make further explorations in the north, 
Hanbury proceeded to F'ort Resolution, (ireat Slave Lake, whicli he 
anticipated making his starting point. Accompanied by Hubert l)ar- 
rell, of Manitoba, he left here July 13, and reached the eastern end of 
Great Slave Lake July 20, Artillery Lake July 23, and the head- 
waters of the Hanbury July 27. Descending this stream and the 



84 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [sa Ti. 

Thelon, or Ark-i-linik, River, he reached its junction with the Do- 
ha wnt late in August and the foot of Baker Lake September '^. Hat 
ing obtained provisions and an outfit from a whaler, who had \ym 
engaged to bring them in, and who was wintering at Depot 
Island, he passed the winter with the Eskuno at the foot of Baker 
Lake. He left here March 12, 1902, accompanicHl by a party of 
Eskimo, and currving canoes and provisions on dog sleds, i*eached 
Ti-bi-elik Lake, an expansion of the Ark-i-linik a short distance above 
its junction with the Dubawnt. I^eaving here April 5, he struck of 
nearly due northward for the Arctic coast. Pelly I^ake, on IJack 
River, was crossed April 14, and the Arctic coast near Ogden Bay 
was reached May 14. From this point they proceeded westward 
along the coast, still traveling with sleds. Canoe navigation wasno( 
possible until July 12, when the party had reached a point (50 mifcs 
east of the Coppermine, which they reached July 18. Ascending the 
Coppermine and Kendall rivers, the height of land to the head of 
Dease Kiver was crossed and Great Bear Lake was n»ached August 
ID. Proceeding along the north shore of (treat Bear Lake, the part? 
descended Bear Kiver and reached Fort Norman August 30. A 
detailed account of these journeys, published in 1904, contains luauy 
notes on the fauna of this little-known region. 

In 1900 J. W. Tyrrell, of the Dominion Lands Survey, accoin[)a- 
nied by (\ C. Fairchild and Archdeacon Lofthouse, made a joumey 
of exploration l^etween (Jreat Slave Lake and Chesterfield Inlet. 
Reaching Fort Resolution April 1, by way of the winter trail from 
Edmonton, they transported their supplies over the ice by means of 
sleds to the eastern end of the lake, where they arrived May i^. 
Thence they j)r()ceeded by way of ' Pike's Portage,' a succession ^f 
small lakes and portages, to Artillery Lake. The head of this lake 
was reached June 21. and from the southern extremity of Clinton- 
Colden Lake, a short distance to the northward, they made a succes- 
sion of portages through a chain of lakes over the height of land to 
llanbury River, a tributary of the Ark-i-linik, or Thelon. Tliis 
was descended to the junction of the two rivers, where they arrived 
July 7. Then they descended the Thelon, finding it fairly well 
wooded from a short distance below the confluence for about 170 
miles, this isolated wooded aiea occurring well within the general 
confines of the Barren (xrounds. A short distance above the con 
fluence of the Thelon and Dubawnt the party divided, Fairchild 
}ind Lofthouse proceeding to Hudson Bay by way of Aberdeen and 
Baker lakes and Chesterfield Inlet, while Tyrrell retraced his course 
up the Thelon and explored a considerable part of the course of 
that stream above the mouth of the Hanbury, and a route across 
country to Artillery Lake. The latter portion of the journey was 
performed alone on foot by Tyrrell, while his voyagers returned 



1908.] ROUTES TRAVERSED ^ALBERTA. 85 

to Artillery Lake by way of the route followed on the outward jour- 
ney and met him there late in August. Here they were joined by 
Fairchild early in September, and the reunited party reached Great 
Slave Lake on September 13 and Fort Resolution September 23. 

In the sunmier of 1907, Ernest Thompson Seton, accompanied by 
Edward A. Preble, made a canoe trip to the Barren Grounds about 
Aylmer Lake. The party left Athabaska Landing about the middle 
of May, and voyaged down the Athabaska and Slave to Smith Land- 
ing, arriving early in June. Seton remained in this vicinity about a 
month, making three trips into the country to the westward, in co- 
operation with Inspector A. M. Jarvis, of the Royal Northwest 
mounted police, for the purpose of investigating the condition of the 
herds of wood bison. After completing these investigations, Seton 
left Fort Resolution about the middle of July, and voyaging to the 
eastern extremity of Great Slave Lake, followed the Pike's Portage 
route northeastward to Artillery Lake, and spent a few weeks on the 
Barren Grounds about Clinton-Golden and Aylmer lakes. The return 
trip by canoe commenced about September 1, and Athabaska Landing 
was reached about November 1. 

No complete account of this journey has appeared, but a list of the 
birds observed about Great Slave Lake and northward, published by 
Seton in the 'Auk,' adds to the previously recorded ranges of many 
species. 

OENEEAL ACCOUNT OF EOUTES TEAVEESED BY BIOLOOICAL 

SUEVEY PAETIES. 

BOUTE BETWEEN EDMONTON, ALBEBTA, AND MOTJTH OF 

MACKENZIE. 

For about 20 miles north of Edmonton the face of the country is 
quite flat. The slight depressions, particularly in spring, are occu- 
pied by sloughs or swamps, which support an occasional bunch of 
spnices, but are mainly covered or fringed with willows. The drier 
parts of the country are mainly devoted to agriculture, though here 
and there a grove of poplars still remains. The road, which follows 
a general northerly course, is usually bordered by fenced fields and 
frequently turns at right angles to accommodate their square out- 
lines. The soil is a dark, stiff clay. In the spring, when this is 
thoroughly saturated, the roads are well-nigh impassable. 

As the road approaches Sturgeon River, a tributary of the Sas- 
katchewan, it turns northeastward and, following the edge of the 
valley for about 5 miles, it descends and crosses the river. Then 
turning northward again, it follows the valley of the Sturgeon and 
a noilhern tributary to Lily Lake, a distance of 9 miles, passing 
first along the gentle slopes of the Sturgeon Valley, then over a 
succession of rocky ridges sparingly clothed with poplars (Populus 



86 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

tremuloides). A short stretch of rolling prairie is passed before 
Deep Creek, 41 miles from Edmonton, is reached, and a mile beyond 
the road crosses Vermilion, or Red Water, Creek, a branch of the 
Sturgeon. Several miles of prairie and a forest of Banksian pines 
are now traversed to Two Lakes, 50 miles from Edmonton, the road 
crossing a small channel connecting these lakes, the last water tribu- 
tary to the Saskatchewan. The road then passes for 8 miles over 
a succession of high, rocky, and sandy ridges, clothed with pines and 
poplars, to Stony Creek. Fourteen miles beyond, after more grav- 
elly ridges are crossed, Sandy Creek is reached. A short distance 
bej^ond the road forks, one branch following the ridges to the east- 
ward and the other, the one usually traveled, traversing a sandy 
tract through a fine forest of pines and crossing the Towattinow, 
a fair-sized stream. Beyond here the road enters another tract of 
pines and then follows the western slope of the valley a few miles 
to the foot of the ' Big Hill,' 11 miles from Athabaska Landing. 
Ascending this hill, the road passes a lake on the left and then fol- 
lows the summit of the stony ridge until it descends into the valley 
of the Athabaska at Athabaska Landing. 

Athabaska Landing (see PI. IV, fig. 3) is a small village and 
trading post situated on the south bank of the Athabaska at a 
point where the river, after making a long sweep to the southward, 
resumes its general northeasterlj' course. It is principally important 
as being the gateway to the Athabaska, Peace, and Mackenzie rivers. 
The ridges to the southward are nearly devoid of timber, probably 
as the result of successive burnings. The banks of the Athabaska 
in the vicinity are covered with a fair growth of black and white 
spruce (Pieea mariana and canadensiJi) , Banksian pine (Pinus di- 
varicata)^ balsam fir {Abies b(dsaviea), tamarack {Larix laricina), 
balsam poplar {Populus baUamifera)^ aspen poplar (Populus tre- 
mnlonles)^ and canoe birch {Betula pnpyrifera). Of these sjjecies 
the Banksian pine and the tamarack are the least abundant, the 
former growing only on certain elevated points and the latter being 
mainly a tree of the muskegs and seldom appearing on the immediate 
banks of the river. Various shrubs are abundant, either forming 
an undergrow^th in the forests of larger species or occupying exclu- 
sively restricted areas. Among these may be mentioned Juniperus 
nana and sabina^ various species of willows (Salix)^ alders {Alnus 
incana and ahiobetula)^ several species of Ribes and Rubua^ wild 
roses (Rom), the serviceberry {Amelanchier alnifolia)^ buffaloberry 
(Lepargyrcva canadensis), silverberry (Khvagmis argentea)^ cornels 
(Corn us canadensis and stolonifera), blueberry {Varctnium)^ vibur- 
nums (Viburnum pauciforufn and opulus), and several species of 
the genera Symplwricarpos and Lonicera. As this character of 
vegetation prevails all along the Athabaska, it will be necessary to 



1908.] ROUTES TRAVERSED ALBERTA. 87 

refer only incidentally to the foresting in the description whicli 
* follows. 

Six miles below Athabaska Landing a long, low, spruce-covered 
island is passed on the left, and about 24 miles below this. La Biche 
River, the outlet of the lake of that name, enters the Athabaska 
from the east. In this part of its course the Athabaska has cut down 
through the formation called the La Biche shales, which conse- 
quently compose its banks.'' Ten miles below, Quito, or Calling. 
River, also an inconsiderable stream, comes in from the west. Near 
its mouth is a small store, the property of one of the smaller trading 
companies. Swift Current Rapid is 55 miles below Athabaska Land- 
ing. It is merely an acceleration of the current caused by the water 
flowing over a gravel bar, which forms an island in th(» center of 
the river. On the left of this point are high, steep mud l)anks, 
where an extensive landslip has occurred. In this case the face of 
the mass of displaced soil has been sharply cut off by the swift cur- 
rent; in other similar places the slide, with its accuniuhition of 
broken and uprooted trees, slopes gently to the water, the tangled 
mass often remaining for years and forming a serious impediment 
to upstream navigation, which is effected mainly by trucking. (See 
PI. V, fig. 1.) AMiere the sides of the valley are high, they usually 
consist of a series of terraces, caused by successive slippings of the 
banks as the river has excavated its bed. (See PI. V, fig. .*^.) Hig 
Mouth Brook, the next conspicuous feature, enters the Athabaska 
from the east 10 miles l>elow Swift Current. 

At a distance of 100 miles from Athabaska Landing Pelican 
Portage is reached. From this point a portage road leads to the 
navigable part of Pelican River, whose lower course, in counuon 
with all of the tributaries of the Athabaska above th(» Cleaiwater, 
is rapid and unnavigable. This results from the abrupt desccMit of th(» 
streams from the level of the bordering plateau into the deep valley 
of the receiving river. On the left bank of the Athabaska, about 
150 yards above the small group of log houses which marks the 
beginning of Pelican Portage, is a gas well. Here, in 181)7, a shaft 
was sunk to a depth of 820 feet in the hope of finding petroleum. 
At this depth a heavy flow of gas was encountered, which so (flogged 
the pipes and drills with maltha and sand that operations had to be 
suspended. The gas is still escaping, and having been lighted rises 
in a fiery column to a height of 15 or 20 feet. Under favora])le 
conditions its roar can be heard for a distance of a mile or more. 
and the heat has destroyed all vegetation within a radius of 10 or 15 



<*The geological notes api>enriiijr in this paiH.»r an* mainly takni frnm tlu* 
various reports of tlie Canadian (Jeological Snrvey, principally l)y McConncil, 
Ogilvie. Tyrrell, and Bell. 



88 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [ira 27. 

yards, beyond which for a few yards the grasses and shrubs put 
forth their leaves two or three weeks earlier than the same species 
elsewhere, and remain green later in the fall. 

Two or three miles l>elow here Pelican River, at its mouth a broad. 
shallow stream, joins from the west. This stream takes its name from 
the white pelicans, a small flock of which usually congregates near 
its mouth during the sunmier. A short distance below are the Pelican 
Rapids, where several rapids occur within a mile or two. They are 
not formidable and may easily \)e run by canoes not too heavily 
loaded, the right side of the river being preferred for small craft. 

At the mouth of Pelican River a sandstone formation, called by 
McConnell the Pelican Sandstone, makes its appearance, and, rising 
gradually as the river descends, exposes the underlying stratum, the 
Pelican shale. These formations now form a conspicuous element 
in the river banks. Some 80 miles Ik^Iow Pelican River, a small 
rapid sometimes called ' Rapide du Joli Fou ' is passed, and near it 
another sandstone formation, the (irand Rapids sandstone, appears, 
nnd is conspicuous for many miles. AlM)ut 40 miles below Pelican 
River, or 143 from Athabaska Landing, House River enters from the 
east. It is a fair-sized stream and takes its name from several log 
houses near its mouth. In many j)laces along this part of the river 
the banks are closely pave^l with rounded bowlders, which have been 
dej)osited evenlv and firmlv bv the action of the ice in the spring. 
(Fig. 5.) 

Ten miles beyond we come to (Jrand Rapid, the most formidable 
on the river (PI. Ill, fig. 1). Here the river plunges for half a mile 
down a sleep incline over a mass of bowlders, falling 50 or GO feet 
in this distance. Scattered through the lower part of the sandstone 
formation are found concretions or nodides, more or less spherical 
and varying in diameter from 2 to 15 feet. As the stream has cut 
through this stratum they have been liberated and now pave the l)ed 
of the river. On the left side of the valley at this point the cliffs are 
nearly vertical and are upward of *^0() feet in height. (PI. Ill, fig. 2.) 
Of this, alK)ut t200 feet consists of the Grand Ri\pid sandstone; the 
renuiining portion comprises the Pelican shale and sandstone. The 
(irand Rapid sandstone at this point is overlain by a seam of lignite 
about 4 feet in thickness, which, according to the testimony of several 
who claim to have used it, burns freely. Trunks of fossil trees, many 
of considerable size and in some cases emlK»dded in the concretions, 
are frequent at this point. 

For about a mile and a half below the (irand Rapid the river is 
very rough, and this stretch is generally referred to as the Little 
(irand. The immediate banks are much lower here than at Grand 
Rapid, and consist mainly of that sandstone. Beyond this rough 
stretch the river is smooth for about 15 miles. Seven miles l)elow 
Grand Rapid we pass Point La Biche, or the Great Bend, where the 



-lerican Fftuna No. 27. U. S. Oept. Agr. Biolog^ical Survey. 



Plate III. 




G. 1. -Grand Rapid, Athabaska River, Showing Island and Left or Main 

Channel. 




-Left Bank of Athabaska from Island, Grand Rapid. Showing Exposure of 
Grand Rapid Sandstone. 



'^i^ 



North American Fauna No. 27, U. S- Ocpt Agr. Biological Survey. 



Plate IV. 




Fig. 1— Fort Chipewyan, Athabaska Lake, 1903. 




Fig. 2.— Shore of Athabaska River Near Fort McMurray. 

[Here thf .«teamer (irahamc dis<'harK«;s its cargo. J 




FiQ. 3.— Athabaska Landing, Alberta. September, 1 903. 



1908.] 



ROUTES TRAVERSED ALBERTA. 



89 



i-iver, which until now has been running in a general northerly direc- 
tion, turns sharply toward the east, being deflected by a range of low 
hills. At this point the full thickness of the Grand Rapid sand- 
stone — about 300 feet — is exposed, and it is found to be underlain by 
a new formation, the Clearwater shale. About 8 miles below here 
Uttle Buffalo River flows into the Athabaska from the west. Oppo- 
site its mouth is Point Brule, rising abruptly over 400 feet and show- 
ing a section similar to that of Point La Biche, except that the under- 
lying shale is much increased in thickness. Near the mouth of Little 
Buffalo River a quantity of gas escapes from the bed of the Atha- 




FiG. 5. — Bowlder-paved shore, Athabaska River. 

baska. Six miles below is a considerable rapid known as the Brule. 
Large boats are run in the middle or toward the light bank, but the 
canoe track closely follows the left bank. The Boiler Rapid occurs 
19 miles below, and here also canoes are usually run on the left side.'' 



<»This part of the Athabaska soems to have been used lirst as a transporta- 
tion route in 1882, when the heavy machinery for tlie first northern steamer 
(the first Orahamr) was successfnlly taken thron^h the rapids in scows, tlie 
I>ortable pieces coming l)y tlie old ronte via Methye lN»rtaj:e. In 1.SS.5 the ma- 
chinery for the first Mackenzie Kiver steamer (the lirst Wrif/lri/) was bronght 
ill l>y way of the Athabaska, but one scow containing the boiler was sunk in 
a rapid, which has since borne tlie name Boiler Kapid. 



90 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

Near this point the tar sands begin to show beneath the Clear- 
water shale, and for the remainder of the way to below the Clearwater 
form a conspicuous element of the banks. Two miles below the 
Boiler, Middle Rapid, similar to the last, and 5 miles lower down, the 
Long Rapid, both usually run on the right side, occur. At the 
Crooked Rapid, G miles below, the river makes a sharp bend to the 
right. This rapid is run on either side. The river is here bordered 
on the right side by a band of Devonian limestone, about 15 feet in 
thickness and highly fossiliferous. The remainder of the bank is 
mainly composed of the tar sands. Near this point a low anticline 
occurs, and the strata begin to dip slightly toward the north. As this 
dip is about equal to the fall of the river, the character of the banks 
varies but little for many miles. 

All along the river between Athabaska Landing and the mouth 
of the Clearwater, and especially among the rapids, much of the 
country is partially or wholly denuded of timber, the result of suc- 
cessive forest fires (see fig. 2, p. 18). This circumstance is largely 
responsible for the numerous landslips. In the spring these dead- 
enings with their immense stretches of fallen timber are very un- 
sightly, but in early fall these same areas are solid masses of color 
from the purple flowei*s of the fireweed (Ckamfpnerlon,) 

Two miles below Crooked Rapid occurs Rock or Stony Rapid. 
Here large boats are usually run on the left side, but canoes toward 
the right bank. Five miles below, the Little and Big Cascades occur 
within a mile. These are caused by ledges of limestone which cross 
the river somewhat diagonally. The Little Cascade is run by large 
boats close to the right bank, and the Big Cascade toward tlie mid- 
dle of the river, but in both cases canoes keep close to the left bank. 
These rapids cause much trouble at times of low water. About 7 
miles below the Big Cascade another limestone ledge obstructs naviga- 
tion, forming the Mountain Rapid. This contains heavy swells, but 
may be run by lightly loaded canoes. The rapid is usually entered 
near the left bank. A stretch of comparatively quiet water near the 
middle of the rapid affords an opportunity to (Toss to near the right 
bank, where the water is smoother. Six miles l)elow a slight rapid, 
called the Moberly, is passed, and 3 miles beyond. Fort McMurray, 
at the mouth of the Clearwater, is reached. (See PL IV, fig. 2.) 

Fort McMurray is a former post of the Hudson's Bay Company,** 
situated on the right bank of the Athabaska a short distance above 

'*A trading i)ost was ostablisbcMl at this point in 1870, and for some years 
was Ivnown sinii)ly as ' The Foriis,' but was later naunnl Fort McMurray. It 
was removed in l^iK) to the nioutli of IJUle Ked River and naiue<l Fort 
MacKay. Tbe name Fort McMurray is still used to indicate the original site, 
but it is now occupied mainly l)y private traders and more or less Irregularly 
by the Hudson's Bay Company. Here the Orahamc receives its northwanl- 
bound cargo from the scows. 



1008.] ROUTES TRAVERSED ALBERTA. 91 

the mouth of the Clearwater. At this point the Athabaska divides 
to inclose a large poplar-covered island, and behind this the Clear- 
water enters the smaller or easterly channel. The buildings are 
situated on a broad flat backed by high steep hills. In the da3\s 
when the Clearwater formed the principal highway to the north, 
before the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the 
consequent utilization of the Athabaska, Fort McMurray, or ' The 
Forks,' was an important post. Large fields were cultivated near 
the site of the present post and also on the large island, but these 
fertile fields are now abandoned and have grown up to bushes. The 
forest is similar to that along the upper river, and the undergi'owth 
is composed of much the same shrubs, with the additicm of the 
ostrich fern (Matteuccia stmthiopteris)^ spreading doghiuie (Apori/- 
num androsa^mifolium), and a few other herbaceous plants which 
apparently are absent from the upper Athabaska, and probably are 
derived from the countrv to the southward bv wav of the Clearwater 
Valley. 

At the mouth of the Clearwater the Athabaska again changes its 
direction, and throughout the rest of its course runs nearly due 
north. The valley also changes its character, broadening and soon 
becoming shallower. For some miles the right bank is formed of 
Devonian limestone, overlaid by the tar sands and Clearwater shale. 
In some places these form steep banks several hundred feet high and 
nearly devoid of vegetation, but the lower and less steep parts are 
prettily clothed with birches and poplars, whose white trunks present 
a pleasing contrast to the somber evergreens. Many mineral springs 
occur on the right bank about 15 miles below Fort McMurray and 
have formed extensive incrustations.* 

At a distance of 28 miles from Fort McMurray, Steepbank River, 
a small stream, enters the Athabiiska from the east. A few miles 
below here mineral springs occur near the edge of the valley half a 
mile east of the river. Their waters are strongly impregnated with 
salt, and the locality is usually referred to as ' La Saline.' Another 
small stream, one of the many Muskeg rivers, flows into the Athabaska 
a short distance farther down, and just below, on the west side and 
35 miles below the mouth of the Clearwater, Red River, a fair-sized 
stream, comes in. Near its mouth is the small trading post Little 

o Richardson, from an analysis made l>.v r)o<'t()r Fife, states tliat tlie incrusta- 
tion "was composed principally of sulphate of lime, with a slijjht admixture of 
sulphate of magnesia and muriate of soda, and with sulphur and iron." 
(Arctic Searching Expedition, I, p. 123, 1S51.) 



92 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. fxo. 27. 

Red River, or Fort MacKay, l^efore referred to.« The valley here i> 
much reduced in depth. About 50 miles lx»low Fort McMurray. on 
a high bank on the right, is the site of an early |X)st called Pienv 
au Calumet, so named .lH»cause the natives procured pipestone in 
the vicinity. Only the cellars and ruined chimneys now remain to 
mark the site.^ As the river is desct»nded the banks gradually ho- 
come lower and the mixed wixxls give way to jToplar and willows, ami 
lower down to willows alone. At Poplar Point, 1)0 miles below Fort 
McMurray, the banks are still fairly high and the prevailing char- 
acter of forest is indicated by the name. At present a small trading 
establishment is maintained here during a part of the winter. The 
banks now lower rapidly, and at a point alxmt 40 miles above thi» 
lake we i)ass the site of the fii'st post establislied in this region.*" Its 

<* In the early i)art of the iilnotoonth century at least two trading posts existt^l 
for lonper or shorter i>erlo<l8 near this |M»lnt. Reren'a Hoiiae, a post of the 
Hudson's Hay Company, was In existonce hi 1825, apparently on the right bank 
of the Athahaska a few miles above Ked Kiver. (Frank1in*B Narr. Set-oinl 
Journey, p. f). 1S28.) ApiMirently this ixist had biMMi ef^tabllsbed siibsequoiu 
to 1S20, and it was still in existemv in 1.S4S. Another trading i>oflt, pn>bably 
of the Northwest Company and then known as " La vieux Fort de la Rlvit^re 
Kouge." is mentionwl by Ulchnrdson in IMS as lonj: abandoned. (Antic 
Searching: Kxi)e<lition, I, p. 12.1, IS.'^l.) 

^Pierre au Calumet, a Northwest post, was in existence as early at least as 
1S14, as W. F. Wentzel speaks of it in a letter written during that year. 
(Masson. Les Bourgeois, I, p. 115. lSSf».) It was still <Mrnpietl In Marcli, 1820. 
but a Hudson's Hay i)ost on the opiK>sit*» bank was said to have beeu abau- 
done<l during the previous l)<H*ember. Subs<Hpient narratives luention these 
l)osts as abandoned, and I can find no evidence that their sites were ever 

l"eOC(MipitHl. 

<^This iM)s(, which 8<»ems never to have had a distin<'tive name. l>eing known 
In later years merely as the " Old Establishment.'* wais bnllt on the right bank 
of the river alnnit 40 miles ailxjve the lake, by Peter Pond, a jtartner In the 
Northw(»st Company, in 177J<-7I>. In 17S!> it was removetl by Roderick McKen- 
zie to Athnbaska Lake, and there estal)Iishetl on a ])oint about 8 miles east of 
the mouth of the Athal)aska, and was name<l Fort Chii»t»wyan. It was re- 
movtnl not many years later to its present site, and early In the nineteenth cen- 
tury the X V Company, whicli was merged into the Nortliwest (.\nnimny In 1SI»4. 
is said to have had a jMist near the same place. The Hudson's Hay Coni]iany 
later built a small iwist on Coal Islan<l. n<»ar Fort Chii»ewyan. and named it 
Fort Wedderl)urne. Franklin in 1Sl»o speaks of it as Iniving been built about 
tlve years l>efore. The pres4»nt site of Fort CliiiH»wyan apiiears to have been 
occupie<l continuously since 1S21, when the Northwest and Hudson's Bay com- 
panies unitwl. 

Fort Fond du I.ac, near the eastern extremity of Athalmska Lake, also has 
been occupied many years. J. H. Tyrrell jrives the following: "In 1892 It was 
in charge of JosO Mercre<li. a vt»neral)le old French half-breed seventy-flve yean 
of age. who had liv<»d there continuously for the past forty-seven years. In 
the imme<liate vh'inity is a Itoman Cntholic mission church, where a priest lives 
during; tlie winter. Mr. Mercredl Infornunl me that in the early part of 
the century the Hudson's Bay Company had a trading i>o8t on a iK>iut on the 



North American Fauna No. 27, U S. Dept. Agr. Biological Survey. 



Plate V. 




Fig. 1.— Tangled Mass of Uprooted Trees, Result of Landslip, 
Athabaska River. 




Fig. 2.-MUSKEG, a Type of Swamp Characteristic of the Athabaska-Mackenzie 

Region. 




Fig. 3.— Bank of Athabaska Above House River, Showing Slide Terraces. -'; *,, ^ 



North American Fauna No. 27, U. S. Dept. Agr. Biological Survey. 



Plate VI. 




Fig. 1.— The Road on Smith Portage, Near Smith Landing, Alberta. 




Fig. 2.--GR0VE of Aspen Poplars (Populus tremuloides). Athabaska 
River at Mouth of Clearwater. 



1908.] BOUTES TRAVERSED ALBERTA. 93 

exact site is not known, and has probably disappeared as a result of 
successive cavings of the river bank. The Athabaska enters the lake 
through several mouths, one of which is called the Embarras, from 
having its channel choked by driftwood, a common circumstance in 
these deltas. Emerging from the river the traveler sees several rocky 
islands to the northw^est, and behind them, stretching out along 
the rocky shore, the whitewashed buildings of Fort Chipewyan meet 
the eye. 

Fort Chipewyan (PL IV, fig. 1) is built on the borders of a 
rounded shallow bay near the outlet of Athabaska Lake. It is 
the largest establishment in the region north of Athabaska Landing, 
and has a more or less permanent population of between 200 and 300. 
The buildings are arranged in a broken line about a mile in length 
near the shore. Sandy beaches lorm the margin of the bay in places, 
but usually mossy Archaean rocks compose the immediate sho»©s. On 
the highest point, at the eastern end of the line, stands the slwckaded 
group of buildings of the Hudson's Bay Company, and beyond, 
stretching in single file to the westward, is a line of dwelling 'houses 
and the P^nglish church. Farther still are the church, school and 
other buildings of the Catholic Mission, and the establishments of 
several private traders. Back of the village, rocky, rounded hills, 
sparsely wooded, rise to a height of a few hundred feet, with mossy 
swamps in their valleys. The shore of the lake to the northwest- 
ward is mainly higher, and within a few^ miles high precipitous 
cliffs rise directly from the water. In late May the turfy slopes are 
bright with the flowers of the purple anemone (Pulsatilla)^ serv- 
iceberry (Amelanchier)^ Potentilla nirea, Rihes, Antennana^ vio- 
lets, and many others, the number of species increasing rapidly as the 
season advances. The population is supported largely by the excel- 
lent fisheries in the vicinity, but considerable gardening is done in 
the village, and large crops of potatoes are raised on one of the large 
islands near by. 

This part of the lake originally covered a much greater area, ex- 
tending for many miles to the westward of its present confines, 
though its shape has not changed to any great extent during historic 
times. Within the bounds of its ancient basin. Lakes Claire and 
Mammawee, the former upward of 35 miles in length, still exist, their 
marshy margins slowiy contracting and threatening to terminate 

s<)uth side of the lake, lying: in a direction S. 20** W., and that the three in- 
habitants were killed by Chippewyan Indians. At the same time the North- 
west Company had a post on a point on the north shore a short distance far- 
ther east, but after the murder of the Hudson's Bay Company's men, they 
moved across to the i)oint on the south shore. The place was afterwards aban- 
doned until 1845, when Mercredl arrived and built the present post." (Ann. 
Kept. Can. Geol. Surv., VIII, p. 62D, 1896.) 



94 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

their existence. The soil-laden waters of the Peace and Athabaska, 
meeting at this point, are responsible for the change, (irradually the 
sediment and the immense quantities of driftwood carried by these 
streams have filled in the lake at their mouths, until now their waters 
flow in channels carved from the muddy plain of their own making, 
and finally enter the lake many miles below their original place of 
outlet. This applies more strictly to the Athabaska, since the bulk 
of the water of the Peace flows on northward without touching the 
lake. A part of its water, however, regularly enters Athabaska I^ke 
by way of the Quatre Fourches River, and during certain stages of 
flood the water of Peace River, meeting that of Rocher River, the out- 
let of Athabaska Lake, reverses for a time the current of that stream, 
and raises the level of the lake until its water again asserts itself and 
the original conditions are restored. 

Proceeding northward from Athabaska Lfake we enter Rocher 
River, before referred to. The cours<» of this sti'eam is at first north- 
erly, then northeasterly. It varies from 20 to 50 yards in width and 
is mostly bordered by low willow-covered shores, flanked by exten- 
sive marshes. Here and there outcrops of gneiss occur, and on these 
slight elevations a few Ranksian pines are seen; otherwise the trees 
on its banks are deciduous. Thirty-two miles from Fort Chipewyan 
it unites with the main channel of Peace River, here upward of half 
a mile in width, and the resulting stream is called Slave River. 
(See PI. VIT, fig. 1.) Here the willows and poplars w^hich border 
the stream alternate with stretches of fine white spruces {Picea 
canadcnHh)^ some of wliicli attain a diameter of 3 feet and rear their 
summits to a height of l.^O feet. 

A few miles below the main mouth of the Peace a high gravelly 
knoll on the right, on the slopes of which are one or two lobsticks,* 
is a conspicuous landmark. On the opposite bank thei'e is a low 
cliif of limestone, and at this point there is a slight quickening of the 
current. The banks are mainly low, and many outlying marshes are 
observed. Continuing, the banks of the river become higher, with 
more rock ex[)osures, and several rocky islands are passed. A few 
miles below, on the left bank of the river. Smith Landing, 100 miles 
from Fort Chipewyan, is reached. 

Smith I^anding is an inconsiderable post of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, and owes its existence to the fact that this point is at the 
head of the formidable Smith Rapids, which form the only obstacle 
to steamboat navigation between Fort ilcilurray and the Arctic 
Ocean, a distance of 1,000 miles, and here the Grahame discharges 

«A loI)stick is Ji sort of memorial usually dedicated to some traveler or 
official. It consists of a tree, usually a large spruce occupying a conspicuous 
position, which has been trinnned in a more or less fanciful manner, by being 
stripped of its limbs with the excei>tion of the top and a few lateral branches. 



1908.] ROUTES TRAVERSED MACKENZIE. 95 

its cargo. The rapids begin a short distance below Smith Landing, 
and afford some magnificent scenery. Before the construction of the 
portage road all the freight for the north was transported through 
these rapids, several portages being necessary, and even now many 
of the private traders follow this route. A large colony of white 
pelicans occupies a wooded island among the rapids, which thus con- 
stitutes one of the most northerly breeding stations of this interest- 
ing sj>ecies. Though much persecuted by the voyagers, this colony 
has persisted apparently since the river was first descended, over a 
century ago, since Mackenzie calls one of the portages after these 
. birds. 

Smith Portage (see PI. VI, fig. 1) consists of a wagon road about 
16 miles in length, over which most of the freight for the north, and 
' the returning fur, is carried by means of carts. Its course is generally 
straight and lies a short distance from the bank of the river. leav- 
ing Smith Landing, it passes for a little distance over a low rocky 
ridge, traverses a level, scantily wooded tract, and then crosses two 
morasses, where in ordinary seasons the water reaches the body of the 
cart. Halfway to Fort Smith the road ascends a sandy ridge and 
passes for several miles through a sandy undulating tract clothed 
with Banksian pines and aspen poplars. Latterly, for a few miles, 
it follows a poplar-clothed ridge, passing on the left a series of marshy 
ponds, and emerges into the brushy 'prairie ' where Fort Smith is 
situated. 

Fort Smith, established by R. MacFarlane, of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, in 1874, stands on the brink of the high sandy bank of 
Slave River (see PI. VIII, fig. 1). From this point one overlooks the 
lower part of the rapids and the river, here a mile in width. An 
immense eddy washing for ages against the bank has carved here a 
deep bay, on whose shores stand the warehouses of the traders. At 
this point the steamers plj'ing on the lower Slave and the Mackenzie 
discharge their outward cargoes and take on the supplies to be distrib- 
uted over the immense country to the north. 

Below Fort Smith the Slave flows between rather high banks of 
sand and clay, which gradually diminish in height as the river 
is descended. About 7 miles below Fort Smith, Bell Rock, a cliff 
of limestone, forms a part of the left bank, and is noteworthy as 
being the only rock exposure between Smitli Rapid and Great Slave 
Lake. Tw^o miles below, on the right, is Pointe de Crravois, where 
several cabins have been built by the natives. The next point of 
interest is Salt River, which enters the Slave from the west, 16 miles 
below Fort Smith. This stream drains the Salt Plains, formerly a 
favorite resort of the wood bison. On these plains, about 20 miles 
from the mouth of Salt River, occur the salt springs, about which 
the mineral may be gathered in a comparatively pure state. Most 



96 XOKTll AMERICAN FAUNA. I m.. JT. 

of the salt iisod ihrouphoiil tlu' noiili is prix-ui-eil here. Xear the 
mouth of the ^tiTiiiii staml K'vi'ral houses, some of which are occu- 
pied hy meuilK^rs of tlie eelehriited lUmuliou family.** About 3 mile? 
UAnw Salt River we reaeh the (traiid Detour, where the river tunis 
sharply to the h'ft, then hen(l> apiin to the right and almost pegaiii> 
the place where its course was delleeted. Around this bend the river 
follow^ a course of ahout U> miles, which can Ije avoided by a portage 
across the l)a>e of the peninsula which is thus formed. About 14 
miles Ik'Iow. Poinl Hrule is passed, and ahout :3() miles beyond. Point 
Ennuyeux, where the river a<raiii (U)ul)les on itself as at the Grand 
Detour. Alon<r this ])art of the river the hanks are rather low, and 
many low, sandy islands (urur. TIicm* i>lands, l)ecanse of changes in 
the currents, are continually alterin<r their shajw, and some are travel- 
ing slowly downstream, heinii worn away at the upper end, and adde<l 
to helow hy the sediment -laden waters. The higher islands are well 
wooded with spruces, poplars, and willows, the several species usually 
iK'ing di>posed in helts, wiih the evergreens on the higher part of the 
island. (S'e PI. VII, K-r. :\.) 

About r. miles hclnw Point Kiuniyeux a low broad point showing 
scatten^l fragments of limestone is passed on the right, and jnst below. 
Six Mile Island low, narrow, and wooded — is separated from the 
eastern bank by a narrow channel, (iradually the banks become 
hnver, and some 'J.") miles In^yiind the .McConnell Islands are passed. 
A few miles below them we reach the head of the delta, where 
Riviere au Jean, one of the main outlets, turns toward the eastward. 
while the larger branch follows a general northerly course to Great 
Slave Lake, inclosing many low i>lands. The alluvial banks on the 
lower Slave are con-iajitly being cut away and the uprooted trees 
precipitated into the >tr(»am. (PI. VII, fig. 2.) Two or three miles 
above the lake. bel()w a mcxlerately high cut bank on the left, a narrow 
channel, locally called a ' schney,' with a fairly strong current, turns 
abruptly to the westward and atlords the easiest course to Fort Reso- 
lution. Aft(»r following it> winding course for 3 or 4 miles, we enter 
a shallow bay, separated from the main lake by several wooded 
islands, and passing through a short narrow channel Ix^tween Mission 
Island and the mainland, leach the lake within sight of Fort Resolu- 
tion. 



" Tetitot stntos tliat the liair-In-tH'd family I*.eaiilioii had ulrendy settled at 
Salt Itivrr when Peter rmul ]>onetrat(Ml to (irwjt Slave I-nke in 17S0 and that 
one of tlieiM, Jactiuos, aeted as his lnteri»reter. Ever since that time some 
ineiuhors of tlie Ueaulieii family sivm to have <(mtiniioiisly occupied that Bta- 
lh)n. Francois r»eanllen, a nephew of Jacques, was a guide and hunter to 
Franklin's expo<lition about (In^at Flear Lake hi 1825-20. Mr. MacFarlane 
informs me that from lsr»7 until his death in 1ST2. Francois Benulieu traded 
fur and jrathcre<l siilt for ihe Hudson's Hay Company at Salt River. After his 
death, his sou Joseph continutnl trading until 1S74, when Fort Smith was 
established. 



North American Fauna No. 27, U. S. Dept. Agr. Biological Survey. 



Plate VII. 




Fig. 1.— Slave River Near Smith Landing, Showing General Character of 

Foresting. 




Fig. 2.— Alluvial Bank Being Worn Away by the Current, Lower Slave River. 



1 




i 


-• 

1^ 




« - _ - * — - 




TT^-^-^ 



FiQ. 3.— Characteristic Foresting on Island in Lower Slave River, Showing 
Thhee Zones of Growth. 



North American Fauna No. 27, U. S. Dept. Agr. Biological Sun^ey. 



Plate VIM. 




Fig. 1.— Fort Smith, Slave River, Looking North, June, 1903. 




Fig. 2.— Fort Resolution, Great Slave Lake, June, 1903. 





i 


m 

i 


Si 












'- - .-.. 




i 






---■^ 


^_ 


-,■ 1 



Fig. 3.— Hay River Post, Great Slave Lake, June, 1903. 







908] ROUTES TRAVERSED MACKENZIE. 97 

Fort Resolution is situated on the south shore of the lake a short 
listance west of the mouth of Slave River (PI. VIII, fig. 2). It 
tomprises the establishments of the Hudson's Bay and several private 
Fading companies, and of the Roman Catholic mission. The shore 
n the vicinity is low and swampy and is covered with a mixed growth 
>f spruces and willows of small size, the descendants of the original 
crest, long since removed for fuel. The soil is mainlv*a sandy loam. 
Potatoes, turnips, beets, and other hardy vegetables are raised with 
, considerable amount of success. Mission Island, formerly called 
►loose Deer Island, and the site of early posts of the Hudson's 
Jay and Northwest companies, lies half a mile northwest of the 
^ost.'* This island is moderately high and is well wooded, mainly 
^ath spruce, and is one of a grou}) which are arranged along tlie shore 
o the eastward of the Slave River Delta, in a general northeast and 
outhwest direction. 

The narrow channels through which Slave River enters the lake 
re disposed along a distance of over 20 miles of its coast line. Many 
f these cliannels are so shallow in times of low water as to be almost 
nnavigable even for canoes, and even in the main channel tlie feet 
f water necessary for the passage of the Wrifjley is sometimes found 
riih difficulty. The alluvial islands which are inclosed by these chan- 
lels axe low, and are mainly covered wnth grasses and willows. 
Toward the head of the delta the islands are older and higher, and 
lave become clothed with willows, poplars, and spruces, in varying 
legi-ees of combination, according to the age of the island. 

In July, 1901, and again in July, 11J03, I crossed from J'ort Reso- 
lution to Fort Rae by the canoe route, which may b;* briefly described. 
Prom Fort Resolution various channels are traversed to Stone Island, 
Dear the extreme eastern i)art of the delta. This island, whicli sup- 
|K)rts a few shrubs, rises abruptly from the water and marks on this 
Aore the western limit of the granitic rocks. On the shore of the lake 
tJear-by stand several small log houses, probably near the site of the 
first trading post built on (rreat Slave Lake. (See p. 55.) 

« Though several trading visits had been made to Great Slave I^lve previously, 
lie first houses were erecte<l on tlie south sliore of tlie lalve a short distance east 
«f the mouth of the Slave in 1785, by the Northwest Company. Their post on 
<oose Deer Island was established not many years later. Still later the llud- 
fm'8 Ray Company also built a i)ost on the same island, where l>()th remained 
Util 1S21, at which time the latter company had no i>ost north of this point. 
Lftor the union of the two companies, in 1821, their posts on Moose Deer 
idand were abandoned, and Fort Kesolution was built (probably in 1S22) on 
:« present site. Tlie first Catholic mission was built on Mission Island in 
B56. Besides these, an early trading post was built on Slave liiver about 15 
liles from the lake, but I have no definite data concerning it. 

44131— No. 27—08 7 



98 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

From StoiK* Island, if the weather hi» fair, a traverse* of alx>ut U 
miles may l)e ma<le nearly <lirectly northward to the nearest islands of 
the extensive Simpson frroup. They may lx» barely discerned from the 
summit of the island, but are invisible from the water level. The 
more exposed of these islands are much wind swept and tlieir vegeta- 
ble covering reminds one of the extreme edge of the timber. The 
^j)ruc(» and tamarack trees are more or less stunted, and various 
heathy shrubs, with cinquefoils, saxifrages, and various grasses. 
form the principal flora (see PL IX, fig. 1). They constitute 
breeding stations for several species of gulls, terns, loons, and 
th(» i)arasitic jaeger. Another shorter traverse leads to other islands, 
whence the (iros Cape, on the eastern side of the mouth of the North- 
ern Arm, is attained, and the crossing, always attended with soiiie 
difficulty, is accomplished. A safer but longer cros.sing is made hv 
following the southern shore of the* lake si»veral miles to the eastward 
of Stone Island and then making a tnjversi* of about 8 miles to the 
nearest islands. Thence the canoe track winds through an intricate 
nuize of beautiful channels to the (irros Ca|)e. 

On tiiese islands are found many snnill ponds an<l swamps, in 
which, as well as about the low shores of the Northern Ann, growl* 
nuniy interesting plants. Conspicuous among these may be noteilM 
tin* bog-bean (M on/ant hen trifolhita), parmussiu (Pavnai<i<ot palu»M) 
iris), water arum {('aUn pafu.strts), and many sedges and grasses-M^^ 
In a small pond on one of tlie Simpson Islands I found a colony of tliem 
small white water lily {('(wtdliu fcfmf/ona). which has been delectedMr^ 
at but few stations in America. On the drier parts of many <»f the!«it;i^ 
islands occur numerous other s])ecies, the genera Potentilla and Sajn-ml;^ 
fi'df/n being represented by several s;)ecie<. ('vyptiKjrainma </r;7##rf-ijs,-^ 
choiih'!^ and Dn/optcrh fruf/nniH are al)inidant ferns. 1*^^^ 

From the (iros Cape the eastern shore of the Northern Art \m^ 
is followed northward. The shon's i.nd islands are very rockv, nw k-j, 
at first are high, often ja*ecij)itous, ])iit soon lower to the northwari \^^\, 

AlK)ut 40 milc^ alnne the mouth of the Northern Arm, YellowkniS fetf, 
Kiver emj^ties into a bay al)()i:t 4 miles broad and several miles long tgjrj, 
On th'» eastern shore, just south of this bay, stand several log houses jj,,,. 
Not far from here is the site of old Fort Providence, a north^^ 
|)ost in 18-20, when Franklin ascended Yellowknife Hiver on his tnj 
to tile Co])permine.'^ '1^ 






" III 17.SJ>, when Aloxjuulor Maokenzio was on his way to the Arctic 0«i 
Mr. I.o lioiix. his assistani, iiu't a party of Yellowknife Indians near this |i 
wliore also ho liad traded with them during; tlie previous season. While M* 
keiizi<» was explorinjr tlie j^reat river, Le Uonx made a trij) to Great Maitl 
Lake, where n<it lon^ afterwards the Northwest (V^npany establishe<l a 1 
Fort Providence evidently was Iniilt soon after this time. I have been \\\xA ^ 
to ascertain when it was ahandoueil. 



1908.1 ROUTES TRAVERSED MACKENZIE. 99 



» North of Yellowknife Bay the canoe route passes through a network 
W of low rocky islands, following closely the eastern shore, (irassy 
K inlets occur in many places, and the stretch is -a favorite breeding 
place for several species of ducks. Near the extremity of the North- 
!* ern Arm, about 50 miles northwestward from Yellowknife Bay, 
"^ stands Fort Rae (PL IX, fig. 3). 

:^ Fort Rae is situated on the western extremity of a projecting point, 
5^ which was at one time v.n island, but >vhich is now connected by a 
2| marsh with the eastern shore of the Northern Arm.'^ Back of the post 
the land rises rather abruptly and extends easterly in an elevated 
ridge for several miles. Its southern face is capped by a limestone 
cliff, below^ which a steep talus slope extends to the water. Most 
of the timber, originally of good size, has been removed for fuel, and 
the ' Island Hill ' now presents a comparatively barren aspect, though 
« : it is well covered with shrubby and herbaceous plants (PI. IX, fig. 
-J 2), It is remarkable as presenting the only exposure of limestone 

1 which occurs on the eastern shore of the Northern Arm. To the west- 
ward extends the broad arm of the lake, dotted with a few wooded 
islands, and bordered on the west side by an elevated limestone 
escarpment. 

Since Great Slave Lake has already been described (p. 2G), I will 

refer briefly to Hay River, where a small collection was made in 1903, 

and pr(Keed with an account of the Mackenzie. The trading post of 

Hay River (see PI. VIII, fig. 3) is situated at the mouth of the 

'Stream of that name, w^hich enters Great Slave Lake about GO 

miles southwesterly from Fort Resolution. Here are located both 

C^hurch of England and Catholic missions. The shores of this 

fpart of the lake are low^ and marshy, with grassy plains bordering 

me of the streams. Westward from Hay River the low shore con- 

inues to the vicinity of the Desmarais Islands, Point de Roche, a long 

^Ider-strewn spit, being passed about 14 miles from Hay River. 

cigle Mountain, a long limestone ridge rising from the flat country 

the southwest, is a conspicuous landmark. Near the Desmarais 

fiJands the current of the outlet begins to ))e apparent. Big Island, 

l>out 10 miles in length, with many smaller adjacent isles, lies in the 



11:| 



Fort Kae was establiFlicd en its present rile in 18r>2, mainly as a provision 

*^. An abandoned post near the present site is thns referred to by Uussell : 

ISro hnndred yards from the big house, on the sliore of a little cove called 

Hidy Bay, a few crumbling ruins of clay and stone chinnieys mark tlie site 

an *old fort/ abandoned so long ago that nothing is known by the present 

abitants concerning it. Another fort once stood near the Big Toint, twenty- 

*Ve miles south." (Expl. in Far North, p. CI), ISDS.) 

A letter written by W. F. ^Ventzel from "Mountain Island, Great Slave 
ake," dated May 23, 1820 (Masson. I^s Bourg(H)is, I, p. 125, ISSU). would 
to indicate an establishment near tlie present site of Fort Uiw. at that 
rly date. Possibly this refers to the abandoned site referreil to by Russell. 



100 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

center of the contracted outlet — the head of the Mackenzie. The ' 
channel south of Hig Ishmd carries most of the water. On the north | 
shore of the lake, opposite Hi^ Island, stood the former trading po>t 
of that name. It is said to have been established in 1847, and abaii- i 
doned in 1808. This is a famous place for the fall iBshery, and up- 
ward of 50,()00 whitefish are taken in the vicinity and frozen for use at 
Forts Providence and Simpson. At the outlet of the lake the Mac- 
kenzie has a width of 7 or 8 miles, with many low, rocky islands and 
a moderate current. A little beyond, the river wmtracts and the cur- 
rent increases in force. Some 40 miles from the lower end of Bijr 
Island s(»veral islands bl(M*k the channel and cause an accelenition (»f 
the current, usually called ' The Providence Rapids." On the north 
shore of the river at this point is situated Fort Providence. (See PL 
X, fig. 2.) 

The country al)out the fori is level and is mainly grown up to 
poplai's {Popu/ffs tirtnuloidcs). Back from the river are many nni>- 
kegs, with their characteristic tamarack and spruce forests. The first 
settlement at this ])oint seems to have l)een made by the Roman Catho- 
lics in 180*2, and their establishment is now one of the largest in the 
north. The Hudson's Bay Company post was established here in 
1808, when the post at Big Island was abandoned. Both establish- 
ments cultivate large fields of potatoi^s and the various root crops. 

Below Fort Providence the Mackenzie passes through an expansion 
called the * Little Lake," and then follows a general west-northwest- 
erly coui-se to its junction with the Liard. Its banks are composed 
mainly of shale and gravel, and its valley, at first rather shallow, 
gradually increases in depth. Its principal nffluents ai'e the Horn (or 
AVillow), Trout, Spence, and Rabbitskin rivers. The first of thost^ 
streams enters the Little Lake on its north side. Between this point 
and Trout River, a distance of TO miles, the Mackenzie flows with 
a sluggish current, receiving from the south the watei^s of Yellowknife 
River, 50 miles from Willow River. Below the mouth of Trout River, 
a large affluent from the south, the current of the Mackenzie l>ecomes 
swifter, and this point is called the " Head of the Line,' as the slacker 
current above permits travelers when ascending the river to discard 
the tracking line, and to use oars or ]>addles to advantage.* 

Between this point and Spence River, a distance of 35 miles, the 
course of the ilackenzie is west-northwesterly. It then flows towanl 
the northward for L*> miles to Ral)bitskin River, and then westward 



« On the nuip accoinp.in.vin^ Franklin's narnitive of his socoiul exiieiUtlon 
the site* of the Hrst i^jst (ui the Mackenzie is place<l (m tlie north bank of the 
river a short distance l)elow this iniint. This iH)St was built in 1796 by Duncan 
Livinjrston (or Levinjrston) of the Northwest Company. In the summer of 1790 
Mr. Livingston made a voyage of discovery to the mouth of the river, and with 
four comimnions was murderwl by the Eskimo, only one of the party escaping. 



Norh Amfirican Fauna No. 27. U. S. Dept. A^^r. Biological Survey. 



Plate IX. 




Fig. 1.— Semibarren Summit of Loon Island, Great Slave Lake. 




Fig. 2.— Bay Near Fort Rae, Great Slave Lake, Showing General Character of 
Country in This Vicinity. 




Fig. 3.— Fort Rae, Northern Arm Great Slave Lake, July, 1901. 



North American Fauna No. 27. U. S. Dept. Agr. Biological Survey. 



Plate X. 




Fig. 1— Fort Simpson, Mackenzie River, Spring, 1904. 




Fig. 2.— Fort Providence, Upper Mackenzie, July, 1903. 




Fia 3.— Camp of Slavey Indians Near Fort Providence. 



1908] ROUTES TRAVERSED MACKENZIE. 101 

20 miles to join the Liard, its largest tributary. Two miles below 
the junction, on a large island near the left bank, stands Fort Simp- 
son. (PI. X, fig. 1.) 

Fort Simpson is an important post of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, and its site, under various names, has been occupied for about *" 
a century." The island on which Fort Simpson is built is about 2 
miles in length, and is the upper and larger of two which lie close 
to the western bank, being separated from it only by a narrow, shal- 
low channel. It is apparently of alluvial origin, but if so was 
formed when the bed of the Mackenzie occupied a much higher level 
than at present. It has been heavily wooded, but most of the orig- 
inal forest has been removed. Its highest parts stand 40 or 50 feet 
above the ordinary level of the water. The width of the main chan- 
nel of the Mackenzie at this point is 1 mile, and that of the island 5nd 
the western channel about half a mile. The river is bordered on 
the west by a rolling, wooded plain, where mossy muskegs, alter- 
nating with poplar or pine covered ridges, extend back to a range of 
low hills. The country bordering the river to the eastward is simi- 
lar, but is less rolling. Bluefish Creek, which enters the Mackenzie 
opposite tlie post, has cut its way from the swampy plateau down to 
the level of the main river. Its lower course is a succession of rapids, 
bordered in places by high cut banks of shale. It is the only tribu- 
tary' stream of any note in the vicinity. 

Fort Simpson is the head post of its district,^ and, like many other 
trading posts, was in former days a much more pretentious establish- 
ment. Before the days of steam navigation all the goods for the 
district were distributed from this point, but since the lower posts 
have been supplied direct it has lost much of its former importance. 
Its great warehouses were formerly disposed in the form of a square, 
open toward the river, but the recent removal of one of the buildings 
has broken up this regularity. In the center of the square stands a 

« Fort Simpson was cKtablisheil as a Northwest Company post very early in 
the nineteenth century — at least previous to 1807. Local tradition places the 
orijrinal site on the same island a few hundred yards north of the i)resent 
location. At first It had no distinctive name» being known simply as ** The 
Forks.' It was establisheil as a Hudson's Hay Company post soon after th<» 
coalition of the two companies, most likely in 1.S23, and probably received its 
name at that time. 

Fort Liard, on Liard River about 150 miles southwest of Fort Simpson, is 
wiid to have been established in 1S0(», at or near its i)resent site. 

Fort Nelson, on Nelson River, was built only a UttU* later. In the winter 
of 1S113-13 the fort was destroyed and its inmates kil]e<l by the Indians. (Mas- 
son, Les Bourgeois, II, p. 125, ISJH).) It was again in use in 1X25, but was 
subsequently abandoned, and was rtn^'stablishwl in 1S()5. 

^ Since my visit to the Mackenzie, Fort Smith, on account of its greater acces- 
8lbilit>% has been made the head ix)st of Mackenzie River district. The trans- 
fer took place in 1907. 



102 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

sundial, across whose leaden face have fallen the shadows of many 
a yearly cycle. Surrounding the post on three sides are the fields, 
where in former yeai's lar^e crops of potatoes, barley, and other 
staples were raised, and where a considerable amount of fanning is 
yet airried on. A small herd of cattle is kept for draft purposes. 
In one of the little-used stoi-es is the museum, containing mounted 
specimens of numy of the native birds, some mammals, and remnants 
of collections of eggs and fossils. The library, once extensive, but 
now much reduced, is kept in one of the rooms of the main dwelling 
bouse. The most striking modern improvement is the electric light 
I)lant, whose dynamo is run by the engine from the steam launch of 
a disappointed Klondiker. 

BetwcHiu Fort Simpson and Xahanni River, a distance of 75 miles, 
the ilackenzie follows a nearly direct west-northwest course. Its 
l>anks are high and well wooded, and gi'avelly or bowldery beaches 
are exposed at the ordinary stage of water. Several groups of long, 
low islands, well wooded with spruce, balsam poplar, willows, and 
the usual undergrowth, are encountered in this stretch. The only 
tributary large enough to bear a name is Martin River, which comes 
in from the southwest 8 miles l>elow Fort Simpson. 

Near latitude 02° 15' the Mackenzie approaches the mountains, and, 
making a sharp turn, runs for a long distance nearly due north, at a 
short distance from their baso.'* At the '(treat Bend' the Xahanni. 
emerging from a deep, narrow valley, mingles its waters with those 
of the main river. The apex bi»tween the Xahanni and the Mackenzie 
is occupied by a mountain called by scmie of the natives Tha-on'-tha, 
i. e., 'standing alone' (PI. XI, fig. 2), It rises abruptly from the 
swampy plain to a height of about ti/iOO feet. Its northern face i> 
steej) — in places precipitous — and is formed of several superimposed 
terraces. It is as well wooded as the nature of its soil will allow. 
The white spruce (Pirca ((/nadcnsls), tamarack (Larix hirirma). 
Banksian pine {Pitms dirarh at a). wwA aspen poplar {Populus frrmu- 
Ittifh's), with their attendant shrubs, ascend the slopes to an altitude 
of whowi t2,()00 feet, occurring at their upper limit as depaujx'rate 
shrubs. Willows {Sah\r nn/rtilU folia and alaxenmA) occur in a 



"On llu» right Imnk of tlu* Madvi»uzit», \w\\v wlirrt* the river bends iiorthwanl, 
stood formerly w Nortliwest Conipany's jjost. On the niai> accompanying! 
Fninklin's narrative of his stn-ond journey (ls2S) its site is plaoeil opiiosite 
the moutli of tlu» Naliannl. ('on<-erning this post. Masson says: " lu ISOO. Mr. 
Jolin Tlionison, a cliM-lv in the Nortliwest Coniiiany, • ♦ ♦ established a 
tradinjr lM>st on the Mackenzie Iliver 'in full view of tlie Rocky Mountains at 
wliose sniallness 1 was ju'reatly snrpris<'d * and railed it Roclcy Mountain Fort. 
It was soon after ahandon<'<l and in isoH, Mr. Alexander MacKenzie. tlie 
Partner in tharj;<» of the (Ireat \Wi\y l^ake Department, already caUs it 'Old 
Itoeky Mountain House.' It was then j?oing to ruin." (Lea Bourgeois* II. 
p. 27. ISOO.) 



1908.1 ROUTES TRAVERSED MACKENZIE. 103 

dwarfed state on the extreme summit. Other plants of interest are 
mountain avens {Dryas Integrifolia and drumnwndii)^ Pedicularis 
euphrnsioiiles^ Pinguici(la vulgaris^ and Anemone richardsonL 

From the summit of Mount Tha-on'-tha (see PL XII), which 
I ascended on June 4, 1904, an interesting prospect presented itself. 
Ten or 15 miles to the westward Mount Camsell (PI. XI, fig. 1), 
on whose barren summit much snow yet remained, loomed up to a 
height of about 4,000 feet, or over a thousand feet higher than the 
peak on which I stood, and beyond other still higher peaks could be 
seen. To the north and northwest extended lofty rugged mountains, 
the highest capped with snow. Farther back it is impossible to see 
whether or not the mountains are arranged in definite series, but the 
most easterly ranges are very w^ell marked and lie parallel to the 
Mackenzie. To the eastward, beyond the broad river, stretches a vast 
rolling plain, well forested and dotted here and there with lakes. 
To the south is a low , level, wooded plain, with thousands of small 
lakes, bordered on the west by the Nahanni Mountains and the 
low foothills back of Fort Simpson. Between the Mount Camsell 
range and the mountains to the northward lies the deep valley of the 
North Nahanni River, with its broad, muddy flood plain, through 
w hich the river, spread out in numerous channels, pursues its mean- 
dering coui-se. 

Below the mouth of the Nahanni River (PI. XII, fig. 2) the Mac- 
kenzie makes its abrupt turn above referred to, and for some miles 
parallels closely the Nahanni Mountains. A number of long, narrow 
islands, closely wooded with spruces, lie close to the western bank. 
The largest of these is about 20 miles long. Root River enters the 
Mackenzie from the west 16 miles below the Nahanni, and 4 miles 
l)elow^, opposite the lower part of Tw^entymile Island, Willow Lake 
River comes in from the east, both being small streams. Here the 
high mountains have receded from view, and the sides of the valley 
are only moderately elevated. Tw^enty-five miles below a slight rapid 
occurs, inclosing an island, and here on the right bank, at the time of 
our visit, stood Fort Wrigley." (See PL XIII, fig. 2.) It is a small 
and unimportant post and may be passed by wdthout further comment. 
Below^ here the Mackenzie pursues a general northerly course, with 
rather high banks on the right. Twenty-five miles l)elow the Little 
Rapid the 'Rock by the Riverside,' or Roche Trempe-l'eau (fig. 6), 
as it is generally called, forms a part of the right bank. It is an 
uplift of Devonian limestone, rising directly from the water to a 
height of 1,500 feet. Below^ this point the left bank becomes higher 

*» Fort Wrigley was ostahlishod In 1877. and was at first known as *The 
Little Kapid.' Its site proved to be nnhealthy and lately (autumn, 1004) it 
has been abandoned and the i>ost reestablished 25 miles lower down, on the left 
bank oi)i)Osite Uoche Trempe-l'eau. 



104 



NORTH AMRKU'AN FAUNA. 



fN... L'T 



and tho ri«rlit rather low. No featuiv of particular inteivst (>orur> 
until lilackwatt'r Kiv<»r, *2S miles Iwlow tlio KcM'k, is rearlu*<l. Tlii- 
stream at it.^ mouth s|)rea<ls out over a l)road ^avelly flat. Below 
here the river mak»»s a sharp U^nd and for several miles pursing a 
westerly course*. hein«r hordered on the north by banks of ^rravcl and 
clay uj)ward of 400 feet hi<rh. A few miles below where the river 
turns northward a<rain, or 10 miles Mow the Blac-kwater, Red Kook 
Kiver eomes in from the west thronsrh a broad valley. At its month 
is a broad stretch of willow-covered count n'. Salt River, 22 mile- 
l)elow. is an insignificant stream on the ri<rht. The next feature vf 
interest is Hirch Island, a lar<rt* wiKMletl island oeeiipying a dilatation 
of tin* river. (Jravel lliver, S miles l)elow, is the next tributan' of 




Kni. a. — UiK-lif 'riTin|M- rfjui. <»r Uoi'k l»v tli«' Ulvi*rsl(li\ M:icki>nr.lo Hlvor. nrnr Fid 

WvliiWy. 

imjxn'tanc**." It is a clear-watered stn'am whi<-h forms one of xhv 
i)riMci|)al hi<rhways for the Indians of tlu' iiiountains, who descend 
it in lar«r<' boats. It apj)roaches the Mackenzie thixnigh a l>ix)ad 
iriavclly (hit, and lias a swift current. Meh)w here the river is broad 
mikI iuch)se> many woode<l islands. At the lower end of this stretch 
of ishnids a lii«rh liank on the left, with a thick layer of peat on its 
toj), is passed, behjw which the riv<'r is bordered on the left by low 
banks. The ri<rht bank now lK»comes the hi<rher and continues so 
nearly all the way to th<' month of H<»ar Kiver. In one stretch the 
sandy banks an' very high and some stupendous landslips have 
occurred. The beautiful Ifuh/xannn ft furrirfnut/n^ the i-oots of which 

" The iiaiiio l);iha(Unnc lins Immmi applieil by autliors to both the Ued Rock and 
Ci ravel rivers, but is not heitj us<h1. 



North American Fauna No. 27, U. S Dcpt. Agr. Biological Survey. 



Plate XI. 




Fig. 1.— Mount Camsell, from Slopes of Mount Tha-on'-tha; Valley of Nahanni 

River on Right. 




Fig. 2.— Mount Tha-on'-tha, from Near Mouth Nahanni River. 



V .-V- ^ 



North American Fauna No. 27. U. S Dwpt Agr Biological Survey. 



Plate XII. 




Fig. 1.— Summit of Mount Tha-on'-tha, Showing Stunted Vegetation and Coral- 
bearing Rocks. 




Fig. 2.— Junction of Nahanni River with Mackenzie, from Summit of Mount 

Tha-on'-tha. 



IftO.* 1 



ROUTES TRAVERSED — MACKENZIE. 



105 



are eaten extensively by the natives in spring, abounds all along the 
Mackenzie, and here early in Jnne its vi()let-puri)h> flowers were 
U^ginning to appear. Below here the ' boucanes' — b(»<ls of lignite 
which have Ixjen on fire atf least since the river was first descended 
in 178J) — are passed. A short distance below. Fort Xorman stands 
on the right bank a few hundred yards above where Bear River 
mingles its clear waters with the discolored flood of the Mackenzie. 

Fort Xorman occupies a commanding position on the high bank. 
It has l)et»n built successively at several iK)ints, but the ])resent site 
has Ix^on occupied for a number of years. Bark of the post extend 
the inevitable muskegs with their shrubby growth of Cha/nadaphnc^ 
Andromeda poUfoIia^ the two species of Ledum ^ Vaveinlum idigi- 




Fig. 7. — near Rock, at junction of Hear Uivor with tlie Mackenzie. 

fiOSf/m^ etc., while a strip along the crest of the bank is ('()iui)aratively 
dry and is wooded with poplars and wilhms. To the north, across 
Bear River, rise the rugged peaks of Bear Rock (sei* fig. 7). Along 
its southern base, at the time of my vi<it in June, UH)-lr, a mass of 
ice at least half a mile in length and of unknown thickness was visible 
from the post. To the west across the broad Mackenzie the ranges 
of the Rocky Mountains, snow clad <luring most of the year, stretch 
aw^ay into the distance. 

Below the mouth of Bear River, whose clear blue water flows dis- 
tinct for several miles before losing its individuality, the Mackenzie 
follows a general west-northwest course for about hJ.") miles to the 
Sans Sanlt Rapid. The face of Bear Rock is nearly <levoid of trees, 
and from the river ])resents an aspect similar to that of Roche 
TremiK^-leau. Below here a low lim(»stone ditt' bordeiN the river on 
the right for some miles. The banks are generally low and shelving 



lOfi 



NORTH AMEKICAN FAUNA. 



[xc. 21 



and wlion wo ilcs(vii<Ie<l the river late in Juno were well lined with 
inuii<»n>e blocks of i<v. On the ri«;:ht hank ICH) miles Inflow Fort Nor- 
man >tands Wolverent' Kock, or Koehe Careaijou. It is alnnit a thou- 
sand feet hi<rh and j>i'"esents shiver elitfs risinjr several hnndre<l fwi 
direcily from the water. On its pi"eeii)itous faee nest innumerahle 
cliir swallows, U'sides dnrk hawks, ravens, and other elitf-lovinjr spe- 
cies. A weathered knoh. whose summit from some points resiMuble- 
the (i<rure of a wolverene, drives its name to the mount. Twenty-five 
miles below a ran*:** of low mountains is eneountei-ed. On either side 
of the river stand low i>eaks called the East and West Mountain^ of 
the Kapitl, and the river fallin<r over a rocky barrier forms the Sans 
Sank Kapid, a rather formi<lal)le <me in low water. By followintr the 
left bank, however, it mav l)e run easily and safely in cancK»s, as the 




I'm. s. - Kininiici' tn Kaiiipjiris. Miickcnzlr Uivt»r, near latitude (5fi". 

dcMcnl, lh()M<rh swift, is «j:radual. Here the river turns nortlnvard 
a«rain, and il j)res<*nts no featurl^s of especial inteivst until the Kam- 
parts, (•)() niile> below Sans Sault Iiapi<l, are reachetl. Heaver Kiver. 
*)t» miles Im'Iow ihe rapid, and a larger unnamed river V2 miles lower 
down, come in from ihe west, while a mile or two almve the latter, on 
the easiei'n >ide, i> ihe month of a Muall stream called hHrally \\\uv- 
\\>\\ ('re<'k. The Rampari Kapid. just below, is formidable in low 
water, <'^pecially in the mi<ldle and toward the western bank, but in 
ordinai'V Ma«res of water i> scarcely discernible near the eastern bank. 
,hi>t l)elow it the Maekenzie eiitcM's the tlefile called the Kamparts. 
( S<*e ti^rs. s and 1>. ) 

UcM-e the river, which ha> ex|)an(led to a width of several miles, 
contracts to about M)0 ynnU and flows with a steady current between 
jierpendicular walls of limestone U])ward of 250 feet in height. The 



1008.] 



ROUTES TRAVERSED MACKENZIE. 



107 



len|2:th of the more contracted part of the canyon is r> miles and for 2 
miles more the channel is but slightly expanded. Then it widens out 
and incloses the Manitou Islands. 

Fort (rood lIoi>e (PI. XITT, fig. 1) is built on the right bank of the 
Mackenzie, al>out 2 miles Inflow the Ram])arts, only a few miles south 
of the Arctic Circle. It consists of the establishments of the Hudson's 
Bay Company and one or two private traders, and that of the Iloman 
Catholic mission, whose church, a highly ornamented structure, is the 




Fio. 0. — Right bank of Mackenzie, near low(>r end of Uamparts. near latitude 0(5''. 

largest in the region north of Fort Resolution. T\w post has occupied 
its prespnt site since 18;57." A low limestone ridge, the C(mtinuation 

"Fort (itKxl Hope probably ('.\ist<»<l in fflVct as a Northwest i)ost t»arly in th<* 
iiiii<'t«»enth coiitury, but accounts (Ufl*t»r as to its pnvisL' Im-ation, l)(»th Sans Sault 
IJaiiid and the foiit of tlu» I{anii>arts \iv\i\ii ii'wvn as tlio I'arliost site. A toni- 
IMirary r-ost was Iiuiil in tiu' sunnniM- of lsor» at * lUuotisli Itivcr.* al»out (M) miles 
holiiw the mouth of IVar l,ake Kiver. (Masson. Les l^nur^vois. II, p. lo|, IS'.M).) 
It was eKtal>lishe<l as a Hutlson's ISay i»ost on the west l»ank of the Mackenzie. 
;ibr»ut 13) miles l>elow tlie Uam|>arts, aljout 1S2.'J, after the union of tlie rival 
companies, behi}; spoken of l>y i-'ranklin in 1sl'."» as " l)ut recently estal)lislMHl." 
It was reniovcNl about IS-T* to .Manitnu Islaiul. l)elow the Kanii»arts. wliere its 
site may still l>e setui on the eastern shore of the island lu^arly opiK»site tlie i»res- 
CMit estuhlishment. It was destroyiMl in .Iun<». ls;i<>. l>y a ti<MMl causeil liy an ice 
Jam in the ICampurts and was rebuilt on its present site in 1S:;7. 



108 NORTTI AMKRTCAN FAUNA, [no. 27. 

of the eastern bank of the d(»file, lies back of the past beyond tlie val- 
ley of a small stream in whose bed, as late a^ midsummer day, lar;^ 
masses of ice still remained. To the north sbind several rounded hills 
100 or 200 feet hi^h: otherwise the countiy is rolling and rather 
swampy. At the time of my visit the ojMjn areas were bright with the 
beautiful flowei*s of Rhododendron lapponicum, Dryas integrifolia 
(see PI. XXV, fig. 1), Lupinun nrrticus^ and many less showy plants. 
about which flitted several spec*ies of Arctic butterflies. 

Below Fort Good Hope the Mackenzie again resumes its general 
northwesterly course and is Ordered mainly by high clay banks. 
Three miles down, Hareskin River, at its mouth a broad, dark- 
watered stream, is passed, and in the next 17 miles Ix>wer Manitoii 
and several other large islands are passed. At the end of this stretch 
I^)on liiver, a good-sized stream which drains several large lakes, 
is passed on the right. For the next 100 miles the river follows the 
same gtnieral coui>ji», is very broad, and contains many islands. A 
range of low mountains is seen to the westward midway of this 
stretch. 

In about latitude iu^ 30' the Mackenzie turns at right angles 4o 
the coui'si* it has l)een following, and for al)Out GO miles flows a little 
south of west. It is here bordered on the north by high banks Qf 
yellowish clay, much furrowed by rivulets. On these banks grouad 
s(|uiirels iirst l>ecame common, having appeared about GO mihs 
below Fort (rood Hope. The site of old Fort Good Hope, befon* 
referred to, is on the left or southern bank just below where the 
river changes its course. When we traveled this stretch late in June 
the sun of course was continually al)ove the horizon, though some- 
times it was hid from sight for several hours by the high northern 
banks, and we traveled as inclinati<m or the weather prompted us. 

At the end of this westward-trending stretch the river resumes 
its northwesterly course. It here averages narrower tlian in the 
few hundi-ed miles pi<M<Mling, and its valley continues deep. Half- 
way to the delta it makes an oxbow turn through a rock-l>ordere<l 
defile called the ' Lower Kamparts.' Its walls are less precipitous 
than tliose of the upper Kamparts an<l the channel is less contracteil. 
On emerging from this canyon, the jMJst of Arctic Red River, at the 
mouth of tlie stieam of that name, is seen on the left. 

Arctic Ked River is a small ])ost of the Hudson's Bay Company. 
and is also the seat of a Roman Catholic! mission w^hich was estab- 
lished thirty or forty years ago, being tirst located on the opposite 
bank of the Mackenzie a few miles below. 'The trading post has 
been established only a few years. 

From the mouth of Arctic Red River the Mackenzie flows north- 
ward for *J0 miles to the head of the delta. The banks rapidly 
lower and are soon composed entirely of alluvium. Exposed sec- 



North Americ-in Fauna No. 27, U. S. Oept. Agr. Biological Survey. 



Plate XIII. 







Fig. 1.— Fort Good Hope, Mackenzie River, June, 1904. 




FiQ. 2.— Fort Wrigley and Mackenzie River, July, 1903. 




Fig. 3.— Main Buildings at Fort McPherson. Indians Arriving from La Pierre 
House with Pack Dogs, July, 1904. 



North American Fauna No. 27, U. S. Dept. Apr. Biological Survey 



Plate XIV. 




Fig 1.— Muskeq Pond on Height of Land, Head of Grandin River, Between 
Great Slave and Great Bear Lakes. 




Fig. 2. -Lake and Mountain Country Near Lake St. Croix, Between Great 
Slave and Great Bear Lakes, August. 1 903. 




1008.1 TABLES OF DISTANCES. 109 

tions often disclose l:)eds of willows or large trunks of trees many 
feet l>elow the present summit of the banks. Keeping to the left 
we pass several large islands and enter the easternmost channel 
of Peel Kiver. From this point to Fort McPherson, the terminus 
of our tri}), is reckoned 32 miles. The channel is winding, and the 
part lii>;t entered is rather narrow, and usually is bordered by 
overhanging clay banks on the concave side of the bends, and low 
shelving shores on the opposite points. A portion of this channel 
has been formed within the memory of men now living, by the river 
cutting across a sharp bend. A little over halfway to Fort Mc- 
Pherson we come to the main channel of Peel River, where it is 
nearly half a mile in width. From here we follow a nearly straight 
soutlierly coui^se up the Peel to the post. 

Fort McPherson (see PI. XIII, fig. 3) occupies a commanding site 
on the right bank of Peel River, 32 miles above its junction with the 
Mackenzie.'* It comprises the establishments of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, and of a Church of England mission, which has been pre- 
sided over for many years by the Rev. Robert MacDonald. To the 
westward an uninterrui)ted view is afforded of the wooded valley of 
the Peel, beyond w^hich stretches a gently ascending heathery slope 
several miles in width, with the barren summits of the northern 
: Rockies on the horizon. The portage trail to La Pierre House leads 
:^<lirectly westward across thii range. Nearly due north of the post, 
-just west of the Mackenzie delta, stands a spur peak of the Rockies 
: called locally Black Mountain. It is a dark, barren, rocky mass 
•upward of 2,000 feet in height. To the eastward of the post is 
spread a low, rolling, wooded plain, evidently of alluvial origin, and 
containing thousands of lakes. A winter trail extending eastward 
from Fort McPherson to its outpost, Arctic Red River, is said to 
cross 31 small lakes. The timber about the post, except along the 
river, is noticeably stunted, and in some places conditions similar to 
those of the Barren Grounds prevail. 

TABLES OF DISTANCES. 

The following tables, showing the approximate distances along the 
princi})al rivers traversed, have been compiled from the reports and 
maps of track surveys made by the Canadian Geological Survey and 
Department of the Interior. In cases where the estimates by different 
surveyors vary, unless there is reason to believe that one or the other 
of the figures is more nearly correct, an average has been adopted. 

^ Fort McPherson was first bniU ?» nilloa nbovo its i)resent situation, In 1838. 
Its necessity arose from the fact that tlic removal of Fort (Jood Hope from its 
former site to the Ramparts left the lower Macltenzie without a trading iK)St 
which was accessible to the Loucheux. 



110 



NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



I NO. 27. 



Approj-iinatr tliMtaiuTs aUmp thv prinripal rivrrn traveled. 
ATHARASKA RIVER. 



Station. 



, Distance 

from 

Atha- 

baitka 

LaodinfT. 



Athabanka Landinf? ( altitude MUf*. 

l.6r«ofwt) 

La Biche Rivpr M) 

Quito River 45 

Swift Current Rapid .v> 

BIjr Mouth Brook i»r» 

Pelican Portage \m 

Pelican River l(« 

House River 143 

Grand Rapid (altitude l._in» 

feet) i:i3 

Point La Biche .. laO 

Little Buffalo River IW 

Brule Rapid .- 172 

Boiler Rapid VA 

Middle Rapid.- m 



Distance 
lietweeu , 
r)oint8. 



MUen. 

30 
15 
10 
10 

o 
41 

10 



Station. 



Jxmts Rapid 

Grooked Rapid 

Stony Rapid -. 

Little Cascade Rapid... 

Big Cascade Rapid 

Mountain Rapid 

Mobcrly Rapid 

Clearwater River (Port Mc- i 

Murray, altitude 840 feet). 

Upper St0ei> Bank River ' 

Red River(Port MaeKay)...: 

I*Ierre au Calumet 

Poplar Point 

Athabaska Lake (mouth , 

Athabaska River) 



Distance 




from 


Distance 


Atha- 


between 


baska 


points. 


Landing. 




Mileic. 


MilfM. 


196 




204 


a 


20C 


2 


211 




212 


] 


219 


7 


225 


6 


228 


.1 


251 


23 


363 


12 


278 


1.-. 


318 


40 



SLAVE RIVER. 



Station. 



Distance 
from Distance 
Athn- ' IwtwjMMi 
hnska . iK>lnt8. 
Lake, i 



Port Chipewynn(.Vthabaska i MUfM. 

Lake, altitude «iOfc**t) ' 

Peace River.. ' 32 

Smith Lan.lliJR 100 

Fort Smith .. 116 

Salt River 1X!». 

(3rand Detour l.'*l 

Arouml Grand Detour ... K17 



MUfM. 

32 

Irt , 
Ki I 

1« I 



Station. 



Point Bnil<i 

Point h^nnuyeux 

Limestone Point.— 

McConnell Island** 

Great Slave Lake (mouth 
Slave River) 200 



' Distance 




1 from 


Distance 


, Atha- 




! baska 


points. 


Lake. 




.Vl/M. 


.VOes. 


181 


11 


213 


.^ 


219 


6 


.-13 


24 



I 



MACKENZIE KIVEK. 



Station. 



I Distance 
I from 
I head of 
I .Mncken- 
' zie. 



Big Island (head Mackcn/ie 
River, altitude 520 f«vt).. . 

Port Provii ienco 

Willow or Horn River 

Head of the LincL 

Spence River. 

Rabbitskin River.. ' 

Liani River (Fort Siniiisoin. I 

Martin River 

T\*'0 Islands 

Nahanni River 

Root River 

Willow Lake River . 

Fort Wrigley (site Ukmj 

Roche Trei III >e-l Van - 

Blackwater River 

Re<l Rock River 

Salt River 

Birch Island 



MUfs 



Distance 
between 
points. 



MilfK. 

48 



Station. 



Distance 

from Distance 
liead of , between 
Macken- points, 
zie. 



I 



(\K 


20 


i:is 


70 


173 


:i-i 


l,s8 


l.-» 


•.<>}► 


21 


217 


8 


241 


24 


'JHTt 


44 


:n»i 


10 


.'{21 


20 


311 


20 


.V]*\ 


2.1 


:«»4 


2S 


404 


10 


4J»J 


»>o 


432 


r. 



MUes, 

Gravel River 440 

Old Fort Norman (site 1844) 454 

Fort Norman.. 484 

Wolverene Rock 564 

San Sault Rapid 009 

Beavertail Point 023 

Beaver River _ 645 

Ramparts- 662 

Fort Good Hope. (JTO 

Loon River OOO 

Grand View... 730 

Old Fort CJood Ho|>e (site).. 790 

Trading River. 802 

Lower Ramparts 867 . 

Arctic 1^1 River (post) 875 ' 

Mackenzie Delta (head) 90T , 

.Vrctic Ocean (mouth Mat^ 

ken/ie) 995 



MUet. 

8 
14 
30 
100 
2> 
11 
22 
17 

8 
20 
40 
60 
12 
65 

8 
32 



ROUTE BETWEEN GREAT SLAVE AND GREAT BEAR LAKES. 

To complot(^ the acroiint of tlio roiit(^s Iravorsed by the parties of 
the Biological Siirv(\v, it remains to (le.sci'il)e the canoe route followed 
bv the writer northward from the Xoi'thern Arm of Great Slave Lake 
to MacTavish Bay, Great Bear Lake, and thence to the Mackenzie- 



1908.1 ROUTES TRAVERSED MACKENZIE. Ill 

The first part of this route, which follows a chain of lakes, has been 
previously traversed by so few travelers that brief mention may be 
made of the earlier explorations. 

In May, 18G4, l5mile Petitot, a Catholic missionary, accompanied 
a party of Dogrib Indians from Fort Rae northward toward Great 
Bear Lake. They traveled on snowshoes and penetrated a short dis- 
tance north of a lake which he named Lac St. Croix. On this lake 
he remained a short time, and on a prominent point erected a large 
wooden cross. His return journey was made in June, mainly by 
canoe. A brief account of his journey, with a nuip, was published 
in 1875, and other fuller accounts later. The principal streams and 
lakes were named by him, and until 1900 his accounts and maps con- 
stituted the only sources of information in regard to the tract in 
question. 

In the winter of 1866 the Rev. W. C. Bompas, an Episcopal mis- 
sionary, and W. C. King, a Hudson's Bay officer, traveled with dogs 
along Petitot's route and northwestward to Fort Franklin on Great 
Bear Lake. I have seen no published account of this journey. 

In 1000 J. Macintosh Bell, of the Canadian Geological Survey, trav- 
ersed the region from MacTavish Bay southward to Great Slave 
Lake. On entering the territory first explored by Petitot he at- 
tempted to apply his names, but owing to discrepancies between the 
positions of the lakes as located by his ow^n observations, and the loca- 
tion of those described by Petitot, who traveled by dead reckoning, he 
was unable to correlate his own and the latter's discoveries, and con- 
sequently applied Petitot's names incorrectly to some lakes and 
renamed others. 

Allien I made this traverse in 1903 T chanced to discover Petitot's 
cross, now fallen and disjointed, but readily identified by its position 
and the remains of the date, inscribed by him in Roman letters on 
the crosspiece. This fortunate circumstance positively identifies this 
lake as his Lac St. Croix, and also aids in identifying the other lakes 
to the north and south. In view^ of the positive nature of the evi- 
dence it seems best in the interests of accuracy to use the names 
applied by Petitot to the various lakes on this route. 

Accompanied by James MacKinlay and two Indians I left Fort 
Rae late in the afternoon of July 30, 1903, and encamped on the 
eastern shore a few miles to the nortlnvard. On July 31 we trav- 
ersed the remaining part of the Northern Arm and passed through 
the short narrow channel which connects with Lake Marian.'* 

Lake Marian is about 20 miles in length and nearly 10 miles broad 
in its widest part, and contains a multitude of rocky islands. Its 
shores are rocky, and altogether it is exactly similar to the Northern 

oThls lake is Fometimoa caUeil Lake Brochot, but tliis iinnio is applied to so 
many that the name T^ke Marian, nseil by Bell, seonis i>referable. 



112 NORTU AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. l»7. 

Arm, of whicli it is a contimiiition. Several limestone hills stand on 
its western shore. The trading post of liislop and Xagle, built 
on its eastern shore, is nuich resorted to by the Dogribs, who hunt 
the extensive country to the northward. On July 31, being delayed 
at tlie trading [)ost, we did not reach the end of the lake, but early the 
following day we entered (irandin River, which iBows into its 
northern extremity. 

Grandin River at its mouth is about 50 yards wide, and has a 
rather strong current. The first rapid, where a portage of a few 
dozen yards is made over a rock, is reached within a mile. About 2 
miles above another fall is encountered, where also a portage was 
made. Above here we continued to work our way slowly against the 
current, having to i)ropel the canoes entirely by the paddles, as the 
shores are unfit for tracking. In the afternooji we paddled through 
a small, marshy lake and j)assed th(» mouth of Marten River shortly 
before camping. Tlie next (hiy we paddled through several niai"shy 
lakes, above which we ascended a small rapid with the aid of the line 
and soon afterwanls reached a fork of the river. The right-hand 
branch is followed by the Dogribs on their way to the Copi>ermine. 
Our route l:iy up the left fork. The shores here are low and the chan- 
nels narrow, winding, and much obst ructed by fallen trees. Above here 
we paddled through several small, marshy ponds and portaged past 
a small full. We then passed through a rocky defile, above which 
we made four portage>, and ascended several small riffles with tlie 
l^addles or witli the help of the Vnu\ 

On August ^J we avoided eight falls or rapids by making portages 
and ascended several others with the line. At the last rapid, where 
we encampiMJ, the rivei* rushes for a hundred yards through a rocky 
gorge (see W. XV, fig. 2). The spruce woods about here have escaped 
the tires which have d(»vastated most of this section. Some of the 
small ponds and channels passed through were bordered by banks of 
clay, clothed mainly with white birch. 

Continuing, on August 4 we ascended a small rapid w^ith the line 
and soon came to llisIop Lake, a fair-sized body of water with irregu- 
lar shores. A conspicuous, well-wooded ridge bordered its northwest 
shore. We crosse<l the lake diagonally and passed np its principal 
feeder, a small, willow-bordered stream, very deep in some place?^ 
and in others much obstructed by bowlders. In the afternoon w€* 
made two shoil portages and ascended several small riffles. Toward 
evening we made a portage about half a mile long over a rocky ridge 
to the right, cutting ofl" a bend of the river which was evidently fidl 
of rapids. The upper end of the ])ortage passed over a rocky hill 
and ended with an abrupt descent to the water's edge. 

The next day, August 5, we soon reached a rapid, which we avoided 
by a short portage on the left, embarking again on a small, rock- 



008.] ROUTES TRAVERSED — MACKENZIE. 113 

ordered lake. A rapid falling into this lake was next portaged and 
ve soon entered another small lake. Leaving this on the north side 
ve made a portage of a mile and a half over a wooded ridge, avoid- 
iig a circuitous stretch of rapid water. This portage, the longest 
)u the route, led through small muskegs, where tracks of bears and 
noose were numerous. 

On August 6 we paddled through a small, irregular lake, out of 
which we made a short portage, avoiding a rapid, and almost imme- 
iliately entered another small expansion of the channel. From this 
lakelet a small stream with alternating depths and shallows led us to 
Lake Mazenod (Nagle Lake of Bell), which is practically the head 
of the stream we had been ascending. Closely wooded regular 
ridges border Lake Mazenod to the south, and irregular rocky hills 
to the north. Its greatest length (about 8 miles) is from east to west. 
We paddled among its rocky islands to its western extremity and 
made a series of four short portages between three small muskeg 
IK)nds to the shores of a larger body of water, Sarahk Lake. A not- 
able feature of the small ponds was the difference in color of their 
muddy bottoms. The first is yellow, the second a brick red, and the 
third of the usual dark muddy tinge. The waters of all are clear. 
(See PI. XIV, fig. 1.) 

Sarahk Lake, about 7 miles in length, was explored and named 
i>y J. M. Bell in 1900. Its water is beautifully clear, and it is l>or- 
dered on the south and west by long, wooded ridges. We camped 
on its rocky eastern shore, and the next morning paddled to its foot. 
Its outlet, which issues from its northeastern bay, flows toward Great 
Ifear Lake, so henceforth the current was with us. As its outlet 
is a succession of rapids, we did not enter its northeast bay, but 
took another northern bay, and going nearly to its head made a 
portage of a few hundred yards over a rocky ridge on the right, 
^'Htering the river below the rough water. Passing down this stream 
^'e soon entered a large lake with many rocky islands. A hill nearly 
* thousand feet high stands on its southwest shore and others on its 
'astern shore. A heavy smoke, the result of forest fires to the west- 
ward, shut off our view in that direction. This lake was visited 
•y Petitot in 1864 and named by him Lac Faber. Bell, in 1900, 
'"^^ing southward through the chain, explored its eastern shore and 
Pi^ained it Dawaso-necka Lake. We passed northward close to 
^^ eastern shore. In one place the lake is contracted to a narrow 
hannel, on the eastern shore of which, apparently on the mainland, 
^'c passed a small collection of log houses, the only buildings-seen 
^u the route. Apparently they had l)een built only a few years. 
A. short distance bi»yond here we camped on a low rocky island 
grown up to Ribes and Ruhtis strigosus. 

44131— No. 27—08 8 



114 NOBTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

On August 8 we continued northward among islands, passing close 
to a peak about a thousand feet high on the eastern shore. This 
mountain was very steep and rugged, but was wooded to the sum- 
mit. A short distance north of here we reached the extremity of 
the lake. From here a portage of about half a mile leads through 
muskegs and over several rocky ridges to a good-sized muskeg pond. 
The latter part of this trail passes along the bare summit of a ridgt* 
of rock where the path is plainly marked by the moccasined feet 
of past generations of natives. From this pond we made a portage 
of less than a quarter of a mile mainly through muskegs to another 
similar lake, and then another carry of about three-eighths of u 
mile to Lake Rae — the Lake Rosamond of Bell. Like most of the 
lakes of this region it is irregular and full of islands. A rocky 
promontory on its southwest side is spoken of by Petitot as a favor- 
its rendezvous of the Indians, and it^is still much resorted to. Here 
they gather in spring to make canoes and prepare for the sum- 
mer trip to the Barren Grounds. On a large high island near by 
many bundles of caribou-skin clothing, dog harness, and other winter 
paraphernalia were suspended from tripods, thus cached securely 
from the depredations of wolverenes or stray dogs. Here in lf>00 
Bell, journeying southward from Great Bear Lake, first met with 
Indians, who guided him to Fort Rae. 

On August d we made only a short journey. We passed northward 
among the islands to the northeastern end of the lake, and made a 
portage of a quarter of a mile over low ground to the next body of 
water. Lake St. Croix, where we camped on a rocky promontory. 
Here we were detained by high winds and storms until August 13. 

The river between lakes Rae and St. Croix leaves the former a 
short distance west of the portage and falls into a small bay of Lake 
St. Croix near the point where we camped. The ground was mainly 
high, but the depressions among the rocks held small swampy spots 
where leatherleaf {ChamaE daphne)^ sweet gale {Myrlca gale). 
Labrador tea {Ledum) ^ and various willows were the most conspicu- 
ous shrubs. On the muddy shores a tiny crowfoot {RanunculuH 
reptans) was conmion, along with species of PotentiUa and Polt/- 
gonurti. 

On the highest part of the rocky point overlooking the main 
area of the lake we foimd the large cross which was erected in 
1864 by Pere Petitot, as before referred to. It was formed of 
pieces of squared spruce about 7 inches in thickness, the upright 
being some 15 feet long, and the crosspiece 6 or 7. Of the date, 
1864, which Petitot inscribed in Roman characters, only an occa- 
sional letter could be traced. Thus far we had been following in 
a general way the route traveled by J. M. Bell in 1900, but we now 



1908.1 ROUTES TRAVERSED MACKENZIE. , , 115 

left his route and pursued a northward course to the eastward of 
his track. 

On Augiiht 13 we crossed Lake St. Croix diagonally, and from near 
its northeast corner made a portage of a quarter of a mile over a low, 
rocky ridge to a lake about 2 miles long east and west, by 1 mile 
wide. Its shores are mainly high, and near its center stands a small 
rocky island, high and well wooded. We passed to the eastward of 
this island and crossed among some large low ones to the northeast 
extremity. This lake is evidently the one referred to by Petitot in 
his narrative (Autour du Grand Lac des Esclaves, p. 247) as Lac 
Seguin.** From it we made a portage of 175 paces over another 
rocky ridge to a smaller lake and encamped on its southern shore, 
near the western extremity. To the eastward stood several high, 
rocky hills, the highest of which showed a summit of very light 
gi'ayish rock, in striking contrast to the surrounding hills. To the 
south, between us and Lake St. Croix, ran a rocky ridge. This is a 
part of the ridge called by Petitot Mount Vandenburghe, and on 
some maps the Barrier Mountains. To the westward a ridge of 
mountains with a general north and south trend loomed blue in 
the distance. From the sunrunit of the ridge near camp an extended 
view of characteristic scenery — irregidar rock-bound lakes and nigged 
ridges — could be seen (see PL XIV, fig. 2). The two common ferns, 
C. acrostichaides and D. fragrant ^ grew abundantly on the moss- 
covered rocks, and about the margins of the lakes the water arum 
{Calla pahistris) was still in flower. 

On August 14, the weather being unfit for traveling, we remained 
in camp at this place, but on August 15 we struck camp, and, crossing 
the end of the small lake, made a portage of 175 paces to another lake 
of irregular shape, about 1^ miles long east and west and less than a 
mile wide. We crossed it, and from its northern shore made a portage 
of about 1 mile over a rocky ridge and through several muskegs to 
another lake, which proved to be large. On the eastern shore of the 
part which we entered rose a rocky mount, about 800 feet high. Its 
northwest side is long and very precipitous; its other slopes are more 
gradual. Westward the lake is seen to be quite extensive. This is 
the Lac Seguin of Petitot (1875), and the Lake Fabre of Bell (1901). 
Going northward, we passed through channels Ix^tween islands to 
another expansion, which is nearly circular and contains only a few 
small islands. This part we crossed in a northern direction and pad- 
dled through a narrow, winding channel, running a small rapid, to a 
small narrow lake, and out of this into another large one containing 
many rocky islands. Some of these islands and parts of the shores 

« But on Lis map of 1875 this name is j;iven to tlio larger lake to the north- 
ward. 



116 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. {so. 27. 

are high and have many large angular bowlders scattered over them. 
Other lower islands lield mossy swamps on their summits, from 
which the water trickled down their sloping sides and glittered 
brightly in the sun. This is the I^ke Hardisty of Petitot (1875) 
and of most maps, and the Lake Rey of Bell (1901). 

In i*eaching these lakes we had again struck Bell's route, which we 
had left at Lake St. Croix. He entered the latter lake by a we.sterly 
route, while we had crossed north from Lake St. Croix by the better 
known Indian track, leading directly northward. 

From Lake Hardisty northward to Great Bear I^ake we followed, 
partially under the guidance of the Indians, a route never before fol- 
lowed by a white man, as far as I have been able to ascertain, and 
reached MacTavish Bay through an unmapped inlet to the eastward 
of where Bell started south. 

After proceeding a few miles along the eastern shore of Lake 
Hardisty we entered a channel having a very perceptible current 
northward and encamped on a large, low% rocky island on its 
western shore. Here we remained during the following day. On 
Angust 17 we struck camp and proceeded northward down the chan- 
nel, soon emerging into a small rounded expansion of the lake. A 
good-sized stream, said by the Indians to head near the Coppermine, 
and forming part of one of their hunting routes, enters this bay near 
its northeast corner. To the northward stands a range of rugged 
hills, one of wliich is cut by a deep narrow ravine. We here turned 
sharjdy to tlie west to avoid a westerly promontory which partly in- 
closes the bay, and then turned northward again and after going a 
short distance encamjxHl in a small, deep bay. 

On August 18 we were detained until noon and then paddled north- 
w^ard along the comi)aratively even easterly shores for about 15 miles 
and encamped near the northern extremity of the lake. The principal 
feature worthy of record was a shallow bay, on whose shores were 
low ridges and fields of drifting sand. At our night camp the timber 
was of better growth than we had seen for some time. We were 
still on the large lake, which I can do no better than call Lake 
Hardisty. It is of nnich greater extent than hitherto has l>een sup- 
posed. Bell took it to be Petitot's Lac St. Croix, and, as he did not 
thoroughly examine it, was unaware of its great extent to the north- 
ward. 

On August IJ), when apparently near the end of the lake, we crossed 
diagonally toward the northwest and entered its outlet, a rather broad 
channel running northwestward with a moderate current This 
stream soon ex])anded into a rounded lake, which we left by a strait 
on its northeastern side. Beyond the point where we left it it extended 
toward the northwest, but was probably not extensive. Its outlet 
soon expanded into a rounded lake some 3 miles in diaI^eter, on whose 



1908.J ROUTES TRAVERSED — MACKENZIE. 117 

northeastern shores stands a range of hills upward of 800 feet high, 
rounded, rocky, and sparsely forested. Leaving this lake we de- 
scended several slight riffles and paddled through a wide channel 
with a scarcely perceptible current. Its shores at first were swampy, 
but farther on its southern shore became higher and was well wooded. 
A long, narrow lake succeeded, at whose foot we had to portage every- 
thing about half a mile on the west side of the stream past a rapid. 
The trail, which was fairly well marked, passed over several low, 
rocky ridges and through some fine groves of white spruce and 
Banksian pine. The trail mostly avoided the river, but the part of 
the river we saw consisted of a succession of foaming cascades. We 
encamped at the lower end of the rapid, on the shores of a small rock- 
bound lake. 

On August 20 we paddled through the lake, which proved to be 
about a mile long. At its outlet another half-mile series of rapids 
was encountered and another portage made on the left side of the 
river. It led over ground which was similar to that passed on the 
previous portage. From here we passed through a small lake and 
then for a mile or two followed a narrow stream, here and there 
expanded into a broad channel w^ith little current, until it fell into 
a large lake. The part where we entered was about 4 miles in length 
and was much broken up by islands. We then passed through a 
narrow part with a considerable current into the main part of the 
lake, which proved to be of large extent. We encamped on its eastern 
shore after going a few miles. 

On August 21 we started with a fair wind and, turning toward 
the northwest and rounding a point, sailed northward up the lake. 
During the forenoon we passed on our left a large island several 
miles in length, on which was a mountain apparently about 800 feet 
high. From here we sailed until the middle of the afternoon on a 
general northerly course. The shores of the lake were mainly low 
and swampy, but had many gneissic outcrops. In the afternoon we 
encountered a point or large island extending east and west across 
our path. It was occupied by three rugged, sparsely wooded peaks 
700 or 800 feet high, the most easterly being the highest. The range 
apparently formed a part of the eastern shore. A broad channel 
lying south of and parallel to the range was divided by a long, high, 
and narrow island. We entered the narrower, southern arm of this 
channel and followed it for 3 or 4 miles, then turned southward 
through a narrow strait and entered a rounded expansion a mile or 
so in extent. This we crossed in a westerly direction and from a 
small bay made a portage of about 100 yards into another bay at the 
same level. This was the first time we had been out .of sight of direct 
water connection since reaching Lake Seguin on August 14, and the 
Indians assured us that in this case the portage merely connected 



118 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

two bays of the same lake. After making the portage we pursued 
a winding, but generally westerly course for 2 or 3 miles and en- 
camped at a narrow strait, an excellent fishing place, between two 
slight expansions of the channel. The rocky margins were sparsely 
clothed with the usual trees and shrubs. 

On August 22 our guide decline<l to conduct us farther, apparently 
not having a personal knowledge of the n)ute. He gave some diivc- 
tions to the other Indian, but after the first half day we wei-e unable 
to follow them and had to find our way as best we could. 

We went on at (mce, the guide accompanying us for a couple of 
miles from camp, and leading us westward into a broad expansion 
of lake. After parting with him we turned northward among .s me 
islands and soon entered a channel leading toward the nortl t. 
It was narrow at first, but soon attaineil a width of nearly a mile. 
After following this channel alM)ut 8 miles we passed a high crag <m 
the right, the extremity of a rocky hill. On the sloping side, as we 
advanced toward it, could be seen the profile of a face. At the point 
where this crag dipped to the water the w^dth of the channel was 
reduced to 50 yards and there was a i)erceptible current. About 3 
miles beyond here we came to a mountainous island or point ex- 
tending across our path. We passe<l westward and traveled for 3 or 
4 miles through a broad channel bordered on the north by a high, 
rocky ridge whose sparsely wooded sides, sti'ewn with angidar blocks 
of stone, sloped steeply to the water. From this we emerged into 
a large lake a})parently nearly filled with large islands, and encanii)ed 
on the eastern shore. 

During tlu» forenoon of August 23 we remained in camp finishing 
necessary work, and we spent most of the afternoon attempting to 
follow out the instructions given us by the guide: but becomiug in- 
volved in a mass of low islands, and not being able to recogniase any 
landmark referred to by him, we came back to our camping place 
and started northward up a broad channel which lay between the 
hilly eastern shoi*e and a numl)er of large, low islands. We encamped 
on one of these after proceeding a few miles. 

On August 24 we pursued our way northward through an expanded 
part of the channel and during the forenoon passed through a narrow 
])lace where a fair current flowed northward. This convinced ns that 
we were approaching the looked-for outlet, but a range of high hills 
which lK)r(lered the lake to the northward showed no indication of a 
riv(»r valley. After exploring several deej) bays, however, we found 
where the river left by a formidable rapid about 300 yards in length. 
(See PL XV, fig. 1.) The portage track led over rocky ground on the 
left bank. Favorable s])ots at the rai)id supported a good growth of 
spruce, with a luxuriant undergrowth of Viburnum paueiforum, 
liosa fU'iculariis, liuhm dru/oauis^ and Vaccinium uliffinontum. Since 



North American Faur^a No. 27, U. S. Dept. Agr. B ological Survey. 



Plate XV. 




Fig. 1 .—Rapid on Stream Entering MacTavish Bay, Great Bear Lake, Showing 
Luxuriant Forest Growth, in Latitude 65". 




Fig. 2.— Rapid on Lower Grandin River, Showing General Character of Country 

North of Fort Rae. 



North American Fauna No. 27. U. S. Dopt. Ag:r. Biological Survey. 



Plate XVI. 



^ 




t 1 IL 1 






p^l^ «i^f S V-*-'--' 


^S2 


£-r"^ - "- - ■ -^ 


^,. . -_ .^Tf^BBtfliiHHill 







Fig. 1. -Sandy Bay on Wind-swept Shore, Great Bear Lake Near Leith Point, 

September 1, 1903. 



L 


A *lii * t 1 


In 


L 






1 


H|^£^^ 


^ 


1 


1^^^^^^^ 


^^ * 


1 


1^ 


r 


3 


^^^^^^^^H 


^H 



Fig. 2.— Characteristic Bit of Shore on Great Bear Lake West of McVicar Bay, 
Showing Tongue of Forest Approaching Shore. 




"^ -.-/-■ 



Fig. 3— Semibarren Shore Near Leith Point, Great Bear Lake. 



1908.1 ROUTES TRAVERSED MACKENZIE. 119 

leaving Liake Hardisty I had observed an increased luxuriance in the 
forest growth, evidently the result of a more favorable soil and the 
slightly decreased altitude. Paddling down this river, which was a 
broad, deep channel winding in a circuitous manner between high, 
sparsely wooded banks, we descended a short riffle a few hundred 
yards below the large rapid, and another a quarter of a mile beyond. 
Within a quarter of a mile below the second riffle we came to a rapid 
about a quarter of a mile long and quite formidable. We were 
obliged to portage everything on the left side of the river over a 
rocky ridge and diagonally down a mossy hillside. At the lower 
end of the rapid, which fell into a small, rock-bordered pond, we 
encamped. Currants {Ribes ruhrum and prostratum) were abundant 
and ripe. 

On August 25 we crossed the small pond and ran a small rapid 
which fell into the narrow arm of another lake. We paddled to the 
extremity of three bays before finding the outlet, which flowed from 
the westernmost bay. To the left of this stream, which starts from 
the lake with a moderate current, rises a high, rounded rock with a 
few trees growing on its sides. A few hundred yards below we 
came to a short rapid, where we made a portage of about 75 yards 
through thick spruce woods. The extremities of this portage were 
marked by blazed trees. This rapid fell into what apparently was 
a small lake, but which proved to be an inlet of Klarondesh Bay, 
which connects with MacTavish Bay. Searching for the outlet, we 
explored the first northerly bay, but had to retrace our way, and then 
took the western bay, where we encamped after going a short dis- 
tance. The shores here are low and well wooded to the water's edge. 

The next day, August 2(), we pursued our way northward up the 
inlet After proceeding about 2 miles we came to an easterly inlet, 
which we explored, but finding no outlet had to retrace our way. A 
mile or two beyond we passed another narrow easterly bay. A range 
of high, rocky hills now appeared ahead. The channel then widened 
out and a long, high, and narrow gravelly island, nearly devoid of 
trees, a favorite camping ground for the natives, was passed on the 
right. From this we crossed diagonally westward to a high, rocky 
point, where we encamped. From the summit this point was seen 
to lie between two diverging arms of the lake, the one we had 
traversed being the narrower. To the westward lay the range of 
granite hills, and northward stretched a maze of high, rocky islands. 

On August 27 we started before sunrise and pursued our way north- 
ward and then eastward among islands, passing to the left of several 
large ones, and finally entering a channel about a quarter of a mile 
wide, bordered on either side by high, rocky, sparsely wooded hills. 
We followed this channel for about 4 miles, and encamped in a 
sandy bay, where a low level spot at the base of a high gravelly point 



120 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [»o. 27. 

supported a scattering grove of white spruces. A dense smoke com- 
ing from extensive fires to the eastward obscured our view, but during 
the afternoon it gradually cleared away. While hunting about the 
hills we found that we were within a short distance of the main body 
of MacTavish Bay. The high, rocky land bordering to the north- 
ward the channel on which we were encamped was Ndu-tcho, or 
Richardson Island. Back of our camp, on the southern side of the 
inlet, rose a range of rough, rocky hills, whose steep slojie was a suc- 
cession of thinly wooded rock-slides. Eastward toward the main 
body of the lake rose a succession of sloping terraces, thinly wooded 
and with a number of small ponds in shallow basins. Leading by 
the easiest routes along the rocky slopes were the well-worn paths 
of the Barren Ground caribou, whose migrating bands pass along this 
shore in their semiannual movements. Exploring in that direction I 
reached the extremity of a rocky headland which extended between 
two inlets close to the lake, from which its rocky sides rose precipi- 
tously for several hundred feet. A very deep lakelet on the summit 
of the promontory, with no connection with Great Bear Lake save 
its tiny outlet, which fell over the precipice at its margin, was in- 
habited by at least one sj)ecies of fish. From the summit of this head- 
land I overlooked the apparently boundless expanse of Great Bear 
Lake — unbroken except by a few rock>' islets near the shore. Toward 
evening we broke camp and paddling aroimd the point encamped 
near the base of the promontory, where a favorable fishing place was 
found. From camp back to the base of the steep rocks stretched a 
sloping lK)wlder-covered area on which small birches and willows, 
whose foliage was already turning yellow, were the principal trees. 

On August 28 we left camp and started westward along tlie shore. 
The smoke, which had again gathered, allowed no prospect, and we 
had to feel our way cautiously around the bays. Occasionally it 
cleared enough for us to see that the shore was very rocky, with ir- 
regular ranges of granite mountains rising higher and higher in the 
background. Many ravines which cut their sides were filled with 
slide rock and devoid of vegetation. In the afternoon we passed the 
mouths of two deej) bays bordered by high rocky hills. A\liat ap- 
peared to be an island turned out to be the extremity of a point about 
5 miles in length, and we had to paddle around it. This point was 
apparently about 2 miles broad at its base, where it was low and 
fairly well wooded. The main part, however, was in places nearly a 
hundred feet high, was composed of loose, angular rocks, and was 
entirely devoid of vegetation, witli the exception of a few willows 
which grew near the shore. It was terminated by a precipitous rock, 
l)erhaps 50 feet in height. Rounding the point we paddled back along 
its dreary and monotonous shore. Our view was still obscured by 
smoke, and we nearly reached its base before we discovered that a 



1908.1 ROUTES TRAVERSED MACKENZIE. 121 

similar but broader point stretched out into the lake ahead of us. 
We rounded this and encamped in a sandy bay just beyond. (See PI. 
XVI, fig. 1.) 

At our camp (see PI. XVII, fig. 1) the country was fairly level 
and was sparsely wooded with spruce, which was much dwarfed and 
twisted on the wind-swept shores, but farther back attained a diameter 
of 2 feet and a height of 50 feet. Large areas were nearly barren 
from the nature of the soil, but usually a carpet of Dryas integrifolia 
and various mosses, or dense masses of crowberry {Empetrum 
nigrum)^ covered the ground. Willows {Salix alaxensis and S. retic- 
ulata) grew in favorable places along the shore and on the banks of 
the small streams. Several small muddy ponds (see PI. XVI, fig. 
3), about which were lingering a few of the latest sandpipers, lay 
near the shore of the bay. 

We remained at this camp until the morning of September 8, de- 
tained during the first few days by high winds, and latterly by having 
to dry and bring to camp the flesh of a moose which the Indian 
fortunately killed. On September 8 we loaded our canoe and started 
westward along the coast, which was rocky and nearly barren. About 
noon we were forced by wind to run ashore, and took refuge in a 
small bay behind a low wooded island. This was the first place we 
had seen since leaving our camp in the morning where the spruce 
and tamarack woods approach close to the shore. 

The next day, September 9, we sailed all the forenoon westward 
along the coast, passing half a dozen barren rocky points inclosing 
sandy bays, the heads of which were well wooded. In the afternoon 
we passed Leith Point and turning southwestward crossed a deep 
bay, passing inside a series of low rocky islands, and entered McVicar 
Bay shortly before sunset. Grizzly Bear Mountain, across the bay, 
was capped with a light snow. 

On September 10 we crossed a deep bay and reached the extremity 
of a low point or island from which we were to cross the mouth 
of McVicar Bay. The wind, however, was unfavorable for attempt- 
ing the dangerous traverse, and we landed near by to wait for a calm. 
About 4 o'clock in the afternoon the wind had nearly died down, and 
we struck out for the low rocky island which lies midway of the pas- 
sage. We paddled steadily and reached it in fifty minutes, the 
distance thus being about 4 miles. From the island we covered the 
remaining stretch, about 4 miles northwestward, to the low, barren 
rocky point which terminates the immense peninsula of Grizzly 
Bear Mountain. Beyond we passed several small rocky points and 
encamped in a bay where the spruce woods approach close to the 
shore. The beaches here are of sand and gravel and rise quite steeply 
from the water. Back of our camp a level park-like area, with a 
sandy soil which supported a fair growth of white spruces, stretched 



122 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. (so. 27. 

back to the base of Grizzly Bear Mountain. The altitude of this 
mountain has been estimated at 900 feet, and several hundred feet of 
its upper portion is devoid of timber. Extensive areas on the wooded 
slopes, appearing gray in the distance, showed the destructive effects 
of forest fires. 

On Septeml>er 11 we voyaged westward along a low, rocky shore. 
Some spurs of the mountain, which gradually become lower to the 
westward, approach nearly to the shore. A nearer view showed that 
the fire-swept areas were covered with willows and other shrubs 
whose magnificently tinted autumn foliage, with its endless variety 
of yellow, red, and green, combined to form a beautiful effect. Dur- 
ing the forenoon we passed some high clay banks, and in the after- 
noon paddled along the borders of a broad, shallow bay whose shores 
were formed partly by high sandy banks holding in places a seam of 
what appeared to be lignite. We encamped in a small sandy bay 
where the foothills approach within a mile or two of the shore. Dur- 
ing the following day, on account of high winds, we advanced only 
a few miles, and encamped on the borders of a shallow bay just west 
of a long, low rocky point. The shores here are mainly composed of 
limestone, the first we had seen since leaving the vicinity of Fort Rae. 

On Septeml>er 13 we paddled along a rather low coast, passing 
a number of shallow bays, and at noon rounded a long westerly 
point and entered a bay which makes in toward the east. It is 
bounded on the south by sandy shores and a low, narrow, finely 
wooded flat (see PI. XVII, fig. 2), behind which rises a low ridge 
thickly clothed with shrubs. Beyond here we passed several small 
bays. On one of these bays was the camp of a family of Indians, 
the first humans we had seen since leaving lower Grandin River, six 
weeks Ix^fore. We encamped that night in a broad bay with low- 
shores. 

On September 14 we continued southwestward along the coast, 
but were delayed several hours in the middle of the day by high winds. 
We passed several large and small bays with low sandy shores, and 
a long, bare, gravelly point covered with quantities of small bowlders 
j)ushed u]) by the ice. The forest was composed largely of tamarack, 
whose foliage, now turned yellow, made quite an impress on the 
scenery. About midafternoon the Manito Islands appeared in sight. 

The next day, - September 15, we passed one or two points and 
reached the deep bay at the base of the Grizzly Bear Mountain penin- 
sula. We paddled across the mouth of this bay, about 4 miles, in a 
dead calm, ilidway of the traverse we passed a bar where the water 
was only 12 or 1.*) feet deep and could see numbers of large lake 
trout idly swimming about near the gravelly bottom. A few miles 
beyond, about the middle of the day, we passed the Manito Islands, 
which lie farther to the east than is represented on most maps. They 



North Americm Fauna No. 27. U. S. Dopt. Agr. Biological Survey 



Plate XVII. 





L^ 




^^L^M^^^^tt^H 



Fig. 1.— Camp of Biological Survey Party Near Leith Point, Great Bear 
Lake, September, 1 903. 



9 


i 




iLim 


1 


t ti i^Hh^Ll^k^^^^^K ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^I 


i 


^ _^^^^^^ •_ "^M 


1 





Fig. 2.— Shore of Sandy Bay West of McVicar Bay, Great Bear Lake. 
[The forest here is more luxurimit than farihtT i-a^t.] 



North American Fauna No. 27, U. S. Dept. Agr. Biological Survey. 



Plate XVIII. 




Fig. 1.— Bank of Upper Bear River, and Our Indian Escort. 




Fig. 2.— TRAPPER'S Cabin Near Site of Fort Franklin, Great Bear Lake. 




Fia 3.— Mount Charles, at Rapid of Bear River. 




'^H.v 






1908.] BOUTES TKAVERSED — MACKENZIE. 123 

are three in number, rather high and rocky, and are devoid of trees, 
though apparently well covered with low shrubs. Their constantly 
changing appearance, as one travels along the coast past them, causes 
them to be held in some veneration by the natives and probably has 
given rise to the name. Rising from the clear waters of the lake 
without a tree to serve as a standard for comparison, they present 
a weird appearance, and we found it impossible to estimate their 
distance from any point. Where we passed them they were appar- 
ently only a mile or two offshore, but the real distance is probably 
much greater. They remained in sight nearly all the afternoon, 
and had a different appearance every time we turned to view them. 
In the afternoon we paddled nearly 20 miles along a rather low, 
gravelly shore. 

The next day, September 16, we kept on most of the day, though 
the wind forced us to lie by for several hours. The immediate coast 
here is low and treeless, but the spruce forest parallels the shore at a 
distance of a mile or so. We persisted until dark, hoping to find a 
favorable place to camp, but were finally driven ashore by a thick 
fog which suddenly swept over us. The next morning when the fog 
lifted we found that we were near the outlet of Great Bear Lake, but 
we could not start until noon, when the wind went down, though 
huge rollers sweeping in from the main body of the lake still testi- 
fied to the violence of the storm. We paddled eastward a short dis- 
tance and then struck across toward the site of Fort Franklin, where 
we could see the cabins and tents of a party of Hare Indians. It 
was late in the afternoon before we had our camp established on the 
shores of Gray Goose Lake, a body of water about a mile in length, 
which receives a small stream and is connected with Keith Bay by 
a narrow channel. As I intended to remain here about ten days I 
pitched camp in a favorable place for working the surrounding 
country. Fort Franklin is interesting from a zoological standpoint 
on account of being the type locality of several species of mammals, 
birds, fishes, and other vertebrates.* 

*»The first estabUshment on Great Bear I^ake, according to the testimony of 
Frangols BeauHeu, who was one of the princliml guides and hunters of Franlc- 
Un's expedition about Great Bear Lalte in 1825, was built by a Northwest Com- 
pany officer named Mackenzie, probably Mr. Alexander Mackenzie (not Sir 
Alexander), in 1790. During one year, a post of the rival X Y Company also 
was maintained there, but these companies united in 1804. The post was kept 
up at least until the autumn of 1812. In the summer of 1825 Fort Franklin 
was built by Franklin's party on " the site of an old fort belonging to the 
Northwest Company" — plainly the original site. This was abandoncnl two 
years later when the expedition left the country, and the buildings were 
gradually destroyed by the fishermen who were sent there each autunni by the 
Hudson's Bay Company. Richardson In June, 1849, found nothing remaining 
of the buildings but portions of the chimneys, and occupied the fishermen's 



124 NORTH AMERICAN PAUNA. [sn. -7. 

The country about Fort Franklin is slightly undulating and, excej)t 
for certain jacniibarren points near the shores of the lake, is well 
wooded with spruce, tamarack, willow, and the usual subarctic vegeta- 
tion. (See PL XVIII, fig. 2.) Much of the ground is covered with 
lichens of the genus Gyrophora and various mosses. At the time of 
our visit the leavas of the tamaracks, willows, and other deciduous 
trees were falling. The site of the post itself is the summit of a 
rather steep bank elevated about 50 feet above the shores of the lake. 
The buildings have long since been destroyed, and only the debris of 
the stone chimneys and the faint outlines of the sills of the principal 
houses now remain to mark the spot. The original clearing is par- 
tially grown up to wuUows, but much of the ground supports only a 
growth of grasses and herbaceous plants. The site overlooks to the 
southwariTthe broad expanse of Keith Bay, at the extremity of which, 
at a distance of 4 or 5 miles. Bear River has its efflux. To the west- 
ward the ground slopes rather abruptly. A marsh lies between the 
small lake and Keith Bay, and beyond stretches a broad, low, barren 
area, flanked by interminable wooded muskegs. To the southwest, at 
a distance of GO miles, the summit of Roche Clark, snow clad at the 
time of my visit, is visible under favorable conditions of the atmos- 
phere. The region about the outlet of the lake, on account of the 
excellent fisheries, has long been a favorite resort for the natives; 
conseijuently large game and fur-bearing animals are scarce, 

I remained at Fort Franklin until September 28, securing a valu- 
able collection. The weather during my stay was usually cold and 
rainy and it was evident that the autumn was drawing to a clo^5e. 
On the day of our departure an autumnal gale delayed us until after- 
noon, and we descended Bear River only a few miles before biMng 
forced by darkness to encamp. 

Bear River issues from the lake by a broad, shallow channel with 
a swift current, which it maintains throughout its course. The water 
is l)eautifully clear, and as the stream is descended the bottom can l)e 
plainly seen, and s(»ems to rush by with lightning speed. When the 
water is low, as at the time of our visit, a zigzag course must l)e pur- 
cabin, whero also TJoiit. Hiilmo Hooi)or, of the hcwit exi>e<lltlon disiiatehed from 
tlio PUnrr, passcnl a part of the following winter. 

In 1S(*»3, at the rc»qiiost of the natives, the Hudson's Bay Company cstnbUshed 
a trading;? iH>st on the western side of the little inlet which connects Gray Goose 
Lake with K(Mth Bay. A Catholic mission was established by Petltol at the 
siinie point in IStJG, and continued until 1878. WTien the trading i)08t wsis dis- 
continuetl I have not l)een able to ascertain. 

Fort Confidence, on the northeast shore of Great Bear I^ke, was bnilt in 
the autumn of IS.37 l)y Thomas Simpson. These buildings were mostly de- 
stroyed l)y fire after their al)andonment. Richardson, hi the autumn of 1S4S, 
rtHKrcupied the site, erecting several l)uilding8, and these were found by J. M. 
Bell, in IJXH), to be in a fair state of i»rest»rvation. 



1»08.1 BOUNDAKIES OF REGION TREATED. 125 

sued, both to take advantage of the current and to avoid the numer- 
ous bars, and this greatly increases the distance. The banks at the 
head of the river are low (see PI. XVIII, fig. 1), but rapidly in- 
crease in height. The bordering country is mainly swampy and is 
well wooded. The more gently sloping banks are grassy or wooded, 
and a dwarf willow {Salix reticulata) is a conspicuous sbrub for 
some distance below the lake. Snow fell during the first night, and 
the next day, September 29, we kept on down the river. We soon 
descended the rapid, keeping close to the right bank, and acoiHfiplish- 
ing the passage in safety. At the lower end of the rapid great quanti- 
ties of ice still remained on the southern bank of the river. Mount 
Charles (PI. XVIII, fig. 3), just below the rapids, presents a rather 
steep, sparsely wooded slope to the river. It is said to be upward of 
1,500 feet high and is mainly composed of limestone. Below here the 
river broadens out, inclosing several low islands, and has a less im- 
petuous current. We encamped on the left bank only a few miles 
from the mouth and the next forenoon reached Fort Norman ; thence 
we ascended the Mackenzie to Fort Simpson. This part of our 
journey is elsewhere (p. 37) described in sufficient detail, and need 
not be alluded to further. 

NOTE ON BOTTNDABIES OF BEGION TBEATED. 

The present report relates to the natural history, especially to 
the higher vertebrates, of the northern parts of the provinces of 
Alberta and Saskatchewan (north of latitude 55°), the unorganized 
territory of Mackenzie, and the islands of the Arctic Sea to the 
northward of the latter division.** In addition the northern part 
of the old province of Alberta (south to about latitude 53°) has l)een 
included, both because it was traversed by our parties and because it 
seems desirable to record the results of field work previously done by 
the Biological Survey in that region. 

The literature of the Athabaska-Mackenzie region has been 
searched thoroughly for notes on natural history. Of the thousands 
of notes thus secured, many of which are buried in narratives of 
travel or official reports, and thus practically hidden from the 
natural history student, only those have been utilized which have 

« Since tlie greater i>a,rt of this i)aper was prepared the territories of Atha- 
baska and Assinlboia bave been abolished, and their area Is now mainly in- 
cluded in the present provinces of Alberta and Sasltatchewan, whose boundaries 
have been elctended and otherwise changed. It was therefore deemed advi8al)le. 
to make the wording of the report conform to these new boundaries. Tlie 
I)rovinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Mackenzie, tlierefore, are to be con- 
sidered as understood since 1005. The map (see frontispiece) accomi)anying 
this report shows the new boundaries. The parallel of 55* marked the southern 
boundary of the old territory of Athabaska. 



126 NOBTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

special value from the standpoint of geographic distribution, breed- 
ing, migration, or some other phase of life-history. Occasionally, 
when deemed advisable, notes from outside these geographic bound- 
aries have been utilized. 

The present report may be considered as complementary to the 
previous report on the Hudson Bay region." 

MAMMATiS OF THE ATHABASKA-KACKEHZIE BEQIOH. 

The following list is intended to include all the species of mam- 
mals which are known to occur in the region now under review. 
Most of the species came under our observations, and many wen? 
added to the list of those previously known. Owing to the uni- 
formity of climatic and physiographic conditions in the north 
many species range over large areas without differentiation into 
races; consequently few new forms have been detected. It has been 
necessary to describe only one, a northern form of Evotomys gapperi: 
in the case of one or two other forms, old names have been revived. 
All measurements, unless otherwise stated, are in millimeters. 

Balaena mysticetns Linn. Greenland Whale. 

This species is of regular occurrence in the Arctic Ocean north of 
the Mackenzie region, and has been recorded a number of times. It 
is probably most abundant in the open ocean north of the mouth of 
the Mackenzie, and it is there that most of the whaling is carried on. 
The animal occurs also in the straits among the large islands to the 
eastward, and I find a few records showing that occasionally it enters 
the comparatively narrow inlets between WoUaston Land and the 
mainland. Its numbers, however, are now everywhere very much 
diminished. 

During Parry's first voyage, whales were observed near Melville 
Island in August, 1820 ; ^ and other individuals, as well as remains, 
were seen in that region on several other occasions. J. C. Ross stated 
that the species was found in considerable numbers in Prince Regent 
Inlet, and that one was killed at Port Bowen in June, ISSS.*' He 
later recorded it as occurring in the inlet down to latitude 71° on the 
west shore, and stated that a few were noted about the Isthmus of 
Boothia.** Richardson mentions that whales have sometimes drifted 
to the vicinity of the mouth of Coppermine River.*^ During Frank- 
lin's and Richardson's journeys along the Arctic coast in the sum- 
mers of 1826 and 1827, black whales were noted at the mouth of the 

« A Biological Investigation of the Hudson Bay Region, by Edward A. Preble, 
North American Fauna, No. 22, October, 1902. 
^ Fisher, Journal Voyage of Discovery, p. 249, 1821. 
«• Ai>i)ondix to Parry's Third Voyage, p. 94, 1826. 
<'Ai)i»eudIx to Ross's Second Voyage, p. xxiii, 1835. 
^ Ai>i)€ndix Parry's Second Voyage, p. 338, 1827. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 127 

Mackenzie, at Cape Bathurst, and in Franklin Bay." The Arctic 
Ocean north of the Mackenzie is still visited by many whaling ves- 
sels, some of which winter at Baillie Island and Langton Bay, 
though Herschel Island is a more general resort. While at the latter 
point in the summer of 1894, Russell recorded that the whaling fleet 
left on August 11 for the whaling grounds between Richards Island 
and Cape Bathurst, where, during the preceding summer, they had 
made the greatest catch in the history of Arctic whaling, the Narwhal 
having taken 64 bowhead whales, the Balaena 62, and the others from 
9 to 40 each.^ 

From a letter received from Sergt. F. J. Fitzgerald, of the North- 
west Mounted Police, dated at Herschel Island in the autumn of 
1904, I glean the following facts relative to the whaling industry. 
In the winter of 1896-97 fifteen vessels wintered at Herschel Island, 
and since then from one to six annually have wintered at that place 
or at Baillie Island. Four vessels were then (1904) supposed to be 
in winter quarters at Langton Bay, and two steamers were then win- 
tering at Herschel Island. The largest catch was made about 1897, 
when one vessel took 69 whales, and two others of the fleet over 60 
each. The steamer Narwhal left Herschel Island in the autumn of 
1904 with the product of 18 whales, taken during the three preceding 
seasons. The largest number taken by one vessel in 1904 was 9, by 
the steamer Jeannette. Two whales are said to pay for a season's 
work, and three for the wintering of a vessel. 

MacFarlane states that each season the Eskimo who frequented 
Fort Anderson usually succeeded in killing one large whale, though 
seldom more. On two occasions he heard the spouting of whales in 
Franklin Bay, and he also observed their bones in several places.*- 
Hanbury reports that the Eskimo find the bones of whales along the 
coast near Ogden Bay.* 

Monodon monooeros Linn. Narwhal. 

The narwhal is of regular occurrence in the more extensive inlets 
among the Arctic Islands. 

During the summer of 1826, on Franklin's second exi>edition to the 
Arctic Sea, Richardson saw at Point Toker, east of the mouth of the 
Mackenzie, spearheads and ice chisels made from the horns of this 
species, and the animal was stated by the Eskimo to freciuent the 
vicinity.' Fisher recorded one which was killed August 11, 1819, in 
Prince Regent Inlet (near Port Bowen). Its weight was estimated at' 

« Narrative Second Expedition to Polar Sea, pi). 35, 2L>1), 2.TJ, 1S2S. 

» Bxpl. in Far North, p. 148, 1898. 

c Proc U. S. Nat Mus., XXVIII, p. 730, 1905. 

^ Sport and Travel In Northland of Canada, i>. 139, IIHM. 

« Narrative Second Expedition to Polar Sea, p. 209, 1828. 



128 NORTH AMEBICAN FAUNA. [xo.1'7. 

2 tons." J. C. Ross later reported the narwhal as abundant in Print^e 
Recent Inlet.*^ Armstrong records one sscen in the summer of 1850 
near Capo Bathui-st.^ Sutherland states that Penny found the ani- 
mals numerous about the middle of June, 1851, in Wellington Chan- 
nel near Point Decision.** 

Delphinaptems catodon (Linn.). White Whale. 

This wide-ranging species occurs all along the northern coast, and 
in the largi^r inlets among the islands nearly as far north as man has 
penetrated. It is partially migratory, withdrawing from the morc 
northern part of its range by the first of September, but the extent 
of its migration is unknown. 

Mackenzie noted it at the mouth of the river since named for him, 
when he first deswnded it.*' Franklin, during his second exi)edition 
to the Arctic Sea, noted it near the same place in the summer of lS2bJ 
In the summer of 1848 Richardson observed the si)ecies near Cnpe 
Bathurst and in I'ranklin Bay.^ J. C. Ross recorded the beluga as 
abundant in Prince Regent Inlet.* M'Clintock later states that one 
was shot in August, 1859, at Port Kennedy.' Fisher observed great 
numbers on August 0, 1811), in Barrow Straits near Prince Regent 
Inlet.^ Osborn observed the sj^ecies on September 5, 1850, in Wel- 
lington Channel near Capi» S|x»ncer. The animals were numerous 
and were moving southward, accompanied by their young.* 

J()st>ph Hodgson, of the Hudson Bay Company, informed me that 
some years ago, while stationed at Fort McPherson, he saw two 
individuals which had ascended Peel River to that point. 

Odocoilens virginianns macronrus (Rafinesque). Plains White-tailed 

Deer. 

I was informed by J. S. Edmonton, an old himter in the Athabaska 
region, that within a few years a number of white-tailed deer ha^^ 
lH»en killed near Edmonton. 

Odocoilens hemionns (Rafinesque). Mule Deer. 

In the sunnner of 181)5 J. Alden Loring re|x>rted seeing a doe of this 
species at Jasper House: he observed also many tracks in the vicinity 
of Henry House. In 1890 he sjiw fresh tracks along a stream in tlie 

" Voyasp f»f T')iscovory to Arctic RpKioiiR, p. 83, 1821. 

''Appendix to Uoss's Second Voynjio, i». xxii. 1S35. 

'■ Narrntivo Discovery Nortliwest PassaKe, i». 1201, 1857. 

'^ Journ. Voy. liatlin Hay, II. p. 150, 1852. 

' Voyajres to Frozen and Tacitic Oceans, p. 04, 1801. 

f Narrative Stn-ond Expt»diti<»n to INilar 8ert, p. 35, 1828. 

5- Arctic Searching; KxpMition, II, pp. 20f>, 271, 1851. 

* Appen<Iix to Uosss S(H*ond Voyaj^e, p. xxii, 1835. 

* V(»yajce of Fn.r, p. ,S02, ls(iO. 

> Voyajje of Discovery to Arctic Keglous, p. 74, 1821. 
«^ Arctic Journal, p. 122, 1852. 



11)08.] 



MAMMALS. 



129 



valley 15 miles south of Henry House in July; reported the species 
rare l)etween Jasper House and Smoky River, but saw tracks on 
Grand Cache River and on the north bank of Smoky River, in the 
early autumn; and saw the tracks of two bands in the mountains west 
of Henry House about the middle of October. 

J. S. Edmonton assured me that during the fall of 1897 a few 
black-tailed deer frequented the vicinity of Stony Rapid, on the 
Athabaska, about 200 miles (by the river) below Athabaska Landing. 




Fio. 10. — Former distribution of elk (Cervu9 canadensis) In central Canada. This species 
is now reduced in this region to a few herds in the Saskatchewan Valley. 

Cenms oanadentis Erxleben. Canadian Wapiti. 

Formerly ranging north over the plains of Peace River, this animal 
has now apparently l)ecome extinct over this part of its range, but 
still occurs in small numl^ers in central Albertsi. (Fig. 10.) 

I was informed by J. S. Edmonton that during the autumn of 1897, 
while trapping near Stony Rapid, on the Athabaska, he noted the 
oc»currence of four or five individuals of this species on the south side 
of the river near that point; he further stated that a few still remain 
in the neighborhood of Fort Saskatchewan, near Edmonton. W. E. 

44131— No, 27—08 ^9 



ISO NORTH AMEBIGAN FAUNA. I no. 27. 

Whiteley, living on Sandy Creek, 20 miles south of Athabaska Land- 
ing, tells me that the animal occasionally occurs there. 

During Alexander Mackenzie's exploration of Peace River, he 
several times met with this species, and states that it abounded on 
the plains on both sides of Peace River near the trading post which 
he established near the mouth of Smoky River in the autumn of 1792,^ 
and on several occasions he noted it farther up the river. Harmon, 
the -next traveler to give a detailed account of this river, frequently 
observed the wapiti, and refers to its general abundance in that 
region as follows: "Throughout the whole course, from this fall 
[Vermilion] nearly to the Rocky Mountains, at a little distance from 
the river, on each side, there are plains of considerable extent, which 
afford pasture for * * * the red deer or elk."* He states that 
the species was killed at Fort Dunvegan, and was seen between that 
place and Fort St. John, during the autumn of 1810.*^ Richardson 
says : " The wapiti is not known on Slave River or Lake, but further 
to the west it ranges as far north as the east branch of the River of 
the. Mountains near the fifty-ninth parallel, where Mr. Murdoch 
M'Pherson informs me that he has partaken of its flesh."' Caspar 
Whitney gives Victoria, on the Saskatchewan, between Edmonton 
and Lac La Biche, as about the northern limit of the species in that 
region in 1894.<^ In 1896, while exploring between Jasper House 
and Smoky River, J. Alden Loring reported that a few were said 
still to exist near the head of Pembina River, where, however, during 
recent years the Indians had nearly exterminated the species by 
' crusting.' Petitot relates that while traveling on the Athabaska 
in June, 1879, he met two Cree hunters who had lately killed, among 
other game, five wapiti : ^ and he writes me that in August, 1876, he 
partook of elk's flesh in an Indian camp on the Athabaska above 
House River. 

Aloes americanns Jardine. Eastern Moose. 

The moose occurs throughout the Athabaska and Mackenzie region 
north to the limit of trees. (Fig. 11.) It is often seen by parties 
descending the rivers, but we did not observe any during our first trip 
in 190L At the cabin of a trapper near the Boiler Rapid, Athabaska 
River, we saw a number of heads which had been taken in the vicinity 
during the previous winter. One of these was a partial albino, a large 

a Voyages to Frozen and Pacific Oceans, p. 130, 1801. 

^Joiinial of Voyages and Travels, p. 174, 1820. 

''Ibid., pp. 185, 187, 1820. 

* Arctic Searching Exi)edition, I, p. 128, 1851. By the east branch of the 
"River of tlie Mountains" (Llard), Richardson meant Fort Nelson River. 
(See note, p. 1(>8, under Ochotona princcps,) 

''On Snowshoes to Barren (irounds, p. 21, 1806. 

f Proc. Roy. Geog. Soc., 1883, p. 640. 



1908.1 



MAMMALS. 



181 



patch on the face being of a dark creamy color. During the first half 
of June we saw many tracks at our camp on Slave River 10 miles 
below the mouth of the Peace, and on the islands in the river between 
there and Smith Landing. A party of Indians whase camp we passed 
on the lower Athabaska early in August had just killed a moose, and 




Fig. 11. — Distribution of moose (AUvh amcHcanus) in central Canada. The moose seems 
to be extending its range northward in the region of Iludson Ray. 

during our ascent of the river a female was killed by the voyagers 
on August 18 near Brule Rapid. 

In the spring of 1903, while descending the Athabaska and Slave 
rivers to Great Slave Lake, we saw tracks of moose occasionally, but 
observed none of the animals. During their return trip in the fall, 
however, my brother and Gary saw a young one on the Athabaska 
above Athabaska Landing, In the lake country between Fort Rae 



132 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. lxo.27. 

and Great Bear Lake, during my northward trip in the same autumn, 
the moose was found to be rather common, and became more abundant 
as we approached Great Bear Lake, owing to the country being better 
suited to its needs. Tracks were often seen on the portages and a 
large bull was observed on an inlet of MacTavish Bay on August 
25. Along the southern shore of Great Bear Lake we found it a com- 
mon and in some places an abundant species. Even in the exposed 
and semibarren country in the region of Leith Point a few are 
found, and a female was killed there by my Indian canoeman on 
September 1. Owing to the rocky nature of its haunts, the hoofs 
of this animal were much worn and blunted. West of Mc Vicar Bay, 
especially along the base of Grizzly Bear Mountain, the species was 
found to be abundant, and numerous fresh tracks were seen wher- 
ever we landed. Its abundance here is partially explained by the fact 
that there are immense areas abounding with its proper food, and 
sparsely inhabited by natives; moreover, the inhabitants are pcK)r 
moose hunters. A party of natives seen near Manito Islands had 
repeatedly started moose without killing one, while my Dogrib canoe- 
man, in a far more difficult country, had secured the only animal he 
hunted. Moose are seldom found about Fort Franklin, owing doubt- 
less to the place having been a favorite resort of natives since time 
inmiemorial, but they are said to be common along Bear River. 
While ascending the Mackenzie in October we frequently saw fresh 
tracks. 

During the winter of 1903-4 upward of forty moose were killed 
within 25 miles of Fort Simpson, and moose meat comprised an im- 
portant item of our food. During a trip down the river in Januar}' 
I saw the tracks of a band of four or five about 30 miles below Fort 
Simpson. An area of considerable size on the sloping side of the 
valley, grown up to willows, had afforded a fine, feeding ground, and 
was well trampled. The animals had wandered out on the snowy sur- 
face of the river also, and had trotted about apparently with no par- 
ticular aim, perhaps in play. 

During the night of May 23, 1904, a female moose wandered upon 
the island on which Fort Simpson is situated. During the next fore- 
noon the animal was roused from its bed by a dog and driven into the 
shallow channel l)etween the island and the western bank of the river, 
where it was shot l)v an Indian, and the skin obtained for a specimen. 
While fleeing from the dog the moose continually uttered a loud gi'unt- 
ing protest. Another was killed near the same place in June. AMiilo 
descending the Mackenzie during June tracks of moose were fre- 
quently seen along the l)anks, and several of the animals were ob- 
served. A female, apparently pursued by wolves, took to the water 
near our camp a few miles l^elow Fort Simpson, on the morning of 
June 2, and was killed for food. Tracks of moose were common 



1908.] MAMMALS. 133 

along the lower Nahanni, and two of the animals were started in the 
vicinity early in June. Though tracks were often observed, no more 
of the animals were seen until we reached the lower Mackenzie. 
During the evening of June 28, while paddling down the Mackenzie, 
a few miles below the site of old Fort Good Hope, we saw three moose. 
Early in the evening a cow and her young calf were seen to take to 
the water at some distance below us, and start across the river. We 
let them get well into the stream and then paddled swiftly after them. 
When they discovered us they first made several undecided moves 
and then attempted to regain the shore they had just quitted. The 
mother accommodated her speed to that of her calf, and did not 
leave it until we had approached within 30 yards. She then started 
for the shore, and on reaching it trotted away into the forest after a 
momentary survey of the situation. The little one was by this time 
nearly exhausted. We gently forced it ashore and held it until it had 
somewhat recovered its strength and breath, then heading it back 
along the river bank, we left it to rejoin its mother. AMien we last 
saw it the little creature was trotting up the shore, occasionally utter- 
ing a querulous cry to attract her attention. 

A few miles below here a large bull moose was seen on a sandbar at 
the lower end of a willow-covered island. He shortly entered the wil- 
lows without perceiving us, and hoping to get a close view of him, I 
landed and ran toward the place. He soon came into sight again, when 
I took to the brush and easily approached within 200 yards. As he 
started up the shore in my direction I crouched behind a willow sap- 
ling and awaited his approach. I was really in plain sight, but he 
was totally unaware of my presence and I had a good chance to ob- 
serve his movements. He approached at a slow trot, occasionally snip- 
ping off the tender tip of a willow, and was passing within 50 feet 
when I stood up and attracted his attention. He instantly whirled 
about and plunging into the water swam across the narrow channel to 
the main shore. Here he made several attempts to climb the high 
bank, but failing, again took to the water, and disaj)peared around 
a point 

Moose are fairly common in the vicinity of Fort MePherson, where 
one hunter was said to have killed ten during the preceding winter. 
The natives of this section generally run down the animals on snow- 
shoes when the snow is deep. 

While we were ascending the Mackenzie l)y steamer, a band of three 
moose was observed on the right bank of the Mackenzie 50 miles below 
Fort Simpson. Another individual was seen oji the Athabaska below 
Poplar Point on August 8. 

In the moimtains west of the Mackenzie, where the snow becomes 
very deep during some seasons, moose are said to form yards, but they 
do not seem to have this habit in other parts of the region. 



134 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. r>o. 27 

Hearne was the first to record moose from the Mackenzie region, 
finding them " very plentiful " on the south side of Great Slave Lake 
east of the mouth of Slave River during the winter of 1771-72, while 
on his way back to Fort Churchill during his famous journey of ex- 
ploration." Harmon noted their occurrence on the plains of Peace 
River in 1808.^ During Franklin's first northern journey a moose was 
killed near Foil Enterprise in the spring of 1821.*^ During his 
second ex|)edition moose were killed on EUice Island, near the mouth 
of the Mackenzie, in the summer of 1825 ; and near Fort Franklin in 
September of the same year, and in February, 1826.' During the 
spring of 1834, while Back's expedition was wintering at Fort Reli- 
ance, a moose was killed on '^Fish River' (in all probability the 
Thelon, or Ark-i-linik) several days' travel east of Great Slave Lake.* 
Simpson reports that tracks of moose were seen on MacTavish Bay, 
Great Bear Lake, during the winter of 1837-38.' Ross recorded si^eci- 
mens taken at Fort Good Hoik»,^ and Fort Simpson.* Lo<^khart, 
writing in 181)5 on the habits of moose, states that they were rarely 
killed in the vicinity of Fort Rae, though they were quite numerous 
at Big Island and along the south shore of Great Slave Lake; and 
that the moose of Peel River and the Yukon are much larger than 
those in the Great Slave Lake region.^ 'While exploring in the country 
between Athabaska Lake and Churchill River in the summer of 1892, 
J. B. Tyrrell found that the moose occurred throughout the more 
thickly wooded parts of the country as far north as Stone River, near 
the eastern end of Athabaska Lake.^ Russell states that a moose was 
killed near the mouth of Yellowknife River, Great Slave Lake, in 
August, 1803.^* A. J. Stone records the moose from several points in 
the lower Mackenzie Valley, giving evidence as to the large size of the 
animals found there, and from the headwaters of the Nahanni River, 
where they abound.' 

During the early autumn of 1895 a moose was killed by a member 
of Turing's party near the headwaters of McLeod River; in the 
autunm of 1890, fresh tracks were seen almost daily along the ti-ail 
between Smoky River and Jasper House. 

" Journey to Nortlieru Ocean, p. 2r>(), 171)5. 

* JcMininl of Voyages ami Travels, p. 174, 1820. 

'' Narrative of Journey to Polar Sea, p. 209, 1823. 

^ Narrative of Second KxiHxlition to Polar Sea, pp. 34, 57. 71, 1S28. 

*■ Kinj?, Narrative of Journey to Arctic Ocean, I, p. 192, 1830. 

f Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, p. 210, 1843. 

if raw. Nat. and Geol., VI. p. 442. 1801. 

*Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second si^r.), p. 275. 1S02. 

* Proc. v. S. Nat. Mus., XIII, pp. 3(^, 307, 1891. 

> Ann. Kei»t. Can. Geol. Surv., VIII (new ser.), p. 13D, 1800. 

*Kxpl. in Far North, p. SO, 189S. 

' Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., XIII, p. 49, 1900, 



1908.] MAMMALS. 135 

J. W. Tyrrell states that while exploring on the upper Thelon in 
the summer of 1900, " on two occasions moose antlers were found em- 
bedded in the sand of the river bank." *» Hanbury states that moose 
are found in the main Ark-i-linik, or Thelon, River [below its junc- 
tion with the Hanbury], and mentions seeing numerous fresh tracks 
and places where the animals had browsed on the willows.^ In 
August, 1902, while descending Dease River, northeast of Great Bear 
Lake, he found tracks along its banks.*' 

MacFarlane states that previous to the establishment of Fort An- 
derson, in 1861, moose were fi*equently seen feeding on the high banks 
of Anderson River, but that they diminished in numbers after that 
date, though found to the very edge of the wooded country. He 
observed traces of this animal (evidences of browsing) in the thickets 
along Wilmot Horton River, near latitude 69°, within the limits of 
the Barren Grounds.' 

Sangifer caribou (Gmel.). Eastern Woodland Caribou. 

Our knowledge regarding the forms of caribou inhabiting the in- 
terior of British America is very meager, and the following notes 
relating to woodland caribou are only provisionally included under 
this name. 

No woodland caribou were seen on either of our trips, but they were 
ascertained to occur sparingly throughout most of the region. Mr. 
Brabant, of Fort Smith, informed me that they were unusually com- 
mon in that vicinity during the winter of 1902-3. Captain Mills, of 
the steamer Wrigley^ told me that he saw one on Slave River near 
McConnell Island on July 5, 1903. The Dogribs say that a few are 
found in the country between Fort Rae and Great Bear Lake. Along 
the lower Liard the animals are occasionally detected in small bands 
and are often killed. Caribou meat was several times brought in to 
Fort Simpson during my residence there, but all my efforts to secure 
a specimen failed. The natives about there distinguish between the 
wood caribou of the lowlands and of the mountains, and say that the 
former is smaller and lighter in color than the mountain animal. 
Woodland caribou still occur along the Saskatchewan near Edmonton, 
and W. E. Whiteley, who lives on Sandy Creek, 20 miles south of 
Athabaska Landing, Alberta, stated that he had seen a few in that 
vicinity. 

The presence of the woodland caribou in this region was first noted 
by Hearne, who refers to the species as ' Indian deer.' During his 
journey southward from Coppermine River he saw many in the 

« Ann. Kept. Dept. Interior (Canada) for 11)00-1901. p. 122, 1002. 
* SiK)rt and Travel in Northland of Canada, p. 40, 1904. 
^^ Ibid., p. 230, 1004. 

< Proc. U. S. Nat Mus., XXVIII, p. 677, 1005. See also Can. Keo. Science, 
IV, pp. 43, 45, 53, 1800. 



/ 



/ 



136 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [ko.27. 

H])arsely wooded country north of the eastern part of Great Slave 
Lake in December, 1771. While crossing the lake on the ice he 
found the wodded islands "well stocked" with the same species.* 
Deer (i. e., caribou) are enumerated by Richardson among the ani- 
mals said to inhabit Birch Mountain, west of the lower Athabaska 
River.^ AVhile exploring in the region between Athabaska Lake 
and Churchill River in the summer of 1892, J. B. Tyrrell ascertained 
that the woodland caribou was reported " to occur in the more south- 
ern portion of the district, near Churchill River, but none were seen.'" <^ 
In January, 1894, Russell frequently came across their trails in the 
small prairies south of Fort Resolution. The animals were said not 
to occur to the eastward of the Northern Arm of Great Slave Lake, 
but he crossed several of their trails on the traverse between Fort 
Rae and Fort Providence. He states that they also "occur in the 
wooded portions of this region south of the Great Bear Lake.'' * 

R. MacFarlane, in a letter to the Biological Survey, written in 
January, 1902, states that the woodland caribou inhabits the country 
between Lake Winnipeg and Athabaska Lake, and though nowhere 
in large numbers is more abundant on the southern than on the north- 
ern shores of this lake. Between Athabaska and Great Slave lakes 
he states that the animal is met with chiefly on the west side of Slave 
River, and through all the country lying between Peace River and 
Great Slave Lake. 

It also inhabits certain sections on both sides of the Mackenzie River and 
its principal tributaries almost if not quite up to (abandoned) Fort Anderson, 
Anderson River, in about latitude 68° north. It is not, I l)elieve, numerous 
any>vhcre, except i)erhaps fairly so in the neighborhood of the Roclty Mountaiu 
range, and of its spur mountains, the * Caribou ' on the Peace, the * Nahanni* 
(HI the Llard, and the * Horn/ * Clarlc,' and other spurs of the Rockies in the 
valley of the Mackenzie. 

He met with tracks of this species on the lower Onion River, near 
its junction with the Lockhart, in the summer of 1860. In his recent 
paper on northern mammals he states that herds of this species sel- 
dom exceed 80 or 40 individuals, except in autumn, when larger num- 
bers sometimes congregate. The species occurred in the well-forested 
country a short distance south of J'ort Anderson. During his resi- 
dence at Forts (lood Hope and Simpson the skins and meat of wood 
caribou were often brought in by the natives/ 

Rangifer caribou montanus Seton-Thompson. Mountain Caribou. 

The following notes on woodland caribou in the mountains of 
western Alberta I refer to this form. 



o Journey to the Northern Ocean, p. 223, ITJKi. 

» Arctic Searchhig Exi)edition, I, p. 127, 1851. 

^ Ann. Reijort Can. Geol. Surv., VIII (new ser.), p. 13D, 1896. 

^ Expl. in Far North, pp. 224, 225, 189S. 

^ Proc. IT. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII, p. 680, 1905. 



1S>08.] MAMMALS. 137 

J. Alden Loring reports that in the autumn of 1895 three caribou, 
two of which were killed, were seen by members of his party in the 
Jasper House region, in mountain parks near timber line. In 1890 
tracks were seen in a valley 15 miles south of Henrj'^ House in July, 
and in the early autumn its presence was noted both in the high 
mountains and in the valleys on the route between Jasper House and 
Smoky River. About the middle of October tracks were frequently 
seen in Rodent Valley, about 25 miles west of Henry House. 

This form is believed by A. J. Stone to inhabit the Rocky Moun- 
tains in northeastern British Columbia for a considerable distance 
north and south of the latitude of the Cassiar Mountains (about lat- 
itude 59°), where he took specimens in September, 1897,<» 

The caribou of the Liard River mountains, which the Indians dis- 
tinguish from the lowland form, is probably referable to this race. 
It is said to be fairly common in the Nahanni and other mountain 
ranges of the lower Liard. 

Bangifer arotious (Richardson). Barren Ground Caribou. 

This. famous animal, usually in the north called 'deer,' and often 
mentioned in the narratives of Arctic travel, occurs more or less 
abundantly on the Barren Grounds of the region treated of, and on 
the large islands to the northward. (See PI. XIX.) It is the caribou, 
more than any other animal, which renders human residence in this 
desolate region possible. 

Within this great area it is probable that there are two or more 
races, or perhaps distinct species, since the animals are separated by 
the physiographic conditions of the country into different herds, or 
aggregations of herds, which never associate with each other at 
any time of the year, and which have somewhat different habits. 
A series of skins and skulls will be necessary to a decision as to the 
number of recognizable forms. For the present, however, all the 
caribou of this rejgion, excepting the woodland species, may without 
violence be considered as one species, for which the name arcticus^ 
applied by Richardson to the animal inhabiting the main area of the 
Barren Grounds between Great Bear Lake and Hudson Bay, may be 
used. It is reasonably certain that within this latter area but one 
species is represented. 

During my first visit to the Great Slave Lake region, in the summer 
of 1901, this species was not observed. I learned, however, that 
during the previous winter the caribou approached within a short 
distance of Slave River, half a day's journey east of Fort Smith, 
for the first time in many years. In the country south of Athabaska 
Lake the natives assert that long ago the animals extended their 
migrations to the neighborhood of Fort McMurray. I was after- 

«Rull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., XTII, p. 52, IIHH). 



138 NORTH AMEBIGAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

wards informed by Mr, Thomas Anderson that during the winter 
of 1902-3 they reached the southern end of Cree Lake, Saskatchewan. 

During my trip northward between Great Slave and Great Bear 
lakes, in August, 1903, I learned from the natives that large numbers 
of the Barren Ground caribou cross this route at several points, 
usually arriving al)out the time of the first heavy snows. Points on 
Lake Faber and Lake Eae were said to be especiaUy good ' passes/ 
Tracks made during the previous spring before the animals had left 
on their return journey to the Barren Grounds were often seen in 
the muddy or sandy margins of the lakes and streams. While as- 
cending Grandin River we were pa&sed by several families of Dogribs, 
then on their way to the region of the Coppermine to live on the 
caribou. 

Along the southern shore of Great Bear Lake, especially at the 
point where we reached it on MacTavish Bay, numerous well-worn 
trails testify to the great numbers of caribou that pass back and 
forth in spring and fall. They arrive from the Barren Grounds 
about the time of the fii-st deep snows, usually by the middle of 
October, and sometime^s extend their migration west to the outlet of 
the lake, though they are not common in that vicinity. Li the spring 
the greater number return, though a few remain through the summer 
on the semibarren areas near Leith Point, and westward to the 
vicinity of McVicar Bay. We saw fresh tracks of a number near 
our camp east of Leith Point during the early days of September. 

The Hare Indians living about the southern and western shores of 
Great Bear Lake rej^air to its eastern end about the end of July, 
usually coasting the southern shore, and spend a month or two among 
the caril>ou on the treeless country between the eastern end of the 
lake and the lower Coppermine, I'etuming to their winter hunting 
grounds early in October. 

During the winter of 1903-4 caribou reached the Northern Arm 
and the eastern part of Great Slave Lake in great numbers, and 
some were killed within a short distance of the buildings at Fort Rae 
for the first time in several years. 

Mr. John Firth, of the Hudson's Bay Company, for many years 
stationed at Fort McPherson and on Porcupine River, informed me 
that the herds of caribou west of the Mackenzie have a semiannual 
movement to and from the seacoast. In their journeys they head 
toward the prevailing winds, and consequently occasionaUy pass 
to the eastward of the mountains, though usually to the westward. 
The southward movement commences in August, and extends only 
about 400 miles. They start to return in March. Though the bulk 
of the animals then proceed to the coast, a few remain throughout 
the summer in the elevated and semibarren country between the Peel 
and the Porcupine. The Indians from La Pierre House, who arrived 



North American Fauna No. 27, U. S. Oept. Agr. Biological Survey. 



Plate XIX. 



I 



75 teo lis ISO *4S 140 130 120 HO MM 90 BO 7D 50 



m 




Distribution of Barren Ground Caribou (Rangifer arcticus) and Related Forms 

IN Central Canada. 



[Distribution: {| winter; == Runnncr: ^H winter an*! suinnuT. »ii>i>ruxiinate,] 






IWW.l MAMBIALS. 189 

at Fort McPherson during my stay there early in July, 1904, having 
crossed the mountains on foot, had killed a few of these animals on 
the way. 

As winter approaches, the caribou which have summered on the 
Barren Grounds move southward in herds, many of which enter the 
wooded country. Their movements are more or less irregular, but 
the following account, by Warburton Pike, seems to be approxi- 
mately correct as applying to the animals to the eastward of the 
Ck)ppermine: 

From what I could gather from the YeUow Knife Indians at the east end of 
the Great Slave Lake, and from my own personal experience, it was late in 
October, immediately after the rutting season, that the great bands of caribou, 
commonly known at La Foule, mass up on the edge of the woods, and start for 
food and shelter afforded by the stronger growth of pines farther southward. 
A month afterwards the males and females separate, the latter beginning to 
work their way north again as early as the end of February; they reach the 
edge of the woods in April, and drop their young far out toward the seacoast 
in June, by which time the snow is melting rapidly and the ground showing 
in patches. The males stay in the woods till May and never reach the coast, 
but meet the females on their way inland at the end of July ; from this time 
they stay together till the rutting season is over and it is time to seek the 
woods once more.® 

While the above account of the movements of the caribou is sub- 
stantially correct, Hanbury has shown that many do not migrate in 
the true sense of the word, but merely wander, and that the course 
taken by the moving bands can never be predicted.** 

The following notes, gleaned from various sources, show the gen- 
eral distribution of the Barren Ground caribou in the region under 
review, as well as other points in its history. Sabine says : "In- 
habits the North Georgia Islands in the summer in considerable 
numbers, arriving toward the middle of May, and retiring to the 
south before the first week in October. In the course of the season 
24 were killed."^ During Franklin's first northern journey, this 
species was first met with on the upper part of the Yellowknife 
River about the middle of August, 1820 ; toward the end of Septem- 
ber it had become common about Fort Enterprise ; on October 10 an 
estimated number of 2,000 were seen during a short walk in the 
vicinity ; by October 26 they had departed southward ; but about the 
middle of November, on account of warmer weather, they returned 
to the neighborhood.*' During the following summer, while the 
party was exploring the Arctic coast to the eastward of Coppermine 

<» Barren Ground of Northern Canada, p. 45, 1802. In regard to habits of 
this animal, see also various writings of Richardson ; Russell, Expl. in the Far 
North, p. 225, 1898; Stone, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat, Hist., XII I, p. 49, 1900; etc. 

> Sport and Travel in Northland of Canada, pp. 120-122, 1904. 

^ Snppl. to Appendix Parry's First Voyage, p. cxc, 1824. 

* Narrative Journey to Polar Sea, pp. 21^248, 1823. 



140 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

River, caribou were found to be rather common at the mouth of 
Hood River,« and were noted also on Parry Bay and at Point Turn- 
again.* During Franklin's second journey, reindeer were killed 
near Fort Franklin, Great Bear Lake.<^ J. C. Ross states that great 
numbers were seen about the Isthmus of Boothia.* 

During Richardson's journey along the Arctic coast east of the Mac- 
kenzie, in the summer of 1848, he observed the species near Liverpool 
Bay in August ; ^ and on Darnley Bay later in the same month : ' and 
saw many at Bloody Fall, on the lower Coppermine, on September iV 
The skeleton of a Barren Ground caribou from Fort Confidence, prob- 
ably taken during the same trip, is described by Richardson.* DcKtor 
Rae saw many caribou on Victoria I^nd near Admiralty Island alK)ut 
the middle of August, 1851. < During the voyage of the Investigator 
Annstrong records that tracks of reindeer were seen near Nelson 
Head, the southern exti-emity of Baring Land [Banks Land], Sep- 
teml)er 7, 1850; three of the animals were seen on Prince of Wales 
Strait, near Princess Royal Islands, January 6, 1851. Some were seen 
on Banks Land, near Prince Alfred Cai>e, August 19, 1851 ; and 50 or 
()0 near Mercy Bay, Banks Land, October 7, 1851 ; at the latter harbor 
112 of the animals were killed between the autumn of 1851 and the 
summer of 1858.^ At the winter quarters of the Enterp?ise in Cam- 
bridge Bay, Victoria Land, CoUinson states that large herds had 
gathered by October 9, 1852, and were waiting for the ice to form a 
bridge for their passage to the continent; by November 24 all had left, 
and during the spring of 1853 the species was first seen April 6, when 
4 individuals were observed at Finlayson Islands, near Cambridge 
Bay, crossing the strait from the mainland northward.* The presence 
of caribou on Prince Patrick Island is recorded by M'Dougall, who 
states that some were killed by Mecham near Cape Hay.' He also 
records the animal from near Cape Russell, Melville Island; and from 
Byam Martin, Moore, and Baker islands.*^ Sutherland records the 
presence of the animals during the summer of 1851 on the north shore 
of Cornwallis Land; and near Point Decision; Disappointment Bay: 

« Narnitivo Journey to Polar Sea, \k 374, 1823. 
^ Ibid., pp. 383, 387, 1823. 

^ Narrative Second ExiHHUtion to Polar Soa, p. CO, 1828. 
^'ApiKJiidix to Ross's Second Voyage, p. xvii, 1835. 
''Arctic Searcliinj; KxiKnUtion, I, p. 251, 1851. 
f n»ld., p. 2S1, 1S51. 
rMI>id., p. 31.S isni. 

'^Zool. of Herald, Fossil Mammals, p. 115, 1854. 
^ Journ. Uoy. (^leog. Soc., XXII, p. 91, 1852. 

^Narrative Discover>^ Northwest Passage, pp. 210, 2J)7, 3S)1, 473, 477, ls."i7. 
*^Joimi. H. ai. S. EnlcrpriMc, pp. 244-25:{, ISSl). 
' Voyage of Ratolntc to Arctic Uegions, i». 25)1, 1S57. 
»» Ibid., pp. 2G«, 207, 2U5, liS57. 



1U08.] MAMMALS. 141 

and other points on the same island.** The same author states that 
traces of reindeer were observed near Cape Eiley and Cape Grinnell.^ 
MeCormick observed tracks on Baring Bay, North Devon, in August, 
1852.*^ The presence of caribou on Russell Island is recorded by Os- 
born, who observed tracks near Cape Walker in the spring of 1851.*' 
M'Clintock noted the species at Port Kennedy and Brentford Bay.*' 
Kennedy mentions seeing many tracks near Cape Garry, North Som- 
erset/ During Anderson and Stewart's journey down Back River in 
the summer of 1855 caribou were found to be numerous about Clinton- 
Colden and Aylmer lakes ; and the species was observed on Adelaide 
Peninsula.fi' In the summer and fall of 1879 the party of Frederick 
Schwatka, searching for relics of Sir John Franklin, found large 
numbers of caribou on King William Island and on the lower part of 
Back River.* During Warburton Pike's journey northward into the 
Barren Grounds from the eastern part of Great Slave Lake in the 
autiunn of 1889, caribou were first met with on Lake Camsell, about 
70 miles north of Great Slave Lake, on September 15. The animals 
were then on their way south, and many were seen during the remain- 
der of September as the party traveled northward.* In notes on the 
fauna of the country lying between the eastern part of Athabaska 
Lake and Churchill River, explored in the smnmer of 1892, J. B. 
Tyi'rell says : 

The Barren Gronnd caribou ♦ ♦ ♦ comes south In winter to the south end 
of Reindeer Lake and the upper portion of Mudjatick and Foster rivers. It 
travels north in spring to the Barren Grounds, but a very few animals are 
<Kxrasionully l^ft behind, one having been shot in July near the north end of 
Cree Lake.^ 

Fort Fond du Lac is stated by him to be " on one of the principal 
lines of travel of the Barren Ground caribou, in their regular migra- 
tions north and south." ^ During the summer of 1893, while travel- 
ing northward between Athabaska Lake and Chesterfield Inlet, the 
Tyrrell brothers first saw Barren Ground caribou on July 28 on 
Barlow Lake; on the next day, on the shores of Carey Lake, a few 
miles below and in about latitude 62° 15', they saw a herd estimated 
to contain from 100,000 to 200,000 individuals.' In 1894, during 

« Joum. Voyage to Baffin Bay, 11, pp. lOG, 147, 151, 1852. 

ft Ibid., I, p. 310, IT, p. XII, 1852. 

c Mccormick's Voyages, IT, p. 131, 1884. 

^Arctic Journal, p. 220, 1852. 

« Voyage of the Fox, p. 167, 1860. 

/ Narrative Second Voyage Prince Alhert, p. 129, 1853. 

ff Joum. Roy. Geog. Soc., XXVI, p. 25, 1856. 

* Schwatka's Search, p. 196 and elsewhere, 1881. 

* Barren Ground of Northern Canada, p. 41, et seq., 1892. 

^ Ann. Kept. Can. Geol. Surv., VIII (new sen), p. 131), 1896. 

* Ibid., p. 63D, 1896. 

' Ann. Rept. Can. Geol. Surv., IX (new ser.), p. 165F, 1898. 



142 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [sco. 27. 

their trip northward from Reindeer Lake, the animals were first seen, 
near Ennadai Lake, on August 14, and were then moving southward 
in lar^e nunil)ers.« 

Frank Russell, who passed the winter of 1893-94 at Fort Rae, 
says, concerning the Barren Ground caribou : 

A few years ago ♦ • ♦ ♦ they were often kiUed from the baildings, and 
througliout the winter might be found near the post. In 1877 an unbroken line 
of cnribou crosHcd the frozen lake near the fort. They were fourteen days in 
passing and in such a mass that, in the words of an eyewitness, "daylight 
could not be seen ** through the column. They are now seldom seen within 
several miles of Rae.** * 

During the winter he spent there only one small band crossed the 
lake toward the west.^ Concerning their abundance about the mouth 
of the Mackenzie, he says: 

West of the Mackenzie they are still abundant along the barren coast and in 
the mountains south of it. They migrate southward in autumn, but how far is 
not known. Itanipart House was a ** deer post,'* being situated in a pass trav- 
ersed semiannually by the caribou. 

The whalers rei)orted that the caribou were abundant among the islands 
between the mouth of the Mackenzie and Cape Bathurst in July, 1894.' 

W. J. McLean states that in 1899 the caribou arrived in the neigh- 
borhocxl of old Fort Reliance, Great Slave Lake, on August 12.^ 

A. J. Stone, who studied the caribou of northern Mackenzie in 
1898-99, says: 

The mighty Mackenzie seems to form, thronghont its ^tire length, a well- 
defined dividing line between eastern and western herds; in fact, we find that 
at most ix>int8 this dividing line is a broad belt of country, in places more 
than one liundriHl miles wide. The herds that reach the coast in the spring, to 
the west and ejist of the Mackenzie Delta, never approach each other nearer 
than 75 uiilos, and rarely so near as this. 

He was informed that the caribou to the east of the Mackenzie are 
considerably larger than those to the westward.^ On May 12, 1899, 
he saw a herd of about twenty-five female caribou near Franklin 
Bay; " they were travelling northward at a fair pace and were among 
the advance guard to reach the coast." ^ He considers that the 
animals are fast being exterminated in that quarter, principally on 
account of the demand for meat at the trading posts, and at the win- 
tering places of the whalers along the Arctic coast.* 

« Ann. Ilopt. Can. Oool. Surv., IX (new sen), p. lOF, 1808. 

«• Expl. in Far North, p. 88, 1898. 

'' Ibid., p. 22iK 1808. 

^ Il)ld., pp. 226, 227, 1808. 

''Ilist. and Scl. Sw. of Manitoba, Trans. .W, p. [5], Feb., 1901. 

f Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., XIII, p. 51, 1900. 

ff Ibid., p. 5.^ IJKK). 

* Ibid., l)p. 50, 57, 1900. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 143 

J. W. Tyrrell, while descending Hanbury River, to the eastward of 
Great Slave Lake, during the early part of July, 1900, reported only 
an occasional straggling caribou.** On July 23, however, on the upper 
Thelon, he observed a large band moving southward.^ Hanbury 
found large bands, comprising adults of both sexes and young, pro- 
ceeding southward along Hanbury River about the last of July, 
1901.*^ He was later informed by the Eskimo of Ogden Bay that the 
animals are found on Kent Peninsula, at Cape Barrow, and near the 
coast of Victoria Land, throughout the winter, but that none re- 
mained during that season between Cape Barrow and the Copper- 
mine, or near Ogden Bay.** J. M. Bell informs me that on his trip 
eastward along the north shore of Great Bear Lake in 1900, he first 
met with caribou 60 miles west of Fort Confidence late in July, and 
later found them fairly numerous between Fort Confidence and the 
lower Coppermine. 

MacFarlane states that during his residence in the Anderson River 
region large numbers were killed by the Eskimo of the lower Ander- 
son, mainly during the spring and fall migrations. A few remained 
during winter close to the Arctic coast, though the bulk of the herds 
moved southward. He gives in tabular form the dates of the ar- 
rival of caribou from the north in the autumn, and their return 
thereto in the spring, as observed at Lac du Brochet Post, at the north 
end of Reindeer Lake,<^ the neighborhood of which is a wintering 
ground for great numbers. These dates may be found in a table of 
occurrences given on page 22 of the present report. 

Bison bison athabascs Rhoads. Wood Bison. 

This animal formerly ranged over immense areas north to (Jreat 
Slave Lake and Liard River, but is now restricted to a few small 
herds inhabiting the region north of Peace River. (Fig. 12.) 

The bison was first recorded from this region by Samuel Hearne, 
the first traveler to penetrate its unknown wilds. After crossing 
Great Slave Lake (his 'Athapuscow Lake ') from the north, in Janu- 
ary, 1772, he entered the level country to the eastward of Slave River, 
and there found buffaloes " very plentiful." ^ He traveled southward 
for some days and then left Slave River and proceeded to the east- 
ward, still finding the animals abundant until he reached a point near 
the longitude of the eastern end of Great Shive Lake.^ During 

«Aim. Kept Dept. Int. (Canada), 1900-1901, p. 120, 1902. 

ft n)id.. p. 126, 1902. 

<^ Sport and Travel in Northland of Canada, p. 34, IJMM. 

«n)id., p. 139, 1904. 

«Proc. U. S. Nat. Mns., XXVIII, pp. 6S2-r»S4, 1905. 

1 Journey to the Northern Ocean, p. 200, 1795. 

^Ibld., p. 272, 1795. 



f 



XU 



NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



I NO. 



Mackenzie's descent of the river which now bears his name, he was in- 
formed by the Indians that buffaloes abounded on the plains bordering 
the stream which entered from the north the expansion of the river 
now known as the Little Lake.** On the return journey, his party 
killed a buffalo near the same plac^e.'' During his exploration of Peace 
River he noted numerous herds of buffaloes on the plains near Ver- 




Vui. 12. — Parmer distribution of American bison (Hison bison) and Its northern sub- 
Hpecles {B. h. alhahaMCfr) in central Canada. A few Bmall herds still exist in the area 
Indicated by cross lines. 



milion Falls; '' and he mentions also that the animal was common at 
the mouth of ' Sinew ' River, a stream entering Peace River from the 
south a short distance east of the mountains.* Harmon, in 1808, 
found the animals abundant on the plains on either side of Peace 
River from Vemulion Falls nearly to the Rocky Mountains: ^ and in 
1810 saw some on the Peace between Forts Dunvegan and St. John.^ 



^ Voyapc« to Frozen and Paflflo Oceans, pp. 24, 25. 1801. 
the stream now known as Horn or Willow River.) 
Mbicl., p. Kli), ISOI. 
''Ibid., p. 125, 1S01. 
''Ibid., p. io:{, ISOl. 

*' Jonmal of Voyapes and Travels, p. 174, 1820. 
f Ibid., p. 1S7, 1820. 



(This must refer to 



1W)8.1 MAMMALS. 145 

During Franklin's first northern journey the detachment under Hood, 
while descending the Athabaska a short distance above the lake, " ob- 
served the traces of herds of buffaloes, where they had crossed the 
river, the trees being trodden down and strewed, as if by a whirl- 
wind/'* One was killed by the party on Salt River, between the 
Salt Plains and Slave River, during a short side excursion.* Richard- 
son, in 1829, speaks thus of the range of the animal : 

Tbey RtiU exist, however, iu vast tnmibers in Ix)iiisiann, roaming in countless 
herds over the prair'es that are watered by the Arlcansji, Platte, Missouri, and 
upper branches of tte Saslcatchewan and I*eace rivers. Great Slave I^ake, in 
latitude 60°, was at one time the northern boundary of their range ; but of late 
years, according to the testimony of the natives, they have taken possession of 
the flat Hmestone district of Slave Point, on the north side of that lake, and 
have wandered to tlie vicinity of Great Marten I^ke, iu latitude 63** or 64*. 
As far as I have been able to ascertain, the limestoue and sandstone forma- 
tions lying between the great Kocky Mountain range and the lower eastern 
chain of primitive rocks are the only districts in the fur countries that are 
frequented by the bison. • • ♦ They do not frequent any of the districts 
formed of primitive rocks, and the limits of their range to the eastward within 
the Hudson Bay Company's territories may l)e nearly correctly marked on the 
map by a line commencing in longitude 1)7° on the Ked Uiver which flows into 
the south end vf Lake Winii)eg, crossing the Saskatchewan to the westward of 
Basquiau hill, and running from thence by the Athapescow to the east end of 
Great Slave I-ake.«^ 

Since Mackenzie had found them on the north side of the Mackenzie 
River near the Horn Mountains many years l^efore this, it is probable 
the animals reached Slave Point and Marten Lake from that direction. 

King, in his narrative of Back's expedition, mentions the occurrence 
of the bison on the plains bordering Slave River ;^ and Simpson saw 
many tracks and a few individuals on Clearwater River, near the 
mouth of the Pembina, in June, 1887.^ In the sunmier of 1848 Rich 
ardson was informe<l that bison frequented the Birch Mountains, west 
of the lower Athabaska, in great numbers/ 

In 1877 Dr. J. A. .Allen published a letter from E. W. Nelson, which 
contained information concerning the bison, obtained from two men 
who had reached the Yukon through British America. An extract 
follows : 

These gentlemen descended the Peace River and at about the one hundred 
and eighteenth degree of longitude made a iK>rtape to Hay River, directly north. 
On the portage they saw thousands of buffalo skulls and ohl trails, in some 
instances two or tl:ree fe:»t drH»n. le dl tr cr.st aid west. T1h\v wiMterinl on Hay 

*» Narrative Jouniey to Polar Sea, p. 192. 1823. 

* Ibid., p. 107, 1823. 

*• Fauna Korea 11- Americana, I, i). 270, 1S20. 

* Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean, I, p. Il.'l, Isi^O. 

<* Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, pp. (»0, 01, 1843. 
^Arctic Searching Exi)editlon, I, p. 127, 1S51. 

44131'-No. 27—08 10 



IIG NOKTII AMKRICAI^ FAUNA. \so.-J7. 

Uiver. near itH entranct* into (ircat Slave Ijike. and there found the bnflTalo 
still common, occwpylnj: a restricted terrltor>' alonj; the southern border of the 
lalve. This was in ISTl. They made inquiry concerning the large number of 
skulls seen by them on the iNtrtage, and learned that about fifty years before 
snow fell to the estimateil depth of fourteen feet, and so envelo|)ed the animals 
that they i)erishe<l by thousands. It is asserted that these animals arc larger 
than those of the plains.** 

In the suininor of 1879 Dr. G. M. Dawson, while exploring on 
' Grande Prairie/ north of the headwaters of Smoky River, saw 
many wallows and st^attered bones of the bison, and was told by the 
Indians that the animals had l)een exterminated by an excessively 
severe winter many years l)efore. During the same summer the 
Beaver Indians reported seeing six bison, of which they killed one, 
on the Ponce Coupee Prairie, in the same region.* In 1888 J. B. 
Tyrrell stated, on the authority of Mr. King, a Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany officer, that " One band of about five hundred lives on what is 
locally known as the ' Salt Plain ' which is a prairie * * * 
stretching for five hundred miles south-westward from the vicinity 
of Fort Smith on the Shive Kiver to the foot of the Rocky Moun- 
tains." <• Warburton Pike found a herd of eight about 50 miles south- 
west of Fort Resolution in February, ISIK); ** and in the autumn of the 
sjime year, while ascending Peace River, was told by the Indians at 
Fort St. John that they occasionally found small bands to the north- 
ward of that post, toward Liard River.'' 

William Ogilvie, from information obtained in 1888, writes: 

The wood huflfalo, which formerly n»nnip<l around all the upi^er waters. Is 
now nearly a thlnjc of the pjist. A few still remain scattered over a wide dis- 
trict. Could some nutans be doviscxl to protec^t them frr several years, they 
would jirohably soon mnltliily and Ixvome a so»irce of foo<l supply and revenue to 
the natives. Mr. MoDoupiII. who has for some years past been patherinp infor- 
mation concerning the number nf tlu^e animals and their UK'allty. has kindly 
given me the f(»llowin>; notes: In the winter of 1SS7-8R, on the headwaters of 
Hay River, which tlows into (;reat Slave Lake, and west of Battle River, a 
tributary (»f the Pence, the Indians saw thrw> bands eontalninp: 17, 10, and 4, 
respectively; they kilknl r», but Mr. McDoupiU did not a8c*ertaln whether these 
were In addition to the aluive numbers. The sjime winter three bands were 
st»en between Salt Kiver nn<l renee Point, on Pwice River, numbering: 50. 25, 
and about 25, n»siKHiively. None of these are reiM>rted to have been killed. 
Durinj; the winter of lss<;-S7. between the north end of Birch and the south 
end of Thickwood Mountains, distant alxuit one day or ^50 miles from Fort 
McMurray, on Athabasca River, one band of about 13 was seen. Since then 
5 of this band have lu'en killed. Pelow RimI River, a tributary of the Atha- 



«Am. Nat., XT, p. 024, l.<<77. - 

^Rept. ProK. Can. (;eol. Surv., 1S7(>-S0. p. .■>4I^ 1.SS1. 

^'The Mammjilia of Canada, p. S. (Read b(»fore Canadian Institute Apr. 7, 
15^S. and published s<»pnrately. ) 
<* Barren (Jround of Northern Canada, p. 145, 1892. 
^ Ibid., p. 230, lSi)2. 



1908.1 BiAMMALS. 147 

basca, and between Birch Mountains and Athabasca lUver, and ranging down 
to Poplar Point, on the Athabasca, another band said to contain about 20 was 
seen. Altogether we have only about 180 head of wo(hI buflfalo in this vast extent 
of territory. The paucity of their numbers is, to some extent, a protection 
to them. If they escape epidemics and such a winter as almost exterminated 
them on the Tapper Peace some years ago, tliey may possibly increase. When- 
ever the Indians come across a band they try to exterminate them whether 
they need them for food or not.* They try to drive them into a bog, if one l>e 
convenient, and, if they succeed in this, their object is soon accomplished, for 
the i)oor brutes mire in the bog and are quickly icilled.« 

The same explorer, from information obtained in 1891, states: 

The haunt of the wood buflfalo lies nortli and west of the Athabasca Klver, 
across the Peace to the Liard River, and at Fort Liard it was reported that two 
of them had crossed the Liard and had l)een seen in the mountains to the north- 
west of the fort. Comiiared with the area of the district they inhabit, their 
numbers are very small, probably not exceinling 300 in all. This is in strilciug 
contrast with their numl>ers as reiM)rted half a century ago, when it was no 
uncommon thing for a few Indians, in the neighborhood of Duuvegan and 
St. John, on Peace River, to go out and in a few days to procure sufficient 
meat to supply their wants for a good part of tlie winter. • ♦ ♦ The 
explanation given is that a heavy fall of rain occurred in one of the winter 
months, about twenty-five years ago, which com[)letely sjiturated the snow, 
which was then frozen, and converted into an immense cake of ice, and the buf- 
falo and all animals tliat graze and do not browse were nearly exterminated.^ 

Frank Russell had an unsuccessful hunt for the animals in Janu- 
ary, 1894, in the Buffalo River region, southwest of Fort Resolution. 
He says: 

Black Head, an old Yellow Knife chief, living at the mouth of the Riviere au 
Jean, told me that he had killed * plenty of buffaloes' in the delta of the Slave 
River. About fifteen years ago a few were killed near [Fort] Liard, but they 
are seldom seen In that quarter.'' 

In February, 1894, Caspar Whitney found a herd of about a dozen 
to the westward of Fort Smith, and estimated the total number then 
living as about 150. 

Thomas Johnson gives extracts from the report of Inspector Jarvis, 
who was sent by the Caiuidian goverimient, in Januai\v, 1897, to 
report on the condition of the bison and other game animals of the 
Athabaska region. His report, in part, was as follows: 

The range pf a scattered herd of about .'500 is from l*eare Point to Salt Klver, 
and from Salt River to witliin 20 miles of r^)rt Itosohition, on (Jreat Slave I^nke. 
I met a Mr. Handbury, an English si>ortsnian, who ♦ ♦ ♦ had just returned 
from an unsuccessful buffalo hunt, but he saw the tracks and btnls of about 
eO buffalo.* 

« Ann. Rept. Dept. Interior (Canada) for 1SS0, Part VTIT, p. 01, 1S00. 
6 Ann. Rept. Dept. Interior (C^anada) for isn2. Part VII. p. 30, 1803. 
<^ Expl. in Far North, p. 232, 180S. 
* Forest and Stream, XLIX, p. 323, Oct. 23, 1807. 



i 



148 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. fxo.27. 

Khoads, in 1897, descrilK'd the northern bison as a sutepecies under 
the name BiMon bhon athahasav^ his type being an adult male in the 
collection of the Canadian Geolofjieal Survey, taken by Indians about 
50 miles southwest of Fort Resolution, presumably in March, 1892. 
This form is siiid to be larger and darker, with hair more dense and 
silky, and with the horns slenderer, larger, and more incurved than 
the typical plains species. Regarding its range and abundance, he 
publishes a letter from H. I. Moberly, of the Hudson'-s Bay Company, 
in which he says, in part: 

At present there are not more than two hundred and fifty to three hundred 
alive, and they aro hi two handn, one on the lower Peace River, north of it, and 
run from close to (Jreat Slave I^ke at |to] Peace Point, which is Kome IM) mik*s 
below Fort Vermilion. The otlier iH on the ui»i)er Hay Kiver, ami ranfses be- 
tween Peace River and the IJard River, and run down aome 250 miles east of the 
Roclty Mountains and np to the f(M>t of the Rooky Mountains.* 

One of the latest published items in regard to the northern herds 
of bison is comprised in the following extract from a letter by 
J. A. Macrae, Indian conuuissioner in the Athabaska region in 1900 
(when the notes were written), to Otto J. Klotz, and published by 
him : 

At Fort Chipewyan, Fort Smith, and Fort Resolution I made close inquiries 
into the number of Wood RufTalo remaining, having an op|K)rtunity to do this 
owinK to meeting so many Indians fresh from their {O'ounds— such as, I think, 
no one else has enjoyed. Some of the Indians who came in to meet me at 
each place had lately bwn near the bulTalo and had counted the different 
herds, which are, generally siieakin^. thn»e in nunil)er; one ranging; from Salt 
River to Peace I*oInt on Peaee River, one from Salt River north to Great Slave 
liiike. and on(» from Salt River east and west. They numlHT, I cHMiclude. from 
r»(H» to 575 head. ♦ ♦ ♦ Some 8 or J) were killed last winter, but as 1 tried 
and punisheil those wlio kille<l them it is thought ♦ ♦ ♦ that no more 
depredations will <K*<'ur. I understand that there has l>een an increase, siuiv 
the animals were protectwl, of i)erliaps a couple of hundred, and It would ap^iear 
to be only nwessary to continue vigorous protective measures in order to 
lKTi)ctuate the herd.'' 

MacFarlane states that during a residence of fifteen years (1870 to 
1885), at Fort Chipewyan, the fort hunters seldom failed to kill a 
few bison each winter, mainly on the north side of lower Peace River. 
In the winter of 1871-72 an Indian shot an albinistic individual, of a 
faint yellowish white color, »^5 miles northwest of Fort McMurray. 
In March, 187l>, a herd of 20 was discovered near the Birch Moun- 
tain, and all were killed. According to Indian report the animal 
rarely has more than one calf at a bii'th.'' 

«Proc. A<ad. Nat. Sci. Thiln., 1S!)7, pp. 41)7, 4I)S. For additional details rt- 
ganlhiK the extent of ran^e and numbers of this si)ecies during recent years, 
sei» Allen, Hull. Am. Mus. Nal. Hist., XIII, pp. («-()7, 1900. 

M)ttawa Nat., XIV. pp. 22S. 22I», 11K)1. 

<^Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII, i>. Wn, 11K)5. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 149 

In a journal of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Simpson I 
found mention of two buffalo bulls killed April 29, 1831, near the 
mouth of Martin River, a small stream which enters the Mackenzie 
from the west 8 miles below Fort Simpson. The occurrence of the 
animals at this point was said to be unique in the experience of the 
natives, and this note probably constitutes the northernmost known 
record of the occurrence of the recent animal on the Mackenzie. 

About thirty years ago, according to testimony received from sev- 
eral independent sources, about 90 buffaloes were drowned in a 
small lake whose outlet, about 20 miles in length, and apparently 
the Petite Riviere Bouffante of Bell's map, enters the Athabaska 
near Boiler Rapid from the southward. The animals attempted 
to cross the lake during the early part of the winter before the ice 
had formed sufficiently to bear their weight, and were precipitated 
into the water, from which they were unable to escape. The ice 
formed about their bodies, and in this natural refrigerator their flesh 
was preserved, and provided a ready means of subsistence to numbers 
of the natives who resorted to the place for the w inter. 

During our visits to the region we were unable to get very definite 
information as to the present range and number of bison, owing to 
the fact that press of other work made it impossible for us to visit 
their haunts. Reports from the natives were unsatisfactory, since 
much of the country inhabited by the bison is not well stocked with 
large game of other species, and the huntei's do not (*over it so thor- 
oughly as formerly." All those l)est qualified to expreas an opinion 
were unanimous on one point, that the herds are much harassed by 
wolves, and that unless something is done to reduce the numlx^rs of 
these fierce animals, the total extermination of the bison is inevitable. 
Merritt Gary obtained the following definite note from Mr. Brabant. 
Hud.son's Bay officer at Fort Smith. During the winter of 1902-3 
two small bands, aggregating 24 individuals, ranged over the region 
five or six days' journey (about 125 miles) southwest of Fort Smith. 
Here a band of 8 was tracked several times in the dense forests, and 
another of 16 rangeil about the southern edge of the Salt Plains, a 
prairie region of indefinite extent about the upper part of Salt River. 
The natives reported that these bands contained no yearlings or 
2-year-olds, all of the young ones having been killed by wolves, which 
have been unusually numerous for several years past. 

The latest definite information in regard to the wood bison is incor- 
porated in the report of Inspector A. M. Jarvis of the Royal North- 
west Mounted Police, who, in cooperation with Ernest Thompson 



« With the exception of one year, the kUliiiK of bisf)ii has been prohihUed hi 
the Northwest Territories since 1893. (The Game Ordhiaiice No. 8 of 1803, 
sec. 3.) 



150 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

Seton, visited the I'e^on west and southwest of Fort Smith in Jnne 
and early Jidy, 1007, for the purpose of investigating the present 
status of the herds. 

On the fii'st trip, in the region of upj^er Salt River, 15 or 20 miles 
southwest of Fort Smith, a herd of 13 wood bison — 2 bulls, one calf 
of the year, and the rest cows and yearlings — was seen. The next 
day, June 15, another lierd comprising 4 bulls, 8 cows, 3 two-year-olds, 
1 yearling, and 4 calves was ol>served within a few miles of the same 
place. Two other trips, to the Little Buffalo River region, wiBst and 
northwest of Fort Smith, were made, but the i)arties were unable in 
the time at their disposal to reach the bison, though tracks a few 
weeks old were siH»n. 

Jarvis concludes that the destruction of the bison is due in part to 
illegal killing by Indians, and that the amount of damage done by 
wolves has been exaggerated. 

Ovibos moschatus (Zimin.). Musk-ox. 

This famous ruminant within historic times ranged over the entire 
extent of the Ban-en (xrounds, from the mouth of the Mackenzie to 
Fort Churchill. It has now l)ecome extirpated over large areas at 
the eastern and western extremities of this range, but still exis-ts in 
great numlK»rs in the less accessible parts of its habitat. (Fig. 13.) 

Edward Sabine first reported this animal from Melville Island, 
where it was observed during Parry's first voyage. lie says: 

'rbis spocios ♦ ♦ • inhabits tlu* North Georgia Islands In the summer 
montlis, * * *. Thoy nrrivcHl in Melville Island in the middle of May. 
cTossiii;; the Ico from llie southward, and qnlttwl it on their return towanl 
the end of S<'pteniher/' 

During Fninklin's fiist northein journey musk-oxen were first 
noted near the mouth of Fairy Lake River, a small tributary of the 
Coppermine, on July 1, l.vjl, a small herd l>eing seen;'* and later in 
the season one was killed near the mouth of Hood River, at the 
head of Rathurst Inlet/ Richardson states that — 

To the westward they are rarely seen in any nnmbers lower than latitnde 
(»7^, altlionKh from |H>rtions of tlH'ir s<miIIs and horns, which are oceasiohaUy 
fonnd ne.ir the northern bord<Ms of (Ireat Slave Lake, it is pnibablo that they 
ranjrod at no very <listant iKM-iod over the whole eonntry lylnj; betwixt that 
jrreat sheet of water and the Polar sea. I have not heard of their having; been 
s(»en on tin* banks of Mackenzie's Klver to the sonthward of Great Rear Ijike. 
nor do they come to the southwestern end of that lake, although they exist in 
nnmbers on its north<»ast»M-n arm. * * * From Indian information we learn 
that to tin' westward of the lvo<ky Mountains, which skirt the Mackenzie, there 
is an <»xtenslv«' tract »»f barren comitry, which Is also hdmblted by the musk ox.** 



" Sui>i)lement to ApiMMidix Parry's First Voyage, p. clxxxix. 1824. 

''Narrative Journey to Polar Sea, p. :i.*^1, 1823. 

'• Ibid., p. :{77, ISL>:j. 

''Fauna lion^ali-Americana. 1, p. 275, 1820. 



190S.1 



MAMMALS. 



151 



Thomas Simpson found the animals numerous near Dismal T^akes, 
between Great Bear Lake and the mouth of the Coppermine, about 
April 1, 1838.** A. K. Isbister, writing in 1845, says that the musk-ox 
was said to occur to the westward of Bat Biver.^ Doctor Bae killed 
a large male musk-ox near the mouth of Kendall Biver, a tributary 
of the lower Coppermine, in June, 1851/ Since Bae mentions his 
intention of preserving the skeleton, this in all probability is the one 




Fig. 13. — Present distribution of musk-ox (Ovihos mnsrhatua) and related forms. (Range 
In Greenland Incomplete. Along Its southern bordor the rango has been considerably 
reduced within historic times.) 

described by Bichardson in his report on the Zoology of the Voyage 
of the Heraldj published two years later. 

Armstrong, in his narrative of the voyage of the Inre!<ti(/ator, re- 
cords that tracks of musk-oxen were seen near Nelson Head, near the 



« Narrative Discoveries on Nortli Coast of America, p. 2:54, 1{^3. 
*Journ. Roy. Geog. Soc., XV, p. ;W3, 1845. 
<^Ibld., XXII. p. 80. 1852. 



152 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. ITT. 

southern extremity of Baring I^and, September 7, 1850 ;« five were 
killed October 29, 1850, near the northern extremity of Prince Albert 
Land ; ^ others were killed at Mercy Bay, Banks Land, in the summer 
of 1852/ M'Doiigall, in his narrative of the voyage of the Resolute. 
records that remains were seen on I^owther Island ; ' near Hardy Bay 
the species was observed in great numbers, about 70 being seen at one 
time:*" a white musk-ox cow was seen June 18, 1853, at Cape Smyth 
by Lieutenant Mecham ; f six individuals were seen at Cape Mudge, 
Hecla and Griper Bay, Melville Island ; and two were killed on Byam 
Martin Island in the summer of 1853;^ a total of 114 individuals 
were shot on Melville Island l^etween September, 1852, and Septem- 
ber, 1853.* J. C. Ross states that a few were found near the Isthmus 
of Boothia, where one was killed in April, 1830.* Kennedy states 
that many tracks of musk-oxen were ol>served in the spring of 1852 
on the coast of North Somerset near Cape Garry and southward.^ 
Osborn records tracks seen on the north shore of Prince of Wales 
I^nd in the spring of IHr)!.*^ McCormick in August, 1852, found the 
skull and horns of a musk-ox on the shores of Clarke Bay, and tracks 
on Baring Bay, North Devon.' 

During Warburton Pike's explorations in the Barren Grounds 
north of the eastern ])art of (Jreat Slave I^ke in the autumn of 1889. 
he first met with the species near I^ac <le Gras, on September 27; * he 
found it numerous near the source of the Coppermine, north of 
Mackay and Aylmer lakes, in November." A large herd composed 
entirely of cows was s(»en near Sandy Bay, Aylmer Lake, on July 1, 
1890." According to James MacK inlay, who accompanied Pike to 
the Barren Giounds in 1890, the single young one is generally l)om 
in April, and he was informed by Indians that the cow usually buries 
the calf in the snow as soon as it is born, selecting a sheltered place 
exposcnl to the rays of the sun, and that three days after birth it is 
able to run with the dam.'' The s|KHMes abounds along Back River, 

<» Xarnitive IMsoovory N<>rthwost Pjiss-jip*, i». lilo. IS,'*?. 

» Ibid., p. 27r», ISTiT. 

*" Ibid., p. 5;^ 1S.'h. 

** Voyajfo (»f Rrsolutr to Arctic Ho^ions, p. Ktt, 1S57. 

<• Ibid., p. L>SS, 1S57. 

f IbUU p. 1*1M>, I.SIT. 

^Ibid., p. n-J;-), 1>Cm. 

* Ibid., p. 5Ln>, IS.'-H. 

* Appendix to Ross's S(»rond Voyam», p. xviii. IfC^. 

i Namitive St»cond Voya^i' Prince Alhrrt, p. VJHK ISTkJ. 

* Arctic Journal, p. L>20, 1.S.VJ. 

' Mc(V.rniick's Voya^^'s. II. pp. lUJ, l.TJ, 1KS4. 

^ Karn»n (Jroinid of Northern Canada, p. ♦*»."). 1S1)2. 

»• Ibid., p. 102 <'t stHi., l.ss)2. 

ojbid., I>. KKi, 1KJ>2. 

POgilvic, Ann. Kept. Dcpt. Interior (Canada) for 18!>2, Part VII, p. 40, l.SftS 



1908.1 MAMMALS. 1 63 

and Anderson and Stewart saw Eskimo lodges made entirely of musk- 
ox skins at Lake Franklin in the summer of 1855.*» Frank Russell, 
who hunted musk-oxen to the northeast of Fort Rae in April, 1894, 
in company with Indians^ observed the first signs of the animals about 
three days' journey east of the Coppermine; between there and Bath- 
urst Inlet a number of bands were seen.** He was informed by the 
Indians at Fort Rae that five or six years before, the musk-oxen had 
been found in the sparsely wooded country west of the Coppermine, 
but that each year the hunters had been obliged to penetrate farther 
into the Barren Grounds before finding the animals.*^ Caspar Whit- 
ney, during his trip to the Barren Grounds in March and April, 1895, 
found musk-oxen at severffl points east of the Coppermine to the 
northward of Point Lake.* 

A. J. Stone, in the early spring of 1899, saw many tracks of musk- 
oxen to the southeast of Cape Lyon, but saw none of the animals, 
and concluded that they had wintered there and had moved to other 
feeding grounds, probably to the southward. Concerning their range 
to the westward, he says : 

The result of extensive Inquiry anionj? the Indians and Eskimo west of tlie 
Mackenzie leads me to believe that the Musk-ox has not inhabited that region 
for a very long period. Indeed, only a few of the Kookpugni loots east of the 
Mackenzie have any knowledge of their ever having been seen west of Anderson 
River, or anywhere between that river and the Mackenzie. Their western limit 
is now far to the east of Anderson River and IJveri)ool Bay.^ 

Later, in a letter published by Doctor Allen, Stone presents much 
detailed testimony proving the present absence of the musk-ox from 
the region west of the Mackenzie, and states that about 80 were killed, 
mainly on Parry Peninsula, by the hunters and sailors of four whal- 
ing vessels which wintered in Langton Bay in 1897-8.^ 

J. W. Tyrrell, during his explorations between Great Slave Lake 
and Chesterfield Inlet in 1900, found a band of 9 musk-oxen on Sif- 
ton Lake, a few miles east of the outlet of Clint on-Colden Lake, on 
June 27. Later in the summer he found the animals numerous along 
Thelon River, almost invariably on the north shore or on islands. 
The bands of cows and young were easily startled, but the old bulls 
were practically fearless.*' 

Hanbury, during his exploration of Thelon River in 1899, first 
found musk-ox tracks numerous 3.5 miles al)ove its junction with the 

« Joum. Roy. Geog. Soc., XXVII, p. 321, 1S.'>7. 
»Expl. in Far North, pp. 112-117, 1898. 
« Ibid., p. 71, 1808. 

*On Snowslioes to Barren Grounds, p. 185 (map), 1806. 
«Bun. Am. Mas. Nat. Hist., XIII, p. 42, 100(). 
f Ibid., XIV, p. 86, 1901. 

^Ann. Kept Dept. Interior (Canada) for 1900-1901, pp. 118, 121 (pp. 23, 20 
of separate), 1902. 



^ 



154 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

Dubawnt. lie refers to the animars habitat in that region as fol- 
lows : 

On the ninin Ark-i-Iinik lUvor there Is n stretch of country about 80 miles iu 
length hito which no Iniuian l>ein}; enters. The Eslsimo do not hunt so far west. 
II nd Yt^IIow Knives and Doj? Uibs from Slave Lake do not jro so far ejist. 
* * • Thns there remains one spot In the Great Barren Northland which is 
Kucred to the musk-ox. Here the animals remain in their primeval state, ex- 
hlliitin;? no fear, only curiosity*. I approached several herds within 30 yanls. 
photographed them at my leisure, moving tiieni around as I wished, and then 
retire<l. leaving them still stupidly staring a:t me as if In wonder. 

A fair-sized full-grown male shot by Hanbury weighed 579 
pounds.^ He nientioiis a solitary bull shot near the north end of 
Artillery Lake in HK)1, and states that, while the animal was common 
about the lake a few years since, it is now practically exterminated 
in its vichiity.'* On May 10, 1J)02, while traveling along the Arctic 
coast, he ascertained that the Eskimo had seen musk-oxen on the pre- 
ceding day near '\>liite Bear Point, Ogden Bay.** He reports the 
animal fairly numerous a short distance inland from Melville Sound; '^ 
and he killed a large bull near the head of Dease River on August 7. 
The paunch of this animal cimtained nothing but willows.** Hubert 
Darrell, who accompanied Hanbury through this region in 1901-2, 
informs me by letter that the musk-ox ranges south to latitude 03° in 
the neighborhood of Dubawnt Lake, thence westerly to Campl)ell 
Lake and to Walmsley Lake. He thinks a line drawn from this point 
to the eastein end of (ireat Bear I^ake would mark in a general way 
their limit in that quarter. 

J. M. Bell, who mad(» explorations in this region in 1900. infonn? 
ine that when traveling eastwanl along the north shore of (ireat Bear 
T^ake he first met with the species about 10 miles east of Fort Con- 
fidence. 

MacFarlane states that the musk-ox was only fairly common in the 
Anderson Kiver region, comparatively few l)eing seen during his 
winter and sununer journeys there. During the winter the animals 
entered the outer s(»ct ion of the foivst and frequently were found at 
a distance of r)0 and occasionally 100 miles from the Barren Grounds. 
As spring advanced they moved northward. He mentions meeting 
with herds s(»veral times near the crossing of Wilmot Horton River. 
The animal is said to produce usually one and sometimes two at a 
birth. H*» states: 

The conipjiny's |)osts at which skins txre usually trade<l are Fort MePherson 
(from tlie (Mjstcni rojist Eskimo), Forts (iood IIofK* and Xorman (from the 



« Sport :uul Travel iu Xorthlaud of ("auada, p. 13, IIKM. 
^Ibid., 1). ;n. IIMM. 
*- Ihid., p. 14S. IIKM. 
''Ii>id., 1). lf;n, IIKM. 
* Ibid., p. 22r>, 11)04. 



1908.1 MAMMAIi^. 155 

Anderson Eskimo and from i)08t Indians wlio specially hunt them), Rae and 
Itesolution, on Great Slave Lake (from Indian hunters), Lac du Brochet, Rein- 
deer Lake (from the inland Eskimo), and Fort Churchill (from the Hudson 
Bay Eskimo).^ 

In notes sent to the Smithsonian many years ago he states that a 
ninsk-ox calf captured on the Barren Grounds east of Fort Anderson 
in the summer of 1864 bellowed like a ^lomestic calf, but with a 
stronger voice, and that in attacking its captors it backed off and 
butted like a ram. 

I was informed by John Firth, for many years stationed at Fort 
MePherson, that some thirty years ago many skins were brought in 
to that post by both Indians and Eskimo, who obtained them to the 
eastward of the Mackenzie. A few from the Anderson River region 
are still traded at Fort Good Hope, and Fort Norman usually rec*eiyes 
a few from (Jreat Bear Lake. During the past few years many 
hundreds have been brought in to Fort Rae and Fort Resolution, 
Great Slave Lake. The large numlH»r collected, combined with the 
fact that most of the animals are killed in the spring, when the robes 
are in poor condition, have conspired to overstock the market. As a 
result, the Dogribs and Yellowknives were instructed to refrain from 
hunting them during the winter of 1908—1, and practically none were 
killed. Happily the range of this animal lies in a region which is 
very sparsc>ly inhabited and not easily accessible, and there neems to 
be little danger that the species will be sensibly reduced in numbers 
for many years. 

Ovis canadensis Shaw. Mountain Sheep. 

Occurs in the mountains in western Alberta and for an undeter- 
mined distance northward. In the early autumn of 1805 J. Alden 
Ix>ring met with the species in the Jasper House region, and in the 
summer of 18J)G, on his st»cond trip to the same region, he again found 
it common in the higher mountains as far west as Henry House. The 
Indians claimed that the animal was not found west of this point, 
and this accorded with his experience. The si)ecies was particularly 
common at his camp 15 miles south of Henry House. It was noted 
also in Smoky Valley, 50 miles north of ,lasper House, and at the 
head of Grand Cache River, a few miles to the northward, and was 
said to occur in the higher mountains all along (he route between 
Jaspi»r House and Smoky River. 

At his camp south of Henry House, where he had th(» lM\st oppor- 
tunity to study their habits, the aninuils fre(|uente(I the higher craggy 
mountains with grassy slopes, <lescending to the salt licks, usually the 
cut banks of small streams, daily during the snnuner :in<l less regu- 
larly in the autumn. They were stupidly tnuie, did not readily scent 
an enemy, and on being approached retreated leisurely and with 

«Proc. I'. S. Nat. Miis., XXVITI, pp. osr,-»;sii. i!>on. 



156 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. fso. 27. 

apparent reluctance. On one occasion the survivors of a band of 9 
stood staring at the hunter and at their falling companions until the 
majority of them had fallen, l^efore they slowly retreated. At this 
place they had not been hunted since the previous autumn, which 
accounted for their lameness. Young of different sizes were observed 
in that region on June 20 and July 6 and 9. At this time the pel^^ 
of the old ones was usually very much worn. ^ 

An adult female taken by Ix)ring 15 miles south of Henry House, 
July 5, 180(), has the back, head, neck, breast, sides, and outer aspect 
of legs wood brown, this color darkest on the legs. A narrow darker 
strij^e extends from base of honis to tail, except where interrupted 
on the lumbar region; rump patch white, tinged with fawn, and 
divided by the dark brown central stripe which extends down over 
the tail; belly, inner aspect of legs, and a small patch beneath chin 
white, tinged with fawn. A young female killed at the same time is 
miK'h lighter than the adult, being mainly of a light dingy brown. 

Richardson, under the name Oris montana^ states that Drummond 
shot many of these animals in the mountains near the head of the 
Elk ( Athabaska), and his account of the habits shows that they have 
changed but little, the experience of the two naturalists agreeing very 
closely in many details.** 

Ovis stonei Allen. Stone Mountain Sheep. 

Concerning the range of this species in the Rocky Mountains about 
the upper Liard River, A. J. Stone, the discoverer of the species, says: 

They aro ftmiul in tlu» KtM-ky Mountains to the south as far as the headwaters 
of the Nelson and Peace rivers, in latitude 50**. But I proved conclusively that 
in the main rnnjje of the Koeky Mountains very few of theui are found north of 
the Liard Uiver. Where this river 8w«»epa through the Rocky Mountains to 
Ileiis (Jate. a few of tliese animals are found as far north as Beaver River, a 
triliutary of the Liard. None. Iiowever, are found north of this, and I am 
thoronj^hly convini-rd that tMs is tlie only place where the animals may be 
foinul n<»rth of the Liard River.*' 

Lydekker recently has (lescril)ed a s|)ecimen in the British Museum 
from Liard liiver under the name Orh canadensis liardenslsS Bid- 
diilph '' intimates that this specimen was taken by Doctor Rae. Since 
the upper part of Liard River is witliin the range of Ori^ stoneL and 
as the figures ami descriptions of the two animals agree in most 
particulars, it is prohabh^ that lianhnsts is a synonym of stoneL In 
a later paper Lydekker comes to the same conchision.^ 

" Fauna noreali-Anierlcana, I. pp. 27li, 27vi, 1829. 

^Hull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., Xll, p. 2, ISUO. 

'^ Wild Oxen, Sliei^p, and (Joats of all I^uids, p. 215, 1898. 

^ Troe. Zoi)l. Soc. London. IKS.''*, p. (170. 

''Gieat and Small Oauu* of KnroiK*. Asia, and America, p. 13, 1901. 



1908.1 MAMMALS. 157 

^ The original of Richardson's figure and description of the feffiale of 
Qvis montana^ which was killed on Liard River,** seems likewise refer- 
able to O. fftonei. 

Ovis dalli Nelson. Northern Mountain Sheep. 

AMiile in the Mackenzie region I failed to observe these sheep, 
since this would have necessitated a special trip into their haunts. 
They occur in the mountains west of the Mackenzie from the vicinity 
of Fort Liard to near the Arctic coast. According to information 
obtained at Fort Liard, the animals are still fairly numerous in the 
Nahanni Mountains. Formerly they occurred on the mountains close 
to the mouth of the South Nahanni, below Fort Liard, but now are 
to be found only farther back in the mountains. In winter they are 
said to frequent the higher parts of the mountains, which are kept 
clear of snow by the wind, enabling them to find food. Limited 
numbers of their skins are brought in to the trading posts along the 
Mackenzie, and are in demand for making winter coats. ^ATiile 
ascending the Mackenzie in October, 1903, I obtained fresh meat of 
this species from some Mountain Indians who had just descended 
Gravel River on their way to Fort Norman. The animals are killed 
also in the mountains opposite Forts Norman and Good Hope. 
While at Fort McPherson I saw several heads and skins which had 
been obtained on Black Mountain, the extremity of the range west of 
the Mackenzie delta. 

The original of Richardson's description of the male of Oris man- 
tana * was killed '* on the mountains which skirt the south branch 
of the Mackenzie '' [Liard], and is apparently referable to this species, 
and his statement that the Rocky Mountain sheep inhabits that range 
to its northern termination shows that his account also refers partly 
to O. dalli. Later he describes the skeleton of one " killed on the 
Rocky Mountains we.st of the Mackenzie, between the fi6th and 67th 
parallels of latitude," also undoubtedly referable to this form.<^ 
McConnell mentions that one was killed in the mountains west of Peel 
River while his party was crossing in the summer of ISSS.*' 

Allen has recorded this species from the Nahanni Mountains, and 
writes as follows: 

Two 8i)ecinieii8 of this spec'es have boon nH:*olvo<l, takon by Mr. Stoiio in the 
Nahaniia Mountains, a spur of the Rockies on the eastern siope, about 61° N. 

« Fauna Boreali-Americana, I, p. 274, 1820. 

» Ibid., p. 274, and plate facinpr p. 271, 1.S20. 

<?Zool. of Herald, Fossil Mammals, p. 87, 1854. 

«« Ottawa Naturalist, VI, p. 131, 181)2. The first published reference to Ovia 
fannini as a distinct s|>ecies seems to have l)een made bj- McConnell in this 
article, in which he states: "Another variation in color was reported to me by 
some miners on the Yukon, who descrii»e<l some sheep shot i)y them on the 
upper part of this river as having a brown patch on both sides behind the fore 
sboulders, and referred to them as the * saddle-backed sheep.' " 



158 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ixo.27. 

I'lioy were klllf*! the latter part of May, IWJS, with the old coat about half shi-d 
The two eoats thiiH represented iH^lng both white, shows that the sinnrles is 
always white. 

As hstatiMi above. Mr. Stone first met with tlie species just north of the 
ISeaver River, and north of the Linrd Kiver l>elow its confluence with the 
Heaver. He adds: "This is their sontheniuiost ranpe, whence it extends north 
almost to the Ar<-tic «-oast. I made very aireful inquiry of the Indians of the 
Kttshotas, Takullas, and Simtotimas tribes, who hunt this ref?ion. and they 
were inianimous in their de<*Iaration that the Black and White Shc^ep never 
mingle tojrether: that the HIack are never found north of the Hejiver River. 
an<i that the White SluH»p are never found south of it. This information was 
Knl>stantiat(Hl by the testimony of the Histolenas or Mountain Indians and 
tliat of the Scliotinas of the IJard River." 

I subjoin the measurements of six additional adult si>eciniens collet^tetl in 
Jiily and Anjrnst, isj>s, by Mr. Stone, but not yet forwarded. They were taken 
in the R<H'ky Mountains, in latitude TiT)" -15', near where the Carcass [Carcajou?] 
River leaves them.*' 

A. J. Stone <rives the ran<i:e of tliis sj)ecies as follows: 

This beautiful inhabitant of Roreal America occupies two separate and 
distinct ran);es. mimely (1) the Alaskan Mountains and the Kenai Peninsula: 
and (H) the entin* stretch of the R<K-ky Mountains north of latitude fiO", to near 
the Arctic coast west of the Mackenzi<N ran^inj; thence west to the headwaters 
of the Noatak and Kowak rivers, that flow into Kotzel>ue Sound. 

lie states that they are in most placets much less coniiiion tlian 
formerly.^ 

Oreamnos montanus (Ord). Mountain Goat. 

Koss listed this sjx»cies as havin<i: bet»n taken near Fort Simpson.^ 
Concerning the range of this animal in the Mackenzie Valley, Fannin 
and (irinncll publish an extract from a letter from MacFarlane, in 
which he says: 

While station(Hl at Forts Simpson, Norman, and 0<kxI Hope, on the Mackenzie. 
I often partook of the flesli of this sptH'ies, killeii by Indians at a distance, amid 
the Ro<-ky Mountain spin-s. The eastern limits are the mountains which extend 
on the Liard. or Tnniajrain. the Pch*!, and the Mackenzie rivers. They are also 
to be met with In the RcM-kics on the npiKT Peace River, but I have never heard 
of any bein;: f<aind to the cast of the Mackenzie, but they come clost» to the 
latter river. <* 

In a recent article MacFarlane states that this species ranges north 
at least to the Arctic C'ircU*: 

At Forts Norman and (Uhh\ Hoik* the company frt»quently receivc»s small 
quantities of the <1rie<l meat of this animal from their Indian hunters on the 
west side of the river and in the mountains.*' 



^ Hnll. Am. Mns. Nat. Hist., XII. p. :\, ISTH). 

Mhid.. XIII, p. 4.*], IIHM). 

'Nat. Hist. Rev., II ( s(H-ond ser.), p. 2Tr», lSt>2. He had previously (Can. 
Nat. and (;e<.l.. W, p. 442, isci) nn-ordtHl spei'imens from La Pierre House, but 
this wns probably an error. 

''Forest and Stream, XXXI V, p. ()4, Feb. l.S. 181)0. 

' Proc. r. S. Nat. Mns., XXVIII. p. (iSo. 11X)5. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 159 

During the autumn of 1895 J. Aklen Loring saw a band of G on a 
cliff in the mountains alK)ut 25 miles west of Henry House, and was 
told that the animals were found throughout the mountains in that 
region. On visiting the same region in 189G he found that those 
observed the previous year west of Henry House had l>een killed by 
Indians just lx?fore his arrival. Several si)ecimens were taken at his 
camp 15 miles south of Henry House early in July. A few seen a 
few days later, not l)eing wanted for sj^ecimens, were allowed to 
escape. He describes their gait a^ ungainly and slower than he 
expected. When the animals started up the mountain from the salt 
lick where they had been disturbed he amused himself by chasing 
them, and succeeded in getting within 20 feet of one, partially cut- 
ting off his retreat. The goat lowered his head as though jireparing 
to charge, but started off to one side and finally succeeded in getting 
past, and then walked leisurelv up the mountain, occasionally turning 
his head to get a good look at his enemy. In this region they were 
less common than the mountain sheep, but somewhat resembled them 
in habits, frequently visiting the same licks. Along the route be- 
tween Jasper House and Smoky River the species was rare, most of 
the country not being adapted to their wants. At a camp near the 
head of Grand Cache River he found wool of this species, showing 
that it occurred there. 

According to information obtained at Fort Liard this species is 
still found in the Nahanni Mountains back from Ijiard, and used 
to occur near the river. It is said to occur also in the mountains 
opposite Fort Norman, but is rare. 

Marmota monax canadensis"* (Erxleben). Canadian Woodchuck. 

The woodchuck, usually called ' wenusk ' in the north, o(»curs in 
suitable places, usually where there are rocks or sandy soil, through- 
out the region north to Great Slave Lake and the mouth of the 
Liard. Owing to lack of material from Quebec, the name canadensis 
is used only provisionally for the woodchuck of the Mackenzie Valley. 

In Jime, 1901, 1 found the burrow of one in poplar woods 10 miles 
below the mouth of the Peace, and another at Fort Smith. In 1008, 
at Smith Landing, Cary saw several skins, said to have been taken 
in the hilly country to the eastward. I was informed that the species 
occurs coramonlv on the sandv ridre ; in (he vicinity of ^^^)rt Resolu- 



« In 1002 (N. A. Fauna, No. 22, p. 47) I used tho nnino Arrtomiia m. cmpctra 
(AIus empetra, PaUas, Nova; Species Quad, e (Jliriiini Ordine. p. 75, 177.S), 
wlilcli was based mainly on tlie Quebec Marmot of Pennant, for llie Canadian 
woodchuck. Unfortunately, however, I then overlooked the fact that Erxleben 
(Systenia Re^i Animalis, p. 3r»3, 1777) had already describiHl the same animal 
under the name Gli$ canatfensis, frivinp the same citaticms as Pallas. Tlie name 
canadensis being thus equally pertinent witli rmpcira, and having a priority 
of one year, wUl stand for the Canadian woodchuck. 



160 NORTI? AMERICAN FAUNA, lxo.27. 

turn. Near P'ort Simpson it is said to be fairly common, living in 
high Any banks. I obtained a female from a native on May 23, IIKH, 
and J. W. Mills secunnl a male on June 20. They measured, respec- 
tively : Total length 455, tail vertebrae 112, hind foot 73; and 508, 120, 
70. The si)ecies is said to abound in the vicinity of the Liard River 
i-apids, al)out 30 miles above its mouth, and at Fort Liard. 

While walking along the bank of the Athabaska at the Cascade 
Rapid on August 17, 1J)04, during my homeward trip, I found the 
skin and head of a well-grown woodchuck which had been captured 
and eaten by a golden eagle. 

Rii-hardson states that this species inhabits the wooded districts of 
Canada as far north at least as latitude 01°.* Ross, under the name 
Arrtonnjs monaj\ recorded a si)ecimen from Liard River (probably 
Fort Liard),'' and also gives the sj^ecies as having been taken at Fort 
Simpson/ Allen, inider the same name, records specimens from Fort 
Chipc^wyan and Fort Simi)son.<' MacFarlane mentions that skins of 
this animal were traded at Fort Simpson, Fort Chipewyan, Lsle a la 
Crosse, Portage la I^)che, (in»en Lake, and Pelican Narrows.* J. Al- 
den I^)ring obtained a si>ecimen at Pklmonton, Alberta, September 14, 
lSt)k It was killed in a grain field, and the species was reported to be 
rare. He t(K)k another on June 5, I8IK1, on McLeod River about 150 
miles west of Kdmonton. They were both males and measured, re- 
spectively: 44(), Vl\. 07; and 510, 120, 75. A skull from Fort Liard 
taken by H. R. Ross, and probably the one recorded by him (loc. cit.), 
is in the National Museum. Skins and skulls from the region agree 
esv;en(ially with specimens from the Hudson Bay region. 

Marmota caligata (Kschscholtz). Hoary Mannot. 

This large woodchuck inhabits the Rocky Mountains and their 
spurs west of the ilackenzie, north at least to near the Arctic Circle. 

Harmon ^ menti(ms this aninml under the name 'whistler' as an 
iidiabitant of the mountains near the upper part of Peace River, and 
Mackenzie met with it farther to the westwanl. Richardson, under 
the name Arrfitnn/H pniinosuH^ quotes the description of one which 
was killed on the south branch of the Mackenzie (Liard). ^ AlleiK 
under the same name, records specimens from Fort Liard and Fort 
(lood Hope.* 

" Knuiia lUironli-Aiiiriifaiia, I, p. 147, 1829. 
''('an. Nat. aiul (Jeol.. VI, p. 442, 1861. 
'Nat. Hist. Kov., IF ( stroml ser.K p. 274, 1862. 
'' Monotfiaplis N. A. KodcMitla. p. 010, 1S77. 

• PnK-. r. S. Nat. Mus.. XXVIII. p. 7.'>1. 1905. 
^.Tniirnal <»f Voyajres and Travels, p. 427, 1820. 
^ Fauna Hoioali-Anioricana, I. p. 151, 1829. 

* Monographs N. A. K<Klontia, i». 020, 1877. 



1908.1 MAMMALS. 161 

On September 28, 1895, during Loring's trip to western Alberta, 
several were seen in the mountains w^est of Henry House, and a young 
specimen was taken. At this time there had been a heavy fall of 
snow, but most of it had melted. In 1896 Loring found the species 
common at and above the timber line near his camp 15 miles south of 
Henry House in July, and observed several about one-quarter grown 
about the first of the month. In many places the entrances to theii' 
holes were in snowdrifts, and the animals could be seen seated there 
on sunny days. A well-grown female was taken on July 7. It meas- 
ured: 616, 202, 85. In the late summer and early autumn, he re- 
ported the species common at and above timber line in the high 
mountains between Jasper House and Smoky River, When he 
visited the mountains 25 miles west of Henry House about the mid- 
dle of October, the animals had hibernated, but he saw many skulls 
about an Indian camp, and judged that the species was common 
there. 

John Firth, Hudson's Bay officer in charge of Fort McPherson, 
who has spent many years in that region, informed me that this 
species, which he accurately described, occurs in the mountains about 
the headwaters of the Porcupine. From other sources I learned 
that it is a well-known inhabitant of the mountains about Fort liiard. 

Citellus (Colobotis) parryi (Richardson). Hudson Bay Spermophile. 

Ground squirrels inhabit the entire area of the Barren Grounds 
across the northern part of the region now under review (see PI. 
XX), and are usually abundant Tvherever found. In the absence 
of specimens it is impossible to draw a definite line between the habi- 
tats of C. parryi and of kennicotfl^ which is the form found about 
the mouth of the Mackenzie, and with which panyi undoubtedly 
intergrades. It being desirable, however, to separate the records, 
I have taken the watershed between the Coppermine and Great Bear 
Lake as the dividing line, though this boundary is purely arbitrary 
and subject to correction. 

The species was first recorded from the region in Franklin's nar- 
rative of his first northern journey, under the name Arcfotnys tich- 
ardsani^ as occurring near Gordon Bay, Bathurst Inlet.* Richard- 
son mentions seeing many of the animals on the lower Coppermine in 
August, 1826; * later he states that the species abounded in the vicin- 
ity of Fort Enterprise.^ Back mentions the species as (K!curring 
near the northern end of Artillerv Lake, northeast of Fort Reliance; ** 



<» Narrative Journey to Polar Sea, p. 37.S, 1S23. 

* Narrative Second Expedition to Polar Sea, p. 271, 1S2.S. 

^ Fauna Boreali-Aniericana, I. p. 158, 1821). 

'Narrative Arctic Land Expedition to Great Fish Kiver, i). 128, 18.%. 

44131— No. 27—08 11 



162 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. rxo.27 

and King noted it on Back River, above Pelly Lake.*" Pike also 
found it numerous on Back River, above Lake Beechey, in July, 18JK)/ 
Hubert Darrell, who accompanied Hanbury down the Theloii or 
Ark-i-linik in the summer of 1001, informs me by letter that ^^und 
squirrels were very numerous along its banks, and in the summer of 
1002 were common also along the Arctic coast between Bathurst 
Inlet and the Coppermine. Hanbury mentions that one was killed 
on May '29 of the same year near Melbourne Island, and implies that 
it was the first observed that season. lie states that the animals 
are easily taken by hand when surprised at some distance from their 
burrows, and that they form the chief food of the wolverene during 
the summer months.*^ 

Citellus (Colobotis) parryi kennicotti (Ross). Mackenzie Spermophile. 
Arctomiis kvtniicottii Uoss. Canadinii Nat. and Oeol., VI, p. 434, 1861. 

In an article on the animals useful to the Chipewyan Indians, Ber- 
nard R. Ross proposed the name Arctomys kennicottii for the 
spermophile of the lower Mackenzie region. The name has hereto- 
fore been overlooked or not taken at its full value, from failure to 
trace it to the place where it was first used, where it is accompanied 
by a fairly full description. 

In order to present the matter clearly the original description is 
here quoted. Under the head of Marmots {Arctomys)^ Ross says: 

There are three, if not four, si>ecie8 of this animal in the Mackenzie*8 River 
District, viz, A. pruinoHUH — inhal)iting tiie northern Rocky Mountains and 
Nahaunay Hills: .1. Knniicottii — ilwolliiij; in the same locaiitios, with a more 
northern ranpe, and extondinj;: eastward to the Anderson River. ♦ ♦ ♦ As I 
do not think tliat the Marmot, whicli 1 have named A. KvnnU^ttii (after uiy 
friend the enterprisinj: Naturalist Mr. Robert Kennicott.) has bei»u yet (li»- 
serilMxl, I shall here insert a brief notice connTning It. 

It is in size as lar^re as a small muskrat, and in color a silvery gray, inter- 
siK»rse<l with orange hairs on the back, but changing on the flanks into a decided 
yellow, palest ou the belly; tiie tail is short. It has cheek i^ouches, and is de- 
cidedly smaller than .1. momur. In habits, so far as I know, it assimilates 
closely to the other marmots. It is a social animal and digs its den on the 
mountain's side, or in the banks of rivers. ♦ ♦ ♦ Very far north there is a 
variety which is i>erfectly black. Instead of hoary and j-eliow. 

The habitat, as abov(» given, is somewhat indefinite. Fortunately. 
IK)^Yevcl^ on a succeeding page (p. 442), he lists specimens from [near] 
Fort (lood Hope and Anderson River, which may be considered to 
fix the name ou the animal of tlie lower Mackenzie region. Sinw 
specimens from this re/o^ion prove identical in characters with topo- 
types of Spcrnwphihis harroirensis^ recently described from Point 
Barrow,*^ the latter name becomes a svnonvm of kennicottL 



« Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean, I, p. 281, 1836. 
^Barren (ironnd of Northern Canada, p. 183, 1802. 
^' Sport and Travel in Northland of Canada, p. 154, IIKM. 
''Merriam, l»roc. Wash. Acad. Sci.. II, p. 19, March, 190O, 



North American Fauna No. 27, U. S. Dept. Agr. Biological Survey. 



Plate XX. 




Distribution of Parry Marmot (Citellus parryp and Related Forms in Central 

Canada. 



1008] MAMMALS. 163 

AATiile descending the Mackenzie in June, 1J)04, 1 was constantly on 
the lookout for this sperniophile. C. P. Gaudet, of Fort Good Hope, 
informed me that it was not found in the vicinity of that post, but 
occurred l)eside the river at some distance below. Descending the 
river, I saw the first burrows on some sandy hills on the right bank 
about GO miles below Fort Good Hope, and was afterwards informed 
by Pere Giroux, who has paid much attention to the animal life of 
the region, that this point is the uppermost limit of their range on 
the river. They become common on the right bank 50 miles below, 
where the river Ix^nds sharply to the west, and is bordered by a suc- 
cession of high clay banks. Well up on these banks, above high flood 
mark, the animals make their permanent burrows, and are usually 
seen scampering toward them, or sitting upright at the entrances, to 
whistle a moment at the intruder before plunging into their depths. 
Here on June 27 I took a pair of adults and two half-grown young. 
The adults were shy and difficult to secure, but the young were nuich 
less wary. The latter were digging burrows on the sandy shores 
below high-water mark, evidently merely for temporary occupation. 
During the following day, while pui'suing my voyage down the 
river, I saw many burrows and occasionally one of the animals, and 
noted that the Indians had set snares at many of the holes. The ani- 
mals occur in suitable places along the right bank of the river nearly 
to the Lower Ramparts, but below this point none were oi)served. In 
certain places on Peel River near Fort McPherson, where sandy banks 
occur, they are numerous, and I obtained two specimens there on July 
11. They are said to be common also on the mountains west of the 
Mackenzie b^low this point. 
; A female taken near the site of old Fort Good Hope, June 27, is in 

worn breeding i^elage and lias a pale, washed-out appearance. A male 
, taken at the ssune time is assuming the postbreeding pelage. This is 
' nearly completed in a male taken at Fort McPherson, July 11. These 
specimens, compared with topotypes of (\ harroirenntH in correspond- 
^^S pelages, agree very closely. On comparing the full pelag<»d speci- 
mens^ with a series of C. parryi from Hudson Bay in comparable con- 
*^ic:>n, C. kennicotti is seen to differ considerably, being much ])aler 
^hr€:>u^hout. The paler tint of the ochraceous suffusion of the lower 
P^^^"tLs, sides, and thighs is esi>ecially noticeable. 

*^Xie pair taken near old Fort (lood Hope measure as follows: 
^*^l^: total length, 410; tail vertebne. 120; hind foot, 00; female: 
"*'^-> 118, ()2. The two males from Fort McPherson measure, respec- 
tively^ 380, 120, 62, and 380, 110, 04. 

^lie following records in all probability refer to the present form. 

B'^^hardson states that the species abounded about Fort Enterprise and 

N?^^ plentiful on Cape Parry .*' Simpson noted its occurrence near 

« Fauna BoreaH-Ainerlcana, I, i). 158, 1821). 



164 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

Fort Confidence, and its abundance at Marmot Rapid on Dease 
River." Ross mentions specimens from [near] Fort Good Hope and 
Anderson River (loc. cit.). In addition to skins from Ix)ckhart and 
Anderson rivers, localities still repre^sented in the collection of the 
U. S. National Museum, si^ecimens are listed by Allen from Liver- 
pool Bay, Franklin Bay, and Onion River (a tributary of the l-iock- 
hart).^' Russell mentions the 'sifBeux' as very abundant near War- 
ren Point, between the mouth of the Mackenzie and Herschel Island, 
and took specimens at the latter locality in the late summer of 1894.' 
A. J. Stone says : " I saw Spermophiles sitting on their mounds 
among the hills to the east of Darnley Bay early in April [1899], 
during very cold weather.''' 

J. M. Bell, who explored the region of Great Bear Lake in the sum- 
mer of 1900, informs me by letter that he foimd this animal c<mini<ni 
along the north shore of the lake; and Peter McCallum, who has 
lived several years in the same region, told me that it is abundant 
on the ' Big Point/ a local name for the point separating Smith and 
Keith bays, and mainly occupied by the Scented Grass Hills. Mac- 
Farlane, in manuscript notes sent to me, speaks of these animals as 
fairly numerous along the banks of the Onion and Lockhart rivers 
in July, 1860, 

Citellus (Colobotis) plesius (Osgood). Lake Bennett Ground 
Squirrel. 

While collecting at Fort Xorman in June, 1904, I fortunately ob- 
tained from a native a male ground squirrel which he had shot a 
few miles back from the west bank of the Mackenzie, opposite the 
])()st. The species was Miid to be common in the mountains farther 
back, but to be rare near the river. It measured: Total length 350; 
tail vertebne 108; hind foot 55. On comparison, it agrees precisely 
with specimens from Lake Bennett, British Columbia, the type local- 
ity of (\ plenius^ and thus greatly extends the known range of that 
well-marked form. C. pJeshis probably inhabits the Nahanni Moun- 
tains, and other ranges west of the Mackenzie. A specimen from 
Fort Liard, which I have recently examined, is unmistakably refer- 
able to it. 

Citellus (Colobotis) columbianns (Ord). Columbian Ground Squirrel. 
Ground squirrels referred to this species inhabit the Canadian 
Rockies in western AUwrta and southern British Columbia, for an 
undetermined distance northward. The species was redescribed by 
Richardson under the name Arrtomyf< parryi var. erythrof/Iufeia, 

^ Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, pp. 216, 249, 1S43. 

^ Monographs N. A. KcKlentia, pp. 84G. 847, 1877. 

<^ Expl. in Far North, pp. 143, 249, 1898. 

<* Bun. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., XIII, p. 6, 1900. 



1908.3 MAMMALS. 165 

from specimens taken by Drummond on the Rocky Mountains near 
the sources of the 'Elk' (Athabaska).** While in that region in 
181)6, J. Alden luring found the animals rather common in Smoky 
Valley, 50 miles north of Jasper House. They were extremely shy, 
probably on account of being harassed so much by bears, which, in 
their attempts to capture the spermophiles, had dug gi*eat holes in 
many places. They seemeil to prefer bushy flats to hillsides. Seven 
specimens were taken on August 27. Later in the summer he found 
a skull in the mountains about 25 miles west of Henry House. 

Most of the specimens taken are young of the year, though some 
apparently are full-grown. The older ones have the general color 
of the back yellowish brow:), vermiculated with black: upper surface 
of thighs and hind feet, and face as far back as the eyes, bright brick 
red; lower parts tinged with ochraceous buff; nape, sides, and rump 
decked with gray, evidently the fall pelage coming in; tail fringed 
with gray. The younger specimens are similar, but lighter in color. 
These specimens agree closely with skins from various points in 
Idaho, collected in the type region of the ' burrowing squirrel ' of 
Lewis and Clark, the Arctomys vohtmhhmvf< of Ord,'* The largest 
specimen taken by luring measures: Total length, 345; tail verte- 
br«e, 93; hind foot, 53. 

Citellus (Ictidomys) franklini (Sabine). Franklin Spermophile. 

This ground squirrel occurs in the region now under review only 
in central Alberta. It is abundant along the road from a few miles 
north of Edmonton, Alberta, to Sturgeon River, and I saw a few 
individuals to the northward of that point. During the first days 
of May, 1001, when we passed through this section, the animals were 
very active and had evidently been out of hibernation some time. 
They were common in the same region also in 10()3. They frequented 
brushy tracts ar.d the borders of cultivated fields, and were doing 
considerable damage to the sprouting grain. Many were seen during 
our return trip through the region in Septeml>er, but the species was 
then less conspicuous. A single specimen was taken on each of our 
spring trips. 

J. Alden Loring took a specimen at Edmonton Septeml)er 19, 1804. 
It was killed beneath a shock of oats, where it had collected about 
half a pettk of grain. It is an adult male, and measured : Total 
length 294, tail vertebra* 147, hind foot 55. 

The type locality of this sj^ecies is sometimes given as Cumberland 
House, probably from Sabine's statement that it was obtained there,'' 
but the correct locality was evidently Carlton House, since Richard- 

*» Fauna Boreali-Ainerioana, I, i». KJl, 1S20. 

*See Merrlaiii. X. A. Fauna. No. .^ p. ril), ISin. 

''Narrative t»f Journey to Polar Sea, Ai)iK;!ulix, p. (Mi'J, 1S23. 



166 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 1x0.27. 

son, who undoubtedly collected the type specimen^ states that the 
species was found only at that locality, where it made its appearance 
about three weeks later in the spring than Richardson's ground 
scjuirrel.'' 

In notes sent to Dr. C. Hart Merriam by John Macoun some years 
ago he states that this sjwcies was observed at Athabaska Landing. 

Citcllus (Ictidomys) tridecemlineatus (Mitchill). Thirteen-lined Si>er- 

niophile. 

This six»cies is abundant locally along the road from a few miles 
north of Edmonton. All>erta, to Athabaska I^anding. The animals 
usuall}' frequent open uncultivated fields, but frequently weiv seen 
running across the road in the poplar-covered tracts. 

Besides a specimen or two taken by us near Sturgeon River on our 
spring trips through the region the Biological Survey colle<»tion con- 
tains specimens collected by J. Alden Loring at Edmonton in Sep- 
temlx*r, 1894, and others taken by G. F. Dippie at Edmonton and 
Red Deer, All)erta, in Septemlx^r, 1899. Three adults from Edmon- 
ton average: Total length 'J87, tail vertebra* 101, hind foot 39. 

Richardson red(»scribed this species under the name Arrtomys 
( S perm oph this) hoodli. from Carlton House. He gives the north- 
ern limit of its habitat as latitude 55°, but assigns no definite lo- 
cality.'' 

Citellus (Callospermophilas) cinerascens (Merriam). Northern Mantled 
Spermophile. 

This species is a rather common inhabitant of the mountains of 
western Alberta. It was first recorded from there under the name 
Arrtotnj/f< (Spciutophilm^) IftferaiJs, by Richardson, who states that 
Drummond obtained several specimens " on the Rocky Mountains, in 
latitude 57°/' i)robab]y in the Jasper House region.'' 

In 1895 J. Alden Ix)ring took two specimens at Jasper House on 
August '27, and thinks that the species hibernated soon afterwards. 
In I89() he found the species in the mountains 15 miles south of 
Henry House in July, taking a numlx^r of specimens, and in the 
early autumn notiMl it as lather commcm north of Jasper House, where 
it inhabited rock slide-; and grassy slopes. He collected sj^ecimens on 
Grand Cache River at points (>() and 70 miles north of Jasper House 



" Fauna Bonsili-Ainerirana, I, p. ICiS, ^S'J^). 

^' n)ia., ]). ITS, is-jt>. 

''Ibid., p. IT.'. 1S2!). I^itltiido 57° of Uicliardson, frequently used by him in 
<-(>nnec*tion with sptH-iinons collected by Driinunond In tlie Kooky Mogntaiiifv 
is iiicornrt. and iniuli confusion lias resnltcnl from this statement of latitude 
belnj: taken literally. The most nortlH'rn iM»int reaohetl by Drinnnunul was 
probably short of latitude Tu\° , (StH» itinerary of Thomas Drummond, p. <i0J 



1008.] MAMMALS. 167 

August 31 to September 5. Most of the specimens are changing from 
summer to fall pelage, a few having the intense chestnut mantle and 
nearly all showing traces of it. 

Eutamias borealis (Allen). Liard River Chipmunk. 

Chipmunks referred to this species occur rather commonly in the 
Athabaska, Slave, and upper Mackenzie valleys. In the original 
description of Tamian aHiaticns boreal U'' the name ''was allowed to 
cover the Old World T. aniatlcus as well as the form of the American 
fur countries/''^ In 1890, when Allen restricted the name to the 
American form, he designated as the type No. 0500, U. S. Nat. Mus., 
from Fort Liard, remarking that No. 8994 (coll. (\ Hart Merriam) 
was practically identical with it.^ In now using the name E, horealis 
for the chipmunk of the Athabaska and upper Mackenzie region this 
remark plays an important ])art, since the type specimen is not now 
available, and the discovery of the fact that EutamkiH mniceps in- 
habits the Nahanni Mountains (which range extends close to Fort 
Liard), within less than 150 miles of that post, indicates that the 
Fort Liard aninuil may possibly Ix? the same form. The specimen 
mentioned by Allen, however. No. 8994 (coll. C. Hart Merriam), 
taken at Deadwood, South Dakota, whether or not specifically identi- 
cal with the Athabaska animal, resembles comparable sj)ecimens of it 
much more closely than it does specimens of A\ r(ini('cpf<. At present, 
therefore, it seems advisable to retain the name horealis for the 
animal which for some years has borne it. 

In 1901 we noted several about *200 miles north of Edmonton, and 
near Sturgeon River, on May 2. One seen near the latter place was 
feeding on willow buds, which with great dexterity it gathered from 
the slender branchlets. While we were desc»ending the Athabaska 
we saw a few individuals at Brule and Cascade rapids on May VI 
and 13. We saw none at Fort Chipewyan, but found them rather 
common at our camps on the west bank of Slave Kiver 10 and 25 
miles l)elow the mouth of the P(»ace, and colkn^ted several on June 9 
and 13. The animal was rather conimcm at Smith Landing, but 
during several days* collecting on the opposite bank of the river we 
did not see it, and in fact did not note the species anywhere (m the 
eastern bank of Slave Kiver. AVe ()l)served a inunber on Smith Port- 
age, and collected several at Fort Smith. June 22 to 28. At Fort 
Resolution we noted a few and t(M)k specimens there on July 5 and 8. 
On our return trip we collected two at Fort Smith, August 5, and 
found it C(mmi(m about the rocky hills at Smith Landing on the fol- 
lowing day, collecting a inimber. We noted the species also at Big 

" Monojjraplis N. A. KcKh'iitia, p. T*J4, 1ST7. 
^Bull. Am. Mus. Xnt. Hist.. Ill, p. UK). ISSM). 
'•n)ld.. p. 1(«), ISIK). 



168 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

Cascade Rapid, August 14. We saw it at Athabaska Landing, 
August 30, taking one specimen. Its cheek pouches were filled with 
seeds of Rosa. 

In 1903 we saw chipmunks at several points between Edmonton 
and Fort Chipewyan on our northward journey, and my brother 
and Cary during their outward trip noted the species at Smith land- 
ing and at several points on the Athabaska, including their camp I^ 
miles above Athabaska Landing, where they collected one September 
8. During the same season I failed to detect it to the northward of 
Great Slave I^ake. At Fort Simpson the animal was reporteil rare, 
and this accorded with my experience. A. F. Camsell saw one on the 
Mackenzie a few miles above the mouth of the Liard about October 
25, when inches of snow lay on tlie ground. 

During the spring of 1904 I failed to observe the animal at Fort 
Simpson, but received a report that one was seen on the hills west 
of the post about the middle of May. During my outward trip I 
occasicmally observed it ahmg the Athabaska. 

In September, 1894, J. Alden Loring found the species rather 
common about the borders of fields near Edmonton. He took a num- 
l>er of six^cimens, some of which liad their cheek pouches filled with 
oats, September 10 to 24. During his trip from Edmonton to the 
mountains, in the early autumn of 1895, he observed it at several 
places, but nowhere found it common. He took specimens on Mcl^eod 
River, August 10; at Henry House, September 10 to 12; and at Moose 
Creek, west of Lake Ste. Anne, October 16. In 1896, on again visiting 
western Alberta, he found it occurring sparingly throughout the 
region, and took specimens 15 miles south of Henry House, Julj" 15 
to 17: at the head of Muskeg Creek, north of Jasper House, August 
29; on Grand Cache lliver, 60 and 70 miles north of Jasper House, 
August 31 to September 5: at Fishing Lake, 90 miles north of Jasper 
House, September 17; at Cinuid Cache, Smoky River, September 19; 
and on Muskeg Creek, 15 miles from its mouth, September 25. 

Some of the specimens from near Henry House are larger and 
darker than the rest of the series from western Alberta, and suggest 
the possibility of intergradation with KufamiaH felix. 

Under the name " SrhfiUM (Tamias) quadrivittatua^ Richardson 
recorded specimens procured by Drummond near the source of Peace 
River." Ross first recorded it from Liard River, under the name 
T. qvadnvittatus, stating that it was very abundant there.^ In some 
notes from Ross, published by Allen, he gives it as -ranging north 
to Fort Good Hope, but as being rare at Fort Simpson and north of 
Liard River, and states that at Fort Liard and Fort Resolution the 



« P'auna BoreaU-Ainorlcjiiia, I, p. 1S4, 1S20. (See note on Druuimond's Itin- 
tTury. p. 00.) 

^Oui. Nat. aiul (J«m>I., VII, p. l-lo, 1S(;2. 



1908.) • MAMMALS. 169 

animals are very destructive to such garden produce as is raised 
there.* Allen records specimens from Salt River, Fort Resolution, 
Fort Simpson, Fort Rae, and Fort Liard.^ A specimen from Fort 
Simpson, taken by B. R. Ross, May 8, 1860, agrees very well with 
specimens from Great Slave Lake and Slave River, and differs 
markedly from the Nahanni Mountain series of E, caniceps, 

Tyrrell found chipmunks, probably of this form, in the country 
southeast of Athabaska Lake in the summer of 1892/ 

Eutamias borealis caniceps Osgood. Gi*ay-headed Chipmunk. 

While collecting on Mount Tha-on'-tha, at the junction of the 
Mackenzie and North Nahaimi rivers, about the middle of July, 
1903, Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Gary found chipmunks inhabit- 
ing the mountain to its summit. They were shy and rather uncommon 
and were difficult to secure. Four specimens in worn pelage, taken 
July 14 and 17, agree perfectly with a large series of A\ caniceps 
from various points on the upper Yukon. E, caniceps differs from 
E. borealis in several particulars, the gray-fringed tail being its most 
conspicuous character, but the two forms probably intergrade. 

During my trip down the Mackenzie in the summer of 1004 I saw 
a single individual in a 'brule' near the base of the same mountain 
on June 4, and one of my canoemen saw one on the right bank of the 
Mackenzie near Blackwater River on June 9. 

Sdonu hudsonicus Erxleben. Hudson Bay Red Squirrel. 

This species is abundant nearly throughout the wooded parts of 
the Athabaska and Mackenzie region. During our trip in 1901 a 
series of 50 specimens was taken, from the following localities: 
Athabaska River, 60 miles above Grand Rapid, 1; Fort Chipewyan 
(including the several camps near by), 30; Slave River (mouth of 
Peace), 1; Smith Landing, 4; Fort Smith, 7; Fort Resolution, 5; 
Great Slave Lake (mouth of Northern Arm), 1; Fort Rae, 1. In 
this series the rufous phase, which characterizes by far the larger part 
of a series taken in 1900 between Norway House and Hudson Bay, 
is absent, and the tails with two exceptions are edged with yellowish 
gray, this character being very conspicuous. Among the large series 
taken in the vicinity of Fort Chipewyan, May 20 to June 5, 1901, 
only some half dozen are in the summer pelage, the majority being 
in transition from winter to sunnner coats. Tlie species was abun- 
dant, especially at our camp near Point La Bri(», 12 miles northeast of 
the post. Here their nests were very numerous in the spruces and 

o Moiiogrnphs N. A. Rmlentia, j>. 802, 1S77. Those notes may refer In part 
to Eufamias canU^epn, 
* Ibid., p. 805, 1877. 
<?Aim, Kept. Can. Geol. Siirv.. VIII (new ser.), p. 141), 181)6. 



170 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

iheir scolding chatter was often heard. A pair which occupied a nest 
in a hir^e tree IxMieath which we pitched 0!ir tent were aUowed to 
remain iindisturlK>d until their ahnost continual scolding at our 
intrusion rendered their company intolerable. At the other posts 
where we collected they were much less common, and at Fort Rae 
they seemed to l)e rare, only one. Ixiing seen during my ten days' work, 
though one or two othei's were heard. It is probable, however, thai 
they had been killed off by the natives. 

A specimen from Fort Kesohition, taken by Alfre<l E. Preble on 
Mission Island, July ±2, is abnormally colored, Ix^ing very light yel- 
lowish-rufoiis above, very sparingly vermiculated with black: tlie 
central area of the tail is light nifoiis, luimarked. Six s|)ecimen.s 
from Fort Chipewyan, including both sexes, average: Total lengtli 
3:W, tail vertebra* las, hind foot 51. 

During the season of VMU we found the red squirrel abundant in 
the country travei^stnl as far north as (ireat Slave Lake, and Alfred 
E. Preble and Merritt C'ary look specimens at Hay River, Fort Provi- 
dence, and Xahanni Kiver. Along my route l)etween Fort Rae and 
(rreat Bear Lake it was connnon, and I took si)eciniens on upper 
(irandin Kiver and at several other points l)etween there and Mic- 
Tavisli Hay. At my camp east of Leith Point I saw a few trade; 
early in SeptemlMM\ but the forest was too thin to afford the nniniMls 
a congenial habitat. As we traveled westward, however, and the 
country lH»came more thickly w(K)ded, as was the case after we passed 
McVicai- Hay, I found the specit\s common. A number were seen 
and several were collected at Fort Franklin. Adults taken there 
September \\) and ^J.*) had partially assiimed the winter coat, the 
underparts, however, still retaining the unmarked s!unnier pelage. 
Along Hear Kiver and the Mackenzie the six?cies was common. 
Owing probably to their comparative immunity from predatory 
animals, red sfjuirrels were extremely abundant about Fort Simpson, 
especially on the island when* the iM)st is situated. A large serierJ 
was <'ollected during tin* winter of IIMKJ— ^. Hundreds of nests, con- 
structed of grass, bark, and moss, were fo!ind in the trees on the 
island, and many of the animals appeared to be living in burrows 
dug in the ])iles of con*' scales which accumulate under the tree- 
where they feed (see fig. 14). During the winter they lived ahnost 
exclusively on the seeds of tin* white spruce, but al>out the niiddK* 
of May they fed largely on the blossoming catkins of the balsam 
poplar (Po/fuhfs hitlsainifcru). They mated late in March and on 
May I found a litter of young a week or so old in a nest in a sprmv. 
While desceiuliiig the Mackenzie in .Inne, I found the species coninnm 
throughout its course, and took specimens at Forts Norman, (ukmI 
Hope, and McPhcrson. 



iw«.l 



MAMMALS. 



171 



In the early autumn of 1805 J. Alclen luring found red squirrels 
common throughout the Jasper House region and took specimens at 
several localities. He observed large piles of spruce cones which the 
animals had collected for winter use, as well as quantities of mush- 
rooms accumulated on the branches of trees near their nests. In one 
place about a half bushel of mushrooms were thus deposited near a 
single nest. In 1890 he found the species common 15 miles south 
of Henry House, July 3 to 21; along his route between Jasper House 
and Smoky River, August 20 to October 8; and in tlie mountains 
west of Henry House later in ()ctol)er. Specimens taken by Loring 
in this region, mainly in 1895, were recorded by Allen, under the 




Fig. 14. — Pile of Hcales of coni's of white spruco. t'ollectod I»y red squirrel {Sciurun liud- 
Honicus). Fort Slmps(»n. Mureh. 1004. 

name S. h. haileyi^ from the following localities: BanlF, 2; Edmon- 
ton, 1; Jasper House, 0; Cache Picot |lVc()tte|, ?>\ Corral (near 
Jasper House), 1; Henry House, 1 ; ^luskeg Creek, Ji.'' They are in 
the rufous pliase of coloration, and apparently are not separable from 
tj'pical hudHonicus, 

Ross listed specimens from Big Island and Fort Sini]ison;^ and 
Allen specimens from Fort Kae, Fort Simpson, Fort Liard, Fort 
Good IIoi)e, and Fort Anderson/' Tyrrell states that the species was 

«niin. Am. Mils. Xat. Hist., X, p. 1»«L», 1S!>S. 
^Vmv, Nat. and (Jik)I., VI, p. 441, ls<">1. 
'•Monographs X. A. Itodcntia. pp. CDl, r,l»2, 1S77. 



172 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

found everywhere in the wooded country between Churchill River 
jind the eastern end of Athabaska Lake, where he explored during 
the summer of 1802." 

Sciuropterus sabrinns (Shaw). Hudson Bay Flying Squirrel. 

Tliough flying sfjuirrels (X'cur apparently throughout the wooded 
portion of the region, they are rare in most localities, and their 
nocturnal habits and the great number of abandoned woodpecker 
luries available for hiding places insure almast perfect immunity 
fpom detection. On the Athabaska above Grand Kapid, and iflso 
on the upper Mackenzie, we secured almost typical sf)ecimens of 
botli S. HohrinuH and S. alpinus, showing that these species meet or 
ci^rlap, or nioiv probably that they intergrade, in these sections. 
C^sidering their close affinity, the latter view is the more reasonable. 

In the chisk of the evening of May 27, 19()3, while encamped at 
the (^iscade Rapid, Athabaska River, I shot a fine specimen in a 
small grove of ]>oplars, from one of which the animal had been 
roused. It proved to be an adult female, and mea.sured: Total 
length, IW2: tail vertebra\ 100; hind foot, 41. Compared with skins 
from Norway House and Hudson liay, typical S, sahritittx^ it agrees 
ahnost piM'fectly in color, differing only in the slightly paler tint 
above. While collecting at F'ort Providence early in July, Alfred 
E. Preble and Merritt Cary obtained another fine adult specimen, 
a male, which measures JWO, 157, 41. It is apparently typical of 
this form and matches almost perfectly the Ca.scade Rapid specimen. 
The under side of the tail shows as much rufous as the most extreme 
examples of X. sahn'mts^ thus differing markedly fi-om S. alpifnts. 
In both of thes(» specimens the upper surfaces of the hind feet are 
brownish, lelieved by a sliglit amount of white on the toes. 

An imperfect specimen in the National Museum from Big Island 
(No. (ir.O;")) agrees closely in color with skins from Hudson Bay and 
Norway House. Another younger specimen from the same locality 
(No. ^\%^{%), the skull of which can not be found, also is referable 
to this form. Specimens from Big Island and Fort Resolution have 
b(vn re<'onled under the name f<( hiropUrus hmhomus by Allen,^ and 
as S, sahrihUH by Bangs.'" In a lecent article MacFarlane, on the au- 
thority of Pierre Des<^-haml)eault, states that the flying squiri'el is 
not uncommon at Isle a la Cross** and at Lac du Brochet post [Rein- 
deer Lake].' The skeleton of a flying squirrel, now in fragments, 
taken by MacFarlane at Fort Anderson, is also provisionally re- 
fened to this species, and shows that the aninnil probabW ranges 
to the limit of the forest. 



'^Ann. \W\)\. (an. (;«k>1. Surv., VIII (new ser.). j). 14D. lS9a 
''Monographs N. A. JJcMlentla, p. C»(U, 1S77. 
^ Proc. Klol. S(M'. Wash., X, p. 1<;S, ISlMl. 
'TnK-. T'. S. Nat. Mns.. XXVIII, p. 749. 1905. 



1888.] MAMMALS. 178 

Sjiljuoptenis sabrinus alpinos (Richardson). Mountain FIjjEing 

Squirrel. 

This flying squirrel is mainly an inhabitant of the Rocky Moun- 
tain range from the Jasper House region northward at least to Liard 
River. To the eastward of the mountains it apparently grades into 
S. sabrimis^ as before stated. 

^Pteramys sabrinus var. alpinus ' was desc*ribed by Richardson from 
specimens taken by Drummond near the sources of Elk River 
[Athabaska]." Two specimens, male and female, taken by D. E. 
Shoves at Jasper House, Alberta, Deceml)er 15, 180(), can thus be 
•onsidered typical. Compared with winter skins of S. .sahvinus from 
Norway House, and skins without date from Oxford House and 
hludson Bay, the Jasper House specimens are much less rufous, 
he general color above l)eing sepia or grayish-bister; the tail is 
iiueh darker, l^eing dusky-brownish above and but slightly lighter 
)eneath; the upi>er surfaces of the feet are darker: the hiwcr parts 
ire dull grayish-white, tinged with fawn, not conspicuously ditfer- 
jnt from S. sabrhms, 

A specimen, m)t fully adult, taken by us on the Athabaska about 
50 miles above (irand Rapid August 25, 1JK)1, agrees clost»ly with 
;he Jasper House specimens. In December, 1903, while at Fort 
i^impson, I received a flying squirrel from Joseph Hodgson, of Fort 
Providence, where it was taken about December 7. It is a male, 
evidently a young one of the previous summer, and measured : Total 
ength 310, tail vertebra* 140, hind foot 39. The piolt had been 
•etarded, and the specimen is conse(|uently in poor pelage. The 
reneral duskiness of both surfaces of the tail and the lack of 
jrownish suffusion on the back indicate that this specimen should 
>e referred to S. alpinus. 

Two si)ecimens, both males, taken at Fort Simpson March 14, 1905, 
lave been received recently from J. W. Mills, who writes that they 
kvere found in a nest on the branches of a tree, evidently a repaired 
bird's nest. These specimens evidently are referable to S, dlpinus^ 
:hough perhaps slightly inclining toward sabrinus. They are 
-lighth^ more rufous on the back than the topotypes of alpinus^ but 
igree in having the tails much suffused with sooty. The upper sur- 
faces of the hind feet also are very dark, as in typical alpinus. The 
neasurements, reduced to millimeters, are as follows: Total length 
nS, tail vertebrae 146,.hind foot 39: and 305, 127, 30. The skulls are 
smaller than the topotypes of ^S'. alpinus, due evidently to imma- 
:nrit3% but show no striking peculiarities. 

"Zonl. Jouni., Ill, No. XII, p. 511), 1S2S. (See also Fauna Horeali-Ameri- 
rana. I, p. 195, 1829.) 



174 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

With the rather limited amount of material available, I am unable 
lo discover tangible cranial differences between S, ifahrinns and 

In addition to the Elk River specimens, Richardson mentioned 
having received others from the south branch of the Mackenzie 
[ Liard I ; " and Rhoads has recorded two specimens from Fort Liard 
as S, alpinuHj' Ross recorded Ptcrovxys alpinvs as rather rare in the 
mountain ranges of Liard River/ 

Peromyscus arcticus (Mearns). Arctic White- footed Mouse. 

This familiar species is abundant througho!it the region north to 
the lower part of (irandin River and Fort Norman. Diiring the 
three seasons spent in the north we collected a very large series, com- 
prising specimens from the following localities: Alberta: 40 miles 
north of Edmonton; Athabaska River, 5 and 30 miles above Atha- 
baska Landing; Swift Current, and several points between there and 
Pelican Portage; Pelican River; Grand Rapid; Brule Rapid; 
Crooked Rapid; Cascade Rapid; Mountain Rapid; Fort McMurray; 
Fort C^hii)ewyan; Slave River, 10 and 25 miles Ik>1ow the Peace: 
Smith Landing. Mackenzie: Fort Smith; Fort Resolution: Trout 
Rock (25 mil(»s south of Fort Rae) ; Fort Rae; lower Grandin River; 
Fort Providence: Willow River (near Fort Providence) ; Fort Simp- 
son: mountains at mouth North Nahanni River; Fort Wrigley; and 
Fort Norman. A large series from Fort Simpson, the type locality of 
P, arrttrnH:^ on comparison with the rest of the series, shows that the 
species remains remarkably constant over a very large area. The 
principal variation appears in the s(»ries from the upper Athabaska. 
individuals of which have nuich longi»r tails, on the average, than 
typical specimens from farther north. In some respects these show a 
tendency toward Pennnj/stux (nras^ but the measurement of the hind 
foot falls far short of the same dimension in typical oreaa^ and the 
specimens seem properly n»ferable to arrf in/ft. Ten adults from Fort 
Simpson average: Total length 102.2, tail vertebra- 72.2, hind foot 
20; five from near mouth of North Nahanni River, 171, 77, 20.5; four 
from Fort Norman, 1(>5, 75..*>, 20: ten from Fort Providence, 175, ()1>, 
20; ten from P'ort Rae, ir>8.7, 71.4, 20: ten from Fort Resolution. 1<>1, 
71.8, 20.3; ten from Fort Smith, 17:^.2, 70.5, 20; ten from Fort Chip- 
ewyan, 107.7, 74.S. 20: ten from 30 miles above Athabaska Landing. 
173, 83.3, 20. The tendency toward elongation of the tail in the 
white-footed mice of the upi)er Athabaska is well shown in this last 
series. 



" F^inna Horcali-Anicricann, I, i». 105, 1829. 

'>rn)C. Acnd. Nat. Sci. Thila., 1S<)7. p. 320. 

^•('an. Xat. and (ieol., Vll, p. 140, 1S(>2. 

^'Mearns, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., II, p. 285. 1800. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 175 

White- footed mice inhabit nearly all kinds of ground, from swamps 
to high, dry situations, though the latter constitute the favorite 
habitat, especially if ledges of rock occur. They are always common 
about the buildings at trading posts, especially during the winter 
season, taking the place of the house mouse of more southern regions, 
and becoming quite as much of a pest. The traveler while camping 
often hears them as they search for food about his tent at night, 
making their presence known in the dry leaves about his bed, or by 
attempts to climb the walls of the tent. 

\Miile on my trip northward from P^ort Rae in August, 1903, I 
took specimens on Grandin River about 50 miles north of Fort Rae, 
but failed to detect the species to the northward of that point, though 
considerable trapping was done. It was next seen at Fort Norman, 
on the Mackenzie, where it is a common species. It is common also 
along the Mackenzie above Fort Norman, and as we ascended the 
river during October we frequently saw its characteristic footmarks 
on the freshly fallen snow. At Fort Simpson I found it abundant 
and active all winter, and collected many specimens both in the woods 
and about the buildings. A nest of young was found in one of the 
houses on April 20, 1904. The Indians say that the animal has three 
litters during the summer. The number of embryos noted in the 
Slave River region during June, 1901, varied from four to eight. In 
1904 I noted seven small embryos in a specimen taken at Fort Simp- 
son, on April 12, and the same number at Fort Norman, June 15. I 
did not detect the species on the Mackenzie below Fort Norman. 

RicKardson refers to the species under the name Mvs leucopus^ and 
states that it was observed as far north as Great Bear Lake." King 
found it abundant in the winter of 1883-34 at Fort Reliance, Great 
Slave Lake, where it established itself in the dwelling house a short 
time after the building was completed.'* Coues records specimens 
from Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, Big Island, Fort Simpson, and Fort 
Liard.*^ Ross records specimens from several localities, including 
Fort Good Hope. The species may have been introduced at the last- 
named post, but it is rather doubtful if it occurs there naturally. 
Allen has recently recorded specimens taken by Stone at Hell Gate 
(Liard River), Fort Liard, and Fort Norman.** 

In September, 1894, J. Alden Loring found this mouse common at 
Edmonton, Alberta, and took a large series. Ten adults average: 
Total length 168.2, tail vertebra^ 75.9, hind foot 20. He took the 
species also at St. Albert, northwest of Edmonton, in 1895. During 

« Fauna Boreali-Anierlcana, I, \\. 142, 1S20. 

* Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean. I. p. 10(), 1836. 

^ Monographs N. A. Kodentia, r>. S4. 1877. 

*Bun. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., XIX, p. 542, 1903. 



176 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. f.^o.27. 

the seasons of 1895 and 189() he found white-footed mice rather 
common in the mountains of western Alberta, and secured a series of 
al)ont 50, including specimens from the following localities: Jasper 
House ; 15 miles west of Henry House ; 15 miles south of Henry House: 
Stony Kiver (north of Jasi:)er House) ; Grand Cache River (70 miles 
north of Jasper House) : and Muskeg Creek. A male from the moun- 
tains 15 miles south of Henry House measures: 199, 101, 21. Six 
specimens from Grand Cache River average : 172, 84, 20. These speci- 
mens approach P. onas in several characters, but on the whole are 
best referred to (wcticxis. The skulls are longer, flatter, and relatively 
narrower than tliose of typical arcticus^ with the lachrymal region 
more swollen, the zygomata less strongly bowed outward, and the 
rostrum longer. 

Neotoma dmmmondi (Richardson). Drummond Wood-Rat. 

This species was described by Richardson from a specimen taken 
by Drummond in the Jasper House region.* Richardson later 
ligured this specimen, at the same time describing it more fully and 
mentioning si»veral others, all said to have been procured in the same 
region. He mentions also another skin, " of a larger, and perhaps a 
specifically distinct kind, procured on the Rocky Mountains in 
latitude ()8°.'''* Coues recorded specimens, presumably referable to 
the same species, from Fort Liard and Fort Halkett.*^ A specimen 
from the former place is still in the United States National Museum. 
I was informed that at Fort Liard, where the animal is said to be not 
very common, the Indians call it the * big mouse.' 

In the early autumn of 1895 J. Alden Loring found the species 
common in the mountains near Jasper House, and collected a series of 
over twenty at that place. Their nests, built of sticks, leaves, bones, 
small stones, and other rubbish, the usual materials, were found in the 
devices of ledges, some of which seemed to have been occupied for 
many years. The animals were called by the Indians * medicine rats; 
in allusion to the musk glands. 

The siM-ies collected is quite uniform in color, the fur of the back, 
sides, and head being I'ght plumbeous at base, with a subterminal 
band of yellowish-brown, and with black tips. The black-tipped 
hairs are most conspicuous on the posterior half of the back, where 
the black and yellowish-brown contribute about equally to form the 
general color. f)n the shoulders and thighs the yellowish-brown 
forms the cons])icuous element of the color, especially in the case of 
the freshly pelaged indivi<luals. The lower parts and feet are white, 
slightly tinged with yellowish, the tails are plumbeous above and 

"Zool. Jonin.. III. p. 516, 1828. 

Tniina Horoali-Americana, I, pp. 137-140, pi. 8, 1829. 

<^Monogrni)hs N. A. Rodentla, p. 24, 1877. 



IIKMJ.I MAMMALS. 177 

yellowish-white below, and in two individuals slightly albinistie at 
the tip. Ten individuals of both sexeis average: Total length 397, 
tail vertebrae 177, hind foot 46. 

Phenacomys mackenzii Preble. Mackenzie I^henacomys. 

PhenacomyH macketizii Preble, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., XV, p. 182. August 
6. 15K)2. (Fort Smith, Mackenzie.) 

One of the gratifying results of our work in the Athabaska and 
Kiackenzie country was the detection of Phe^mcomys^ represented by a 
lew^ form, as an inhabitant of the region, the genus thus being for 
:he first time ascertained to occur in the interior north of Alberta. 

In 1901 we first trapped this vole at our camp on Slave River 10 
iiiles below the mouth of the Peace, on June 11, taking an adult 
Female in poplar woods. We next took the species at Fort Smith, 
where, during the last few days of June, a series of 25 specimens 
was trapped. They were captured in a strip of spruce and poplar 
woods bordering a marsh, the situation being dry, however, since 
:he ground sloped gently from an adjacent poplar ridge. No run- 
ways or burrows were found which could be attributed with certainty 
to this species, since both Microtus and Erotomys were abundant and 
were taken in the same traps. Embryos, varying in number from 
4 to 7, were noted in several instances, and a number of half-grown 
jroung ones were trapped. Many were taken beneath the chimps of 
buffaloberry {Lepargyrcea canadensis) which helped to form a sparse 
undergrowth. We took a few specimens in similar situations at Fort 
Resolution early in July, and my brother trapped one on Mission 
[sland near by. 

In this series' the fur of the upperparts is dark plumbeous at base, 
tipped with yellowish-brown, black, and gray, the varying propor- 
tions of these colors causing some variation in the general color of the 
lifferent specimens; face from the eyes forward, ochraceous; cheeks 
ind underparts grayish-white, grading insensibly into color of upper- 
parts. Ten adults of both sexes from Fort Smith average: Total 
length 140.7, tail vertebrae 32.7, hind foot 17. 

During my trip northward from Great Slave Lake in 1003 I 
:rapped an adult male near the shores of a small lake a few miles 
lorth of Lake St. Croix, 120 miles slightly west of north of Fort Rae. 
rhis individual was taken in dry mixed woods of spruce and birch. 
[t measured: Total length 127, tail vertebra* 31, hind foot 18. The 
dtull unfortunately w^as lost, but the skin can be exactly matched 
>y specimens in the series from Fort Smith, the type locality of 
P. mackenzii^ and is certainly referable to this species. In Septem- 
ber of the .<^me year Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Cary took two 
;|>ecimens in mossy spruce woods on the Athabaska at points 5 and 

44131— No. 27—08 12 



178 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ixo :i7. 

rU) miles above Athabaska Ijanding, Alberta. The range of the 
species in the region is thus ascertained to extend from central Alljerta 
to a point about halfway lx*tween (Jreat Slave and Great Bear lakes. 
It has not been detected on the Mackenzie. 

Phenacomys intermediiu Merriam. Kamloops Phenacomys. 

A female, taken by J. Alden Loring at Fishing Lake, 90 miles 
north of Jasper House, Alberta, September 17, 1896, has been 
recorded, under the name P. orophilns^ by Miller, who calls attention 
to some of its peculiarities.*" It measured: Total length 133, tail 
vertebra* 33, hind foot 17. Another adult female (measuring 137, 
31, 17), taken near the mouth of Muskeg Creek, a tributary of Smoky 
River, near latitude 55°, has come to light since Miller's revision of 
the giMuis was published. A careful comparison of these s[)ecimens 
with the descriptions of P, hitcnncJius (the type and only known 
specimen not l)eing available) shows several resemblances and no 
differences which may not l)e individual. The broad interorbital 
constriction and ascending branches of the premaxilla^ ascrilied to 
hitermedtuH are probably due to inmiaturity. In the character of 
the fur, which is much less soft and woolly than in orophilus. tho 
Alberta specimens agi-ee closely with the description of hifcrmfdhhi. 
The teeth also agree closely, except that in the Alberta si>eciniens the 
outer anterior angle of the anterior lower molar is much less pro- 
nounced. Compared with P, orophfhfs^ the teeth are narrower. In 
color the one recorded by Miller (loc. cit.) agrees j>erfectly with 
ordinary examples of P, orophihiH, but the Muskeg Creek specimen is 
very dilTerent, the upper parts, including the head, being very much 
more reddish. These specimens were taken less than "300 miles from 
the type locality of P, In termed ins, 

Evotomys gapperi athabascse subsp. nov. Athabaska Red-backed 

Mouse. 

Type from Fort Smith, Slave River, near the Athabaska-Mac- 
kenzie line, Canada. Male adult (skin and skull), Xo. 109945, U. S. 
Xat. Mus., Biological Survey collection. Collected June 27, 1901, by 
Edward A. and Alfi-ed E. Preble. Original number, 4235. 

General e/wraeters. — Alx)ut the size of Erotoniys gapperK with 
sides and lower parts lighter and face grayer. 

Color, — Dorsal strijie averaging in color about as in si>ecimens of 
A', (japper'i from North Bay, Ontario, but ending rather abruptly a 
short distance in front of the ears; face much clearer gray: sides 
grayer, with less ochraceous; lower parts white, very rarely tinged 
with creamy, as is usually the case with gapj>eri. 

Trrx*. Hlol. Soc. Wasli., XI. p. SI. 1S07. 



1008] MAMMALS. 179 

Skull. — Only one skull of typical E. gap perl (from Einsdale, 
Ontario) is available for comparison. Compan^d with this the skulls 
of E, g, athahascre are longer, with a less rounded braincase and 
slightly larger bullae, but of coui'se it is inadvisable to attempt to for- 
mulate cranial characters on such scanty material. For an opportu- 
nity to compare this form with skins of typical A\ gapperi^ I am in- 
debted to Gerrit S. Miller, jr., who loaned me a series of ErotomyH 
collected at North Bay, Lake Xipissing, Ontario. They were taken in 
August and are therefore in comparable pelage. As would be ex- 
pected from its more northern habitat, the fur of E, g, athabascw is 
longer and fuller than that of E, gapperi. The skulls of the Xorth 
Bay series are unfortunately not available. 

We found this vole common throughout the region north to Great 
Slave Lake and secured a very large series, comprising si^cimens 
from points on the Athabaska 5 and 80 miles above Athabaska Land- 
ing; Calling River; Swift Current; 50 and 100 miles above Pelican 
Rapid; Pelican Rapid; Cascade Rapid; Mountain Rapid; Fort 
Chipewyan; Slave River at the mouth of the Peace, and at our 
camps 10 and 25 miles below that point ; Smith Landing: Fort Smith ; 
and Fort Resolution. 

In 1901 we found the species very common at our various camps 
near Fort Chipewyan and easily secured a large series. Here wo 
found the animals living mainly in the spruce woods growing in 
valleys and ravines, though some were caught in swamps and in 
mixed woods on higher ground. It seemed to be common also along 
Slave River between Fort Chipewyan and Fort Smith, and a large 
series was trapped at the latter place. The species was abundant in 
a strip of mixed woods bordering a marsh half a mile south of the 
post, and here most of our specimens were secured. In the hurried 
work between Fort Smith and Fort Resolution, it was not taken. It 
was fairly common in the vicinity of the latter post, however, where 
Alfred E. Preble secured a good series of specimens, mainly on Mis- 
sion Island, which is better adapted to its habits than the mainland 
because the woods have not been so much devastated by cutting and 
by fire. In the autumn of 1903 the species was found to be abun- 
dant at various points along the Athabaska by my brother and Cary, 
and a large series in the normal phase was secured. 

Ten adults of both sexes from Fort Chipewyan average: Total 
length 145.6, tail vertebra* 40.0, hind foot 18; ten from Fort Smith 
average: 142, 38, 18; ten from Fort Resoluticm, 14i>.7, 38.:), 10. 

The slaty or gray phase of color, hitherto unrecorded from this 
region north of south-central Alberta, was taken at the following 
localities: Slave River, 10 miles Inflow mouth of Pojhv (1) : -25 miles 
l>elow mouth of Peace (1) ; Smith Landing (1) ; and Fort Suiith (0). 
At these places this phase was represented by less than 10 percent of 



180 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

the siwcimons taken. Our si>ecimeiis in this phase are quite uniform 
in coloration, and differ from those in the red or normal phase mainly 
in the color of the dorsal stripe, the sides and lower parts l^in^ prac- 
tically normal. The dorsal stripe is slaty brown, in some specimens 
very slightly tinged with reddish, and one taken 25 miles below the 
Peac*e shows considerable red, and may be considered fairly inter- 
mediate between the two phases. The series of dark-backed speci- 
mens includes but one young one, a quarter grown individual from 
Fort Smith. 

Bailey, under the name E. gapperi^ records specimens taken by 
Loring at Edmonton; St. Albert; Muskeg Creek; 15 miles west of 
Henry House; and 15 miles south of Henry House, Alljerta." These 
specimens are not typical K, g, athahascw^ but are here provisionally 
included under this form. 

A specimen in the gray phase of color from Red [Deer] River, 
south-central Allx^rta, has l)een recorded by Allen.* 

Evotomys dawsoni Merriam. Dawson Red-backed Mouse. 

This fine species ranges throughout the Mackenzie region from 
Great Slave Lake northward to the limit of trees. During our 
investigati(ms we collected a large series, comprising specimens from 
the following localities in Mackenzie: Tnmt Rock (near Fort Rae) : 
Fort Rae; Grandin River; Lake Faber; Lake St. Croix; north of 
Lake St. Croix; Lake Hardisty : near I^eith Point, Great Bear Lake; 
Fort Franklin; Fort Providence; Fort Simpson; mouth of Nahanni 
River; Fort Norman; Fort Good Hope; and Fort McPherson. 

This species replaces E, g, athaha^rfp north of Gre^t Slave Lake, 
and no evidences of intergradation have been found. The difference 
l>etween the two is so striking that I instantly noted it when I took 
the first specimen of E, dairsoni. In the latter the dorsal stripe is 
much lighter and brighter and grades insensibly into the ochraceous 
of the face, cheeks, and sides. In E. g. afhahasr(v from Fort Resolut ion 
and southward. tht» face, chei^ks, and sides are grayish, with scarcely 
a tinge of ochraceous, the face especially l)eing strikingly different 
in coloration. The skulls of E. (hnrsoni are conspicuously narrower 
interorbitally, and have smaller bidla\ than those of E. g. athahaxrtr. 

Eight adults from near F'ort Rae average in measurements: Total 
length 188, tail vertebra* 33.0, hind foot 18.3; ten from Lake St. 
Croix, 131.8, 31.8, 18.8; ten from Fort Franklin, 128.4, 31.4, 18.5: 
ten from Fort Sim])son, 120.4, 33.3, 18.5: eight from Fort Norman. 
182.7. 84. 18.0; eight from Fort Good Hope, 142, 35, 18.8; eight from 
Fort McPherson, 188.7, 84.8, 18.0. The number of embryos recrorded 
in several instances varied frcmi 2 to 0. 



"Proc. Hiol. S<k:. Wash., XI, p. J24, 1897. 
^ Run. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., XII, i). 9, 1809, 



10O«.] MAMMAT.S. 181 

I first collected this vole at Trout Rock, 25 miles south of Fort 
Kae, early in July, 1901, and a few days later took a small series 
at Fort Rae. In 1903 I found it common along my route l>etween 
Great Slave and (ireat Bear lakes, and took specimens at several 
places. I took a small series also on the south shore of Great Bear 
lAxko near Ix*ith Point, where I found the animals living among the 
rocks on the semibarren tracts near the shore and feeding largely cm 
the crowberries {I\7npetrum nigrum). At Fort Franklin the species 
was verj' common in spruce woods, and a large series was procured. 
It was not very common at Fort Simpson, but a fair series in winter 
pelage was taken. This pelage is characterized, in comparison with 
the summer coat, by lighter color, and by longer fur, the tail espe- 
cially l)eing much more heavily clothed. During my trip down the 
Mackenzie in June, 1904, I took specimens at Forts Norman, (lood 
IIo})e, and McPhei*son, as mentioned above. 

An adult male taken at Fort Good Hope, June 23, furnishes the only 
instance of dichromatism in this species that I have seen. It is in 
the light phase of coloration. The dorsal stripe is yellowish brown, 
only slightly different from the sides anteriorly, but becoming darker 
toward the rump. The red element so conspicuous in tlu» color of the 
dorsal stripe in normal specimens is practically absent. Specimens 
from Fort Liard and Fort Anderson, in the collection of the National 
Museum, have been examined and prove referable to this species. 
Specimens from these localities, as w^ell as from Fort Rae, Fort 
Norman, Fort Good Hope, and La Pierre House were recorded, under 
the name E. rufilvs, by Coues.<» Allen has recently recorded E, daw- 
softt from Hell Gate (Liard River), Fort Liard, and Fort Norman.^ 

Lemmiis trimucronatns (Richardson). Back Ijcnuuing. 

This species w^as described by Richardson from a specimen taken 
by Captain Back on the shores of Point Lake.^ During Franklin's 
second expedition additional s})ecimens were taken on Great Bear 
Lake, and the measurements of one from Fort PVanklin are given by 
Richardson.*' The animal was met with near the head of Back 
River, during Back's journey down that stream, and is recorded by 
King.*" Coues, under the name Myodes ohensis, records specimens 
from Fort Anderson; Anderson River; ' Arctic coast; ' and Peel River, 
those from the last locality taken by C. P. Gaudet, the othei-s by 
MacFarlane.^ A few specimens from Fort Anderson are still in 
the National Museum, but are too imperfect for satisfactory com- 



« Monographs N. A. UcHlentia, p. VAU, 1^77. 
*BiiU. Am. Mils. Nat. Hist., XIX. p. .'VJ7. VMi. 
'•Appendix Parrj-'s StHMmil Voyap*, \k ;{0I), is*jr. (1S27). 
''Fauna Kon^an-Aniericana, I. pp. 1:M>, VM, isiil). 
''Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean, I, p. 2r»o, ls;iO. 
f Mouograplis N. A. H<Hlentia, p. IM.'J, 1S77. 



182 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [3f0.27. 

parison. I have, however, already desc*iil>e(l the specias from speci- 
mens taken on the Hudson Bay Barren Grounds,« which are pn)b- 
ably fairly typical. Allen has recorded specimens of Lemmns from 
Ilerschel Island.^ 

J. C. Ross states that this species was seen on the coast of Boothia 
Felix in considerable niunbei*s/ 

Lemrnus helvolns (Kichardson). Tawny Lemming. 

This species is known only from Kichardson's descriptions of a 
specimen taken by Dnimmond in the Rocky Mountains, ostensibly 
*' in latitude 50 "^ ■' — but in reality from near the headwatei-s of one of 
the southern tributaries of Peace River, or between there and the 
Jasper House region.*' His descriptions indicate an animal mon» 
tawny than Z. tiimueronatus^ but it does not appear that a direct 
comparison was made. 

Dicrostonyx hudsonins alascensis Stone. Point Barrow Lemming. 

Since specimens from Fort Anderson and the mouth of the Mac- 
kenzie agree essentially w^ith topotypes of D, aldscensis^ the follow- 
ing notes are included under this name, though the affinities of the 
animals inhabiting the islands of the Arctic Sea and the eastern part 
of the Mackenzie region are unknown. 

Sabine recorded 'Lemnivs hndsonius ' as abundant on the islands 
of the Polar Sea:* M'Dougall relates that lemmings [probably 
DicroHtonyx^ were seen in innumerable numbers on Melville Island, 
in April and June, 1858, by Lieutenant Mecham.^ J. C. Ross stated 
that a few were noted at Port Bowen in the winter of 1824-25 ;*' he 
later recorded the animal as common at Felix Harbor, Boothia.* 
Back recorded lemmings which were undoubtedly of this genus from 
the northern shore of Aylmer Lake.' Sutherland states that tracks 
of lemmings wei'e fre(|uently observed about the south end of Corn- 
wallis Island in the autumn of 1850.^ McCormick states that young 
were taken at Beechey Island in August, 1852.* Armstrong noted 

" X. A. Fauna, No. 1*2, p. .m, UKd. 

^liull. Am. Mils. Nat. Hist., XIII, p. Gl (In footuote), 1900. 

''Api»en(lix to Uoss's Second Voyage, p. XIV, 1835. 

''Zool. Journ.. Ill, p. 511), 1S28. Sw also Fauna BorealKVmerlcana, I, p. 12l>. 
1821). (Though spcvinions referreil to Lemrnus hclvoluit have recently been re- 
cordiHl fn»ni Cassiar Mountains, TeleRrai)h ('reek, and other points in iiorthoni 
Hrifisli Colunil)la. tliis region is so far from the actual tyiie locality of hvlvoluM 
that the* spiH'ilic id(Mitity of the specimens must at present be considered merely 
as assumptive.) 

' Suppl. to Appendix Parry's First Voyaj^e, p. cijcxxviii, 1S24. 

f Voyaj^e of RcsffJutc to Arctie Uej,'ions, p. 21)8, 1857. 

i' Parry's Third Voyap<». Ai)i>endix, p. 1):5, ls2(;. 

''Appendix to Uoss's Second Voyaj^e. \), xiii, 18:i5. 

* Narrative Arctic I^md KxiKHlltion to (Jnnit Fish River, p. 290, lS3t>. 

> Journ. Voya^'e to Hatlin Bay, 1, p. 302, 1852. 

'• McCormick's Voyaj^es, II, p. lU, 1884. 



1908.1 MAMMALS. 188 

the presence of the animal on Prince Albert Land near Princevss 
Royal Islands, October 10, 1850." Kae mentions lemmings as migra- 
ting northward near the mouth of the Coppermme early in June, 
1851.^ In a later paper he refers to the circumstance as follows: 

I am not aware if it Is generaUy known that the lemmings {Myodes hud- 
**>«icM*, etc.) of Nortli America migrate much In the same manner as do tlio8*» 
of Non^'ay and Sweden. When traveling In June 1S51 southward from the 
Arctic Coast along the west bank of Coppermine River, and north of the Arctic 
Circle, we met with thousands of these lennnings 8i)eeding northward, and as 
the ice on some of the smaller streams had broken up, it was amusing to see 
these little creatures running backward and forward along the banks looking 
for a smooth place with slow current at which to swim across. Having found 
this, they at once jumi)ed in, swam very fast, and on reaching the opposite side 
gave themselves a good shake as a dog would, and continued their journey as if 
nothing had happened.^ 

Under the name Cunindus torquatus^ Coues records specimens 
from the Rocky Mountains near Peel River; mouth of Mackenzie 
River; 'Arctic Coast'; Anderson River; and Fort Anderson.** Allen 
has recorded specimens of DUrrostonyx^ probably of this form, ob- 
tained by A. J. Stone on llerschel Island.* 

MacFarlane, referring particularly to the Anderson River region, 
states that this species Tvas more abundant than Lemmus trimucrona- 
tus. He mentions specimens from Fort Anderson, lower Anderson 
River, and shores of Liverpool and Franklin bays. Two females se- 
cured in the ' Barrens ' on June 26, 1865, each contained 5 embryos.^ 

Synaptomys (Hictomys) borealis (Richardson). Northern Lemming 
Vole. 

Arvk'ola horealis Richardson, Zool. Joum., Ill, No. 12, p. 517, 1828. Fauna 
Boreali-Americana, I, p. 127. 1821). (From [Fort Franklin] Great Bear 
T^ike.) 

HynapUnnyH {Alictomys) hullatns Preble, l>roc. Biol. Soc. Wash., XV, p. 
181, August «, 1JX)2. (From Trout U(x-k, near Fort line, Mackenzie.) 

Our investigations show that this vole inhabits the region from tlie 
Athabaska north to the vicinity of (Jreat Bear Lake. 

Richardson first described Arvlcola borealis in 1828, giving a short 
description of a specimen from Cireat Bear Lake (loc. cit.). A 
year later he gave a detailed description of the animal, which he 
says was found in abundance at Great Bear Lake (loc. cit.). Though 
Richardson does not particularly mention Fort Franklin, it is reason- 
ably certain that the specimens, which he says were taken in spring 



<» Narr. Discovery Northwest Passaj^e, p. 2.14, isr»7. 

«'Jouni. Roy. (ieog. S(X\, XXII. p. SI, isr.2. 

'•Journ. Linn. Sw. London, Zool.. XX. p. 14:5, 1S!M). 

<* Monographs N. A. Rodentia, pp. •JI'iO, 251, 1S77. 

'^Buli. Am. Mns. Nat. Hist., XIII, p. 01 (in footnote). IIHKK 

1 Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIll, p. 73G, 11K>5. 



184 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. fxoUT. 

after the snow had melted, came from that place, where he spent the 
.spring of IS'^C). (See ftM)tnole.) 

Armcola horealis has been variously referred by authors to 
Arricola^ Microtus^ and Pheiuicomys^ usually to one of the two first- 
mentioned genera. A careful study of the very full description in 
Fauna Boreali-Amerieana, however, seemed to point so strongly 
to SyiuiptontyH that I feh I'easonably sure that it actually referred 
lo that genus. On visiting Fort Franklin in September, 1908, there- 
fore, I made a special effort to ascertain if Synaptamys inhabited 
the region and was rewarded by the capture of 8 specimens, includ- 
ing adults of both sexes and nearly grown young. These specimens 
accord so well with the later detailed description that there is no 
doubt of the advisability of applying the name horealis to this ani- 
mal. It may be well to quote the more pertinent portions of Rich- 
,\ rdson 's descript ion : 

The botly and head are clothed with fur, which Is very long in proportion to 
the size of the animal. T^e fur on the upper parts is shining Idaelcish-gray. 
from the roots to the tips, some of which are yellowish or chestnut-brown, 
some black. The hairs with black tips are the longest, and are equally di&- 
tributtnl amongst the others, giving the whole a dark umber or liver-brown 
color, but pro<lueing no si)ots. There is a rufous mark under the ears. The 
fur on the back is about ten lines long, that on the crown of the head is three 
or four. The fur on tlie under |>arts (including the chin and lips) has a lead- 
Kray colour, and is shorter than that covering the back and sides. The tail Is 
round, well clothed with short, stiff hairs, which do not iiermit any scales to 
be seen. It is clove-brown above, and grayish-white beneath. ♦ • » The 
thumb of th(» fore-feet consists merely of a small 8trai)-shaiMHi nail, slightly 
convex on both sides, and having an obtuse i)olnt projecting from the middle 
of its extremity. (Fauna Boreal! Americana, I, j). 127, 1829.) 

Among the dimensions given the length of tail (1 inch=2(> mm. 
approximately), and the length of hind foot (7^ lines=17 mm. ap- 
proximately), accord well with the measurements of Synaptomys.^ 

The first specimen of Synapfomys taken during the summer of 
1901 was trapped on June 12 in a Mwrotun runway, on the border of 
a small meadow near Slave River, 25 miles below the mouth of the 
Peace. A few days later we took two in a wet swamp near Smith 
Landing. We did not detect the species at Fort Smith nor at Fort 
Resolution. On July 17 I took two spec^imens at Trout Rock, S*") 
miles south of Fort Rae, and during the latter part of the month 
ti*a])ped a few about small muskeg ponds at Fort Rae. One taken 

^ Since the above account was written all question as to the application of 
the name borcaHx to this spe<*ies has been removed by an examination of the 
type in the British Museum l)y W. H. Osgood, of the Biological Survey, who 
has found it to bel(Mij: to the j?enus i^pnaptotujfs. Its label Inire the followin}? 
lej^end : ^WrriroJn bnrralus. Mouse A. 42. 10. 7. 10. St»e p. 12. Note l^K>k. 
Awinnak, Dojr-ribs. 4i inches lonjr excius. tail. Fort Franklin. Dr. K." 
(Phk'. Biol. tSoe. Washington, XX, p. 49, 1907.) 



lOOa] MAMMAI^. 185 

here July 20 contained four embryos. On comparing the specimens 
of this series with examples of liie various recognized species of tiiis 
boreal genus I found the Mackenzie series to represent an unrecog- 
nized form, and not suspecting at that time the possible applicabil- 
ity of Richardson's name, characterized the species under the name 
Si^naptomys (Mictomi/s) hullatus^ taking as the type a specimen 
from near Fort Rae. 

In 1903, on again visiting the Mackenzie Valley, we further 
extended the known range of the genus in this region. Early in 
July Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Cary took a small series at Foil 
Providence, and in August, during my trij) northward from Great 
Slave Lake, I took specimens on Sarahk Lake, just north of the 
height of land, and on Lake St. Croix, midway between (treat Slave 
and Great Bear lakes. Later T found the species fairly common in 
the marsh bordering Great Bear Lake near the site of Fort Frank- 
lin, and took a series, as mentioned above. Two or three of these 
specimens were trapped in runways of MJrrofus, and the remainder 
near the border of the marsh about a small bushy ridge which seemed 
tenanted solely by these lemmings, since my traps set there captured 
nothing else. Considering the wide area over which many northern 
species range without appreciable variation (and this is especially 
true of the Microtinee), it is not surprising that these topotypes of 
Arvicola horealis should prove identical in characters with the spec- 
imens taken in the Great Slave Lake region, thus proving hvIhituH 
a synonym of borealis. 

In color this form differs from S. dalli oi Alaska in being much 
darker at all seasons, and it has a shorter hind foot. Cranially the 
two forms do not differ appreciablpr. Four adults from Foi-t Frank- 
lin average in measurements: Total length 120, tail vertebra' 2G.2, 
hind foot 17.6. Seven adults of both sexes, selected from the series 
taken in the Great Slave Lake region in 11)01, average : 128, 24.8, 17.7. 

Synaptomys borealis dalli Merriam. Dall Lemming Vole. 

During his trip from Jasper House northward to Smoky River 
in 1896 J. Alden Loring took two lemming voles on St<my River, 
25 miles north of Jasper House, on August 25. About the middle 
of October of the same year he found the animals rather common in 
a high valley about 25 miles west of Henry House, where they in- 
habited the sphagnum swamps, fi-equenting runways us(m1 hy Micro- 
tus. Here about a dozen specimens, including both adults and young, 
were taken. These, specimens are much lighter and re<l(ler than 
typical borealis and agree so well with a scTies of S. (htUt from 
various points in Alaska that T refcM- them to that form. Tn cranial 
characters S. borealis and daUi agree very closely. In the specimens 
taken by Loring the hind foot averages a little longer than in typical 



186 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ixo.27. 

hovealis^ in this respwt also resembling dalli. Six adults of both 
sexes from the two localities i-epresented average: Total length 128^3, 
tail vertebra* 24.1), hind foot 18.5. 

In the autunm of 1903 Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Gary took a 
series of Synaptorttys on the Athabaska 50 miles alK>ve Pelican Rapid, 
at Swift Current, and at points 5 and 80 miles above Athabaska 
Landing, AHR»rta. In color these specimens re^semble S.. dalli clorscly 
and are here provisionally referred to that form, but apparently thev 
are somewhat intermediate lK?tween horealis and ddlli. The series is 
largely composed of immature examples. Five of the largest average 
hi measurements: Total length 123, tail vertebra^ 21.9, hind f(K)t 17.6. 

Microtus (Microtus) dmminondi (And. and Bach.). Drummond Vole. 

This is the most abundant small rodent, occurring c!onunonly from 
the plains of Saskatchewan and Alberta north to the limit of trees. 
Even north of the area of extensive agriculture it doe^? considerable 
damage about the trading posts, where it enters the buildings freely. 

In the spring of 1901 we saw fresh traa\s of this vole along our 
route IxHween Edmonton and Athabaska Landing, and here and there 
as we descended the Athabaska to Fort Chipewyan, but the animak 
were not common. AVe fii'st secured the species at Fort Chipewyan, 
but obtained only a small series, though we trapped carefully for the 
animals. The species was rare at our camp on Slave River, 10 miles 
below the mouth of the Peace, there being little ground in the vicinity 
suitable for it. Near our next camp, 15 miles below this point, a 
colony was found in a marsh on the borders of a small pond a short 
distance back from the bank of Slave River. Here we easily secured 
a large series, and at Smith Landing and Fort Smith we found the 
sj)ecies equally connnon. At the latter locality we found it (X'cupying 
the haunts of Mfcfotus jcanthcxpiathiiH^ and using to some extent its 
runways. As we did little trapping between this point and Fort 
Resolution the species was not detected, although it undoubtedly 
occurs. It was only fairly connnon at Fort Resolution, and by careful 
trapping a small series was taken in the clearing about the post. I 
took a large series at Fort Rae, mainly near the post, although a few 
were found about some small ponds among the hills to the eastwanl. 

During our trip northward to (ireat Slave Lake in the spring of 
1903 we obtained little additional information respecting this s|Hvies. 
AVhile on their trip to the upper Mackenzie my brother and Caiy 
took specimens at Hay River aiul Fort Providence. On their out- 
ward trip they found it very abundant along the Athabaska, ami 
after each rise of the river noted munbers that had Ix^^n drowned. 
They took sp(»cimens along the Athabaska at Cascade, Stony, Rrule, 
and Pelican rapids; 50 miles above Pelican Rapid; Swift Current; 



1008.] MAMMALS. 187 

Quito or Calling River; and 5 and 30 mile« above Athabaska Landing. 
They noted embryos as follows: Hay River, June 30, nine embryos; 
Cascade Rapid, August 15, four embryos. 

During my trip northward from Fort Rae I found this vole fairly 
common along Grandin River and about some small ponds near the 
shores of MacTavish Bay, Great Bear I^ke. At my camp near I^ith 
Point, early in September, I took a small series among dw^arfed 
birches and w^illows bordering a tiny stream. I secured a good series 
also at Fort Franklin, mainl}^ along a small stream on a partially 
cleared hillside. At Fort Simpson, where I took a large number 
during the autumn of 1903 and the following winter and spring, it 
is common and enters the buildings freely. WTiile descending the 
Mackenzie in June, 1901, I found it only fairly common at Fort Nor- 
man and Fort Good Hope, and collected a few^ at each place, but 
failed to secure it Mow the latter point. 

The large series taken is plainly referable to J/, dn/mmondi^ al- 
though the more northern specimens are considerably larger than 
typical examples of this species from the Jasper House region.** The 
Fort Rae specimens are especially large, and show an approach in 
characters toward Af. aphoTodemua^ descril)ed from the Barren 
Grounds north of Fort Churchill.^ The heavy, widely spreading 
zygomata of aphorodemua^ however, do not appear in the Fort Rae 
skulls, although some of the larger specimens are nearly or quite as 
large as that species. It is highly probable that to the northeast- 
ward of Fort Rae J/, drummondi merges into aphorodemus. 

Five adults of both sexes from Fort Chipew\van average: Total 
length 151.4, tail vertebrae 41.4, hind foot 19; ten from Slave River, 
25 miles below the Peace, average 168.4, 49.1, 19.3; ten from Fort 
Smith, 102.2, 42.8, 18.G; five from Fort Resolution, 160.8, 42.8, 19.6; 
ten fi-om Fort Rae, 169.5, 44.6, 19.3 ; ten from Fort Simpson, 158, 45.4, 
19.C; three from Fort Good Hope, 160, 43.3, 19.6. 

During his several trips in Alberta, J. Alden Loring found this 
species conmion in most localities and took specimens at Edmonton ; 
St. Albert; 15 miles south of Henry House; Smoky Valley, 50 miles 
north of Jasper House; Fishing Lake, 90 miles north of Jasper 
House; and Muskeg Creek, a tributary of Smoky River. At Edmon- 
ton, where he collected in Septeml)er, 1894, he found the animals 
very abundant in the oat fields, w^here they were domiciled l)eneath 
the shocks of grain, and were destroying large quantities of it. Speci- 
mens from the localities just mentioned, as well as others from lessor 
Slave I^ke; Big Island; Fort Rae; Fort Simpson; Fort (lood Hope; 

*» Concerning the lnrKt*r size of northern specimens of M. druiHuifnuli, s<h» 
Bailey, N. A. Fannn, Xo. 17, p. 'Si, liKX). 
*N. A. Fauna, No. 22, p. 52, Oct. ;n, 11>02. 



188 XORTir AMKRTCAN FAUNA. fs«..27. 

Fort AiKlorson : iin<1 Fort MrPherson, have l)een referred to M.dmm- 
iHontli, an<l rirorded by Bailey." 

I)iiriii<r the autumn of IIMM) great nuinlwrs of mice, prohably mainly 
of this species, overran central Saskatchewan and central Alberta. 
They entered the storehouse's and committed great havoc wherever 
grain or other food was stoi*e<l. Innnense numlx»i's, many of which 
were floating down the rivei's, weiv found dead. Throughout the 
country In^tween Edmonton and Athabaska Ijanding we found abui^ 
<hiwt evidence of their former presence, but fresh runways wei^e onlj 
sptn'ingly note^l, showing that most of the animals had disap- 
|)etcre(l. This invasion must have extended over a very large extent 
of^*ountrv. I was informe<l by AV. A. Burman, of Winiiij)eg, that 
smsVIl rodents were so conunon in Manitoba during the same autumn 
that fur-lH'aring animals were trapj>ed with much difficulty, their 
natural food being so easily obtained. 

Microtus (Hicrotus) xanthognathus (I^ach). Chestnut-cheeked Vole. 
This large vole occurs locally nearly throughout tlie wooded region. 
Although it inhabits the valley of the Athaba.ska, we did not detect it 
in the sunnner of 1001 until we reached Fort Smith, where we found 
a colony an<l secure<l a seiies of alx)ut 20 adults. This colony in- 
habited a strip of young mixed womls lK>rdering a marsh alxmt half 
a mile south of the |)ost. The burrows of the animals were in drj- 
ground in the woods or shubl>ery, and evidently were quite deep, as 
I saw nearly a bushel of dirt at the entrance of a single burrow. From 
the buri'<»ws their well-trodden runways extended in various dire<*- 
tions to a <listnnce of 50 or 75 yards, only rarely reaching wet or even 
damp ground. As a rule only a pair was taken in one set of run- 
ways. The favoiite food seemed to 1h» the stems of Equhetttm^ which 
grew luxuriantly in their haunts. Oidy old ones were secured, the 
young evidently not being large enough to run about, though several 
of the females had recently borne littei*s. A female taken June 19 
contained 11 well-developed embryos. The measurements o{ 10 
adult specimens from this l(K*ality average: Total length til2.(>, tail 
vertebne .VJ.S, hind foot *J4.r». At Fort Resolution my brother took 
a few specimens during July, but was unable to find any colony. At 
Trout U(Kk, ^J.") miles south of Fort Rae, I found a small comninnity. 
jiikI took '^ adults and a number of quarter-grown young on July 17 
and IS. Contnuy to their usual habit, the individuals of this colony 
had extended their runways into a wet sphagnum swamp. At Fort 
Ivae 1 was unable to find any evideiu'c of the presence of this mouse, 
though the Indians inforuKMl me that the species inhabited the 
vicinity. 

'^X. A. Fauna, No. 17, p. 'Si, 1900. 



1908.1 MAMMALS. 189 

While we were ascending the Athabaska during the autiiB» wc 
ected the presence of the species at several localities. The rmniis- 
takable burrows and ninways of a large colony were found in deep 
mixed woo<ls on the summit of the hills bordering the valley of the 
Athabaska at Big Cascade Rapid, August 14, and on the following 
day I caught a half-grown individual at the foot of a limestone cliff 
at Crooked Rapid. Evidences of a small colony were found also 
at a cabin near- the foot of Boiler Rapid, and an adult female was 
found dead on the bank of the river 60 miles above Grand Rapid 
on August 25. 

The series from Fort Smith shows little variation in color, some 
individuals being merely a little more reddish than others. Young 
ones from Trout Rock are duller and darker than adults, and have 
the nose patch duller, though always sufficiently bright to distin- 
guish the species from others of the genus without reference to other 
characters. A half-grown young one taken at Crooked Rapid, 
August 15, is in fresh pelage, and is darker and more reddish than 
any other in the series. An adult female taken 60 miles above (irand 
Rapid, August 25, is very dark, owing to the great numl>er of black 
hairs in the pelage. A specimen taken at Cache Pecotte, 40 miles 
east of Jasj>er House, March 20, 1897, by D. E. Xoyes, though in less 
worn pelage, can be exactly matched in color by spiH'imens in the 
series from Fort Smith, and the species evidently breeds in the left- 
over winter pelage. 

In 1903, during our hurried trip to (ireat Slave Lake, we failed 

to observe this species, and I did not detect it north of Fort Rae 

or about Great Bear Lake, though I searched carefully in the vicinity 

" of Fort Franklin, having in mind Richardson's allusion to its occur- 

i rence there. While ascending the Mackenzie in October I found a 

. colony inhabiting a willow-covered island about W miles above Fort 

Norman, but could not stop to secure specimens. No other traces 

of the animal were found on the Mackenzie. In August of the same 

year, while ascending the Athabaska, my brother and Cary found 

several colonies in poplar woods between Brule and (irand rapids. 

Two si>ecimens were taken at the latter place on August 20 and 21. 

A year later, while on my outward trip, I found a large colony on 
the Athabaska 30 miles above Pelican Portage. It must have com- 
I prised many thousands of individuals, and occupied a heavily wooded 
area, at least half a mile square, on the gently sloping sides of the 
valley. I took a series of eight specimens here on the morning of 
August 29. 
i Richardson states that the species was abundant in the immediate 
^ vicinity of Fort Franklin." Coues lists specimens from Fort Resolu- 

« Fauna Borean-Auiericaua, I, p. 123, 1829. 



1 



190 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so. 27. 

tiou; Buffalo River; Big Island; Fort Good Hope; Vqrt McPheixm: 
Fort Anderson; Anderson River; and Liard River.** The context 
shows that the specimens in this list had chestnut cheeks, so there 
seiMns to be no reason for doubting the identification. More recently. 
Bailey has recorded sj^ecimens (in the collection of the National 
Museum) from Fort Resolution; 'Great Slave Lake:' Fort Rae; 
Anderson River; and 'Arctic Coast' [Franklin Bay] east of Fort 
Anderson ; as well as the Cache Pecotte specimens above mentioned.^ 

Microtus (Microtus) macfarlani Merriam. MacFarlane Vole. 

Litth* is known of the distribution of this species, which was de- 
scril)ed from specimens taken by MacFarlane at Fort Anderson.*" It 
is closely related to JI. operarim of Alaska, but differs in cranial 
characters. AVith J/, drumniandi and xanthogruithts^ which occupy 
the same general region, it has no close afibiities, though su[H»rficially 
it closely res<»mbles the former. 

In addition to several from the type locality, Bailey has rei*orded 
specimens from [lower] Mackenzie River; and 'Arctic Coast ' [north 
or east of Fort Anderson]. <* I trapped carefully for it on Great Bear 
Lake and the lower Mackenzie, but failed to secure specimens. 

Mfcrotus (Microtus) mordax (Merriam). Long-tailed Mountain Vole, 
This is a Rocky Mountain species which ranges northward to the 
headwaters of the Liard and the Yukon. Specimens taken by I-ioring 
at Henry House in September, 1895, and 15 miles south of Henry 
House, and on the Smoky River trail between Muskeg Creek and 
Baptiste River, north of Jasper House, in the summer and early 
autunui of 181)0, have been recorded by Bailey.** At his camp in the 
mountains L") miles south of Henry House, Loring found the species 
living in muskegs near timber line. Bailey records also (loc. cit.) 
two spe(Mmens from Liard River. These were taken by A. J. Stone 
at Hell Gate, and mouth of " Black River' [probably the Kachika], 
and were the types of M. cautus and M, rellerosus, respectively.' 

Microtus (Arvicola) richardsoni (DeKay). Richardson Vole. 

This species was discovered l>y Drummond "near the foot of the 
Rocky Mountains '' — somewhere in the Jasper House region. Rich- 
ardson first referred to it under the name Arn'rol^ rtparius, and 
stated, doubtless on the authority of Drummond, that its habits were 
similar to those of the connnon water rat {Arricola amphibhis). '' It 

« Monographs N. A. Rcxlontia, pp. 201. 202, 1877. 

&N. A. Fauna, No. 17, p. m, 1900. 

'^ Merriam. Proo. Washington Acad. Sei., II, p. 24. 1900. 

^S. A. Fauna, No. 17, p. 40, K)00. 

«'N. A. Fauna. No. 17. p. r»0. IIKX). 

/ Alleu, BuH. Am, Mu8. Kat. Hist, XII, p. 7, 1899. 



1908.1 MAMMALS. 191 

frequents moist meadows amongst tlie mountains, and swims and 
dives well, taking at once to the water when pursued." " 

DeKay, perceiving the animal to be different from 'riparius^^ 
redescribed it under the name A, richardsoni^ 

Eight specimens taken by J. Alden Loring at points 10 and 25 
miles west of Henry House, in October, 1896, have been recorded by 
Bailey/ They were found inhabiting wet sphagnum swamps and 
were trapped with difficulty. Xone of the specimens were fully adult, 
but the largest one, a nearly full-grown female, measured : Total length 
208, tail vertebrae 61, hind foot 28. These records from the Jasper 
House region furnish all we know regarding its distribution within 
the area now under review. 

Hicrotns (Pcdomys) minor (Merriam). I^ast Upland Vole. 

Two "specimens, taken by J. Alden Turing at Edmonton, in Sep- 
tember, 1894, as well as one from Red Deer, Alberta, have been re- 
corded by Bailey.'* The Edmonton specimens were taken beneath 
oat shocks in a dry upland field, where the animals were found 
occupying the same locations as J/, drummondi^ but were much 
less common than that species. 

Fiber zibethicus spatulatus Osgood. Northwest Muskrat. 

In the spring of 1901 we found nuiskrats rather uncommon along 
the Athabaska above Fort McMurray, but observed a numl^er on the 
lower pai-t of the river May 17. The species was very common in 
the delta of the Athabaska and Peace, and among the hills near Fort 
Chipewyan we found it inhabiting the muskeg ponds as well as the 
small streams which formed their outlets. We often observed the 
animals along Rocher River, and near the mouth of Peace River 
found them frequenting the small landlocked ponds in dense spruce 
woods, where their well-worn trails between the ponds were very 
conspicuous in the deep mossy carpet which covered the ground. At 
Fort Smith they were common in the marshes to the south of the post, 
and on the lower part of Slave River and in its delta they were very 
abundant. While crossing (ireat Slave Lake to Fort Rae I found 
them inhabiting the islands and shore of the Northern Arm wherever 
marshy inlets occurred, Trout Rock, 25 miles south of Fort Rae, evi- 
dently being a favorite locality. In the immediate vicinity of Fort 
Rae, though the conditions were favorable, I found the aninuils very 
rare, doubtless owing to the presence of a large band of Indians then 
congregated about the post. On our return trip the species was sev- 

<»Fanna BoreaH-Ainericana. I, p. 120. 1S20. 
ftZool. New York, Part I. Maimiialia. p. 01, 1S42. 
cN. A. Fauna, No. 17, p. (M). IIHM). 
<«N. A. Fauna, No. 17, p. 70, lUOO. 



192 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. lxo.27. 

enil times observed, and was found to abound in the streams and 
ponds between Athabaska Landing and Edmonton. 

During our trip we collected a series of about a dozen, comprising 
specimens from our several camps near Fort Chipewyan: the mouth 
of Peace River; P^ort Resolution ; Great Slave Lake near the mouth 
of the Noi-thern Arm ; and 40 miles north of Edmonton. 

During our descent of the Athabaska and Slave rivers in the 
spring of 1903 we occasionally saw muskrats, though these large 
rivers, except at their mouths, offer a less congenial habitat than the 
smaller streams and outlying muskegs. On my trip northward from 
P'ort Rae I found them abundant along Grandin River and in the 
various lakes northward to the height of land. North of this thej 
became less common, and the last ' house ' was seen on a small lake 
a few miles north of Lake Hardisty. I did not observe the species 
while traveling along the south shore of Great Bear Lake, but found 
it rather common in the small lake at the mouth of Gray Goose River, 
near the site of Fort Franklin, and took a small series during the 
latter part of September. Here the animals were occupying burrows 
in the banks and were living mainly on coai'se grass, which was 
abundant on the marshy parts of the shore. 

In the spring of 1904 I took two specimens on the Mackenzie at 
Fort Simj)son. In this vicinity the species is conunon in the muskegs 
back from the main river, and hundreds of skins are traded annually. 

During my voyage down the Mackenzie in the summer I found the 
^jMH'ies abundant in the numerous ponds in the valley of the Nahaimi, 
hut seldom observed the animal elsewhere, though it is common in 
suitable j)laces throughout the region. At Fort Norman large mim- 
Imms are ti'aded annually. At Fort Good Hope the species was said 
to 1k' very conunon in the numerous ponds on Manito Island, and 
this particular locality is a favorite hunting ground of the natives 
and furnishes hundreds ot skins annually. On the lower reaches of 
the Mackenzie and Peel rivers nuiskrats are excessively abundant. 
Thousands jire nnnually traded at Fort McPherson. The Eskimo 
take a great many by means of the bow and arrow, and the throwing 
dart, in the use of which they are very expert. I obtained a series 
of adults at this place. 

A careful com])arison of the series collected in the Athabaska- 
Mackenzie region with sj)ecimens from Alaska, representing F, z, 
.^jHituhifns, and from Keewatin. comprising the type series of F, :, 
hndHonius. leads me to ref(M- the Mack(Mizie series to spatttlatus^ though 
a number, especially those from Athabaska and Great Slave lakee, 
are somewhat intermediate and might without improprietv be re- 
ferred to Inuhoiiius. In general, the midsummer specimens have 
more reddish in the fur than typical apatulatus. The Fort Franklin 



1008.] MAMMALS. 198 

si>ecimens, taken late in September, agree very well with spatidatus 
from Alaska in corresponding pelage. The series of adults taken 
early in July at Fort McPherson are in a very pale, washed-out 
pelage. It is highly probable that this condition results from some 
mineral in the sediment-laden water of Peel River. Specimens from 
the comparatively clear waters of Great Slave Lake, also taken in 
July, do not exhibit this bleaching to a degree approximating the 
condition in the Peel River examples. 

Five adults from the Athabaska and Great Slave Lake region 
average in measurements: Total length 546, tail vertebrae 264.4, hind 
foot 75; five specimens from Fort Franklin average 499, 218.8, 74.6. 
This series includes several youngish individuals; the largest in the 
series, an adult male, measures 540, 244, 80. Five adults of both 
sexes from Fort McPherson average 544, 251, 76. 

The muskrat is quite generally distributed throughout the northern 
region, nearly to the limit of the forest. Richardson mentions that 
the species extends its range nearly to the mouth of the Mackenzie; « 
and Russell speaks of it as abundant near the mouth of Peel River 
in the summer of 1894.'' Tyrrell speaks of seeing it in all the streams 
to the southeast of Athabaska Lake during his exploring trip in that 
region in the summer of 1892.*^ 

J. Alden Loring reported it common at Edmonton in September, 
1894, and along the trail between that point and the mountains in 
the early autumn of 1895. In 1896 he frequently observed it in the 
same region during the summer, and noted it in the valleys and foot- 
hills between Jasper House and Smoky River in (he early autumn. 
A male, taken at Henry House, September 6, 1895, and another from 
£diuonton, have been referred to F. spatidatiiH by Osgood.** 

During the first year of Fort Anderson's existence (outfit 1861), 
500 nmskrat skins were traded ; for the next year 1,500 skins figured 
in the returns. 

MacFarlane states that this animal occurs on the lower Andei-son 
to its outlet, though less commonly than on the Mackenzie. He gives 
data regarding the number traded and sold during different series of 
years, and the notable reduction in numlxMs during certain years on 
account of unusual seasonal conditions or other causes. He states 
that the animals are subject to a liver disease which kills them by 
thousands. They are said to have two or three litters during tlie 
summer.* 

« Fauna BorenH-Anierfcana, I, p. 117, 1^20. 

»Expl. in Far North, p. l.iS. ISOS. 

<^Ann. Rept. Can. (Jeol. Surv., VIII (iu>w s r.). i. l.'JD, ISSK). 

<* X. A. Fauna, No. 10, ]). .S7, lOiK). 

'^Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII, pp. 737, 73s. liior,. 

44131— No. 27—08 13 



194 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Iko.27. 

Castor canadensis Kuhl. Canadian Beaver. 

Formerly abundant throughout this region north nearly to the 
limit of trees, the beaver is now almost exterminated in many parts, 
and nowhere is common, though skins are received annually by all 
the posts tiiroughout the region. During the night of May 15, 1901, 
wiiiie encamjx^d near Poplar Point, 90 miles below Fort McMurray, 
we several times heard the slap of a beaver's tail on the water. ' Cut- 
tings ' were seen on the banks of the Athabaska below this point 
Among a large number of skins seen at Fort Rae the color varied 
from light brown to sooty black. 

During the season of 1901^ we saw numbers of skins at the various 
posts passed on our w^ay to Great Slave Lake. We learned that a 
considerable numl)er arc traded at Fond du Lac, an outpost of Fort 
Chii)ewyan situated irear the eastern end of Athabaska Lake. The 
vast region which stretches from Great Slave Lake to the Rocky 
Mountains at present seems to be the best beaver country in the nortL 
Many skins are brought from the upper reaches of Hay River by the 
Beaver Indians, and from Trout Lake by the natives who frequent 
that locality. The Horn Mountain country also furnishes many 
skins. Along my route l)etween Great Slave and Great Bear lakes, 
the beaver has now become scarce, owing to constant hunting^ but my 
guide intimated that in certain localities off the main route which 
we were following he knew of small colonies of beavers. Al)out 
Great Bear Lake the Ijest beaver ground seemed to be to the north- 
ward of Fort Franklin, and I saw several skins, some quite dark, just 
brought from the hunting grounds about two days' travel to the 
northward. While ascending the Mackenzie in October we obtained 
fresh Ijeaver meat from natives near Roche Trempe-l'eau. 

During tlie winter of 1903-4 several beavers were killed by In- 
dians in the region about Fort Simpson. In the spring the animals 
often descend the smaller streams to the main river and follow it to 
I he mouth of the next tributary. A young one was shot near the 
mouth of the Liard in May, and several adults and young ones have 
been killed in recent years near the mouth of Bluefish Creek, opposite 
Fort Simpson, as a result of this habit. 

AVhile descending the Mackenzie in the summer of 1904 I saw no 
beavers, but obtained information regarding the traflSc in skins. 
About 7(K) skins were said to have been traded during the preceding 
winter at Fort Norman, which receives the fur of a very large extent 
of country, ilany skins are annually traded at Fort Good Hope. 
Skins from the country toward the Barren Grounds, according to the 
testimony of C. P. (iaudet, of that j)lace, are smaller and average 
darker than tliosi* from the vicinity of the post. Fort Andei^son, 
according to the fur returns, never received more than five skins 
annually during the few years of its existence. 



1008.] MAMMALS. 195 

We obtained no skins of this species, but procured a series of skulls 
from various points throughout the region. 

At the time of Hearne's exploration tlie beaver occurred abun- 
dantly throughout the wooded part of the country. lie found it 
plentiful to the northward of Great Slave Lake east of the Northern 
Arm early in December, 1771," and also found some o(x*upying the 
islands in the eastern part of the lake.'' Richardson intimates that 
the beaver ranged nearly to the mouth of the Mackenzie, and states 
that the animals were numerous in the country lying immediately to 
the northward of Fort Franklin.^ MacFariane noted the animal on 
Lockhart River, a tributary of the Anderson, in the summer of 1857.** 
Petitot found the beaver occupying the small lakes on the terraced 
slopes of Grizzly Bear Mountain, near its western extremity, while 
exploring the southern shores of Great Bear Lake in 18(>8.^ Allen 
recorded specimens from Fort Simpson, Fort Good Hope, and Fort 
Anderson.^ In the summer of 1892, while exploring l)etween Atha- 
baska Lake and Churchill River, J. B. Tyrrell found a " considerable 
colony'' near the source of Geikie River, southeast of Athabaska 
Lake.^ MacFariane, from Indian information, states that this 
animal has from 1 or 2 to 9 young at a birth.* 

In the early autumn of 1895, while in the mountains in western 
Alberta, J. Alden Loring saw a few fresh 'cuttings' and tracks of 
beavers, but found the species very rare. During his second visit to 
the region, in 1896, he obtained evidence showing that tlie animal 
formerly abounded in suitable localities throughout the region, but 
had l)een nearly exterminated. Tracks were seen on a small stream 
between Jasper House and Smoky River, but no other recent traces 
of the animals were observed. 

Thomomys talpoides (Richardson). Saskatchewan Pocket Gopher. 

In certain places along the w^agon road leading northward from 
Edmonton, during our spring and fall journeys, wg saw many hills 
thrown up by this species. The most northerly traces seen were near 
Vermilion Creek, 40 miles north of Edmonton. 

In September and the early part of October, 1894, J. Alden luring 
found this species common along the railroad from Calgary north 
to Edmonton. At the latter place he took seven specimens. September 

"Journey to Northern Ocean, p. 223, 1705. 

*lbld., p. 248, 1795. 

^ Fauna Boreali-Aiuerfcana, I, p. lOS, 1S20. 

** Canadian Reconl of Science, IV, p. IV2, ISIM). 

♦^Expl. (In (irand I.nc des Onrs, p. 1Sl>, lso;{. 

^ MonographR N. A. Hodeiitla. p. 44S. 1.S77. 

^Ann. Rei)t. Can. (ieol. Surv., VIII (now mn-.), p. i:U), ISIK], 

*Proc U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVllI, p. 743, 11K)5. 



196 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so.i>7. 

{) to 23, and later he collected the species at both Red Deer and Cal- 
gary. In 1895 he reported it common at St. Albert, a few miles north- 
west of Edmonton, and took a specimen there on Octol)er 30. This 
was still in the dark, worn summer coat. Several specimens taken by 
G. F. Dippie near Red Deer in April and May, 1900, are in the Bio- 
logical Survey collection. Two of these are melanistic, being of a 
nearly uniform sooty color throughout, only slightly lighter beneath. 
The measurements of six specimens from Edmonton average: Total 
length 214.0, tail vertebra 63, hind foot 27.8. 

Zapus hudsonius (Zimm.). Hudson Bay Jumping Mouse. 

During our trip in 1901 we did not detect this species until we 
reached Fort Smith, where we took several in shrubby woods Imrder- 
ing a marsh. Here one afternoon I watched one for some time hop- 
ping about in some willows near the edge of a marsh. He moved 
(piite leisurely, taking jumps of only 2 or 3 feet. Only two were 
trapped at P'oit Resolution, and at Fort Rae, though I trapi)ed 
carefully for them, I failed to capture any. During our return trip 
we took two on the Athabaska, 60 miles above Grand Rapid, on 
August 25. 

In 1903 Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Gary took one at Fort Reso- 
lution in Juno, and while working on the Athabaska in the early 
autunni trapped specimens at Fort McMurray; Brule Rapid; 25 miles 
ubove Pelican Rapid; Swift Current; La Biche River; and 30 miles 
above Athabaska Landing. An adult male taken at I^ Biche River 
on August 29 had assinned the fall i>elage, was very fat, and in all 
probability would have hibernated sckmi. The species was last taken, 
above Athabaska Landing, on September 11. The measurements of 
tliriH* adults fronj Fort Smith average: Total length 210.6, tail ver- 
tebra* 12J), hind foot 29.3; two from Fort Resolution average 216, 
132, 31 ; four from the Athabaska average 220, 34.5, 30.7. These si)eci- 
mens are not separable from typical Z. hudsaniu^i from the Hudson 
Bay region. 

Ross recorded spi»cimens from Portage La I>oche;'» later he gave 
the species as conunon there, and recorded it also from Fort Simpson.*^ 
I have recently recorded Z. hudsonhin^ on the strength of six»ciuiens in 
the National Museum, from Fort Resolution and Fort Rae.** 

MacFarlane reports this si)e(!ies, on the authority of P. Descham- 
benult, as (K'curring at Isle Ji la Grosse and at Lac du Brochet post 
(Reindeer Lake).** 

"Can. Nat. and Ciool., VI, p. 442, 1861. 

^Nat. Hist. Rev.. II (stvoiul ser.), i». 274, 1862. 

^N. A. Fauna. No. IT,, p. 17, ISJK). 

^Troc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII, p. 739, 1905. 



190«.] MAMMALS. 197 

Zapns princeps Allen. Rocky Mountain Jumping Mouse. 

J. Aldon Loring took two individuals of this spi*cies a few miles 
west of Henry House, Alberta, September G, 181)5. In 189() he took 
several near his camp in the mountains 15 miles south of Henry House. 
They were trapped in shrubby willows beside a small stream near 
timber line, and have already been recorded." The vicinity of Henry 
House is the northernmost point from which this Rocky Mountain 
species is know^n. 

Zapns princeps minor Preble.^ Saskatchewan Jumping Mouse. 

Three specimens taken on Blindman and Red Deer rivers, near 
Red Deer, Alberta, in June and July, 1900, by G. F. Dippie, and now 
in the Biological Survey collection, agree perfectly with Z, p, minor 
from the type locality. This form is known only from the Saskatch- 
ewan basin. 

Erethizon dorsatnm (Linn.). Canada Porcupine. 

Though originally abounding nearly throughout the forested region, 
the porcupine has Ixecome rare in most parts of the north, mainly 
owing to its sluggish habits and its desirability as a food animal. 
The Indians are very fond of its flesh, and as the animals, in a fairly 
oi>en country, may be left almost indefinitely with a reasonable cer- 
tainty of l)eing found again when wanted, they have been unable to 
hold their own in most s(»ctions. Xone were seen during the course of 
our journeys, and I obtained only a few records of its occurrence. J. S. 
Edmonton informed me that he had seen a few near Firebag River, a 
small stream which enters the Athabaska about 75 miles below Fort 
McMurray. The animal was reported fairly common in the country 
north of Fort Chipewyan, and in the region about Fond du Lac, at 
the eastern end of Athabaska Lake. James MacKinlay informed me 
that he had seen a few about the eastern end of (ireat Slave Lake. 

In the summer of 1892, while exploring in the region between Atha- 
baska Lake and Churchill River, J. B. Tyrrell found the porcupine 
plentiful about Cree Lake.^ 

MacFarlane states that porcupines are but rarely met with in the 
northern part of the Anderson River region, but are more numerous 
to the southward of that section, though nowhere very abundant in 
the far north.^ 

Erethizon epixanthum Brandt. Yellow-haired Porcupine. 

Data to define the ranges of this and tlie preceding fonu in this 
region are not at hand, but E, epixanthum appears to be confined 
mainly to the region of the Rocky Mountains. Porcupines are occa- 

« N. A. Fauna, No. If), p. 23, 1899. 

* Ann. Kept. Can. Geol. Surv., VIII (new ser.), p. 131), 1896. 

<^Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII, p. 741, 1905. 



198 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo.27. 

sionally killed at Fort Simpson. In some sections of the Liard River 
country they are still rather common, and most of the quills used in 
oriuunental work in the Mackenzie region are brought from that 
quarter. The i)orcupines of the Liard are said to be of the yellow- 
haired form. 

Richardson stated that the porcupine occurred on the banks of the 
Mackenzie as high as latitude 67°, his note probably referring to this 
form." Ross included Liard River in its range;* while Allen referred 
skulls from Peel River to E. epixanthumS 

Wiiilii collecting in the Jasper House Vegion in 1895 and* 1896 J. 
Alden luring found this species rather common. In 1895 he took one 
at Jasper House on September 14, and later in the autumn saw many 
tracks and several of the animals in ' Rodent Valley ' about 25 miles 
west of Henry House. In 1806 he saw one in the mountains 15 miles 
south of Henry Housi* in July, found the species common in the high 
mountains in the early autumn, and saw one in slide rock in ' Rodent 
Valley ' in ()ctol)er. In an article published a few years later he 
gives many notes on their habits as observed by him in this region.'' 

Ochotona princeps (Richardson). Rocky Mountain Pika. 

This s|x»ci(»s was described by Richardson from specimens fn>m the 
Rocky Mountains,' undoubtedly the ones taken by Drummond near 
the sources of Elk (Athabaska) River. Richardson later mentions, 
in addition to thos(» taken by Drummond, several pbtained by Mr. 
Ma(*Phei*s()n from the River of the Mountains (Liard). ^ B. R. Ross, 
thirty years later, listed the species as common among the mountain 
ranges of Liard River.-'' The limits of its range to the northward are 
unknown. 

AVliile in the mountains of western Alberta, the locality of Driun- 
mond's si)ecimens, in 1895 and 1896, J. Alden Loring found the 
species common in the higher ranges, and secured a series of nearly 
50 specimens. In 1805 he took a number at Henry House early in 
SeptemlK»r. In 1890 he found it common in the mountains 15 miles 

« Fauim Boreal i-Aiiiericana, I. p. 214, 1820. 

H'an. Nat. and (Seol., VII, p. 141, 18(;2. 

'' Monojjraphs X. A. Ilodentia, p. 397, 1877. 

''Forest and Stream, LII, p. 345, ISDl). 

^Zool. Journ., Ill, p. 520, 1828. 

1 Fanna Horeali-Auierleana, I. p. 227, 1829. Riehard8on*8 references to n^ 
ports and sptniiuens from the * Uiver of the Mountains,* received from Murdoch 
Mai rherson, nsnally refer to Fort Xels<m, on Fort Nelson River, the principal 
soutliern tributary of the Liard. He sometimes refers si)eciflcal]y to the "east 
branch of the River of the Mountains.** ('*A collection of birds and quad- 
rupcfls, of much Interest, made at Fort Nelson on the River of the Mountains, 
a branch of the Mackenzie, was forwarded to us by Mr. MacPheraon." F. B. A., I, 
IntrfKlnction, p. xix, 1S2!).) 

Cttu. Nat. and Gwl», Vll, p. 1^, 1802. 



1008.] MAMMALS. 199 

i^outh of Henry House in July and secured a good series. During 
the early autumn he secured specimens in the mountains at points 
about 50 and 00 miles north of Jasper House. He took a few also in 
the mountains 10 and 25 miles west of Henry House, October 17 and 
18. The latter specimens are in fresh pelage, and above are yellowish 
brown flecked with black, which in some cases becomes the pre- 
dominating color posteriorly; beneath they are white, more or less 
suffused with ochraceous. Among the skins taken 15 miles south of 
Henry House in July, 1896, are some in a different pelage, being 
much more grayish, but most of them are in process of transition from 
this coat to the fall pelage referred to above. 

Ten adults of both sexes taken 15 miles south of Henry House 
average : Total length 190.4, hind foot 30. 

Lepns americanns Erxleben. Hudson Bay Varying Hare. White 

Rabbit. 

The varying hare or rabbit is common and quite generally distrib- 
uted throughout the Athabaska and Mackenzie regions north to the 
limit of trees. As is well known, the species is subject to great fluc- 
tuations in numbers, gradually becoming more and more common 
during a period of years, and then becoming scarce again, the peri- 
ods of greatest abundance occurring every seven years, according to 
general report, but in reality not recurring with absolute regularity 
nor at the same time in all sections. 

During our first trip to the Athabaska region in 1J)01 we found 
that the rabbits had begun to increase after one of their periods of 
scarcity. We found them rather connnon at Fort Chipewyan late 
in May, and secured a number of specimens, some of which still re- 
tained a few scattered white hairs of the winter jjelage. Between that 
point and Fort Smith we occasionally noted the animals. At Fort 
Smith some of the Indians were living principally on rabbits, taking 
them in snares. Alfi'ed E. Preble secured several specimens at Fort 
Resolution during July, and I took a small series, comprising adults 
and young, at Fort Rae during the latter part of the same month. 

In 1903, v^hen we again visited the region, we found that the ani- 
mals had continued to increase during the interval, and were then 
apparently at the height of abundance. AVhile descending the Atha- 
baska and Slave rivers we saw large numbers. In many [)laces along 
the banks the dense thickets of willows and other shrubs had been 
eaten almost down to the ground. On the Smith Portage road their 
ravages were especially noticeable, the young Banksian pines being 
here the principal food. The many evidences of winter snaring and 
the thousands of white rabbit skins which littered the neighborhood 
of an occasional deserted Indian camp showed that this locality had 
been a favorite resort for both rabbits and Indians dimng the pre- 



200 NORTH AMERTCAX FAUNA. [350.27. 

( (Hling Avinter. The region about the lower Slave also abounded with 
ial)l>it>. While paddling a distance of 3 or 4 miles along a narrow 
(.hannel in the Slave Kiver delta on June 10 we saw nearly 40 on the 
banks, and shot several with a pistol. A party arriving at Fort Bes- 
olution from Hay Kiver in June, having skirted the shore of the lake. 
re])orted rabbits extremely abundant, and stated that a large pro- 
portion of those shot had accumulations of pus beneath the skin of 
(he neck. Others have rejKirteil a similar condition in sick or dead 
rabl)i(s along the lower Athabaska. During their trip to the upper 
Mackenzie in »luly my brother and Gary found the animals abun- 
dant and took a numlwr of sj^ecimens. 

In th(» country to the northward of Fort Rae the animals were com- 
mon during August, and contributed largely to our larder. Tlie 
Dogribs entice them within shot by nniking a rasping squeak through 
lln» nearly closetl lips. To insure the projx^r salivary condition for 
this v(H*al ]K'rfonnance. they .sometimes chew the bitter bark of scMne 
shi'ub, usually Lcpartjynvit ranademsiH, T easily learned to imitate 
the sound by a modilication of the squeaking in common use for al- 
luring lurds, and s(M)n InH-ame a proficient rabbit caller. What attrac- 
tion this sound has for the animals is not clear, but the method is 
successful only during the summer or breeiling season. Adults of 
both sex(»s are attracted by the sound, but the young seldom respond 
to it. As far as I could learn the native tril)es of the hiwer Macken- 
zie do not practice this method of enticing the animals^ though I 
found that it was equally .suc<'essful there. Under favorable condi- 
tion>N the animals respond to the soinul by a hurried approach, usually 
along a runway, and do not stop until suddenly arrested by the un- 
expected sight of tlie caller, when they usually remain motionless for 
a few seconds, apparently in wonder, and then bound away. The 
same animal <an seldom Ih» completely deceived a second time, but 
usually can U' made to aj)proach within a certain distance, varying 
with th<» nature of the gi'ound, apparently to get a second look at the 
intruder, and may be heard scurrying al)OUt and loudly thumping its 
displeasure. Sometimes the approaching rabbit makes a grunting 
noise as it rushes toward the source of the sound. This apparently 
d<*notes great eagerness, as in such cas<»s as I observed the animal al- 
ways came very closc\ sometimes almost to my feet, before perceiv- 
ing me. 

Along the south shore of Great Bear Lake to the eastward of 
McVicar Bay, T found rabbits uncommon, but occasionally saw tracks 
or other evidences of their j)resence. To the west of McVicar Bay. 
where the country is Wtter suited to their needs, they wei-e more 
abundant. At Fort Franklin rabbits were common late in Septem- 
ber, and at the rapids on Rear Kiver a ])arty of Indians weiv snaring 
the animals by hundreds. They had now commenced to change to 



North Am«ric4n Fauna No. 27, U. S. 0<:pt. Agr. Biological Survpy. 



Plate XXI. 



Bi^^^HI 


Bi^^n^fi^ 


^^HhI 


3b ^Tr^f^^^SBnBro b 


^^p^^^uuti 




BBr^^^T^l I'l? 


^^^HH ^H^^H 


H^^>|plr| 


^B .^H 


Wfr j / |ra 


^^^^^^^ft ''^l^^^^^^l 


kIJI 


.J^^^HHBjSFtH/^^^^^k^V^^^^K^^^^^^Q 


^^ 


L 4||^k|HpS^ .''f 





Fig. 1.— Snare Set for Rabbit (Lepus 
americanus'. 



Fig. 2.— Rabbit Captured in Snare. 




Fig. 3.— Fallen White Spruce Denuded of Leaves and Bark by Rabbits. 
Simpson, Spring, 1 904. 



Fort 



&] MAMMALS. 201 

J white winter pelage. While ascending the Mackenzie in October 
»w numbers daily. At Fort Simpson the opinion was unanimous 
it the animals had not been so abundant for many years. 
Each Indian, and sonie of the white inhabitants, maintained a line 
snares, popularly termed a ' rabbit track,' being a trail extending 
r several miles through a district where the animals were common, 
th snares set close to the track at frequent intervals. A pole to 
lich the noose is attached is balanced over a convenient limb and 
)s up when the snare is released, suspending the animal in midair 
*1. XXI, fig. 2). This insures a speedy death and places the quarry 
it of reach of dogs and other predatory quadrupeds. Rabbits pref- 
ably are caught by the neck; when suspended by the leg, as fre- 
jently happens, their flesh is less palatable. Usually for a few days 
•evious to the actual setting of the snares, quantities of brush are 
t and placed in convenient spots, to attract the animals, and get 
em into good condition. Hundreds were brought in and sold, the 
ice given ifl trade being alx)ut the equivalent of 5 cents. They 
ieze in the snares and are kept for weeks and months in this state 
thout deterioration, and figure extensively on the winter bill of 
"e at the northern trading posts. In summer, when the animals 
e mainly on herbaceous plants, their flesh is very palatable, though 
efully lacking in nourishing qualities, but in winter, when they feed 
gely on the foliage and bark of resinous trees, the meat acquires 
omewhat bitter taste. AVlien Indians are living mainly on rabbits, 
!y call it 'starving,' though they may be eating bounteously of the 
at every two or three hours, and it is said that if nothing else is 
ainable, they gradually grow weaker on this diet. 
Bad as a continuous diet of rabbits is, however, more deplorable 
11 is the condition that ensues when these animals are scarce. Their 
nodical failure is anticipated by the Indians with grave forebod- 
js. Disinclined to exert themselves to provide for the future, cruel 
nine is their lot when the short cold days of winter are upon them 
d the snares yield only a meager supply. 

rhe principal use made by the Indians of the skin of this animal 
in the manufacture of roljes. For this purpose the skins are cut 
o strips, which are twisted, and woven on a frame into a robe of 
' desired size. The mesh is very coarse, and the fingers may be 
"Ust through the finished robe at any point. The loose, soft fur, 
^ever, resists the action of the wind, and on account of their light- 
s and warmth these rol)es are considered second only to those made 
^ribou skins, and are preferred by some. To obviate the unpleas- 
' consequences of the shedding of the fur, they are usually inclosed 
ft cotton case. Capotes, shirts, and mittens made in the same way 
i^e formerly in common use, and are still made by some of the 
3aote tribes. 



202 NORTir AMERICAN FAUNA. fxo.ST. 

The skins of this species are scarcely ever traded in the Mac- 
kenzie rei^ion, owing probably to the cost of carriage, but according 
to MacFarhme, the Hudson's Bay Company annually exjwrt many 
thousands from Hudson Bay.** 

Throughout the upper Mackenzie I'egion during January, and to a 
less extent during February, 1904, many thousands of rabbits per- 
ished from disease. In some eases death overtook them as they sat 
in their forms at the foot of trees or lieneath logs or stumps; in other 
cases the animals left the shelter of the woods and after wanderings 
short time on the frozen surface of the river suddenly sprawled in 
their tracks and died without a struggle. In the spring when the 
snow went off many were found in all conceivable positions. After 
February the disease seemed to have run its course, as no sick animal? 
or any which had recently died were found. When affected, the 
rabbits lK»conie excessively tlin. On skiiming some which had died 
(.f this disease I was at (mce struck by the dry condition of the skin 
and flesh, which sej)arated with difficulty. The viscera were in an 
excessively moist condition. The stomach contained a small quan- 
tity of conuninuted woody food of the consistency of gruel. The 
throat and lungs were nmch inflamed. 

Despite the thousands which were caught in snares or died from 
disease the rabbits were fairly abundant when spring arrived. The 
Indians still lived on them to a large extent, and when the breeiling 
s(Mison airived took note of the numl)er of embryas, since on this de- 
l)ended the relative abundance of the animals during the following 
winter. The j)rospect was not encouraging, sim^ in the few in- 
stances wliere I ascertained the numln^r it seldom exceeded two. 
According to the natives the animals have thi'ee litters during the 
summer. Young the size of red s(juirrels were seen near the mouth 
of Nahannl Kiver on »June i\. 

While descending the Mackenzie in June, 1904, I found the species 
conmion along its banks and learned that the area of abundance had 
exten<le(l throughout the length of the Mackenzie. The animals were 
especially conunon on the lower Mackenzie and Peel rivers. When I 
ascended the Athabaska in August of the same year, I found them 
common there also. 

Through the kindness of correspondents I have l)een able to trace 
the decline in numbers of the rabbits since my return from the Mac- 
kenzie in 11)04. They were still abundant during the winter of 1904-5 
about Fort Simpson, though less so than in 190^3^. By December, 
190.5, they had l)ecome much scarcer, and in December, 1906, they 

«I»roc. r. S. Nat. Miis., XXVI II, p. 741, 11K)r). See also Poland's TJst, for 
iuiinl»ers of Aincrican hare skins coUectoil by the Hudson's Bay I'oniivany 
annually (with some (exceptions) between 1788 and 1800. Poland's Fur-Bear- 
ing. Animals, InlrodUL'lion, p. xxvn, lvSU2. 



OH] MAMMALS. 203 

ere very scarce, both at Fort Simpson and Hay River. The latest 
port is from Fort Simpson, where A. F. Camsell, writing December 

li>07, stated that there were practically no rabbits to be found. 

A letter received from Maj. A. E. Snyder, of the Royal Northwest 
Counted Police, dated at Whitehorse, Yukon, March 8, 1907, indi- 
Ltes that the rabbits were abundant there at nearly the same time 
tat they were at their maximum in the Mackenzie Valley. They had 
jen very abundant two years l>efore the date mentioned, but had 
Jen practically exterminated by an epidemic. He says: 

The disease has evidently si)ent Itself and only the healthy rabbits are left, 
a journey, recently, of twenty days* duration, I only saw two rabbits; In 
her words, where there were thousands two years ago, they are in ones and 
^os now. 

Inuring the fall, w inter, and spring I had a good chance to observe 
le seasonal changes of pelage in this species, and collected about 35 
)ecimens, com])rising a nearly complete series. Specimens taken 

Fort Franklin, Great Bear Lake, on September 19 and 21, 190*3, 
•e i)erliaps properly referable to the form L, a, niavfarlanu but 
lis distinction may be ignored for the present purpose. They had 
arcely begun to assume the winter pelage, the ears, feet, and legs 
one Inking white. One seen, but not secured, alwut the same time, 
as slightly flecked with white on the rump. Others seen near 
te rapid on Bear River the last of September were in about the 
.me condition. During the first three weeks in October, while w^e 
ere ascending the Mackenzie, none were collected, and there is a 
ight break in the series in consecjuence. Adults taken near Fort 
impson, October 20 and 24, w^re in nearly complete winter pelage, 
it still retained brown on the head; the ears were largely white. 

young one of the year, taken October 24, was white beneath and on 
16 feet. A little white also appeared on the sides of the head and 
x)ut the bases of the ears, but most of the head and back w^as still 
I the immature summer coat. Another taken three days later was 
milar in color, but the white extended higher on the thighs, and the 
ick was flecked with the same color. The young, however, acquire 
le white winter pelage earlier than the adults, which w^ere then 
most entirely white. Specimens taken November 27 and 28 were 
itirely white, except that the edges of the ears showed a dark line, 
id the under fur was of a fawn color. This is the normal winter 
>ndition. 

On April 11, 1904, the rabbits began to show^ traces of the change 

the summer pelage, first made evident by the tawny under fur 
lowing on the head and ears, owing to the white hair having been 
ed. In a specimen taken April 20 the fawn formed the predomi- 
iting color above. In others collected about the same time the fawn 
id white were about equally divided, the head, however, being 



204 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ixo.2T. 

mostly dark. One taken May 1 was still further advanced in the 
molt. By May 4 the animals were mainly fawn colored above, a few 
wliite hairs being still retained, and the long summer fur beginning 
to show in patches. This condition was still further advanct^d in 
specimens taken May 7 and 11, and one taken on May 16 was in nearly 
com])lete summer dress. Rabbits noted near the mouth of Nahanni 
Iliver early in June still retained scattering white hairs on the liack, 
and a few of these sometimes persist until late in the season. 

A careful study of the series collected, together with a series of 
skulls in the National Museum from various points in the region, and 
specimens from Oxford House, Keewatin, the latter representing 
typical Z. ameriranus^ convinces me that the varying hares of the in- 
terior of British America east of the Rocky Mountains, due allow- 
ance IxMug made for individual variation, are very uniform in char- 
acters. There is a slight increase in size northward, culminating in 
the form named marfmlani from Fort Anderson, which seems to 
occupy the upper Tluclsonian zone. Only two adult skulls of typical 
L, amenta iniA from the Hudson Bay region (Oxford House) are 
available for comparison. These are rather small, but can be matched 
in size by some adult specimens from the upper Mackenzie region. 
It is probaWe that they do not fairly represent am.erhanai<^ and that 
a larger series would l)e found to agree approximately in size with 
specimens from Athabaska and the upper Mackenzie. In color the 
Oxford House skins can l)e matched by specimens from Fort Chip- 
ewyan and various points about Great Slave Liake, but the larger 
series naturally shows nuich individual variation. 

Two specimens from Fort (^hijx^wyan average in measurements: 
Total length 4()0, tail vertebra' 81), hind foot 133; one from Fort Reso- 
lution measures 470, 83, 133: one from Fort Rae, 480, 45, 138. Ten 
of the largest specimens from the Fort Simpson series average 46G.5, 
43, 142. 

The following references are quoted mainly I)ecause of their bear- 
ing on the abundance of rabbits during certain years. MacFarlane 
found them in great abundance on I^ckhart River, a tributary of 
the Anderson, in the summer of 1857.* He states that they were fairly 
abundant in the same region in the summer of 1860.^ Macoun gives 
them as very abundant along the Clearwater in the early autumn of 
1875/ J. B. Tyrrell, while exploring the country between the east- 
ern part of Athabaska I.ake and Churchill River in the summer of 
1802, states that rabbits were found everywhere in the denser woods, 
but did not seem to lx» anvwhere abundant.** Russell found them 



«Can. UiHi-onl of Science, IV. p. 32. 1S90. 

^ Ms. notes. 

<• Manlt(>l)a and (ireat Northwest, p. 352, 1882. 

^ Anu. Kept. Can. Geol. Surv., VlII (new ser.), p. 13D, 1896. 



l»08.J MAMMALS. 205 

ilMmdant at Fort Rac in the winter of 181)3-94.'' AMiitney states 
hat they were plentiful in the region southwest of Smith Landing in 
PVbruary, 1895, and south of Fort Resolution in the following May.* 
rhese two latter notes evidently refer to the cycle of abundance pre- 
ceding the one which came under my own observation. 

Allen records specimens from Methye Portage, Fort Resolution, 
Fort Rae, Fort Liard, and Fort Simpson,^ 

Lepiis americanns macfarlani Merriam. MacFarlane Varying Hare. 

The varying harems of the Hudsonian zone, as before intimated, 
ii"e larger than those of the Canadian. This race has been separated 
mder the name L, a, macfarlani^ described from Fort Anderson.'' 
specimens from Fort Franklin and from the Mackenzie near the site 
>f old Fort Good Hope belong to this form. Owing to the great 
imount of individual variation in the northern varying hares, no 
atisfactory color differences are apparent. Three specimens taken 
m the Mackenzie near the site of old Fort Good Hope on June 27, 
.904, are in ntearly complete summer coat. One still retained much 
vhite on the thighs, and all had a few white hairs on the back. These 
pecimens are rather dark; in one black is the predominating color 
bove. The three average: Total length 491.6, tail vertebra^ 41.3, hind 
oot 149. The largest measures 500, 40, 155. Besides specimens from 
^'ort Anderson, the tyi>e locality, the collection of the National Mu- 
eum contains skulls from La Pierre House and Peel River. 

iiepus americanns colnmbiensis Rhoads. British Columbia Varying 

Hare. 

The hares of western All>erta are sei)arable from typical anien- 
anuis^ and apparently are referable to L. a, colutnhii ns!s. Specimens 
r«>ni Jasper House and Fiddle Creek, Alberta, exhibit ccmsiderable 
tidividual variation, but in general are more rufous than more 
asteni and noilhem specimens, and have less black on the back. 
L hirge proportion of these Alberta skins have white feet. I may 
lention that this character, w^hich has l)een regarded as an importiint 
ne, I consider of little weight, as it depends merely on altitudinal or 
ititudinal conditions, the white feet of the winter pelage not being 
iitirely replaced by a summer molt in northern and high ranging 
idividuals of the various forms. The young of all the forms of 
lis group have brown feet. Compared with specimens from the 
[udson Bay and Athabaska regions, the skulls from western Al- 
erta are longer and relatively narrower across the zygomata. 

«Expl. in Far North, p. 24.S, 1.S98. 

^On Snow Shoes to linrren Grounds, pi). 121 ami 2l>s. ISIKJ. 

« Monographs N. A. Kodontla, pp. :n2-.S14, 1877. 

<* Merriam, Proc. Washington Acad. Sci., II, p. 30, IIKM). 



206 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. |no 27. 

Ill the oarly autumn of 1895, during his first trip from Edmonton. 
Alberta, west to tjie mountains, J. Alden Loring found these hares 
abundant, though somewhat local in distribution. Sometimes for 
days few were seen; then a district was reached where they were 
very abundant. In some places their runways were very common, 
iiiid the young aspens and other tender shrubs had been cut down 
by them in great numbers, but the animals had departed. They were 
mainly found in the valleys and foothills, few being noted in the 
high mountains. 

In the summer of 1896, during his second trip to the same region, 
he found the hares much less common ; in only one or two localities 
were they nearly as abundant as during the previous year. 

Lepns arcticus Ross. Baffin Land Arctic Hare. 

The Arctic hares of Melville Island and the adjacent islands are 
assumed to l>e referable to this species. In view of the fact that 
no specimens from that i*egion are available for study, this assump- 
tion is of course somewhat arbitrary, and the consequent division of 
the published notes subject to revision. 

Under the name Lepus glamalis^ Sabine stated that the species 
was very abundant on the North (jeorgia Islands, referring partic- 
ularly to Melville Island, visited on Parry's first voyage." Fisher 
noted that hares killed near Winter Harbor, late in June, 1S20, dur- 
ing the same voyage, were i>erfectly white excepting the tips of the 
oars, and weighed from 7 to 8 poimds.* J. C. Rass recorded this hare 
as abundant on the south shore of Barrow Strait, and as occur- 
ring at Port Bowen;^ he later recorded it from Sheriff Harbor-** 
M'Clintock mentions that one shot about the middle of July, 1859, at 
Port Kennedy, had nearly shed its winter fur, and that the sunuiier 
coat of dull lead color was exposed.*' Sutherland recorded the 
s])ecies from the southern end of Cornwallis Island, where track 
were rarely sei»n in the autumn of 1850;^ he stated also that some 
were shot by (ioodsir in the spring of 1851 on the noi-th shore of the 
same island.*' On North Dev(m three were seen and one sliot in 
August, 1850, near Cape Riley: the animal weighed 11 pounds.' 
Another was seen on the shores of Baring Bay, May 15. 1851.' 
Armstrong states that a few Arctic hares were seen Septemlier 7. 

« Siippl. to Apj)endix Parry's First Voyage, p. CLXXXVii, 1S24. 

^ Joiiru. Voyage of Discovery, p. 234, 1821. 

<- Appendix Parry's Third Voyage, p. 03, 1826. 

''Appendix to Ross's Second Voyage, p. xv, 1835. 

' Voyage of Fox in Arctic Seas. p. 2rv4, ISOO. 

f Jour. Voyage to Baffin Bay, I, p. .'^02, 1850. 

.''Il>id.. II, p. 100, lS,-)2. 

* n»i(l., I, p. ^U), is.'>2. 

•Ibid., II, p. 78. 1852, 



«.l MAMMALS. 207 

50, near Nelson Head, the southern extremity of Baring Land.'' 
le was killed on Prince Albert Land near Princess Royal Islands, 
irch 22, 1851 ; ^ the species was common also on Baring Land near 
? same place on May 5.*^ He also records a large number seen at 
jrcy Bay, Banks Land, October 7, 1851 ; '' and his tabular list of 
me secured at that place shows that hares were killed during every 
mth between October, 1851, and April, 1853/ Arctic hares, prob- 
ly of this species, were found by Rae to be common on Wollaston 
nd near Douglas Island in May, 1851/ 

pus arcticns canus Preble. Keewatin Arctic Hare. 
The Arctic hares of the mainland of this region, so far as known, 
e referable to L. a, canus^ described from the Barren Grounds on the 
est coast of Hudson Bay, 75 miles north of Fort Churchill. A skin 
I summer pelage in the National Museum, said to be from Atha- 
iska (with no definite locality, biit probably from the Barren 
rounds northeast of Athabaska Lake), and one or two skulls from 
Bar (probably northeast of) Fort Rae, were compared with my 
)ecimens of L. a. canus when it was described, and found to belong to 
le same form. Some of these specimens were briefly referred to by 
beads in 1896 as probably belonging to an undascribed species, but 
-k of material prevented him from characterizing it.^ A young 
ecimen in the National Museum, taken in June, 1853, during the 
yage of the Enterprise^ and, therefore, from Cambridge Bay, Vic- 
•ia Land, is apparently referable to L. a, catius. Pending fui-ther 
formation, therefore, it seems safe to regard the published notes on 
tstic hares from the mainland, at least, as referring to L. a, canus. 
King observed the species near the outlet of Lake McDougall, Back 
iver, in the simimer of 1884.* Simpson noted it at Fort Confidence 
the winter of 1837-38.' Richardson describes a winter specimen 
t)m Great Bear Lake, and records the occurrence of the animal near 
ipe Parry .^ Allen recorded s])ecimens from Fort Rae, Fort Ander- 
n, and Great Bear Lake.*^ Warburton Pike noted the species on the 
per part of Coppermine River to the eastward of Point Lake in 
pteml)er, 1889.' James MacKinlay^ who accompanied Pike to the 

*» Narrative Dis(»<)very Northwest Paswijje, p. 210, 1857. 

ft H)id., p. 304, 1857. 

^ Ibid., p. 316, 1857. 

^ IWd., p. 474. 1857. 

^ Ibid., p. 601, 1857. 

Ooum. Roy. Geog. Soc., XXII, p. 75, 1S.^>2. 

PVviK'. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., ISIMJ, p. :^:A. 

* Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean. I, p. ;]02, 18.3(». 

* Narrative Discoveries on Nortli (VKist <>f Americn, p. 210, 1S48. 
^ Fauna Boreall-Aniericana, I, p. 222, lS2f>. 

* Monographs N. A. Ro<ientia, pp. 21)4, 2i).5, 1877. 

' Barren Ground of Northeni Canada, p. t«, 1892. 



208 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so. 27. 

Barren Grounds in tlie sunnnor of 1890, noted the first traces of this 
animal on the shores of I^ac du Mort, a short distance north of Great 
Slave Lake, near longitude 112®. These were winter signs; the ani- 
mals had since gone northward." Russell states that one was killed 
near the Indian camps about 150 miles northeast of Fort Rae late in 
March, 1894, and brought to him as a specimen rare for the region.* 
It sometimes, however, (x?cui*s near Fort Rae in winter. In the re- 
gion to the eastward and northeastward of Athabaska Lake, ex- 
plored by him in 1893 and 1894, J. B. Tyrrell states that the Arctic 
har(» *' was found to range everywhere throughout the Barren Lands 
from the edge of the woods northward, but it was nowhere found in 
any al)un(lance.'' ' J. M. Bell informs me that during his explorations 
alK)ut Great Bear Lake in the smnmer of 1900, he found Arctic hares 
common between Great Bear I^ke and the lower Coppermine, and on 
the eastern shore of the lake south to Eda Travers Bay. Hanbury 
states that the Arctic hare occurs on Thelon or Ark-i-linik River;'' he 
also mentions two killed a short distance south of Ogden Bay, Arctic 
coast, on May 8, 1902; <* and early in June of the same year he found 
the species common on Melville Sound, Arctic coast.^ One killed near 
the same plaw about June 10 contained five large embryos which 
would have Ix^en lx)rn in a- fortnight.^ 

MacFarlane states that only a few Arctic hares were observed dur- 
ing his summer and winter journeys in the far north, and that but 
ihree specimens were secured during his five years' residence at Fort 
An(l(Tson.* In notes sent to the National Museum from Lac du 
Brotrhet post. Reindeer Lake, through MacFarlane, the Arctic hare 
is said to inhabit the country not far to the northward of Reindeer 
Lake. 

Felis hippolestes Merriam. R(x*ky Mountain Cougar. 

The " mountain lion '' is known to the Indians who visit Fort Liard 
and is called by them K-ived-Hie. They state that they seldom see the 
animal, but occasionally see its tracks, and that it has been known to 
kill moose. The sj)ecies was reported to me also from the neighbor- 
hood of Fort Nelson. 

J. S. Edmonton reported seeing the tracks of one on two occasions 
i>ear Boiler Rapid and (rraii<l Rapid (m the Athabaska, one winter 
(luring recent years, he thinks in 1897. J. W. Milne gives sevewl 

"Ottawa Nat., VII. p. los, lSi«. 

'^ i:xi»l. ill Far Nortli, p. 247, isiJS. 

''Anil. Kept. Can. (Jeol. Snrv., IX (new wr.), p. 1«WF, lSi>8. 

''Sp<.rt and Travel in Northland of ('annda, p. 14, 1904. 

'Ibid., p. VMS, IIMH. 

f Ibid., p. ir.l), V.HM. 

n Ilnd., p. Kil, 11)04. 

*rroc. r. S. Nat. Mns., XXVIII, p. 73J), 1906. 



1008.] MAMMALS. 209 

instances of the occurrence of the panther in the southern Canadian 
Rockies. One was seen by him in 1883 in the mountains in about 
latitude 51® 30', and longitude 117. In 1884 a pair were reported 
near the junction of Bow and Cascade rivers, Alberta. Others were 
afterwards seen near the Kananaskis River, in the mountains south- 
west of Calgary.* 

Lynx canadenflis Kerr. Canada Lynx. 

Though this animal is found nearly throughout the wooded parts 
of the region, we observed it but once during the season of 1901, seeing 
one on the banks of Slave River, a few miles above its mouth, on 
August 1. 

During the season of 1903, though tracks were frequently seen, I 
actually observed the animal but. once, noting one on the Mackenzie, 
a few miles below Blackwater River, on October 6. After the snow 
fell we frequently saw their tracks as we were ascending the 
Mackenzie. 

The winter of 1903-4 was remarkable for the abundance of lynxes 
throughout the upper Mackenzie region. The fact that they usually 
increase coincidently with the hares, which form their chief food, 
probably accounts for their abundance that season. Hundreds of 
skins were traded at Fort Simpson during the winter. I obtained a 
pair of adults which were snared by James MacKinlay, 30 miles south 
of Fort Simpson, in November. The male of this pair measured: 
Total length 950, tail vertebrae 100, hind foot 250; the female meas- 
ured 920, 105, 235. A female, partially albinistic, being of a nearly 
uniform light yellowish-brown, with eyes of a deep pink, was brought 
to me on April 16 from the mouth of Rabbitskin River, 20 miles above 
Fort Simpson, where it had been snared. It measured 840, 135, 260. 
A hunter's skin of a young one, a month or two oldj obtained at Fort 
Simpson, is rufous above, gradually shading into white beneath, 
breast and belly spotted with dusky; tail rufous above, lighter be- 
neath, and tipped with dusky. Besides these specimens, I obtained 
a large series of skulls from Fort Simpson. 

The Indians capture the lynx mainly by snaring, the noose being 
made of heavy twine or babiche. (PI. XXII.) In setting the snare, 
a circular inclosure about 5 feet in diameter is made by sticking pieces 
of brush into the crusted snow. One or more openings are left, in 
which the noose is placed at the proper height, so that the animal 
attempting to enter the pen will put its head into the loop. In the 
center of the inclosure is placed a split stick smeared with the contents 
of the musk glands of the beaver, sometimes mixed with perfumery 
of some sort, which servas to attract the animal. Tlie snare is attached 

« Biological Rev. of Ontario, I, pp. 81-83, 181)4. 
44131— No. 27—08 14 



210 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. fxo.::?. 

to the middle of a stout stick 3 or 4 feet long, which acts as a drag 
when the animal is caught. It thus generally becomes entangled in 
the brush and after a few struggles remains passive, and if the 
weather is cold quickly freezes to death. The flesh of the lynx is 
said to Ix' very palatable, and is eaten by the natives and to some 
extent by the white residents. 

During my trip down the Mackenzie in June, I frequently saw 
tnu'ks lK»tw<*en Fort Simpson and Fort Wrigley. A lynx was Ki»en 
to cross Nahanni. River as we were ascending it June 8. It swam 
ivadily in the swift curi-ent, and on reaching the shore bounded away 
into tlie foivst, apparently little fatigued by its violent exertions. 

Thougli tliis animal extends its range nearly to the limit of trecif, 
its i^referenee for the Canadian zone is decided. At Fort Norman I 
ascertained that not over a dozen had been traded during the winter. 
I saw no skins at Fort Good Hope, and only about half a dozen had 
Immmi brought in to Fort McPherson and its outpost, Arctic Red Riwr. 
during the winter. Fort Anderson during the first year of its exist- 
ence (outfit 1801) received in trade only four skins of this si)et'ies. 
and the same numlx»r were tnided during the following year. These 
notes i-egjirding lynxes within the confines of the Hudsonian zone 
j)robably refer to subsix»cies moUiptlosus^ but are included here to 
show the relative scarcity of the animal northward. 

Since lOCXl the lynx has Ix^n declining in numbers in the Mackenzie 
region. A. F. Camsell reports it scarce at Fort Simpson in Deoember, 
100(), and Deceml)er, 1007. 

Richardson states that this animal is found on the Mackenzie as 
far north as latitude CO®." Simps(m observed the species on. Clear- 
water River near the mouth of the Pembina.^ Richardson noted it at 
Tsle a hi Crosse* Lake in June, 1848.'' Ross, referring to the Mac- 
kenzi(» River region, states that the lynx " ranges to the Arctic Coast 
in summer. In winter it does not leave the shelter of the wooda"' 
Allen records specimens from Fort Simpson, Liard River, and Pfeel 
River.'^ Tyrrell, from observations made in 1892, states that tiie 
Canada lynx is moderately abundant in some seasons in the more 
southern ))art of the region between the eastern end of Athabaski 
Lake and Churchill River.^ 

In the (»arly autumn of 1805, J. Alden Lioring saw many tracks of 
lynxes about the base of the Rooky Mountains in western Alberta. In 
1800 he reported the species common in the valleys and foothills 15 

'^ Fauna Horeali-Amorioaim, I, p. 101, 1821). 

*> Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, p, 63, 1843. 

"Arctie SearcIiiuK HviHtiition, I, p. KKj, 1851. 

^Cnn, Nat. and (i<M»l., VII. p. 137. 18(J2. 

cRnll. r. S. (;iH>l. and (;«►>:. Surv. Terr.. No. 4, Vol. II, p. 325,1876. 

^Auu. Kept. Cau. Geul. Surv., VIII (new ser.), p. 13D, 1806. 



North American Fauna No. 27, U. S. Dept. Agr. Biological Survey. 



Plate XXII. 




Fig. 1.— Lynx (Lynx canadensis) Captured in Snare. 

[Photographcl by J. \V. Mills.] 



""/^,l 




■ -' ' /'* m 




4 ^^^M ^^^^BB^B^M 





Fig. 2.— Snare Set for Lynx. 



OF 



1»08.] MAMMALS. 211 

miles south of Henry House in July, and in similar situations be- 
tween Jasper House and Smoky River in the early autumn. He killed 
one on Grand Cache River, about 70 miles north of Jasper House, on 
September 3. It measured : Total length 841, tail vertebrae 105, hind 
foot 227. Another was killed in Rodent Valley, 25 miles west of 
Henry House, on October 15. Its stomach contained remains of 
MuTotus and Synaptomys. Its measurements were 872, 93, 222. In 
the Biological Survey collection are skulls from the following points 
in Alberta : Snake Lake, 20 miles west of Red Deer ; McLeod River 
(near crossing west of Edmonton); Cache Pecotte; and 40 miles 
northeast of Jasper House. These skulls are not separable f roni 
specimens from eastern Canada. 

Lynx canadensis mollipilosns Stone. Northern Canada Lynx. 

A skull in the National Museum, taken by C. P. Gaudet at Peel 
River (Fort McPherson), as well as skulls from several points in 
northern Alaska, differs from skulls of typical Z. canadensis from 
eastern Canada in some particulars, notably in having slender post- 
orbital processes, a character of subspecies moUipilosus. Another 
skull which I obtained at Fort McPherson does not have the slender 
postorbitals attributed to this form, and differs from ordinary skulls 
of Z. canadensis only in having the bullae very much flattened. It 
is in all probability abnormal in this respect. No skins from this 
region being available for study, it is uncertain whether the skin 
characters attributed to mollipUosus are found in the Peel River 
animal, but it is highly probable that such is the case. 

Canis occidentalis Richardson. Gray Wolf. 

Gray or timber wolves are found throughout the wooded parts 
of the region, and are fairly abundant and apparently increasing in 
some sections. In 1901 we saw numerous skins at nearly all the posts 
visited, and found a skull at a trapper's cabin on Slave .River, 10 
miles below the mouth of the Peace. Among a number of skins seen 
at Fort Rae, most of which were in the normal or gray phase, was 
one the color of which was mainly dark bluish gray ; the throat and 
back were nearly black, the latter flecked with a few white hairs; 
the chest had a white patch; the belly and tail were bluish gray, the 
latter blackish toward the tip. 

During the season of 1903 we heard that wolves had been rather 
abundant for several years past in the region west of Smith Land- 
ing, in the Birch Mountains, and in the vicinity of Athabaska Land- 
ing. Tracks were seen at various points along Slave River and on 
my route between Fort Rae and Great Bear Lake. Late in August, 
on the large semibarren tract east of I^ith Point, on the south shore 
of Great Bear Lake, my Indian canoeman wounded a large black 



212 NORTH AMEKICAN FAUNA. \\o.'21. 

wolf, but the animal escaped to the shelter of the woods. AVhile 
traveling westward along the southern shore of the lake in September, 
we saw tracks of wolves near Ijeith Point and near Manito Islands, 
and while ascending the Mackenzie in October, saw tracks at several 
points on its banks. 

During the early part of the winter of 190a-i a band of three or 
four frequented the region about Fort Simpson. A large black male 
killed by poison early in December was obtained. It measured : Total 
length 1,080, tail vertebra? 480, hind foot 320. It is entirely black, 
with the exception of a few white hairs which underlie the longer 
black hair abou^ the shoulders, and which can be seen only when the 
coat is rumpled. Another of the band, said to have been gray in 
color, was killed, but I was unable to procure it. The individuals of 
this band lived largely on rabbits, many of which were taken from 
the snares of the natives. AVhen rabbits are scarce, much large game 
is destroyed by wolves, and even sledge dogs, indispensable to the 
northern resident, frequently fall victims. A young wolf, seen in 
late May in the possession of J. W. Mills, who obtained it from 
an Indian near Fort Providence, appeared to be 3 or 4 weeks old. 

The Indians of this region are superstitious about wolves and can 
scarcely he induced to kill them, much less to skin or handle them, 
for fear of misfortune. They would not skin the one killed at Fort 
Simpson, but were persuaded to bring the body to the post. The 
death of a child soon afterwards was supposed to have been the result 
of this rash act, in which the father had participated. Another child 
who saw the dead wolf was taken sick, but finally recovei'ed. ^Vs a 
result of this superstition the wolves are said to be increasing in 
certain localities. 

While descending the Mackenzie in June, 1904, I saw tracks of 
wolves near the mouth of Xahanni River and at several points below, 
and saw skins at all the posts visited. Dusky or black wolves, as well 
as gray ones, ai*e found all along the Mackenzie, but the dark phase 
seems to occur more freciuenth' in the mountains. 

Skulls in the National Museum from Fort Kae, Fort Simpson, 
Fort Anderson, and Pwl Kiver are larger, and have less rounded 
audital bulhv and larger teeth, than skulls of C. nubilu^ from 
Colorado. 

Itichardson figured a dusky si>ecimen killed near Fort Resolution, 
and states that many black ones Avere seen on the Mackenzie." Allen 
records skulls from Foi-t Rae, Fort Simpson, and Peel River.^ 
Tyrrell gives this species as occurring in the country between Atha- 
baska Lake and Churchill River, but not plenti fully. <^ In the early 

« Fiiiina I^oroali-Amoricana, I, i)i>. GO, 70, 1829. 

^Bnll. r. S. Gwl. and (4(X)g. Surv. Terr., No. 4, Vol. II, p. 314, 1876. 

^Aim. Kept. Cau. Geol. Surv., VIII (uew ser.), p. 18D, 1896. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 218 

autumn of 1896 J. Alden Loring occasionally saw tracks of timber 
wolves in the country between Jasper House and Smoky River, and 
heard one on Grand Cache River, September 5. They were reported 
to him to be of large size and frequently black. 

The following extract, showing the numbers of skins of woodland 
wolves collected by the Hudson's Bay Company, is quoted from 
MacFarlane's recent paper : *» 

From 1858 to 1884, Athabasca District contributed 2.119 skins of the wood- 
land (blaclc, gray, and white) wolf to the London sales. For the outfits 1885 
to 1880. it made a further addition of 339 skins. Between 1863 and 1884, in- 
clusive, the district of Mackenzie River supplied a totjU of 1,880 skins of this 
animal. Its quota in 1880 was only 49 skins. From 1862 to*1887. Fort Resolu- 
tion, Great Slave Lake, gave 193, and in 1884, 10 skins. The posts of the upper 
Peace River, with its lake stations transferred from Edmonton, sent in 48 wood- 
land wolves in 1889. 

Canis occidentalis albus Sabine. Barren Ground Wolf. 

No specimens of this supposed species are available for study, but 
the light color of the wolves of the Barren Grounds is probably suf- 
ficient to warrant their consideration as a separate form. The name 
Canis alb us was based by Sabine on a very large light-colored in- 
dividual killed at Fort Enterprise during the winter of 1820-21.* 
Wolves nearly white in color, but considerably smaller than the Fort 
Enterprise specimen, were found to inhabit Melville Island by 
Parry's party, and were seen almost daily during the winter.*^ J. C. 
Ross states that numbers were seen about the Isthmus of Boothia.** 
During Back's expedition white wolves were seen near Artillery 
Lake.*' Simpson recorded two seen August 21, 1838, at Cape Frank- 
lin (Point Turnagain).^ Armstrong states that a wolf was seen 
near Princess Royal Islands in F'ebruary, 1851 ;*' and that many were 
seen at Mercy Bay, Banks Land, during the winter of 1851-52.* 
M'Dougall states that a pack of wolves was seen on Melville Island 
near Cai^e Russell in June, 1853;* one was seen on May 27, 1854, near 
Cape Hotham, Cornwallis Island;^ M'Clinto^k reports that wolves 
were observed in October, 1858, at Port. Kennedy, and in May, 1859, 
by Lieutenant Hobson on King William Land.*^* Kennedy records 

« Proc. r. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII, p. G94, 1005. 

* Narrative Journey to Polar Sea, Ai)i)endix, j). 655, 1S2,3. 
^'Suppl. to Appendix Parry's First Voyage, p. clxxxv, 1824. 
<* Appendix to Ross's Second Voyage, p. x, 1835. 

« Narrative Arctic I^nd Exr)edition to Great Fish River, p. 128, ISI^G. 

f Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, p. 204, 1843. 

^Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 300, 1857. 

» Ibid., p. 484, 1857. 

< Voyage of the Resolute, p. 205, 1857. 

i Ibid., p. 402, 1857. 

* Voyage of the Fox, i)p. 18C, 300, 18C0. 



214 NORTH AMEBICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

one seen in the central part of Prince of Wales Land in April, 1852.« 
AVhile in the Barren Grounds to the northeast of Fort Rae in the 
early spring of 1894, Russell found wolves rather common. Of a 
band of six, two were snow white, the others a light gray.'' During 
his exploring trip l)etween Great Slave Lake and Hudson Bay in 
1900, J. W. Tyrrell found large wolves on the east side of Artillery 
Lake.'' J. M. Bell informs me that during the same season he oc- 
casionally saw wolves near the site of Fort Confidence, near the 
eastern end of Great Bear Lake. Hanbury, while traveling overland 
between Baker Lake and the Arctic coast in the early spring of 190-2, 
noted an occasional wolf.** On April 30, when the party was near 
latitude 07°, between Lake Garry and Ogden Bay, Darrell, his com- 
panion, encountered a band of 16 large wolves.*' Darrell writes me 
that of this band 13 were of the ordinary dirty white color, 2 were 
nearly black, and 1 pied. He states that though these wolves live 
largely on caribou, they are not very successful in killing these 
animals unless they can separate one from the herd, and that they 
always seem to be starving. Though of large size, he does not con- 
sider them dangerous, and states that only one instance of the death 
of a man by wolves was related by the natives, and in that case the 
victim was a cripple. The band of 16 was the largest pack seen, the 
animals usually being found singly or in pairs, though occasionally 
half a dozen were observecl together. He claims to have seen tracks, 
made on a hard surface, which measured 7^ by 8^ inches. 

Skins of wolves from the Barren Grounds, some nearly pure white 
in color throughout, were seen at Fort Rae during my visit to that 
post. The wolf skins at Fort Good Hope also included a large pro- 
portion of very light examples, said to have been brought from the 
Barren Grounds to the northeastward. Fort Anderson, during the 
first year of its existence (outfit 1861), traded 5 wolves; during the 
following year it received 4 skins. 

.Canis latrans Say. (^oyote. 

In 1901 we heard several prairie wolve^s on the Athabaska Landing 
road, ixboni 00 miles north of Edmonton, on the evening of May 3, 
and saw one on the bank of the Athabaska a few miles alK)ve Little 
Cascade Rapid on May 13. At Fort Smith I was told by Mr. Bra- 
bant that one was occasionally killed in the vicinity, and received the 
same information from an old Indian hunter residing there. A skull, 
Avithout the lower jaw, was found near a native cabin on the east 
bank of the Slave, 8 miles l>elow Fort Smith. 

« Narr. Second Voy. Princr Albert, i>. 139, 1853. 

& Expl. in Far North, j). 241, 1808. 

^ Ann. Kept. Dept. Interior ( Canada ) for 1J)00-1901, p. 115, 1902. 

''Sport and Travel in Northland of Canada, p. 110, 1904. 

^ Ibid., p. 134, IIKM. 



19i^8.1 MAMMALS. 215 

In 1908, Merritt Gary was informed by William McLeod that two 
coyotes were killed near Fort Nelson, on Fort Nelson River, about 
the year 1898. During my stay at Fort Simpson I received con- 
firmatory information, from several persons who had formerly re- 
sided at Fort Nelson, regarding the occurrence of the coyote at that 
place. 

Tyrrell reports shooting a coyote on a small lake near the source of 
Foster River, about 200 miles southeast of Athabaska Lake, in the 
sunmier of 1892.« 

J. Alden Loring reported this species common at Edmonton in 
September, 1894. In 1895 he found it abundant in the foothills of 
the Rockies in western Alberta, and shot one at Jasper House on 
August 30. In July, 1896, he occasionally heard coyotes in the moun- 
tains 15 miles south of Henry House, but the animal was less abun- 
dant there than in the foothills to the eastward. In the early autmnn, 
while making a trip from Jasper House northward to Smoky River, 
he heard the animals nearly every night, and took a young one at 
Strawberry Creek, 14 miles north of Jasper House, on August 23. 
In October of the same year he saw coyote tracks in Caribou Basin 
and Rodent Valley, and obtained skulls at Prairie Creek and White- 
mud to the eastward of Jasper House. 

Vulpes alascensis Merriam. Alaska Red Fox. 

The foxes of the Mackenzie region to the northward of Great Slave 
Lake are referred to this form. We obtained a serie^s of skulls, com- 
prising specimens from Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, Fort Simpson, 
and Fort Norman. In addition, the collec*tion of the National Mu- 
seum contains skulls from Fort Simpson, Fort Good Hope, Peel 
River (Fort McPherson), La Pierre House, and Fort Anderson. 
These agree in characters with a large series from the lower Yukon 
and the Becharof Lake region, representing typical V. alasren^is. 
A fine hunter's skin in full winter pelage from Fort Norman, and 
another from Fort McPherson, agree in most respects with a large 
series of skins of typical alasrensis taken by A. G. Maddren at Becha- 
rof Lake, Alaska. The lower Mackenzie spec»imens have slightly 
paler faces, thighs, and rumps, and the latter part is more flecked wMth 
yellowish white. An indistinct stripe on the front of the thigh, 
representing an extension of the black area on the feet, is dusky at 
base of fur, though it is tipped with reddish. The tails of the 
Mackenzie specimens differ decidedly in shape and color from those 
of this series of ala^icensis. They are much more heavily haired, 
especially near the base, and taper thence toward the tip, while in 
typical alasceiisis they are nearly cylindrical. The subapical zone of 
color is a grayish red, much less bright than in typical alasrensh, 

«Anii. R€4)t. Can. (ieol. Siirv.. VIII (new sen), p. 131), 1SS)0. 



216 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo.27. 

An imperfect specimen in the National Museum from Fort Simp- 
son, taken many years ago by R. MacDonald, differs from the skins 
from the lower Mackenzie mainly in the greater amount of black on 
the feet. 

The region about Fort Resolution furnishes a great many fox 
skins, all the color phases occurring. Owing to the rivalry among 
the different trading companies a very high price is sometimes paid 
for an unusually fine ' silver ' or ' black ' fox. Among the large 
numlx»r of skins seen at Fort Rae, the red and cross phases greatly 
predominated, but there were a few silver and black skins. During 
the winter of 1908-4, numbers of foxes, including several ' silvers,' 
were traded at Fm^s Providence and Simpson. The red and cross 
phases are conmion at Fort Norman, but the dark phases seldom 
occur, and during the same winter none were traded at that post, 
while at Arctic Red River five ' silver ' foxes were secured. 

Ross gives a good general account of the foxes of the Mackenzie 
River region. The red and black phases are considered by him to 
represent different species or varieties, of which the cniss phase repre- 
sents hybrids. He states that the numbers of red, cross, and silver 
foxes traded in the Mackenzie River district during a period of ten 
years were in the proportion of 6, 7, and 2. He states that the spec*ies 
is most numerous about the large lakes and on the Arctic coast, and 
is tolerably numerous on the Mackenzie, but is rare up the Liard 
toward the mountains." 

MacFarlane in a recent paper expresses opinions in regard to the 
different phases similar to those of Ross, though these are contrary 
to tlie conclusions of the natives, and of most naturalists. He gives 
many interesting observations regarding the habits of the species in 
captivity and in a state of nature, and statistics regarding the nuin- 
lM»rs of th(» various phases for a series of years, and to some extent 
for different districts. He s-tates that the several phas(\s were fairly 
ahundant about Foil Anderson, and more so on the lower Anderson 
and along the Arctic coast between Herschel Island and Cap 
Bathurst.^ 

Fort Ajiderson during the first year of its existence (outfit 1861) 
traded 115 skins of red foxes, 120 cross foxes, and 32 silver and black 
foxes. During the following year the returns were 220 red, 187 
cross, and 00 silver and black. 

Among the skulls examined, a few" from Fort Good Hope and 
Anderson River, and one taken by us on Slave River, have broader 
rostrums and heavier teeth than the remainder of the series. 



o Can. Nat. and Geol., VI, j). 18, imi. 

M»rc»c. V. S. Nat. Miis., XXVIII, pp. 701-704. 1905. 



1908.] ' MAMMALS. 217 

Vtdpes alasoensis abietorum Merriam. British Columbia Red Fox. 

A series of skulls collected on the Athabaska at Little Buffalo 
River and Fort McMurray, and on Slave River 10 and 15 miles 
below the Peace and at Smith Landing, are referable to V, a. 
ahietonim^ agreeing well with skulls from Stuart Lake, British Co- 
lumbia, the type locality of this form. Skulls collected by J. Alden 
Loring in Alberta at Whitemud and Prairie Creek, and at Pierre 
Grey's camp, 40 miles northeast of Jasper House, are also referable 
to abletoruTn. 

Foxes are rather common in the Athabaska and Slave River val- 
leys. We obtained no skins of adults, but took a young one on the 
lower Athabaska, May 30, 1903. It was one of a family living among 
drift timber near the river bank. During the early winter the Peace- 
Athabaska delta is a favorite trapping ground. The foxes are said 
to be attracted by the large numbers of woiuided ducks and geese 
which escape during the fall hunt. T^pward of 50 black and silver 
foxes, in addition to large numbers of skins in the red and cross 
phases, a large proportion taken in the immediate region, have been 
traded at Fort Chipewyan during a single season. 

Early in June, 1901, we found a den in spruce woods on a large 
island near the head of Rocher River. Well-worn paths leading 
away in various directions showed where the mother fox made fre- 
quent excursions for food, and the numerous remains of rabbits, 
ducks, and grouse formed an index to the results of her labors. The 
same den was tenanted when we revisited the spot two years later. 
'^^^lile descending Slave River in June, 1903, we found the homes 
of several families of foxes on the right bank about 100 miles below 
Fort Smith. The old ones eluded us, but a half-gi'own young one 
was secured. The various individuals seen were in the normal and 
cross phases. Owing to the lack of skins of foxes from this region 
I am unable to describe in detail the color of the normal or red 
phase. All imaginable shades of gradation occur, from the red 
phase through the various shades classed as ' cross ' to the ' silver,' 
wnth white-tipped hairs, and the pure bhick, fine specimens of which 
sometimes bring several hundred dollars a skin. 

Vulpcs lagopus innuitus Merriam. Continental Arctic Fox. 

This species occurs in summer throughout the Barren Grounds 
and the islands of the Arctic Sea. In winter many of the animals 
migrate southward in search of food, the extent of this wandering 
varying greatly with the amount of snow and from other causes. 
During the winter of 1900-1901, the snowfall being light, they pene- 
trated much farther south than for many years previously. We saw a 
number of skins which Avere taken during that winter in the vicinity 
of Fort Smith, where they had not appeared for several years. They 



218 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. rxo.27. 

were secured in numbers also near Fort Resolution and Fort Rae. 
At the former post about 200 yvere traded, the greater number prob- 
ably coming from the eastern part of the lake. 

During our summer explorations in the Mackenzie region we 
ix?netrated only slightly into the sunmier home of this animal. 
Tracks of small foxes were numerous on the sandy shores of Mac- 
Tavisli Bay late in August, 1903, and quantities of discarded winter 
fur, then of a dirty white color, and the testimony of the natives, 
proved this to l)e the species concerned. 

At Fort Norman I learned that usually about 100 skins are traded 
during a season, only the white phase being known there. These 
skins arc taken mainly by the Great Bear Lake Indians. Many 
white skins are annually traded at Fort Good Hope, but the blue 
phase is rarely obtained there. AVhite foxes were said to be rather 
common in the vicinity of the post during the winter of 1901-2. 
At Fort McPherson a great many are traded annually, mainly from 
the Eskimo, and in winter the species occurs rather commonly in 
the immediate vicinity. The blue phase is comparatively rare there, 
occurring i)robably in a proportion of less than 1 to 10. Skins in the 
blue phase seen at that post were of a nearly uniform color through- 
out — a rather dark plumbeous with a slight brownish tinge. 

During Parry's first voyage this animal was found to inhabit all 
the islands of the Polar Sea which were visited, and was ascertained 
to remain on Melville Island throughout the year.* One taken at 
Winter Harbor, Octol)er 29, 1819, is said by Fisher to have been 
perfectly white.^ The sixjcies was observed at Point Tumagain 
during Franklin's fii-st journey.*^ J. C. Ross recorded some taken at 
Port Bowen in the winter of 1824-25; one in the sooty phase was 
taken in Noveml)er.<' He later stated that the species was common 
at Felix Harl>or, and that the average weight of 20 males was 7 
j>()unds 4 ounces.*' Osborn o(!casionally saw the animals on the 
northern shores of Princ*e of AVales I>and in the spring of 1851.^ 
Sutherland mentions one taken on October 17, 1850, at Assistance 
Bay, Cornwall is Land.^ McCormick records a large male weighing 
8 pounds, taken on December 2, 1852, at Beechey Island; tracks were 
seen on North Devon near Caj>e Osborn, and one of the animals was 
observed August *U near Baring Bay.* M'Clintock records the 

« Snppl. to Apr>endix Parry's First Voyage, p. cij^xxvii, 1824. 

'Mtmnuil Voyage of Discovery, p. 148, 1821. 

'• Narrative Journey to Polar Sea, p. 387, 1823. 

'M»arry*s Tliird Voyage, Apiiendix, pp. 92, 1)3, 1826. 

*'Ap|K»iKlix to Kos8*8 Second Voyage, p. xi, 18.S5. 

^Arctic Journal, p. 220. 1852. 

^Journal Voyage to Hafiin Bay, I, p. 411, 1852. 

* McCoriuick's Voyages, II, pp. a% 120, 142, 1884. 



10O8.1 MAMMALS. 219 

animal from Port Kemiedy, where three were trapped in December, 
1858 ; others were shot in February and March, 1859, and the species 
appeared in greater numbers about the last of March.** 

Armstrong mentions that a few were taken in December, 1850, in 
Prince of Wales Strait, near Princess Royal Islands, during the 
voyage of the Investigator^ and that a few others were noted later 
in the winter.^ Among the stomachs examined some were empty, 
others contained a few small pieces of dwarf willow, while one was 
distended with the hair and a portion of the hoof of a caribou/ A 
specimen taken near the same place May 15, 1851, had assumed its 
partially brown summer coat.** He reports a black fox seen near 
Prince Albert Cape, Banks Land, in September, 1851, probably an 
example of this species in the sooty phase.** Allen records skulls of 
this animal from Fort Anderson, Fort Good Hope, and Peel River.^ 
Warburton Pike saw one at Lac du Rocher, north of Great Slave 
Lake, on September 13, 1889.^ Russell observed a family of Arctic 
foxes near Warren Point, east of Herschel Island, in the summer of 
1894.* 

MacFarlane states that this species was usually common in the 
Anderson River region, and that a few were traded at various posts 
in Cumberland and English River districts, Cumberland House hav- 
ing received 5 skins in 1876. Lac du Brochet, Reindeer Lake, ob- 
tained 785 skins in 1886, mainly from the inland Eskimo. In 1890 
one was traded at Portage La Loche. He states that the species has 
been trapped on the south shore of Great Slave Lake, and that many 
years ago one was shot some distance up Peace River.* 

In regard to the occurrence of the blue color phase, I extract the 
following notes from his account. Very few were obtained at Fort 
Anderson. Farther inland Ross, up to the year 1861, had known 
of only two examples being taken, both on the edge of the Barren 
Grounds near the eastern end of Great Slave Lake, but four were 
obtained from the same quarter a year or two later. A number were 
secured also in 1859 and 1862 from the region tributary to Fort Fond 
du Lac, Athabaska Lake, as well as others during succeeding years. 
In 1889 Lac du Brochet, Reindeer Lake, obtained seven from the 
inland Eskimo.' The number of skins in the white phase obtained 

« Voyage of the Fox, pp. 195, 202, 215, 218, 1860. 

* Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 2J)2, isr>7. 
^ Ibid., pp. 303, 3(H. 1857. 

* Ibid., p. 324, 1857. 
^ Ibid., p. 426, 1857. 

1 Bull. U. S. Geol. and Geog. Surv. Terr., No. 4, Vol. II, p. 325, 1876. 
tf Barren Ground of Northern Canada, p. 37, 1892. 

* Expl. in Far North, p. 143, 1898. 

*Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII, p. 704, 1905. 
i Ibid., pp. 706, 707. 1905. 



220 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo.27. 

during the same year is not given, but probably ran into the 
hundreds. 

Fort Anderson, during the first year of its existence (outfit 18G1), 
traded 360 skins of this species, including 10 ' blue ' foxes. During 
the following year its returns included 330 skins, of which 10 were 
in the blue phase. 

Hubert Darrell, who accompanied Hanbury through the Barren 
Grounds in 1901-2, writes me that a number were killed during 
the early spring of 1902 while the party was traveling northward 
from Aberdeen Lake to the Arctic coast. He states that they were 
much smaller than the individuals obtained about Fort Resolution, 
where he had become familiar with the species during the preceding 
winter. 

Several imperfect skins in the National Museum from the Ander- 
son and Lower Mackenzie rivers show considerable variation in color, 
ranging from the normal to the scx)ty phase. 

Ursus amcricanus Pallas. Black bear. 

The black bear occurs more or less abundantly throughout the 
greater part of the i^egion now under review, its range Ijeing practi- 
cally coextensive with the forest. 

In 1901 we saw a skull in a grove of Banksian pines a few miles 
south of Athabaska Landing, and the species was said by the resi- 
dents to be fairly conunon in the vicinity. The valley of the Atha- 
baska is a favorite resort, and while descending that river early in 
May we saw a numlxT on the fire-swept hills overlooking the river. 
Later in the month the fresh tracks of a small individual were noted 
near our camp at Point La Brie, near Fort Chipewyan. Numerous 
skins were seen at Fort Smith, Fort RcvSolution, ajid Fort Rae, all 
re])resenting the black phase. In August, while ascending the Atha- 
baska (m our return trip, we saw a number between Fort McMurray 
and Athabaska Landing, noting 5 In a single day, but the necessity 
for rapid travel forbade hunting. At this season the bears live 
largely on the ri])ening berries of cornel {Comus stolon? f era) ^ high- 
bush cranberi-y {\ ihuruvm opulus), few-flowered viburnum {Vibur- 
nifffi paurifovum)^ mountain cranberry {Vitisidcea vitisidfpa)^ rasp- 
berries {Ruhns sfrir/osus), bearberries {Arctostaphylos uvaursi)^ and 
blueberries {Vncctfrinm canadense). They also pick up an occasional 
fish in the eddies. 

In the spring of 1008, when we again descended the Athabaska, we 
noted a few black bears along its banks. We saw tracks also at sev- 
eral points on Slave River bi»tween Fort Smith and Great Slave 
I^ake ui June. After the division of the party Alfred E. Preble and 
Merritt Gary obs<»rved bears at Hay River and at several points on 
the upi^cr Mackenzie. A\Tiile making the traverse between Fort Rae 



ino8,] MAMMALS. 221 

and (Jreat Bear Lake in August I found them to be fairly common 
throughout the region. I noted tracks on nearly all the portages, but 
failed to see any of the animals. In several places their well-worn 
and characteristic trails were very conspicuous. The animals were 
feeding largely on blueberries, which were ripening abundantly in 
the muskegs. Along the southern shores of Great Bear Lake in Sep- 
tember we frequently saw their tracks. They were then feeding on 
the ripe berries of Vaccinium uliginosum^ Vitisidwa vitisidceay and 
Empetrum nignim. Several parties of Indians, whose camps were 
passed near the western end of the lake about the middle of Septem- 
l)er, had lately killed bears. 

When we ascended the Mackenzie in October the bears had mostly 
hibernated and we saw no recent tracks. About December 1, how- 
ever, James MacKinlay, while on his way to Great Slave Lake, saw 
a fresh track near the Head of the Line, 70 miles above Fort Simp- 
son. Three black bears were tracked and killed by Indians near Fort 
Providence about the same time. They were very thin and had not 
hibernated. The scarcity of berries during the autumn was given 
as the cause of the animals not being able to fatten and go into winter 
quarters as usual. 

Wliile descending the Mackenzie in June, 1904, I saw tracks of 
bears at several points. Near the mouth of the Nahanni the animals 
apparently were quite common. Just after running the Sans Sault 
Bapid, 125 miles below Fort Norman, on June 19, we killed a bear. 
The animal proved to be a female about 3 years old. She had evi- 
dently never borne young. The stomach was distended with the 
shoots of Equisetum^ on which the animal was browsing when first 
seen. We ascertained that many skins are traded at Forts Norman 
and Good Hope, and a few at Fort McPherson. While we were 
ascending the Athabaska during August, on our homeward trip, a 
numl^er of bears were*seen and several were shot by natives accom- 
panying the transport. 

The cinnamon or brown phase of color, though of rather common 
occurrence in the mountains of Alberta, is rare throughout the 
greater part of the region east of the mountains. I have never seen 
a skin of this phase on the Athabaska or Slave rivers, but was told 
that a ' cinnamon ' bear was killed on the lower part of Little Buffalo 
River, near Fort Resolution, about the middle of June, 1903. The fur 
traders say that an occasional one is brought to Fort Resolution from 
the eastern end of Great Slave Lake. At Fort Simpson, also, a 
brown skin is occasionally traded. This phase was reported to be 
very rare at Fort Good Hope. Ross, writing on the bears of the 
Mackenzie River district about the year 1860, states that the brown 
variety of this species is very rare.** 

«Can. Nat. and GeoL, VII, p. 139, 1862. 



222 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so. 27. 

While in the Jasper House region in the summers of 1895 and 1896 
J. Alden Loring found these animals rather conmion, and secured 
several specimens. On one occasion in 1895, near Henry House, a 
female ' cinnamon ' bear and her two cubs were observed in a tall 
dead tree. One of the cubs was black, while the other resembled the 
mother in color. The old one was wounded and disappeared, and 
altliough the young ones bleated loudly, she was with difficulty en- 
ticed near enough to be shot, but was finally secured, together with 
l)oth the young ones. The stomachs of all were fille<J with bhie- 
Ix^rries {VarHnium). Another adult, in the black phase, was killed 
at Jasper House during the same sununer. In 1896, while in the 
same region, Ix)ring saw many tracks of black bears at various points 
in the mountains and foothills. ^ 

Hood mentions seeing ' brown ' bears, probably referring to the 
cinnamon phase of the black bear, on the Clearwater, during the 
spring of 1820.<' MacFarlane speaks of seeing several black bears on 
Lockhart River, a tributary of the Anderson, in the summer of 1857.* 
In a later paper he states that the species is not common within the 
Arctic portion of the flower] Anderson River region, though fairly 
abundant on both sides of the valley in the forested country to the 
soutliward.** Ross gives the species as common throughout the Mac- 
kenzie River region north to beyond the Arctic Circle.' J. B. Tyrrell, 
as the result of observations made in the country to the eastward of 
Athabaska Lake in the summers of 1892, 1893, and 1894, states that 
the black lx?ar ranges throughout the wooded country.* J. W. TTyr- 
rell records it from Wolverine (Chipman) River, a short distance 
northeast of the eastern extremity of Athabaska Lake, where he ob- 
served it in the summer of 1893.' Russell states that only three bears 
were killed within 20 miles of Fort Rae during the winter of 1893- 
94; that they are frequently seen along the Mackenzie, but are re- 
ported not to occur in the neighborhood of La Pierre House.^ J. W. 
Tyrrell mentions black bears as occurring on the east side of Artillery 
Lake near latitude 03°.* Hanbury states that they are found on the 
main Ark-i-linik, or Thelon, River.' This is the most northeastern 
record and extends the known distribution of the species in this 
direction to the extreme limit of trees. 



« Franklin's Narrative Journey to Polar Sea, p. 191, 1823. 

^rnuadiau Record of Science, IV, p. 32, 1800. 

^ l»nK-. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII, p. 721, 1905. 

^'C'an. Nat. and (leol., VII, p. 139. 1802. 

''Ann. Kept. Can. (leol. Surv.. IX (new ser.), p. 166F, 1808. 

f Across the Sub-Arctics of Canada, p. 73, 1808. 

ff Expl. in Far North, p. 246, 1808. 

* Ann. Kept. Dept. Interior (Canada) for 1900-1901, p. 115. 1902. 

^ Six)rt and Travel in Northland of Canada, p. 14, 1904. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 223 

TTniu horribilis Ord. Grizzly Bear. 

Grizzly bears, probably referable to this species, occur throughout 
the Rocky Mountain range and its eastern spurs west of the Mac- 
kenzie, north to the Arctic coast. Specimens of grizzly bears from 
this region are very rare in museums, hence it is impossible to speak 
with assurance regarding the species. 

We were informed that grizzlies were often killed in the Nahanni 
Mountains, and that several had been shot near Fort Liard during 
recent years. A number of skins are traded annually at Forts Liard 
and Nelson. At Fort Norman I saw several skins which had been 
taken in the mountains to the westward. They were of course with- 
out skulls, and lacked also claws. They were in general of a nearly 
uniform dark yellowish-brown, the underfur frequently overlaid with 
long yellowish hair. 

From C. P. Gaudet, of Fort Good Hope, I obtained the claws of a 
large bear said to have been taken near the mouth of the Mackenzie. 
The fore claws are long and comparatively straight. An imperfect 
skin obtained at Arctic Red River is smaller, but has similar claws. 
It is provisionally referred to this species. The termination of the 
range west of the Mackenzie Delta, locally called Black Mountain, 
is inhabited by large grizzlies, which are said to be very savage when 
they come out of their dens in the spring. 

This bear was first recorded from the region by Mackenzie, who 
during his exploration of Peace River noted the species below the 
mouth of ' Sinew ' River, a southern tributary entering the Peace 
a short distance east of the mountains.® Richardson states that the 
species " inhabits the Rocky Mountains and the plains lying to 
the eastward of them, as far as latitude 61°," and that Drummond 
found it common in the wooded country skirting the eastern base of 
the Rocky Mountains and about the source of the Peace.^ Ross gives 
this species as " not rare in the mountain ranges " of the Mackenzie 
River region.* About the last of June, 1894, Frank Russell killed 
a grizzly bear in the delta of the Mackenzie. Russell does not de- 
scribe its color, but states that it weighed about 700 pounds, and that 
its specific gravity was so great " that it required considerable effort 
to raise the carcass to the surface." <* The skull, now in the collection 
of the University of Iowa, has been examined by Dr. C. Hart Mer- 
riam and pronounced to be a true grizzly. 

In the summer of 1895 J. Alden Loring found grizzly bears to be 
rather common in the mountains in the Jasper House region, where 

« Voyages to Frozen and Pacific Oceans, p. 100, 1801. 

* Fauna BoreaH- Americana, I, pp. 28, 29, 1820. (See Drummond's itinerary, 
p. 60.) 
^ Can. Nar. and Geol., VII, p. 139, 1862. 
^'ExpL in F&r North, p. 246, 1898. 



/ 



224 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. I no 27 

three were killed by his party. These had been feeding on bliio- 
berries {Vaccinium). In many places the animals had been dij^gin^ 
for roots and spermophiles, or overturning rotten logs in search of 
insects. In 1896 he found traces of the animals in Rodent Valley, and 
ascertained the fact of their occurrence in the higher parts of the 
mountains between Jasper House and Smoky River. 

UrsuB richardsoni Swainson. Barren Ground Bear. 

This famous bear occurs in various parts of the Barren Groiimk, 
but seems to be rare over the greater part of its range and is ^till very 
imperfectly known. Though constantly on the lookout for this 
species w^hile traveling along the south shore of the great lake named 
for it, I failed to see either bears or their tracks. The Indians, how- 
ever, informed me that many occur on the large eminence usually 
called Grizzly Bear Mountain, west of Mc Vicar Bay, and that they 
are found less frequently about the outlet of the lake. Mr. Peter 
McCallum, who has spent some years about Great Bear Lake, in- 
formed me that the region of the Scented Grass Mountains, locally 
known as the ' Big Point,' is a favorite locality for the animals. 
Skins from Great Bear Lake, seen at Fort Norman, were of a nearly 
uniform dark brown throughout. Others seen at Fort Good Hope, 
said to be from the Barren Grounds, were similar in color, but in 
some cases the underfur was overlaid with long yellowish hair. 

This species was first reported by Samuel Heame, who saw the skin 
of an enormous grizzled bear at the t^nts of the Eskimo at the Bloody 
Fall, Copi)ermine River.* During Franklin's first northern journey 
tliis hoar was several times observed, and is mentioned in the narrative 
from (irizzly Bear Lake, a short distance south of Fort Enterprise:^ 
from the Coppermine near Fairy Lake River and Bloody Fall; from 
the mouth of Hood River; and from several points on Bathurst Inlet. 
On one occasion a female with three cubs was seen.*^ In the stomach 
of one killed on the Arctic coast (near Gordon Bay, Bathurst Inlet) 
were the remains of a seal, a marmot, some roots of plants, some 
l)erries, and grass.'' Richardson recognized this species as distinct 
from other American bears, but not being certain of its distinctne^^ 
from Ursufi arctos^ on several occasions treated it under that name. 
Thomas Simpson observed a Barren Ground bear, accompanied by 
two cubs, on Barry Island, Bathurst Inlet, on August 3, 1838.<^ 

During the explorations conducted by J. W. Tyrrell in the region 
between Great Slave Lake and Hudson Bay in the summer of liK)(). 



" .Tourney to the Northern Ocean, p. 372, 1795. 

^ Narrative Journey to PoUir Sea, p. 220, 1823. 

<^ Ibid., pp. 334, 342, 377, 378, 1823. 

^^ Fauna BoreaH-Americana, I, p. 23, 1820. 

c Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, p. 281, 1843. 



1008,] MAMMALS. 225 

tracks of a large bear, undoubtedly of this species, were seen on hvo 
occasions on the Thelon, and one was killed by Fairchild, a member 
of the party. This specimen, unfortunately, was lost in a canoe acci- 
dent.** During the same season, J. M. Bell, while exploring in the 
Great Bear Lake region, met with this species. He writes me that he 
saw " grizzly bears, large grayish-brown brutes, quite often along the 
west and north shore of Great Bear Lake." Hanbury failed to meet 
with any of these bears during his long journey through the Barren 
Grounds in 1901-2. On reaching the coast near Ogden Bay, early in 
May, 1902, he learned from the Eskimo that the animals occur all 
along the Arctic coast, though not numerously, but that they do not 
emerge from their winter quarters until June. Proceeding westward, 
he noted tracks in several places between there and Great Bear Lake, 
but saw none of the animals. He saw the last fresh tracks on the north 
shore of Great Bear Lake, near the mouth of Haldane River, late in 
August.'' MacFarlane in his recent paper on northern mammals refers 
to a number of instances which occurred in his personal experience, 
illustrating the ferocity of this species. He met with it on several 
occasions in various parts of the Anderson River and Franklin Bay 
region. According to the Indians this bear brings forth one or two 
cubs every third year. The stomachs of the specimens examined by 
him were mostly full of various edible roots and one or two contained 
caribou meat.*' He obtained both skins and skulls of this bear in the 
Anderson River region, and skulls from Anderson River, Franklin 
Bay, and the 'Arctic Coast' [probably to the northward of Fort 
Anderson] have been recorded by Merriam in his recent paper on the 
American bears.** 

A mounted specimen in the National Museum, taken by MacFarlane 
on the Barren Grounds to the eastward of Fort Anderson in June, 
1864, is dull yellowish brown in color. It resembles closely some 
specimens of the grizzly bear, but the head is more yellowish. 

Thalarctos maritixmu (Phipps). Polar Bear. 

This species occurs all along the northern coast and on the islands 
of the Arctic Sea. Sabine recorded it from Melville Island, where, 
however, it was not common, only two individuals being observed dur- 
ing the time (about a year) that the ships were detained there.'' J. C. 
Ross reported it from Port Bowen; Batty Bay; Fury Beach; and 
Boothia Felix.^ In his narrative of the voyage of the Iiivestigator 

«Ann. Kept. Dept. Interior (Canada), for 1900-1001, p. 122, 1002. 

» Sport and Travel in Northland of Canada, pp. 130, 100, 243, 1004. 

<^Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVI II, pp. 718-720, 1005. 

*Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., X, p. 78, 1806. 

* Suppl. to Appendix Parry's First Voyage, p. clxxxiii, 1824. 

'Appendix to Ross's Second Voyage, p. vii, 1835. 

44131— No. 27—08 15 



226 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

Armstrong records the species from Franklin Bay, where one was 
seen swimming ; " from Prince of Wales Strait, where one was seen 
March 29, 1851 ; * and from near Prince Albert Cape, Banks Land, 
where it was common August 19, 1851.<* Ml>ougall records it from 
near Cape Mecham, southern part of Prince Patrick Island, where 
<wo were seen in the spring of 1853.* Two seen at Camden Bay 
in the autumn of the same year are recorded by CoUinson/ Kennedy 
reported tracks of polar bears as numerous on the northern shore of 
North Somerset/ Sutherland recorded the species from the western 
coast of North Devon, where several were seen late in May, 1851, 
passing northward up the channel.' He reported it also from Cape 
Martyr; Assistance Bay; Cape De Haven; and other points on Corn- 
wallis Island.^ M'Dougall found the animals numerous in the 
summer of 1853 in Melville Sound between Cape Cockbum and 
Baker Island.* McCormick noted one August 10, 1852, at Beechey 
Island, and saw tracks later in the month on the shore of NoHh 
Devon near Cai>e Osborn.^ Gilder reported three killed by the Es- 
kimo in October, 1879, on King William Land near Terror Bay.*^' 

Russell reports the species from Herschel Island, where he obtained 
skins and skulls, and where the species was said sometimes to gather 
by scores. He was informed also that a few years since one of the 
animals penetrated inland as far as Fort McPherson, a very unusual 
circumstances for this maritime species.' J. M. Bell writes me that 
during his explorations to the northeast of Great Bear Lake in 
August, 1900, one was seen near Dismal Lake. Hanbury, during 
his journey along the Arctic coast early in the summer of 190*2. 
did not meet with any polar bears. According to the Eskimo, the 
animals were scarce near Ogden Bay, but were numerous on Corona- 
tion (lulf later in the season. They were stated to be numerous on 
Lind Island during the winter.*^ Darrell writes me that the natives 
state that the animals do not come to the coast until the ice breaks 
up in August. MacFarlane states that during his residence at Fort 
Anderson he annuallv received a few skins of this bear from the 



« Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 202, 1857. 

» Ibid., p. 3()4, 1S57. 

^ Ibid., p. aOl, 1S57. 

<* Voyage of the Resolute to Arctic HegioiiH, p. 202, 1867. 

*-' Journal of II. M. S. EnterpHne, p. 302, 188S). 

/ Narrative Swoiul Voy. Prince Albert, p. 150, 1853. 

f'Joiini. Voy. to Baffin Bay, II, p. 88. 1852. 

* Ibid., I, p. 397, II, laS, 141, 127, etc., 1852. 

< Voyage of the Reftolute, p. 266, 1857. 

J McC'orniiclc's Voyages, II, pp. 49, 120, 1884. 

^ Schwatka's Search, p. 192, 1881. 

' Expl. in Far North, pp. 244, 245, 1898. 

♦» Si)ort and Travel iu Northland of Canada, mu 139, 152, 1004. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 227 

Eskimo, and that he sent three specimens, taken on Liverpool Bay 
and near the mouth of Wilmot Horton River, to Washington.** 

Mephitis hndsonica Richardson. Northern Plains Skunk. 

The skunk is rather common in the rolling country between Edmon- 
ton and Athabaska Landing, and occurs less abundantly northward to 
the vicinity of Fort Smith. Of its presence in central Alberta we 
obtained abundant evidence in 1901. Farther north J. S. Edmonton 
informed me that three were killed near the mouth of Peace River in 
1898, and that he had seen the skins of two which were taken near 
Fort Smith. Mr. Brabant, of that post, told me that the animal was 
occasionally killed in the vicinity, and a specimen is included in a col- 
lection of skulls since received from there. 

During our second trip to the region, in 1903, my brother und 
Gary saw two skins at Fort Smith, and a live individual on Slave 
River near the mouth of the Peace. While ascending the Athabaska 
above Fort McMurray, and while on the road between Athabaska 
Landing and Edmonton, they often saw tracks. Skins were seen at 
Athabaska Landing and near Lily Lake. 

During my outward trip in the autumn of 1904 I saw the body of 
a skunk in the possession of some natives on the Athabaska below 
Grand Rapid, and obtained a hunter's skin from W. E. Whiteley at 
Sandy Creek, 20 miles south of Athabaska Landing. He reported 
the animal fairly common there. 

A. F. Camsell writes me that two skunks were killed near Fort 
Simpson in the autumn of 1905. One of these was taken near the 
Mackenzie about 25 miles above Fort Simpson ; the other near Liard 
River 10 miles from its mouth. The skins of both animals were 
traded at Fort Simpson. 

King records a skunk killed beyond the sixty-first parallel on the 
route between Athabaska and Great Slave lakes.^ Ross mentions 
finding the bones and part of tlie skin of one a short distance from 
the shores of Great Slave Lake.^ 

J. Alden Loring took a specimen at Jasper House, August 25, 
1895, but reported the animal as not common. He saw another at 
Henry House, October 9, 1896. The Jasper House specimen and a 
skull from Great Slave Lake have been recorded by Howell.* 

MacFarlane gives data showing that this animal is fairly abun- 
dant in the Lesser Slave Lake and Isle a la Crosse regions. In 1889 
Lesser Slave Lake sent out 62 skins ; Sturgeon Lake, 3 ; Trout Lake, 
2; Whitefish Lake, 20; and Poilage la Loehe, 11. English River 

«Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII. p. 723, 11)05. 

* Narrative of Journey to Arctic Ocean, II, p. 127, 1836. 

«Can. Nat. and Geol., VII, p. 139, 1862. 

' N. A. Fauna, No. 20, p. 25, 1901. 



228 NORTH ABfEBICAN FAUNA. * [xo.l»7. 

district, comprising the posts in the Isle k la Crosse region, sent out 
401 skins in 1889, and 207 in 1890, mostly from Isle a la Crosse and 
Green Lake. He also mentions obtaining specimens at Fort Chipe- 
wyan.« 

Intra canadensis (Schreber). Canadian Otter. 

The otter occurs throughout the wooded portion of the region, but 
is rare over most of this area. Skins were seen at all the posts visited, 
but although an occasional track was noted none of the animals were 
observed during our trips except in the region between Fort Rae and 
Great Bear Lake. AVhile making this traverse in August, 1903, 
otters, sometimes in pairs, were observed on several of the lakes, and 
' otter sign ' indicated that the animals were fairly common along 
the rapids of most of the streams. On the lakes north of I-#ake 
Hardisty several were pursued, but we failed to secure specimens, 
with the exception of a skull picked up at a rapid near MacTavish 
Bay. VJl\en pursued they swam altogether beneath the surface, rising 
at intervals of a minute or two to breathe and reconnoiter. On first 
reaching the surface the animal raises its head about a foot above the 
wat^r to survey the situation. After remaining a few seconds in this 
Ix)sition it sinks until only the head remains in sight while it regains 
its breath, remaining quiescent for some seconds. It then dives again, 
especially if hard pressed, and swims for a distance of 200 yards or 
more before reapi>earing, usually in an unexpected direction. If the 
animal is wounded, it raises only the nose above the surface, and in 
this position usually escapes detection if there be ever so slight a 
ripple on the water. 

While ascending the Athabaska in August, 1903, Merritt Gary saw 
otter tracks ncMir Brule Rapid. Reports from the Liard indicate 
that a fair numlx^r are annually traded at Forts' Nelson and Liard, 
and a few are received also at Fort Simpson. On the lower Mac- 
kenzie the animal is rare, only one or two being annually traded at 
Fort Good Hope. Fort Anderson also received comparatively few 
skins during the five years of its existence. In 1861 five were traded, 
and in 18()i2, three. 

At the time of Franklin's second northern journey these animals 
were rather common about Fort Franklin and did considerable 
damage to fish nets: on one occasion six were seen in one day.^ Rich- 
ardson states that the otter inhabits the Mackenzie and other rivers 
nearly to the Arctic* Sea.^ J. B. Tyrrell states that in the region t*) 
the eastward of Athabaska Lake the otter occurs on all the streams 

° rr(K-. V. S. Nat. Mns., XXVIII, pp. 714, 715, 1905. 

^ Nnrrativo SfHoiid p:xi)edition to Polar Sea, p. 72, 1828. 

^ Fauuu Boreali-Americaiia, I, p. 58, 1829. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 229 

throughout the wooded country.** Russell recorded it from Fort Rae, 
and was told that the anhnal was comparatively common near Fort 
Nelson, on a southern tributary of the Liard.^ MacFarlane records 
an otter seen on Lockhart River in the summer of 1857.*^ In a later 
paper he states that the animal was not conmion on the lower Ander- 
son, and that the young number from three to five.** 

Taxidea taxns ( Schreber ) . Badger. 

Concerning this species Richardson says : " The Meles Lahradoria 
frequents the sandy plains or prairies which skirt the Rocky Moun- 
tains as far north as the banks of the Peace River, and sources of 
the River of the Mountains, in latitude 58*^."*^ Thomas Simpson, on 
January 28, 1837, saw a recently killed specimen in the possession 
of an Indian on the Athabaska below the mouth of the Clearwater.^ 
I find no late records of its occurrence north of the Saskatchewan 
region, but as the animal is rapidly being extirpated throughout its 
range, it is not unlikely that it formerly extended farther north. 
MacFarlane states that in 1889 Isle a la Crosse and Green Lake each 
traded one badger skin.^ 

Lntreola vison energ^mnenos (Bangs). Western Mink. 

The mink is rather common throughout the wooded portion of 
the region now under review. During the season of 1901 we fre- 
quently saw tracks along the muddy margins of the rivers, but 
failed to see any of the animals. Skulls were obtiained at the fol- 
lowing localities: Athabaska River (near Brule and Boiler rapids) ; 
Slave River (at points 10 and 15 miles below Peace River, and 30 
and 100 miles below Fort Smith) ; Fort Resolution; and Fort Rae. 

During our trip northward to Great Slave Lake in 1903 we made 
few observations on this species, though we obtained a few skulls 
at trappers' cabins along the route, and occasionally noted tracks 
on the river banks. In the region between Fort Rae and Great Bear 
Lake I found the mink rather common. Along the lower part of 
the rapid stream which we descended to MacTavish Bay it was 
especially abundant, and a number were observed and two adult 
males secured. One of these I trapped in an unusual manner. "While 
making a portage to avoid a rapid I caught several large lake trout 
in the eddy at its foot. These I tossed among the bowlders on the 
shore as fast as I secured them. On gathering the fish I missed one, 

«Ann. Kept Can. Geol. Sun-., IX (new Her.), p. 1(M>F, 1898. 

» Expl. In Far North, p. 239, 1898. 

'^Canadian Record of Science, IV, p. 32, 1890. 

^ Proc. U. S. Nat. Mas., XXVIII, p. 710, 1905. 

* Fauna BoreaU-Americana, I, p. 38, 1829. 

f Narrative Discoveries on Nortli Coast of America, p. G4, 1843. 

i^Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII, p. 715, liM)r>. 



230 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo.27. 

and after a short search found it partially hidden beneath a bowlder, 
where it had been dragged by a mink which was still engaged with it. 
I set a small steel trap, and while holding it by the chain with one 
hand I seized the fish by the tail and gently led the mink into the trap. 

I saw no minks about Fort Franklin, where the species was said 
by the Indians to be rare. While ascending the Mackenzie to Fort 
Simpson in October I frequently noted tracks, and on one occasion 
saw a mink on the river bank. I found it to be rather common about 
Fort Simpson, where numbers are annually traded. Many are 
obtained also at Forts Norman and Grood Hope. 

Skins and skulls from this region are not essentially diflFerent 
from specimens of L, energumenos from southern British Columbia, 
and it seems best to refer the interior mink to this form. A skull 
in the National Museum from Fort Good Hope has the broad ros- 
trum of Littreola ingens of Alaska, and it is probable that the mink 
of the lower Mackenzie is referable to this form. 

During his exploring trip to the Anderson River region in the 
summer of 1857 MacFarlane noted the mink on Lockhart River." 
In a recent paper he states that it occurs along the Anderson and 
other Arctic rivers to the coast. The usual number of young are said 
by him to be five or six, though as many as twelve had been re- 
ported.^ Russell states that the mink is rare at the mouth of the 
Mackenzie.*' 

While in the Jasper House region in 1895 and 1896 J. Alden 
Loring found the mink to be common throughout most of that sec- 
tion, and obtained skulls from 40 miles northeast of Jasper House, 
Whitemud, and Moose Creek. 

Pntorius cicognanii (Bonaparte). Bonaparte Weasel. 

This weasel occurs in the mountains of Alberta, and in all proba- 
bility northward to the I'egion of the upper Peace River, or beyond. 
A young weasel taken by J. Alden Loring in the mountains 15 
miles south of Henry House, July 21, 1896, is referable to this species. 
Another weasel was seen in Rodent Valley, 25 miles west of Henry 
House, in October of the same year. Two specimens in winter 
jx^lage from St. Albert, Alberta, are intermediate between P, rich- 
ardson! and cirogtiana^ and some of our Athabaska River specimens, 
though referred to I\ richardsonL also show a tendency in the direc- 
tion of rirognanii. A female weasel from near Fort Providence also 
approaches so closely to ctcognanii in characters as to suggest that P. 
richardsohi and ricognanii must intergrade from about that point 

« Cauadiiin Ueoord of Science, IV, p. 32, 1890. 
M»nx-. V. S. Nat. Miis.. XXVIII. p. 714, 1905. 
^ Expl. in Far North, p. 238, 1808. 



1008.1 MAMMALS. 231 

southward. Farther east, however, on the lower Athabaska and 
Slave rivers, richardsoni does not show this tendency. 

Pntorins cicog^nanii richardsoni (Bonaparte). Richardson Weasel. 

This is the common weasel throughout the wooded portion of the 
region, with the exception of the upper pairt of the Hudsonian zone, 
which is occupied by P, arcticus. Our collection includes skins and 
skulls from points on the Athabaska near Crooked Rapid and 60 
miles above Grand Rapid ; from Fort Chipewyan ; Fort Smith ; Fort 
Resolution ; near Fort Providence ; Fort Simpson ; and Fort Franklin ; 
and odd skulls from various points on the Athabaska and Slave rivers. 
Fort Rae and Big Island, Great Slave Lake, are represented by 
specimens taken many years ago and now in the National Museum. 

In 1901, during our northward trip, we occasionally secured a 
specimen along the route to Great Slave Lake, and while returning, 
collected two on the Athabaska above Crooked Rapid, and one 60 
miles above Grand Rapid. 

Early in July, 1903, 1 collected an adult female and several young 
ones at Fort Resolution. During my trip northward from Fort Rae 
in August I failed to detect weasels, though the species undoubtedly 
ranges throughout the region. During September, while traveling 
along the southern shore of Great Bear Lake, I saw tracks on the 
sandy beaches on several occasions. At Fort Franklin, the type 
locality of P. richardsoni^ I made special efforts to secure weasels, and 
was rewarded by the capture of two adult males. The first one was 
trapped in spruce woods on September 19. It was in nearly complete 
winter pelage, retaining on the back only a few of the brown hairs 
of the summer pelage. During the night of September 20, while en- 
camped at the same place, I several times heard something moving 
about the tent. In the morning I found that a rabbit which had been 
left on the ground had been eaten about the back of the neck. My 
Indian canoeman at once declared that it was the work of a weasel. 
A close examination showed that pieces of refuse meat had been 
dragged away along a narrow path, evidently the runway of some 
small mammal, and a trap set here secured an adult male weasel dur- 
ing the-day. The animal had just commenced to turn white on the 
tail, sides, legs, and feet. Though we trapped carefully during the 
remainder of our stay no others were secured. 

While ascending the Mackenzie in October I frequently saw weasel 
tracks in the freshly fallen snow. At Fort Simpson tracks were occa- 
sionally seen, and I obtained three specimens during the late autumn, 
trapping them about the post buildings. A male taken oh October 
29 still retained on the back a few dark hairs of the summer pelage, 
and the tail still showed a considerable amount of brown. The habit 



kJL\.- 



232 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ixo.27. 

of entering storehouses, especially in winter, is common throughout 
the north and is referred to by Richardson.* When they take up 
their abode in such situations the animals are ruthlessly destroyed by 
the inhabitants, unmindful of the fact that they prey on mice, which 
form such a pest in the trading stores and which are doubtless the 
chief attraction of the weasels, though of course they help themselves 
to meat and fish. In winter they feed also on the bodies of rabbits 
which they find in the snares. 

The winter pelage, with the exception of the black terminal portion 
of the tail, is white, usually tinged with sulphur yellow posteriorly. 
In perfect specimens the black occupies about two-fifths of the entire 
length of the tail. A winter skin from Fort Rae is strongly suffused 
with orange-yellow throughout, except on the head and nape. This 
color is deei)est on the flanks, and is palest, nearly sulphur yellow, on 
the sides of the neck. 

Muxtela rif'hardHoni^ was based on Richardson's Fort Franklin 
specimen of Miistela erminea^^ of which he gives measurements, and 
on the assumption that the si)ecies about Fort Franklin would prove 
to be identical with that inhabiting the Mackenzie, the name richard- 
Honi has been generally used for this animal. Fortunately this as- 
sumption proves to have been well founded, the Mackenzie specimens 
differing from topotypes from Fort Franklin only in slightly smaller 
t?ize. The measurements of various adult specimens follow: Two 
males from Fort Franklin measure, respectively: Total length 340, 
tail vertebra 111, hind foot 48; and 340, 102, 48; a male from Fort 
Simpson measures 325, 01, 43; a male from Fort Smith, 320, 96, 45; 
a male from Fort Chipewyan, 340, 110, 47; a male from near Crooked 
Ra])id, Athabaska River, 350, 107, 43. Females are considerably 
smaller. One from Fort Resolution measured 282, 85, 34. Putorim 
arcf'icvH Impeni/ recently described by Barrett-Hamilton from a 
j^porinien received from B. R. Ross, and said to have been- collected at 
Fort Simpson, ' British Columbia ', undoubtedly came from Fort 
Simj)son on the Mackenzie, where Ross collected extensively, and the 
name is consequently a synonym of P. richardsoni. 

Putorius arcticus Merriam. Tundra Weasel. 

This large weasc^l occui)ies portions of the upper part of the Hud- 
sonian zone and the Barren Grounds. It differs from P. richardsoni 
in having darker colored under parts: the white of the toes extends 
nuK'h farther up on the feet, and there are other minor differences of 
colonition ; it has a much broader skull. I met with this weasel only 

^ Fauna Boroali-Anierieana, I, p. 4G, 1829. 

^ Boiiapartt'. Cliarlosworth's Maj;. Nat. Hist., II (new ser.), p. 38, 1838. 

*' Fauna Horoali-Americana, I, p. 47, 1820. 

''Ann. uud Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 7, XIII, p. 392, 1904. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 288 

at Fort Good Hope, in June, 1904, where a family of young occupied 
the meat cellar of the Hudson's Bay Company establishment. They 
resented any intrusion into their adopted home, and their excited and 
angry scoldings greeted me from behind the log walls whenever I 
descended mto the cellar. Three specimens were secured here, but 
they proved to be young ones. 

Merriam, in his description of P. arcticvs^ recorded specimens from 
Anderson River, Franklin Bay, and old Fort Grood Hope.* In addi- 
tion to specimens from these points, the collection of the National 
Museum contains skins from the following localities: La Pierre 
House, Fort McPherson, Fort Anderson, and Barren Grounds near 
Horton River. In notes accompanying a male taken by MacFarlane 
at Fort Anderson, June 5, 1864, the extreme length (probably meas- 
ured to tip of tail pencil) is given as nearly 12 inches; another taken 
at the same place June 15, 1864, measured 13| inches (353 mm.) in 
extreme length. 

J. C. Ross recorded Mustela erminea from Victoria Harbor, where 
it was not numerous.^ Armstrong records two weasels, probably of 
this species, which were killed at Mercy Bay, Banks Land, in July, 
1852.' M'Clintock recorded the ' ermine ' from Port Kennedy, where 
one was taken on October 2, 1858. Its extreme length was 13 inches. 
Another, in the summer coat, was taken on July 2, 1859.** Hubert 
Darrell writes me that he saw weasels on the Barren Grounds near 
the source of Great Fish River in December, 1900, and thinks that 
they are found in small numbers along the coast between the Copper- 
mine and Bathurst Inlet. 

Putorins longicanda (Bonaparte). Long-tailed Weasel. 

This plains species apparently does not extend north of the 
Saskatchewan basin. Three specimens from Edmonton, Alberta, 
taken, respectively, on September 10, 11, and 14, 1894, by J. Alden 
Lioring, are in the Biological Survey collection. They were taken in 
a single trap, which was set in a rabbit runway in a brushy tract. 
Another, a male, taken at St. Albert, Alberta, November 1, 1895, is 
assuming the winter pelage, which is complete except along the center 
of the back. These specimens are typical, not differing appreciably 
from a series taken by Loring at Wingard, near Carlton House, Sas- 
katchewan, the type locality of the species. 

Three males from Edmonton and St. Albert average : Total length 
441, tail vertebrae 160.6, hind foot 50.6; the female from Edmonton 
measured 387, 145, 45. 

« N. A. Fauna, No. 11, p. 15, 1896. 

* Appendix to Ross's Second Voyage, p. x, 1835. 

<^ Narrative Discovery* Northwest Passtige, p. 537, 1857. 

* Voyage of the Fox, pp. 185, 202, 1860. 






234 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so r. 

Pntorius rixosni Bangs. Least Weasel. 

This diminutive weasel is found probably throughout the wooded 
[Kirtion of the region. Since its slender body enables this species to 
i*nter tlie burrows of the small rodents with ease, it must constitute 
imv of their worst enemies. 

We first took this interesting species at Fort Smith, trapping in 
inmiature but full-grown male on June 21, 1901. It was taken in* 
mouse trap set in a runway of ilicrotus xanthognathus. 

This specimen measured: Total length 195; tail vertebra? 38; hind 
fcxit 22. Another specimen, an adult male, was taken by Alfred E. 
Preble at Fort Resolution on July 13. It was trapped in a Mkroi^i 
runway in a garden near the post, and measured 190, 38, 23. It is in a 
lighter, nioix* worn pelage than the younger specimen. 

During my trip in 1903 I took no specimens of this species, but 
linunutive weasel tracks seen at a number of points on the Mackenzie 
H»tween Fort Norman and Fort Simpson in October were stated to 
In^long to this sj>ecies by my Indian canoeman, who seemed familiir 
with the animal. At Fort Simpson also I saw tracks so small that 
tli(»y could have l>een made by no other species. The animals hid 
jurrowed into the snow, and the tiny holes thus made also iK)intedto 
this slender sjwcies as the probable author. Few of the white resi- 
lents in the north know of such an animal, and I never saw a skin it 
\uy of the trading posts. Probably its small size and the fact that 
Ihe tail lacks the black tip, making it of little value as ' ermine,' pre- 
vent the natives from taking the trouble to preserve skins. 

A skin from Fort Kesolution, probably the one recorded by Cones 
under the name Futorins cidf/aris^^ is now in the National Museum. 

liustela americana actnosa Osgood. Alaska Marten. 

The marten is rather common throughout the forest belt of the 
Atlial)askM and Mackenzie regions. It varies greatly in color, being 
more or less subject to melanism throughout this area. The ^dark* 
martens are more highly prized than the lighter ones, and bring a 
li^her pv'uv, sometimes as much as four or five times tlie value of 
)r(linary skins. Independent of this individual variation, which may 
Kcur anvAvlH^re within the range of the animal, but which is more 
rre(|uent in some districts than in others, marten skins average darker 
in southern than in northern portions of the region. Thus average 
skins from the lower Mackenzie are much paler than those from the 
Atliahaska, Slave, and Liard rivers, and consequently bring a lowei 
price. Sufficient material from the lower Mackenzie and the Great 
Hear Lake region has ])een examined to show fairly well the range ol 
•olor in that region. Material from Alberta and southern Mac- 

° Fur Boariug Auimals, p. 104, 1877. 



1008.1 MAMMALS. 235 

kenzie, however, is too scanty to allow of an intelligent discussion of 
the variation in color in that section. 

During the season of 1901, though we occasionally saw tracks of 
martens along the Athabaska and Slave rivers, we took no specimens; 
with the exception of a series of skulls obtained mainly about trap- 
pers' cabins. On my later trip, however, I obtained a few. Early 
in September, 1903, while encamped on the south shore of Great Bear 
Lake near Leith Point, two were trapped at the body of a moose 
killed a day of two before. Another was taken later in the month 
near the site of Fort Franklin, and about the middle of November 
another was trapped by James MacKinlay about 50 miles south of 
Fort Simpson. These specimens are males and in different conditions 
of pelage and color, and will be referred to in detail beyond. 

Martens are common along the Athabaska, Slave, and Peace rivers, 
and large numbers are traded at all the posts on their banks. Skins 
taken in thase valleys average rather dark in color and furnish a good 
grade of fur. The valley of the Athabaska below Grand Rapid is 
said to be especially good trapping ground. The number annually 
taken by each trapper varies from a few to a hundred or more. James 
MacKinlay informed me that three hunters working in the Caribou 
Mountains, southwest of Great Slave Lake, trapped in one season 
nearly 500 martens, an unusually large catch. The lower Liard 
River region and the Horn Mountains also are good trapping grounds. 
Upward of 3,000 skins are said to be usually traded at Fort Norman. 
Fort Good Hope also receives a large number, and as many as 6,000 
have been collected at Fort McPherson during an unusually good 
season. In the Great Bear Lake region the animals are said to be 
fairly common on the south and west shores of the lake, am] tlie 
mountainous peninsula separating Smith and Keith bays and 
mainly covered by the Scented Grass Hills is a favorite trapping 
ground of the Hare Indians, and yields a good supply of martens. 
Comparatively few (300 in 18G1, 350 in 1862) were traded at Fort 
Anderson during the few years of its existence, the region tributary 
to it comprising too much sparsely wooded country to constitute a 
favorable habitat. The Mackenzie, however, carries to its mouth a 
luxuriant forest growth, and martens occur there in abundance, as 
before intimated. Martens vary greatly in abundance in tlie same 
locality in different years, and to some extent this increase and de- 
crease is periodic. The winter of 1903-4 was marked by a great 
.scarcity of martens over much of the upper Mackenzie Valley, though 
in other sections the catch was about normal. They were scarce about 
Fort Simpson in 1906 and 1907. 

An adult male taken near I^ith Point, Great Bear Lake, Septem- 
ber 7, 1903, apparently is in the process of changing from the summer 
to the winter pelage. The head is grizzled brown and gray; the ears 



236 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so 27. 

are similar, l)ordered and lined with creamy white; the chin and 
cheeks are grayish brown. An area along the middle of the back is 
dark brown, the fur there being rather short and apparently woni. 
lU»neath this a fine yellowish-brown fur is \4sible, evidently the win- 
ter coat coming in. This last prevails on the sides and is there inter- 
siwrstul with longer brown-tipped hairs. The lower parts are dark 
yellowish brown, the throat patch bright orange, the feet and legs 
dusky brown. The tail is dark brown with a few yellowish hairs 
intermixed. A younger animal, evidently a young one of the year, 
taken near I^ith Point on the same date, is colored beneath and on i 
the legs as in the adult, but the fur is shorter and has the appearance 
of immaturity. The back is covered with short, stiflF, duskA' hair 
underlaid with yellowish-brown fur, evidently the winter fur cominp: 
in. This is most conspicuous on the sides. The face and chin are 
dusky brown, slightly lighter on the cheeks than elsewhere; ear? 
dusky brown, bordered with yellowish white. The tail is dark brown 
mixed with yellowish l>rown, with the hair much shorter than in the 
adult. A male, fully grown and at least in its second year, taken at 
Fort Franklin, September 23, 1903, is in nearly complete winter pel- 
ag(*. The fur is soft and about an inch in length, but is evidently not 
fully grown. It is yellowish brown above, flecked with longer brown- 
isb hairs, which are most numerous on the back. The head, chin, and 
cheeks are grayish drab, darkening on the nose; outside of ears con- 
color with the head and bordered with creamy white. The legs, feet, 
and tail are dusky brown, the latter darker at tip. Color l)eneath 
slightly darker than on back and sides; throat yellowish brown, but 
the throat i)atch practically wanting. 

A series of skins in the National Museum, taken at Fort McPher- 
soH by l{ol)ert Kennicott, shows c<msiderable variation in color, but 
in g(»neral the skins agi-ee with the Fort Franklin specimen just 
descrilHMl. Some of them are accompanied by skulls, which form a 
part of a largt* series from that place. This series agrees exactly with 
the type series of J/, a, artuom from Fort Yukon, Alaska. 

Through the kindness of D. G. Elliot, of the Field Columbian 
Museum, Chicago, I have l)een enabled to compare the type and two 
top()ty|)es of Mf/sfcfa horia, recently described by him fi'om tlie lower 
Mackenzie, witli my specimens, and with the large series from Fort 
Mcriierson and Fort Yukon. The si)ecimens of M, horia vary 
slightly in color among themst^lves, but in general are a dark unilxr 
brown. '\'\liile they are darker than the ordinary type of color in 
this region, they agree* precisely with several picked winter skins now 
in my possession which were taken near Fort McPhei'son. They 
represent th(» dark phase of color which this animal exhibits through- 
out its range. The type of J/, horia is closely matched in color also 
by a specimen in the Biological Survey coUcctiOn taken near Fort 



1908.1 MAMMALS. 237 

Simpson, November 15, 1903. In the latter the tinge of the underfur 
of the back is a trifle more oohraceous than in the type of M. horla; 
the hind feet and legs agree precisely; the fore feet and legs are less 
black; the general color beneath differs only in being slightly more 
ochraceous than the type, but agrees exactly with a topotype (No. 
13487). On the head and face the Fort Simpson specimen and the 
type of J/, horia agree precisely ; the throat patch is less extensive in 
the former but agrees in color. A young animal taken near Fort 
Simpson early in the sunamer of 1904, and examined late in July, was 
of a nearly uniform umber brown throughout. It was then about 
half grown and had become quite tame. It was very playful, but 
was inclined to use its teeth, which were too sharp for comfort. 

The average measurements of a number of skulls from various 
localities follow. These were taken from specimens which had 
attained full size. They were mainly old, were selected on account of 
their large size, and probably are all males. Five from the Jasper 
House region average: Basal length (measured from inferior lip of 
foramen magnum to posterior base of middle incisors) 76; zygomatic 
breadth 48 ; breadth across postorbital processes 22.6. Five from the 
Athabaska below Grand Sapid average: Basal length 79; zygomatic 
breadth 49.6; postorbital breadth 23.8. Five from Slave River aver- 
age: 78.8, 46.4, 23.2; five from Fort Rae, 77, 48, 23.6; five from Fort 
McPherson, 80, 48.2, 23.2 ; an adult from Fort Simpson measures^ 79, 
50, 23; the skull of the Fort Franklin specimen measures 75, 45;- ^1; 
the adult male from near Leith Point, Great Bear Lake, measureB^9, 
44, 22 ; the immature male measures 68, 40, 20. These latter specimens, 
in conjunction with their small size, have very small teeth and may 
represent a dwarfed race occupying the extreme edge of the timbered 
belt. 

The flesh measurements of a number of specimens are as follows: 
An adult male from Fort Simpson, total length 585, tail vertebrae 188, 
hind foot 90; the male from Fort Franklin, 615, 180, 100; the adult 
male from near Leith Point, 570, 160, 90; the immature male from 
same place, 545, 150, 85. 

A male taken by J. Alden Loring near Henry House, Alberta, Sep- 
tember 26, 1895, agrees almost precisely in color with the specimen 
from Fort Franklin, described above, with the exception of the feet 
and legs, which are a much lighter brown. It measured : Total length 
589, tail vertebrae 155, hind foot (measured dry) 82. It is referred 
only provisionally to M. a, aHuosa. Cranially it agrees essentially 
with this form and differs widely in characters from the Mustel^i 
caurinu type, to which the animal occupying the Rocky Mountains 
to the southward belongs. 

A skin of an almost perfect albino was sent to the National Museum 
from Fort Chipewyan some years ago by MacFarlane. The head 
and neck are pure white; general color of rest of fur white, tinged 



238 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ixo.27. 

with veiy light fawn, slightly darker on the median line of the back 
and on the tail. 

Ross published a general account of the martens of the Mackenzie 
River region, describing in some detail their variation, distribution, 
and general habits within this area." Coues recorded specimens from 
Peel River (Fort McPherson) and Fort Good Hope. The detailed 
flesh measurements of a series of 17 males and 7 females taken 
by Kennicott at the former place are given by him in tabular form. 
The standard measurements, reduced to millimeters, average as fol- 
lows: Males, total length 643; tail vertebrae 197; hind foot lOo: 
the extremes are 661, 198, 112, and 612, 180, 102. The females 
average 579, 173, 94; the extremes are 603, 184, 95, and 558, 165, 90.* 
Warburton Pike saw tracks of martens to the northward of Fond dii 
Ijac, Great Slave Lake, in 1889.<^ During his trip to western Alberta 
in 1895 and 1896, J. Alden Loring reported martens common through- 
out most of the region, and frequently saw tracks in the freshly 
fallen snow. He obtained one specimen, already described. 

MacFarlane states that comparatively few skins were obtained from 
the country north of Fort Anderson, though martens were fairly 
abundant some years in the forest region to the southward. The In- 
dians attribute their periodical fluctuation in numbers partly to 
migration.* 

Mnstela pennanti Erxleben. Fisher. 

The fisher is found throughout the region north to Great Slave Lake 
and Liard River. It seems to be nowhere abundant, and becomes rare 
toward the northern limits of its range. Along the Athabaska and 
Slave rivers a limited number of skins are collected at all the posts 
north to Fjort Resolution, and I was informed that the animal wa.s 
rather common in the region about the mouth of Peace River. In the 
Liard River region I was informed that numbers of skins are traded 
at Fort Nelson, and a few at Fort Liard, annually. A. F. Camsell 
writes me that the skins of two which were killed near Fort Simp- 
son were traded at that post in the winter of 1906-7. One of these 
was taken 10 miles southeast of the post; the exact locality of the 
other was not ascertained. 

Ross mentions a fisher killed in the delta of Slave River, near Fort 
Resolution, which weighed 18 pounds.*' Regarding the northeni 
range of the fisher, Russell says : 

They oxteiul northward as far as the Great Slave Lake, but are not found 
between Athabasca and the Great Slave Ijake exceiit aloD]? the Slave River. 

a Can. Nat. and Geol.. VI, p. 25, 1861. 

^ Fur Bearing Animals, pp. 88. 00, 1877. 

^ Barren (Jround of Northern Canada, p. 123, 18U2. 

^'Proe. r. S. Nat. Mus.. XXVIII. pp. 711, 712, 1905. 

^ Can. Nat. and Geol., VI, p. 24, 1861. 



1908.1 MAMMALS. 239 

Tbey have been seen Just north of the Mackenzie at Providence. A trader who 
has spent twenty years in the North assured me that he had seen but one 
tisher in the Mackenzie District and that one was taken at Lake Bischo in 
1881.« 

MacFarlane presents figures showing that the fisher is fairly nu- 
merous in the Isle k la Crosse and Lesser Slave Lake regions, though 
rarer to the northward. The northernmost post mentioned by him as 
trading skins is Fort Simpson, which received, in 1889, 6 skins which 
were trapped at some distance to the southward.'' 

Onlo Inscns (Linn.). Hudson Bay Wolverene. 

This powerful animal occurs throughout the region now under re- 
view north to the Arctic islands, but is nowhere common, though a 
few skins are collected at all the posts we visited. During our trip 
in 1901 more skins were seen at Fort Rae than at any other post, and 
these had been brought mainly from the Barren Grounds, where the 
animal occurs more commonly than in the wooded country. These 
skins varied greatly in color. The back was usually nearly black, 
but in some cases the entire upper parts were overlaid with yellowish 
white. Most of them had a broad light band on either side, generally 
meeting on the rump, and often isolating an oval dorsal patch of 
blackish brown or black. The face, and sometimes the throat, was 
in most cases yellowish white. 

During the season of 1903, though tracks were seen occasionally, 
I observed the animal only in the country between Fort Rae and 
Great Bear Lake. A large one was seen on an island in Lake Maze- 
nod, near the height of land, on August 6. On August 17, as we 
were paddling among the numerous islands on Lake Hardisty, a 
wolverene was seen to run over an exposed ledge of rock into the 
scattering forest. We found the animal after a short search, and as 
it stood upright to reconnoiter, killed it with a rifle shot. It proved 
to be an old female, and evidently had a litter of young in the 
vicinity. In the semibarren countiy along the southern shore of 
Great Bear Lake, tracks of wolverenes were common, especially near 
Leith Point. Here certain passes between small lakes were well 
marked with trails made by various animals, among which this 
marauder was conspicuously represented by its characteristic foot- 
prints. 

During my trip down the Mackenzie in 1904 I saw a few skins at 
Fort Norman and Fort Good Hope, and obtained a hunter's skin at 
the latter place. 

A large proportion of the wolverene skins which are obtained from 
the Indians of the Mackenzie are shipped to Foil McPherson and 

«ExpI. in Far Nortli, p. 230, ISOS. 

»Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII, p. 700, 1005. 



240 NORTH AMEBICAN FAUNA. Ino. i'7. 

traded to the Eskimo, who prize this fur highly for trimming their 
clothing. The supply never seems to equal the demand. The Eskimo 
craze for this fur is well illustrated by an incident in which mv 
party figured. TMiile ascending Peel River on June 30, on our way 
to Fort McPherson, we passed a party of Eskimo, who ascertained 
by inquiry that we were the bearers of a small package of wolverene 
skins, consigned to the Hudson's Bay trader at Fort McPherson. 
The party inmiediately broke camp and started for the post in their 
whaleboat. Fearing that we should arrive before them they pro- 
posed that we embark in their boat and tow our canoe. We dwlined 
their close company, however, and the wind having died down, they 
were unable to keep pace with our light canoe and were speedily left 
l>ehind. Ten miles below the post we passed another Eskimo family, 
also eager for wolverene fur. The man immediately launched his 
kayak and by great exertion kept with us until we reached Fort 
McPherson. Here he lost no time in trading for the skins, so that 
when the larger party reached the post a few hours later, tlie fur was 
beyond their reach, to their deep chagrin. A large party will some- 
times remain for weeks near a post if there is a prospect of obtaining 
their favorite fur. 

In the National Museum are skulls from Great Slave Lake, Fort 
Simpson, Fort Anderson, and Peel River (Fort McPherson). Some 
of the.se, as well as specimens from Liard River, have been already 
recorded by different writers. 

An imperfect skull was picked up on Melville Island during 
Parry's first voyage;* J. C. Ross recorded this animal as numerous 
at Victoria Harbor, and states that tracks were seen and skins ob- 
tained at Felix Harbor, in the same region.* King noted the animal 
at Portage La Loche (Methye Portage), in the summer of 1833.^ 
Warbuiton Pike found it common in the country between the eastern 
part of Great Slave Lake and the source of the Coppermine in the 
autumn of 1899;^ Russell observed it at the Mackenzie delta in the 
summer of 1894.*' Tyrrell noted the occurrence of this species on the 
oast side of Artillery I^ake in the sunmier of 1900.' Hanbury men- 
tions shooting a female which was swimming across Dease River, on 
the upper part of its course, in August, 1902. She bore in her mouth 
51 ground squirrel.^ Darrell, who accompanied Hanbury, writes me 

" Siippl. to Ai)i)en(Hx Parry's First Voyage, p. clxxxiv, 1824. 

^Api>en(lix to Ross's Second Voyage, p. ix, 1835. 

^ Narrntive Journey to Arctic Ocean, I, p. 91, 1836. 

** Harren (;rouiul of Northern Canada, p, 35 et seq., 1892, 

^* Expl. in Fair Nortli, p. 139, 1898. 

^Aim. Kept. Dept. Interior (Canada) for 1900-1901, p. 115. 1U02. 

Si)ort and Travel in Nortliiand of Canada, p. 232, 1904, 



908.] MAMMALS. 241 

hat the animal was met with throughout their trip through the 
3arren Grounds. 

In 1896 J. Alden Loring obtained a skull in the mountains 15 
iiiles south of Henry House, and reported it rather common among 
he mountains between Jasper House and Smoky River in the early 
iitiimn. 

Idobsenus obesus (lUiger). Pacific Walrus. 

MacFarlane states that the walrus was formerly numerous between 
^oint Barrow and Cape Bathurst. On several occasions during his 
rips to Franklin Bay in 1862 to 1865, he observed a few on the ice 
>ack. The Anderson River Eskimo frequently brought to Fort 
Inderson articles made from walrus ivory, and the covering of their 
K)ats was usually made from its hide.* 

During later years the species, of course, has greatly decreased in 
lumbers, but I have no data regarding its present range or compara- 
ive numbers. 

Ibobsenus rosmarus (Linn.). Atlantic Walrus. 

Walruses, probably referable to the Atlantic form, have been ro- 
sorded from a number of points as far west as Wellington Channel 
ind the western extremity of Barrow Strait. J. C. Ross states that 
lie animal was occasionally seen in the northern part of Prince Re- 
jent Inlet.^ Sutherland states that about a dozen were seen on Sep- 
ember 11, 1850, between Griffith Island and Comw^allis Island.*^ He 
■ecords also that some were seen by Goodsir in the spring of 1851 
lear the north shore of Cornwallis Island; others were seen by Cap- 
ain Penny May 17, 1851, near Cape Surprise; in June, 1851, near 
point Decision; and in Queen Victoria Channel north of Baring 



pland.'' 



loca vitnlina. Linn. Harbor Seal. 

I Parry records that one was killed by the crew of the Griper off Mel- 

pUe Island on August 9, 1820;^ Armstrong records one killed on 

lily 23, 1852, at Mercy Bay, Banks Land, during the voyage of the 

ivestigator; f Sutherland records one shot March 8, 1851, near the 

Duthern extremity of Cornwallis Island.^ Capt. J. W. Mills informs 

be that he has seen articles of clothing, made from the skins of this 

%)ecies, in the possession of Eskimo at Fort McPherson. Though 

« Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVIII. p. 725, 1905. 

^Apiiendlx to Ross's Second Voyage, p. xxi, 1835. 

<^ Journ. Voyage to Baffin Bay, I, p. lOG, 1852. 

^ [bid., II, pp. 106, 13:i, 150. 176, 1852. 

'^Journal Parry's First Voyage, p. 230. 1821. 

f Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 5:58, 1857. 

" Joum. Voyage to Baffin Bay, I, p. 504, 1852. 

44131— No. 27—08 16 



242 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. lxai»7. 

many refereiicos to * seals ' ai'e found in the narratives of various ex- 
piMlitions, the particuhir sjweies is seldom indicated. 

Fhoca hispida Schi-eber. Kough Seal. 

Referring to this spi^cies Bichardson says: ''They form * * * 
the chief dependence of the Esquimaux that frecpient the mouth of 
the Cop[K»rmine Kiver in the months of March^ April, May. and 
rJune."* J. C. Koss rejx)rts this species from Port Bowen;'' ami as 
occurring on l)oth sides of the Isthmus of Boothia.*^ The connnon 
seal mentioned hy Ilanbury as observed on Melville Sound, Arctic 
coast, early in June. 10O2, is probably referable to this species.' 

I saw a numlxT of skins at the Hudson's Bay posts at Arctic Roil 
River and Fort McPherson in the summer of lOW. These had l)een 
traded by the Eskimo who frecpient the mouth of the Mackenzie. In 
notes sent to th(» Smithsonian MacFarlane recrords a seal which was 
shot on Franklin Bay. It was called by the Eskimo ' natshuk," which 
identifies it as this sjx?cies. 

Fhoca groenlandica Fabr. Harp Seal. 

J. C. Ross states that skins of this seal were obtained from the 
natives of the west siile of the Isthnnis of Boothia.*^ Sutherland states 
that the ' o(*ean, or Greenland, seal ' was common in August, 18r>0, 
in the southern i>art of Wellington Channel.^ 

Erig^athus barbatns (Erxleben). Bearded Seal. 

Sutherland states that the bearded seal was common in August. 
1S50. in the southern part of Wellington Channel.^ M'Clintock 
records it from Port Kennedy, where it was observed during the 
voyage of the Fo.i'.-' 

Hanl)urv records the ' ugyuk ' (the Eskimo name for this sjjecies). 
jis rather connnon early in June, 1002, on Melville Sound.* It prolw- 
bly occurs all along the Arctic coastline from Hudson Bay to that 
vicinity, and perhaps farther west. 

Sorex personatus 1. ( Jeolf roy. Ccmimon Eastern Shrew. 

This connnon si)ecies is quite generally distributed throughout 
the region north to the Arctic Sea. During our various trips iff 
secured a series of over a hundred specimens, from the followinf 
l(Miilities: Thirty miles above Athabaska Landing; Athabaska Land- 



"Appendix to Parry's SeiHmcl VoyaRe, p. 334, 1825 (1827). 

'' Parry's Third Voyage. Appendix, p. SW, 182(5. 

^App<'ndix to Uosss Se<H)iul Voyajre, p. xix, 1835. 

** Sport and Travel in Northland of Canada, p. 15J), 19(M. 

' ApiHMulix to Ross's SfH'ond Voya>?e, p. xxi, 1835. 

^ Jonrn. Voyaj:e to Haflin Hay, I, p. 2J)3, 1852. 

'■' Voya^t* «'f tlu* For. p. lOS, 1S(»(). 

^ SiK>rt and Travel in Northland of Cauada, p. 101. 1904. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 248 

ing; Calling River; 2«5 and 50 miles above Pelican Rapid; Pelican 
Rapid; Cascade Rapid; Mountain Rapid; Fort Chipewyan; Slave 
River, 10 miles below Peace River; Smith Landing; Fort Smith; 
Slave River, ICIO miles below Fort Smith; Fort Resolution; Trout 
Rock, 25 miles south of Fort Rae ; Fort Rae ; Grandin River ; Lac St. 
Croix ; Fort Franklin, Great Bear Lake ; Fort Providence ; Fort Simp- 
son ; mountains near mouth North Nahanni River; Fort Wrigley ; and 
Fort Norman. We took specimens in nearly all kinds of situations, 
but foimd the animals most common in marshes and about the mar- 
gins of muskeg ponds. They enter the storehouses of the trading 
posts freely, especially in winter, and several were taken in such 
situations. Embryos were noted in only two instances, as follows: 
Fort Chipewyan, June 3, 1901, 10 embryos; mountains near mouth 
of Xahanni River, July 18, 1903, 6 embryos. The side glands, which 
apparently are to be found on all adult male shrews in the simimer 
or breeding season, are small in this species, occupying a space only 
2 or 3 mm. in length. They are covered with short stiff hair of 
about the same color as the surrounding fur. They are conspicuous 
only during the breeding season, probably serving a sexual purpose, 
are barely discernible in autumn, and can scarcely be detected, in 
this species, at least, in winter. 

The series taken at Fort Franklin late in September, 1903, com- 
prises specimens in both summer and winter pelages, showing the 
approximate date of the autumn molt in that region. At Fort Simp- 
son a small series in full winter pelage was taken in the late autumn 
and early winter of the same year. During the winter their tiny 
tracks and tunnels were often seen in the woods, and when the tem- 
perature stands at 40° below zero and constant motion is neceasary 
to keep one from freezing, one can not help wondering that this tiny 
creature manages to sustain life. 

In addition to the large series collected by our party, I have ex- 
amined a collection of nearly a hundred specimens of shrews (skins 
.and alcoholics) sent to the Smithsonian Institution by various mem- 
^be^s of the Hudson's Bay Company years ago, and which has never 
'l>efore been critically studied. As might be expected, the collection 
contains much interesting material, and supplements our series ad- 
;mirably. It contains about 40 specimens of S. persanatus from the 
following localities : Cumberland district, Saskatchewan; Fort Reso- 
lution; Fort Rae; Big Island, Great Slave Lake; Fort Simpson; 
^ort Liard ; Mackenzie River below Fort Good Hope ; Fort McPher- 
■^cin; mouth of Porcupine River; Fort Anderson; mouth of Ander- 

Jn River ; and [south end of] Franklin Bay. 
I Ten adult specimens from the Athabaska average in measurements : 
"T*otal length 95.6, tail vertebra* 38.9, hind foot 12 ; ten from Great 
Slave Lake, 101.6, 38.8, 12; ten from Fort Franklin, 96.7, 38.1, 11.9. 



244 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ino.2T. 

Specimens from Edmonton, St. Albert, and Island Lake^ Alberta, 
taken l)v J. Alden Lorini? in 1894 and 1895, were recorded by Mer- 
riam ; " Ln 1890 the species was taken by the same collector at the 
following places: Stony Kiver, 25 miles northwest of Jasper IIoum»: 
Smoky Valley; Muskeg Creek, at points 15 and 20 miles from its 
month; Smoky Kiver trail, north of Baptiste River; and Rodent Val- 
ley, west of Jasper House. Allen has recently recorded specimen- 
from Liard River [mouth of Black River] and Fort Xorman.*^ The 
specimen of jSorcx fornteri^ recorded by King from the mouth of 
(ireat Fish River/" was in all pn)bability referable to this si)ecie<. 

Sorex obscums Merriam. Rocky Mountain Shrew. 

During our Hi-st trip to the (ii-eat Slave Lake region in 1901 a 
single adult male was taken by Alfred E. Preble on Mission Island, 
near Fort Resolution, on July 21. The specimen calls for no special 
comment except that its tail is longer than is usual in typical 
oh sen run. 

On our next visit to the region we further extended the range of 
th«» s[)ecies. While collecting on the mountains at the mouth of 
Xahanni River in July, 190;i, my brother and Gary trapi>ed one, ami 
on their return trip they collected a number on the Athabaska at 
Swift Current and :)0 miles above Athabaska Landing. During the 
early part of the winter of 1903 I took 2 S|)ecimens at Fort Simp- 
son. They were secured about the post buildings. Another was 
taken at the same place on November 2, 1904, by J. W. Mills. 

The discovery of this species on (Ireat Slave Lake and the upper 
Mackenzie is somewhat of a surprise, since no shrew of the obscurnt^ 
type has hitherto I)(hmi recorded fi*om the interior of British Amer- 
ica north of the Jas[)er House region in western Alberta. 

Five adults from the Athabaska average in measurements, total 
length 114, tail vertebra' 45, hind foot 13.8; the Fort Resolution sj)e<M- 
nien measured 1*24, 51, 13; two from Fort Simpson average 11±"). 
47, 13.5; one from the mountains at the mouth of Nahanni River 
measured 111. 45. 13. 

The si(l(* glantls in this species are quite conspicuous, occupying a 
sj)a('e about i\S> mm. in length, or half the length of the hind foot. 

Two s])ecimens taken by J. Alden Loring at Henry House, Alberta. 
in the autunni of 1S1)5. have been recorded by Merriam.* In the 
season of 1890 Loring took the species at the following localities in 
Alberta: Mountains 15 miles south of Henry House, July 8 and 9: 
Stony Iviver, 35 miles northwest of Jasj>er House, August 26; Smoky 

" N. A. Fanim, No. 10. p. (i2. lSf)5. 

'' lUill. Am. Mns. Nat. Hist., XIX, p. r>64, 1903. 

'" Nnrrntivc .lonrnoy to Arcti** Ocwui, II, p. 17, 1836. 

''N. A. Fauna, No. 10, p. To, l.S!)5. 



1908.] MAMMALS. 245 

Valley, 50 miles north of Jasper House, August 27; Sulphur Prairie, 
Grand Cache River, September 11 and 14; at several points on Mus- 
keg Creek, September 17 to 29; Rodent Valley, 25 miles west of 
Henry House, October 14. The specimens taken subsequent to Sep- 
tember 2() are mainly in the dark winter pelage. 

An alcoholic specimen in the collection of the National Museum 
(No. 11323) proves referable to this species. It was collected by 
Kemiicott and is labeled simply 'Arctic America,' without definite 
locality, though probably taken somewhere in the Mackenzie region. 

Sorex richardsoni Bachman. Richardson Shrew. 

This is one of the less abundant of the shrews of this region, and 
extends northward to Fort Rae and the mouth of Bear River. 

In the summer of 1901 we first trapped this species at our camp on 
Slave River, 10 miles below the mouth of Peace River, where we took 
an adult male on June 10. A single specimen was secured 25 miles 
below the Peace three days later, and another at Fort Smith June 21. 
The species was next detected at Trout Rock, 25 miles south of Fort 
Rae, where I took 4 specimens, including adults and young, on July 
17 and 18. Another was secured at Fort Rae, July 26. 

In 1903 my brother and Cary took specimens on the Athabaska at 
Pelican Rapid and near Athabaska Landing in the early autumn, 
and in the late autumn of the same year I trapped a few in the full 
winter pelage at Fort Simpson, finding it both in the woods and 
about the post buildings. During my trip down the Mackenzie in 
the summer of 1904 I took an adult male at Fort Norman, the most 
northerly point from which the species is known. 

The side glands in this species are conspicuous, occupying a space 
about 7 mm. in length, or half the length of the hind foot. They are 
covered with short, stiff hair, of the same color as the surrounding 
fur, but so glossy as to appear of a silvery color in certain lights. 

J. Alden Loring found this species common in central Alberta in 
1894 and 1895, and specimens taken by him at Edmonton, St. Albert, 
and Island Lake (15 miles west of Ste. Anne), have been recorded 
by Merriam.® They were taken mainly in tall grass bordering lakes. 

A comparison of the specimens taken by us in the Athabaska and 
Mackenzie region, with an extensive series from Alberta and Kee- 
vratin, shows no important difference. Merriam (loc. cit.) gives the 
average measurements of 25 specimens from Edmonton as follows: 
Total length 113.2, tail vertebra 40.4, hind foot 13.9; two from Slave 
River average 120.5, 43, 14; four from near Fort Rae average 110.5, 
40.7, 13.5; two from. Fort Simpson, 113, 42.5, 13.7; one from Fort 
Norman measures 120, 45, 14. 



'N. A. Fauna, No. 10, p. (U, 1S*)5. 



246 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. rxo.27. 

In the National Museum series of shrews I find a number of speci- 
mens of this species from the region now under review and will refer 
to them briefly. A skin taken at Portage La Loche by B. K. Ross. 
August 5, 1860, is chiefly interesting as from a locality now seldom 
visited. Several alcoholic specimens furnish a record for Fort Reso- 
lution, where we did not detect it. One was taken at Buffalo River, 
Great Slave Lake, July 5 (probably 1860), by B. R. Ross, who also 
collected one at Fort Simpson in December, 1860. Another was taken 
at Big Island, Great Slave I^ke, by John Reid. 

Allen has recorded three specimens taken at Fort Norman by A. J. 
Stone, September 15 to 17, 18U8.« 

Sorcx sphagnicola^ described by Coues from Fort Liard or vicin- 
ity,'' and which has l)een more or less doubtfully referred to by 
authors in recent years as distinct from S. richardsoni^ is l>eyond all 
doubt identical with this species. I have recently made a careful 
comparison l>etween the type of S, Hphagnicola and our large series 
of richanhom^ some of which are from the same general region, as 
shown above. The type of Sorex aphagnicola now consists mereh' of 
fragments of a skin, the head and naj)e and the hinder third, includ- 
ing the hind feet and tail. It was plainly taken in summer and 
was molting, a condition which probably accounts for the allegeil 
peculiarities of the color pattern which have been supposed to charac- 
terize this s[>ecies. When compared with summer skins of S, rich- 
ardHoni the agreement is very close. The color of the head and neck 
is exactly matched in some sjiecimens of rlchardsoni from Great 
Slave Lake; the color of the hinder parts match almo^ equally well, 
the type of sphagnicola lx»ing just appreciably darker than ordinarj^ 
summer specimens of nchardsouL The feet and tail agree precisely 
in size, and, allowing a little for the fading of the type, in color. 
Doctor Merriam has comi)ared this specimen and agrees with me that 
aS'. Hphagnicola nuist lx» considered a synonym of S. richardsoni. 

Sorex tundrensis Merriam. Tundra Shrew. 

In the collection of shrews in the National Museum I find about 
25 specimens of this species from several localities in the lower Mac- 
kenzie region, thus materialh' extending its previously recorded 
range. A number of specimens were brought to MacFarlane by the 
P^skimo from the mouth of the Andei'son and the Arctic coast in that 
(juarter in 1862, ISGJJ, and the winter of 1865-66. There are several 
also from Fort Anderson taken by MacFarlane, one from Peel River 
(Fort McPherson) taken by C. P. Gaudet, and one or two from the 
mouth of Porcupine River (collected by Kennicott. In addition to 

« Bull Am. Mils. Nat. Hist., XIX, p. TM\, lixa 

'•Bull. U. S. GtH)l. and (ieog. Survey Terr.. Ul. Xo. .% p. 650. 1877. 



1908.1 MAMMAT^. 247 

these, which are definitely labeled, there are a number of specimens 
labeled, in some cases doubtfully, 'Arctic America.' These were prob- 
ably taken by MacFarlane in the Anderson River region. They bear 
original numbers, but Mr. MacFarlane, in answ^er to a letter, though 
of the opinion that the specimens were collected by him, is not able 
to supply exact data, owing to the loss of some of his notebooks, but 
thinks from the numbers that they were collected by the Eskimo of 
the lower Anderson in 1862 and 1863, in which case they are from a 
locality already represented by authentically labeled material. 

The specimens from northern Mackenzie do not differ in marked 
degree from a large series in the Biological Survey collection from 
St. Michaels, the type locality, and other points in Alaska. Though 
this species has the same tooth characters and color pattern as S, 
riehardsoni^ and it has been thought that there might be intergrada- 
tion between them, the series now brought together affords no evi- 
dence that such is the case. Typical S. rlrhardsoni occurs at Fort 
Norman, and S, tundreuHis at Fort Anderscm, and it is hardly proba- 
ble that these widely different forms intergrade in the comparatively 
narrow^ intervening area over which practically uniform climatic and 
physiographic conditions prevail. 

Heosorex palustris (Richardson). Marsh Shrew. 

This species apparently is of rather rare occurrence in the region 
now under review, but occurs north at least to the region of Great 
Slave Lake. 

During my trip northward from Fort Rae in 1903 I took a female 
at the edge of a muskeg on the upper part of (irandin River on 
August 5. It is grayish beneath, resembling in this respect some 
summer specimens from southern Keewatin." It presents no dis- 
tinctive characters except its rather small size, which is probably due 
to immaturity, though owing to the loss of the skull this can not be 
determined w^ith certainty. It measures: Total length 137, tail verte- 
bra? 61, hind foot 18. On September 23 of the same year, while on 
their homeward trip, Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Cary collected a 
skull of this species on the trail 35 miles south of Athabaska Land- 
ing. The specunen was picked uj) in the road. 

In the collection of the National Museum I find an alcoholic Neo- 
sorex (No. 6276), taken at Fort Rae by L. Clarke. The skull, which 
I have removed and cleaned, agrees well with a series of specimens 
from Alberta and Keewatin. The specimen measured: Total length 
125, tail vertebrae 64, hind foot 10. On account of the hardened con- 
dition of the specimen, the total length, l)v present measurement, is 
manifestly too small; the other measurements are approximately 
correct. 

«N. A. Fauna, No. 22, p. 71. 11K)2. 



248 NOBTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so i-T. 

Another specimen (No. ()'27r)) from Fort Sesolution, is catalo^ied. 
but I can not find it in the collection, unless a specimen lal>eleil doubt- 
fully ^Arctic America,' without other data, is the same one— 
reentered in the catalogue because of mistake. At any rate, the 
s[>ecimen is in nowise peculiar. It measures: Total length 150, tail 
vertebne 67, hind foot 19. 

A specimen taken by J. Alden Ix)ring at Edmonton, Alberta, Sep- 
tember 15, 1894, has been recorded by Merriam.* It was taken in tall 
grass, and measured 157, 68, 20. 

Neosorex palustris navigator Baird. Rocky Mountain Marsh Shrew. 
A specimen taken by Loring near Henry House, September 6, 189^), 
has been recorded by Merriam.* During the following season, lur- 
ing took one in Smoky Valley, 50 miles north of Jasper House, on 
August 27. It is a Bocky Mountain form of N. palustris^ and the 
specimens mentioned furnish all the information we have ivgardiiig 
its rangi; within the region now under review. 

Microsorex eximiiiB (Osgood). Alaska Microsorex. 

In the course of our collecting, a series of over a dozen slirews of 
this genus, hitherto uiirecorded from this region, was obtained. It 
(comprises specimens fii)m Fort Chipewyan, Smith Landing, Fort 
Smith, Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, Fort Simpson, and Fort Franklin. 
They were usually taken in traps set in damp places, mainly in the 
runways of MicrotxiH^ and in situations similfir to those inhabiteil by 
iSnri'x personatuH^ the two species being frequently captured in the 
same trap on successive days. On one or two occasions we t<H)k 
Mirrosorvx in storehouses. Usually we trapped at least 10 S, /hi- 
Honatus to one M icroHonw ^hwt at Fort Smith we found the latter oc- 
cupying certain tracts almost to the exclusion of the common siHH?ie?, 
judging l)v tlie results of our trapping. The series thus brought to- 
gether fortunately shows both summer and winter i>elages. Tlie 
summer j)elage is sepia brown al>ove, slightly paler l>eneath. The 
color, together with the short tail and small hind foot, usually suf- 
fices to distinguish the animals from IS, personatus^ without ivfer 
ence to the skull. Compared with the two known specimens of 
MicroHorcj' exuniuH (which differ somewhat from each other K the 
summer specimens of the present series average slightly darker alcove, 
but the difference is not important. In winter the upper parts are 
grayer than in summer and the lower parts are much lighter, l)ein? 
nearly pure white. The rostrum and tooth row average slightly 
broader in our specimens than in typical eximius from Alaska, but 
the difference is scarcely appi*eciable. 

«N. A. Fauna, N<». 10. p. J)L>. ISO'). «» Ibid, p. 03, 185)5. 



1 



IftOS.l MAMMi\LS. 249 

Compared with a series of winter skins of Microsorex hoyi from 
Elk River, Minnesota, specimens in corresponding pelage from Fort 
Simpson and Fort Franklin are slightly grayer above. Beneath they 
are gi'ayisli white, lacking entirely the rusty tinge of hoyi. I am 
unable to compare the summer pelages, the series of hoyi being 
deficient in this respect. 

The skull of M. eximius differs from that of hoyi mainly in the 
i^hape of the brain case, which is more inflated in the former. In 
eximius^ also, the unicuspids are more crowded, with the result that 
the minute third and fifth, especially the former, are scarcely visible 
when the crowns are viewed. 

The side glands of Microsorex are very conspicuous, occupying n 
space about 9 mm. in length, or nearly the length of the hind foot, 
being relatively larger than in any other shrew examined, and are 
covered with short stiff hair of a silvery color. They are conspicuous 
in all the males in our series taken in the summer months. 

A Microsorex taken on Muskeg Creek, Alberta, a tributary of 
Smoky River, September 26, 1890, by J. Alden Loring, is in the Bio- 
logical Survey collection. It closely resembles skins of Microsorex 
eximius in winter pelage. Its skull, however, can not be found and 
the specimen is therefore only provisionally referred to the' present 
species. 

An adult male from Fort Chipewyan measured: Total length 90, 
tai> vertebrae 30, hind foot 10; five specimens of both sexes from Fort 
Smith average 92, 30.4, 102 ; one from Fort Simpson measured 85, 30, 
10; one from Fort Franklin, 92, 34, 10. 

In the museum collection of alcoholic shrews I find 4 specimens of 
this species from Foi*t Resolution, one taken in December, 1862, by 
James Lockhart, the others collected about the same time by A. 
McKenzie. Another (No. 59621), labeled Great Slave Lake, and col- 
lected by John Reid, was in all probability taken at Big Island, Its 
skull is the smallest of the series. The skull of another (No. 59624) 
from Cumberland district, Saskatchewan, taken by MacFarlane, 
closely resembles that of M. hoyi^ and the specimen is perhaps prop- 
erly referable to that species. 

The type of Microsorex alnorum^ described by me, from Robinson 
Portage, Keewatin, still remains unique, none of the large series now 
before me equaling it in the size of the skull, especially the brain 
case, or in the length of the hind foot. 

ICyotis Incifug^ (Le Conte). Little Brown Bat. 

A small bat which was dislodged from the loose bark of a poplar 
stub near our camp 10 miles below the mouth of the Peace on June 7, 
1901, was probably of this species. It darted into the adjacent forest 
and could not be found. With the exception of one or two seen on 



250 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. |xo.27. 

the Athabaska betweon Athabaska Landing and Grand Rapid early 
in May, it was the only bat seen during that season. 

During tlie evening of May 29, 1903, while we were floating down 
the Athabaska near the site of Pierre au Calumet, we saw a numl>er 
of small bats, probably of this species, flying about over the river. 
During their outward trip in the autumn of the same year, my 
brother and Gary saw two, one of which was secured, at La Biche 
River, August 29. It proves to be of this species. 

Hubert Darrell, who accompanied Hanbury through the Barren 
Grounds in 1901-2, writes me that he saw small dark-brown bats at 
the Big Fall on Hanbury River in the summer of 1901. In the 
following sununer he saw one among some cliffs on the Arctic coast 
50 miles east of the mouth of the Coppermine. Since M. luHfugus 
ap|x?ars to be the most northern-i*anging bat, it is probable, thougli 
by no means certain, that they were of this spec*ies. In spite of 
uncertainty as to the sj^ecies, the occurrence of bats at these points 
on the Barren Grounds seems worthy of record. 

At least one species is said to be occasionally seen at Fort Simpson, 
l)ut though constantly on the lookout for bats during the spring of 
1904, I failed to observe any. I saw a small brown bat at Grand 
Rapid, Athabaska River, August 22, but was unable to secure it. 

Myotis subulatus (Say). Say Bat. 

Richardson records a specimen of Vespertilio suhvlatu^ procured on 
Back's exi)edition. The locality is not stated definitely, but the con- 
text leaves it to l>e inferred that the specimen was taken *at Great 
Slave Lake.* Ross notes this species as being found north to Salt 
River, but as very rare.'' In view of the imperfect knowledge in 
former years regarding the species of bats, these records are quite 
as likely to refer to M. hictfugus^ which is pi'obably the commoner 
species in this region, though it is highly pn)bable that M, s^thuhtm 
also occurs well northward. Miller records one taken near Red Deer. 
Alberta.^* 

Lasionycteris noctivagans (Le Conte). Silver-haired Bat. 

As we were ascending the Athabaska near the mouth of House 
River, August 24, 1904, a bat of this species was seen flying about 
near the boats. It was bright sunlight at the time. The crew began 
to throw stones at it, whereui)on it took refuge on the awning of 
one of the boats and was secured. It proved to be a male. Another, 
a. female, was secured OO miles below Athabaska Landing on Au- 
gust 20. 

' Hnck's Xarnitive ExiMMlition to (ircat Fish River, Ap|)endlx, p. 485, 1S36l 
^C^au. Nat. and (Jeol., VII, p. 142, 18ti2. 
^N. A. Fauna, No. V,\, p. Hi, 1S1>7. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 251 

Two specimens taken by J. Alden Loring at Henry House, Alberta, 
early in October, 1895, have been recorded by Miller." 

Lisiunis cinereus (Beauvois). Hoary Bat. 

Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Gary obtained a fine female of this 
large species on the Athabaska near the mouth of La Biche Kiver, 
August 29, 1903. It was caught among shrubbery on the river bank. 
The species is evidently rare here, since none of the boatmen seemed 
to be acquainted with it. 

Miller has recorded a specimen taken near Red Deer, Alberta.^ 
Richardson described a specimen taken at Cumberland House.'' 
Though its size serves to distinguish this species from all other 
northern bats, it seems to have been seldom recorded and is probably 
rather rare, though doubtless of regular occurrence in Alberta and 
southern Mackenzie. 

BIBDS OF THE ATHABASEA-MACKENZIE EEGION. 

The following list is believed to include all species of birds that 
have been authoritatively recorded from the region treated in the 
present report. In the account of each species our own observations 
are usually given first, in chronological order, the published records 
following. Of the published references relating to the various 
species only those have been utilized which best represent the dis- 
tribution, dates of migration, breeding, and other interesting features 
of their life history, preference usually being given to the notes 
earliest published. Notes not accompanied by reference to the place 
of publication are derived from manuscript records or verbal com- 
munications.* 

Colymbns holboelli (Reinh.). Holboell Grebe. 

This handsome grebe is a fairly common breeder in suitable places 
throughout the wooded parts of the region. In 1903 a single in- 
dividual was seen on Lily Lake, Alberta, May 13, and several at 
Two Lakes, May 14. The species was next noted in the marshes 
near Rocher River, June 6 and 7, and a pair was seen on the lake 
near Fort Resolution, Mackenzie, June 20. Alfred E. Preble and 
Merritt Gary noted it daily at Hay River, June 27 to July 1, and at 
Fort Providence, July 4. On their return trip they s^w one on the 

•N. A. Fauna, No. 13, p. 86, 1807. 

»N. A. Fauna, No. 13, p. 114, 1897. 

<» Fauna BoreaU-Americaiia, I, p. 1, 1820. 

* Canon 50 of the American Ornithologists' Union Code of Nomenclature is 
here interpreted to mean that the authority for a name shall be inclosed in 
parentheses only when the 8i>ecific name is now used hi combination with a 
generic name not employed by the original describer. 



252 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so.27. 

Athabaska at Athabaska Landing, Alberta, September 15. During 
my trip northward from Fort Rae I found it rather common and 
undoubtedly breeding in the small marshy lakes along lower Grandin 
River, August 1 to 4. An individual which had succumbed to the 
weather, probably having been wounded, was picked up on the 
Mackenzie 10 miles above the mouth of the Blackwater, October 8. 

In the spring of 1904 the species was first brought to my notice 
late in May, when a fine male, taken near Fort Providence, May 25, 
was brought to me at Fort Simpson. While descending the Macken- 
zie I observed a pair in a small lake near Nahanni River, June 4 
The nest, a floating bunch of coarse grass, was anchored to a sub- 
merged log 15 feet from the shore. It appeared to be nearly finished, 
and was held in place by a limb which projected above the surface of 
the water, and around which the nest had been constructed. Numbers 
of the species were evidently breeding in the ponds which studded 
the valley of the Nahanni, and several were observed on the following 
day. I saw a pair in a small lake on Manito Island, near Fort Good 
Hope, June 23, and noted the species on the Mackenzie, 75 miles below 
Fort Good Hope, June 27, and near the mouth of Peel River, June 30. 
1 observed one on lower Peel River, July 1, and found the species com- 
mon about the small lakes near Fort McPherson during the first half 
of July, seeing or hearing it nearly every day. 

The species was first recorded from this region by Richardson, 
who quotes from Sabine a description of " a mature individual, 
killed at Great Slave Lake, May, 1822."* Sabine, whose description* 
Richardson quotes in part, apparently was not aware of the precise 
locality of the specimen, but Richardson, probably from personal 
knowledge, was able to supply this information. Ross gives the species 
as being found north in the Mackenzie Valley to Peel River, and as 
having been taken at Fort Simpson.'* Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway 
record its occurrence at Fort Rae, Fort Simpson, Fort Anderson, 
Peel River, and in the mountains west of the lower Mackenzie, and 
mention eggs from Fort Sim])son and Peel River.** MacFarlane re- 
cords two nests, containing, respectively, 4 and 5 eggs, found 40 or 
50 miles south of Fort Anderson.^ More recently Frank Russell has 
recorded it from Fort Rae, where he took a specimen, which I have 
examined, August 22, 1893.^ MacFarlane, in notes recently sent me, 
states that this grebe was found breeding at Green Lake, Sai?katche 
wan, in June, 1880, by W. S. Simpson, and at Fond du Lac, Atha- 
baska Lake, in 1885, by J. Mercredi. 



« P^aiina Korea li-Ainericnna, II, p. 411, 1S31. 

^ Franklfirs Narr. Jcmruey to Polar Sea, Appendix, p. 092, 1.S23. 

<^Nat. Hist. Ilev., II (second ser.), p. 290, 1862. 

« Water Birds N. A., II, p. 430, 1884. - 

^ Proc. T'. S. Nat. Miis., XIV, p. 415, 1891. 

/ Expl. in Far North, p. 254, 1898. 



«.] BIRDS. 253 

lynbus aurituB Linn. Horned Cxrebe. J^ 

Tl]^ species breeds throughout the region north nearly to tilke 
rdi^ of the forest, beitig es[>eciany common within the Canadito 
ne.""' In the spring of 1901 we first met with it on Athabaska Himr 
ar Fort McMurray, May 14, when a single bird was seen. While 
camped on a large island near the outlet of Lake Athabaska, June 
to 4, we saw a pair daily in a small slough, where they doubtless 
tended nesting. The bird was noted in the marshes bordering 
)cher River, June 5, and a number were seen in a slough near Slave 
ver 25 miles below^ the moufh of the Peact», June 11 and 12; an 
ult male was collected on the latter date. At Fort Smith, Mac- 
nzie, the species was seen in a marsh, June 22. On our return trip 
e was seen on the river at Smith Landing, August 6. 
In 1903 two homed grebes were seen on Lily Lake, Alberta, May 
, and several at Two Lakes, May 14. The species was next ob- 
ved in the marshes adjoining Roeher River, where it was common 
ne C) to 8, and where a nest containing six eggs w^as found by 
srritt Gary on the latter date. It was noted near the mouth of 
ace River, June 9; 50 miles below Fort Smith, Mackenzie, Juno 
and at Fort Resolution, June 20. I saw one on Great Slave Lake, 
XT the mouth of the Northern Arm, July 24, and next observed the 
»cies on the Mackenzie, 10 miles above the mouth of the Blackwater, 
tober 8, noting two individuals. 

In the spring of 1904 this species was noted May 13 at Willow 
ver, near Fort Providence, by J. W. Mills. It was not observed 
ain during the season. 

This bird is (juite generally distributed throughout the region. It 
IS first recorded from there by Richardson, who described a speci- 
en killed at Great Slave Lake.** Ross, in 18(52, recorded it as 
immon north to La Pierre House, and as having been taken at Fort 
impson.'' Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway record specimens obtained 
I the breeding season at Fort Resolution, Fort Simpson, Fort Rae, 
id Big Island, and on the Anderson and Lower Mackenzie rivers, 
ainly by various officers of the Hudson's Bay Company.'^ Mac- 
irlane secured the species near Ijockhart River in June, 18G1, and 
:>k a female with her nest and five eggs (50 miles southeast of Fort 
iderson in June, 1866.** Frank Russell took a specimen at Fort 
te, August 22, 1893, which I have had the opportunity of examin- 
g. In some notes recently received from MacFarlane, he states 
a.t W. S. Simpson found a nest of this species at Green Lake, Sas- 
tchewan, in June, 1880. 

"Fauna BoreaU-Amerlcaua, II, i>. 411, 1S:U. 
'•Xat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), I>. 2i)0, 1802. 
'^ Water Birds N. A., II, p. 434, 1884. 
*Proc. U. S. Nat Mus., XIV, p. 435, 1801. 



254 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ino.27. 

Colymbns nigricollis calif omicns (Heerm.). American Eared Grebe. 
A specimen taken by Kennicott at Fort Resolution, Mackenzie, is 
in the National Museum. This seems to be the only authentic record 
for the regrion. A specimen recorded by Russell from Fort Rae,* 
[)roves on examination to be referable to C, auritus. 

Podilymbus podiceps (Linn.). Pied-billed Grebe. 

In 1008, on May 14, we saw two individuals at Two Lakes, AlberU, 
about 50 miles north of Edmonton. Previously the species was 
known from this repon only from the capture of a few individuals 
about (ireat Slave Lake, and apparently is rare. Richardson quoted 
from Sabine a description of a specimen which he said was killed at 
(rreat Slave Lake in May, 1822.'» Ross listed it as rare at Great 
Slave Lake.^ Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway record eggs from the 
same place ;'' and I find a specimen in the National Museum (Xo. 
20750) taken by Kennicott at Fort Resolution, June 13 1 1860], and 
marked '" with 4 c^ggs." These are probably the eggs referred to bv 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway. 

Gavia iminer (Briinn.). Loon. 

The great northern diver occurs in summer throughout the n^on 
north to the Arctic islands, arriving with the breaking up of the ice. 
In IJK)1 we heard its notes at the mouth of Peace River, on the night 
of June 5, and on July 15 and 16 on the Northern Arm of Great 
Slave Lake, near Yellowknife Bay. 

In 1008 we saw the si)ecies on Athabaska River, near Grand Rapid, 
May 'iO: at Fort ChijxMvyan, June 5; and on Rocher River. June 6. 
Aft(»r leaving Fort Resolution for the Mackenzie, Alfred E. Preble 
and Merritt Carv ol)servod two near Sulphur Point, Great Slave 
Lake, Juno 27. They noted the species also near the mouth of 
Nahanni River, July 15 and 17: al)out 20 miles above Fort Wrigley, 
July 20; l)etween Fort Wrigley and Fort Simpson, July 23; and on 
(Jreat Slave Lake, near Fort Rae. July 28. On their I'eturn trip they 
saw several on Lily Lake, Alberta, 34 mile,s north of Edmonton. 
September 24. I noted the s[x»cies at Fort Resolution, June 28, and 
near Gro«^ Cape, (Jreat Slave Lake, July 23. I found it breedinjr 
conuvoTiJv during August on nearly all the lakes on the route fol- 
lowed l>etween Fort Rae and MacTavish Bay, Great Bear I^ike, and 
noted s(»veral pairs with young during the early part of the month. 
T saw a pair with young the size of green-winged teals on Ijake 
Mazenod, near the head of Grandin River, August 6, and noted the 






" Expl. in Far \<»rth, p. 2'A. 1898. 
^ Fauna Roroali-Aiiiorloana, II, p. 412. 1831. 
^(^an. Nat. aiul (Jeol., VII, p. 155, 1862. 
^ Water Birds N. A., II, p. 442, 1884. 



1908.] BIRDS. 255 

species almost daily on the various lakes between there and (Ireat 
Bear Ijake during the remainder of the month. On Great Bear Lake 
t noted it at my camp east of Ijeith Point, September 2, and nearly 
3very day while traveling westward along the south shore of the lake. 
[ saw one at Fort Franklin, September 20, and one on lower Bear 
River, September 30. The last one was seen on the Mackenzie near 
^ahanni River, October 15. 

In the spring of 1904 I first observed this loon at Fort Simpson, 
Ifackenzie, on May 23, noting two on the river near the post. Their 
notes, however, had been heard previously by the natives. While 
lescending the Mackenzie I saw a few 50 miles below Fort Simpson, 
June 2, and near Nahanni River, June 0. I saw one near the mouth 
>f Peel River, June 30, and at Fort McPherson obtained from Mr. 
W. H. Walker the skins of two which he had taken there late in 
MEay. On my return trip I noted the bird near the outlet of Atha- 
baska I^ake, August 6. 

The natives, especially the Dogribs, relish the flesh of this bird, 
and frequently obtain it by (concealing themselves on the margin of a 
lake and decoying the bird within range by means of a tin plate or 
other bright object, w^hich they so manipulate as to attract its atten- 
tion and excite its curiosity. 

Richardson was the first to formally record this species, describing 
a specimen from Great Bear Lake." Later he speaks of observing 
the birds migrating toward the southeast along the Arctic coast, near 
Damlej" Bay, August 17, 1848.* King recorded the species from 
Clinton-Colden Lake;*^ and Ross, specimens from Fort Simpson and 
Peel River.** Armstrong recorded it under the name Colymhns 
glacialis from Mercy Bay, Banks Land, where 5 w^ere killed July 13, 
1852.^ Loons probably of this species were recorded by Parry from 
Winter Harbor, Melville Island,^ and by Sutherland from Assistance 

The catalogue in the National Museum shows that specimens were 
received from Fort Resolution, Fort Norman, and Big Island. Mac- 
Farlane found 9 nests, each with 2 eggs, in the Anderson River 
Tegion;* and the head of a female taken by him there in July, 1864, 
is still in the National Museum. Hanbury noted a common loon, the 

« Fauna Boreal !-Amerlcana, II, p. 474, 1831. 

» Arctic Searching Expedition, I, p. 282, 1851. 

<y Narrative of Journey to Arctic Ocean, I, p. 235, 1836. 

* Can. Nat. and Geo!., VI, p. 444, 1861. 

<^ Narrative Discovery Northwest Passape, p. 530, 1857. 

f Journ. Parry's First Voyage, p. 218. 1821. 

i'Journ. Voy. to Baffin's Bay and Barrow Strait, II, p. 200, 1852. 

* Proc, U. S, Nat. Mas., XIV, p. 416, 1804. 



256. NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

first individual observed that season, on Melville Sound, Mackenzie, 
June 14, 1902.« 

J. Alden Loring reported seeing several on Spotted Lake, 15 miles 
west of Lake Ste. Anne, Alberta, in August, 1895. In the summer of 
189G he found it common in suitable places along the trail between 
Edmonton and the Rocky Mountains, and also noted it on the route 
between Jasper House and Smoky River, August 20 to October 8. 

Gavia adamsi (Gray). Yellow-billed Loon. 

This handsome loon breeds along the northern border of the region 
now under review, and occurs in migration on the larger bodies of 
water in the interior, from Athabaska Lake northward. 

T observed this species but once — on the Mackenzie, a few miles 
above the mouth of the Nahanni, October 15, 1903. During my stay 
at Fort McPherson in July, 1904, I was informed by an Indian, who 
spoke English and descril)ed the species accurately, that he had seen 
one on a lake near the post, July 8. At Hay River, Great Slave 
Lake, it is frequently shot in May, when the ice begins to break up, 
but it is less often seen at Fort Resolution. Two mounted specimens, 
taken at Fort Providence some years ago, are in the Hudson's Bay 
Company museum at Fort Simpson. 

The first specific reference to this species as an inhabitant of the 
Mackenzie region, and one of the first appearances of the bird in lit- 
erature, is Franklin's mention of it from Fort Enterprise, late in 
October, 1820, as follows: 

The last of the water fowl that quitted us was a siiecles of <Hver, of the same 
size with the Colymbus arcticus, but differing from it in the arrangement of 
the white six)ts on its plumage, and in having a yellowish white bill. This bird 
was occasionally caught in our fishing nets.* 

Ross w^as the next to detect it in the region, shortly after the bird 
had l)een formally described, referring to it as abundant on Great 
Slave Lake, and as having been collected at Fort Simpson.*' Under 
the name Colymbus (jlacialis J. C. Ross records three loons, which 
his description shows were of this species, obtained about Boothia 
during John Ross's second voyage.** Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway 
record specimens from Fort Resolution, Big Island, Fort Rae, Fort 
Simpson, Fort Norman, and Peel River,*" and MacFarlane says it 
abounds during the season of reproduction in Franklin and Liver- 
pool bays.^ He informs me that a fine example was killed by an 

^ Sport and Travel in Northland of Canada, p. 162, 1904. 

''Narrative Journey to Polar Sea, p. 247, 1823. 

<'Nat. Hist. Kev., II (second series), p. 280. 1862. 

^ Apiwndix to Ross's Second Voyage, p. xlii, 1835. 

«^ Water Birds N. A.. II, p. 462. 1884. 

t Proc. I'. S. Nat. Mas., XIV, p. 416, 1801. 



008.] BIRDS. 257 

ndian at Fond dii Lac, Athabaska Lake, in the spring of I880, and 
ent to J. J. Dalgleish. H. W. Jones (in letter) reports this loon on 
he Mackenzie above Fort Simpson, May 20, 1905. 

^avia pacifica (Lawr.). Pacific Loon.** 

This species breeds commonly in the larger lakes throughout the 
egion from Great Slave Lake northward. In 1901 we first saw it on 
treat Slave Lake, near Gros Cape, on July 15. It was common on 
he Northern Arm between Yellowknife Bay and Trout Rock, July 
0, and about Trout Rock, July 17. In 1903 I first observed it on 
ireat Slave Lake, near Gros Cape, on July 23, when it was abun- 
lant. During my trip northward to Great Bear Lake in August I 
•ound it to be a common breeder in most of the lates along the 
oute. I noted it daily along Grandin River, August 1 to 3; on 
^ake Mazenod, August 6 ; Sarahk Lake, August 7 ; Lake Rae, 
August 8; Lake St. Croix, August 9; Lake Hardisty, August 15, and 
X several points on the lakes between Lake Hardisty and MacTavish 
3ay on August 22, 23, and 26. On Great Bear I^ake I observed 
t near McVicar Bay, September 9. 

In 1904 I first observed the species at Fort McPherson early in 
Tilly. It was fairly common on the lakes in the vicinity and was 
loted July 2, 3, and 11, one being obtained on July 2. 

Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway first recorded the breeding of the 
pecies in the Anderson River region, where MacFarlane found over 
00 nests, not more than 2 eggs being found in any instance. They 
late also that specimens of the birds were obtained from Fort Ander- 
on. Fort Rae, Rendezvous Lake, Liverpool Bay, Franklin Bay, 
Barren (irounds,' and 'Arctic Coast' [east of Fort Anderson], and 
he Gens de Large Mountains.'' A specimen (No. 27899), collected 
it Fort Anderson by MacFarlane, is still in the National Afwseifm. ' 
Seton records the species as common along the route from Fort 

" (la via arctica, thoiijjii Severn I times reiK)rte<l. Is of very doubtful occurrence 
n Mackenzie, as all the s|)ecinieQS of loons of this tyi^e available are referable to 
;. paaftca. MacFarlane records **a well-authenticated set of eggs, obtained 
roni Fort Anderson in 1865, and which are now in the oological collection of 
he T'. S. National Museum." (Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV. p. 416, 1891.) There 
ire. however, no slcins of Gf. arctica to bear out this identification. He states 
Iso, in a nianust^ript list recently sent me. that a set of 2 eggs, accompanle<i by 
he female imrent, were brought in to Fort Chipewyan by a Chii)ewyan Indian 
probably from the eastward] early in June, 1885. These were sent to J. J. 
)algleisli. There are several other re<*ords. but as they were publlshiMl before 
;. pacifica was known to be a common s|)ecies in the region, they probably refer 
o it. 

b Water Birds N. A., II, p. 457, 1884. 

44131 —No. 27—08 17 



258 



XOKTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 



I.NO.: 



Kesolution to Aylmer Lake in 1907, but as most abundant on (ireiu 
Slave Lake.** 

Oavia stellata (Pontoppidan). Red-throated Loon. 

The red-throated loon is the commonest representative of its genu:^ 
in this re«rion. It breeds abundantly from Great Slave Lakv nonli- 
ward and probably to some extent south of that latitude. 

In the sunmier of 1901 several loons, apparently of this specie^:, 
were seen on Lily Lake^ Alberta, May 2. Several were si*en on 
(ireat Slave Lake near Stone Island, June 10. On a s<?mibarn*n 
island about 50 mile.s north of Fort Resolution, where we were 
detained by high winds July 11 to 14, five pairs were fotmd breed- 




ri«:. 15. Nesting i)i>nd of ivd-thmatrd lodH {Oavia stellala). Loon Island. Great Slaw 

I^akc. 

injLT. Several shallow ])onds, from r> to 50 yards wide and (xmiiecl- 
in^ with the lake at times of hi^^h water, extend nearly across t1i<^ 
n'Minil part of the island, and each was occupied by a pair of Iihjiis 
top^tlier with their two youngr, a few days old (fig. 15). The a^«Mf 
tlu» dillVrent broods varied but a day or two. The nests, rather vim 
nia«le of dry grass, were j)laced at the margins of the j)ond^, ii»*ujilly 
ill a [)atch of grass, and in one or two cases still ccmlainotl the 
aban«loned q<j:^ sliells. AVlien the nesting ]>ond was «i)proaclu'J. u-x 
male usually flew away, but the female invariably refused to loavt 
her otfs])ring, and if absent soon ap])eared and alighted beside lliom. 
diving, swinnning about, and encouraj/inir them in their etTorl^ i" 



oAiik. XXV. i». GS, lios. 



1906.] BIRDS. 259 

escape, and endeavoring to attract the attention of the intruder to 
herself. The old birds fished in the lake near by and were often 
seen carrying small fishes to the young. An adult male and two of 
the downy young were taken. 

In 1903 a red-throated loon was seen on Athabaska Lake near Fort 
Chipewyan, June 2. The species was next observed near Gros Cape, 
on Great Slave Lake, where I saw several July 23. In the region 
north of Fort Rae I noted it on Sarahk Lake, August 7 ; Lake Faber, 
August 8; Lake Rae, August 9; near Lake St. Croix, August 14; 
and nearly every day during the following week on the various lakes 
north of the latter point. On Great Bear Lake I noted the species 
on MacTavish Bay, August 27; at our camp near Leith Point, 
August 28; near Mc Vicar Bay, September 9 and 10; and at Fort 
Franklin, September 22 and 27, this being the last date recorded. 

In the summer of 1904 I saw a pair on the Mackenzie near the 
mouth of Nahanni River, June 3 ; one below Fort Norman, June 17 ; 
and one near Rampart Rapid, June 19. 

The red-throated loon apparently was first recorded from the 
Mackenzie region by Richardson, who observed it on the Arctic coast 
west of Liverpool Bay, in the summer of 1848." Armstrong noted 
its arrival at Mercy Bay, Banks Land, about June 1, 1852, during 
the voyage of the Investigator^ ^ni specimens were afterwards taken.'' 
M'Clintock noted several early in July, 1859, at Port Kennedy ; ^ 
McCormick observed nimibers in Wellington Channel, near Beechey 
Island, in August of 1852 and 1853.*' Ross spoke of two having been 
taken at Fort Good Hope.*' Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway record 
that specimens of the bird were procured at Fort Resolution, Fort 
Bae, Big Island, Fort Simpson, Liard River, Anderson River, and 
Great Bear Lake; and eggs from Great Slave Lake and Anderson 
River.^ MacFarlane considered it the least abundant of the lo(ms 
in the Anderson River region, finding about 40 nests, each usually 
with 2 eggs.^ Pike found it common in the Barren Grounds south 
of Lake Mackay June 11, 1890.* Hubert Darrell, who accompanied 
Hanbury along the Arctic coast in 1902, writes me that the species 
was observed on Melville Sound on June 16. Gates records eggs 
taken by CoUinson at Cambridge Bay, Victoria Land.* 

"Arctic Searching Expedition, I, p. 251, 18.51. 

^ Narrative Discovery Nortliwest Passage, pi>. 522-521), 1857. 

'' Voyage of the Foi:, p. 292, 1860. 

** McCormicli's Voyages, II, pp. 89, 137, 18M. 

<• Can. Nat. and Geo!., VI, p. 444, 1861. 

f Water Birds N. A., II, p. 460, 1884. 

i'Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 416, 1891. 

* Barren Ground of Northern Canada, p. 162, 1892. 

* Cat. Birds' Eggs Brit. Mus., I, p. 139, 1901. 



260 XORTP AMERICAN FAUNA. [ho. 27. 

Cepphns mandti (Licht.). Mandt (juillemot. 

This species is stated by J. C. Ross to be the only water bird which 
remains in the Arctic throughout the winter. It is extremely abun- 
(huit al)out the large islands of the Arctic Sea to the northward of 
Mackenzie, having l>een noted at various points west to Melville 
Island. It has usually l>een recorded as Vria grylle. 

Parry was the first to record this guillemot from the region, noting 
one at Melville Island, August 8, 1820.« J. C. Ross recorded it as 
abundant at Port Bowen;'* and later from Fury Point, February, 
18.33, and as bi-eeding abundantly between Fury Point and Batty 
Bay.'' Armstrong states that it was abundant about Beechey Island 
in the summer of ISoi.** Walker records one taken in February, 1859, 
at Bellot Strait.^ 

Una lomvia (Linn.). Brunnich Murre. 

lender the name Vria hnlnnkhiL J. C. Ross recorded the occur- 
rence of this bird at Port Bowen, Prince Regent Inlet, where it 
arrived in early June.^ 

AUe alle (Linn.). Dovekie. 

Richardson describes a specimen killed in August near Melville 
Island." The sjx^cios is abundant in Baffin Bay, especially on the east 
side, but is rare to the westward of that region. 

Stercorarins pomarinus (Temm.). Pomarine Jaeger. 

Published reports indicate that this jaeger occurs nearly through- 
out the region, but i)r()l)ahly breeds only along the Arctic coast. 

Sabine reported this species from Melville Island and Prince Re- 
gent Inlet ; * and Koss recorded (me from Fort Simpson.* Baird, 
Brewer, and Ridgway record si)ecimens from Fort Resolution, Fort 
Uae, Big Island, and Fort Simpstm.^ MacFarlane speaks of a pair 
obtained by the Eskimo near the mouth of Anderson River, and of a 
male shot on Franklin Bay. July 11, \^i\7y}' A specimen collected by 
Ross at Fort SimjKson, October IG, 1800, and one by Ixxjkhart at Fort 
Uesolntion, are still in the National Museum. 



"Jonnml I'irst Voyjijro. \), 2:«:>, 1821. 

'M\irry's Tliinl Voyjmr, Appendix, p. 107. 182G. 

' Appt'iidix lioss's SiK.-ond Vuya^o, p. XLi\% 1835. 

'' Nn rrativ*' l)isfovt»ry Northwest Passage, p. 5S)1, 1857. 

' Pnw. Uny. ScK-. DiibUn, III, p. 07, 1800. 

f Parry's Third ^'oyaJ:(^ Appondix, ik KKi, 182G. 

" Faniia Horcali-Aiiu'ricana, II, j). 471), 1831. 

'' Siii»i>]. 1(» Appendix Parry's First Voyajro, p. cc\'i, 1824. 

< Can. Nat. and iUnA.. VK p. 443, 18m. 

i Water Mirds N. A., II, p. :W3, 1884. 

^I»rw. v. S. Nat. Mns., XIV. p. 417, 181)1. 



1908.1 BIBDS. 261 

Stercorarius parasiticus (Linn.). Parasitic Jaeger. 

This freebooter breeds rather commonly about the eastern and 
northern parts of Great Slave Lake, abundantly on the Barren 
Grounds, and probably to some extent on the lakes in the intermediate 
region. 

In 1901 we first saw this species about some semibarren islands in 
Great Slave Lake, a few miles north of Stone Island, July 10, when 
several melanistic individuals were observed. During the evening of 
the same day a male and female, evidently a pair, were shot on Loon 
Island. Both were in the dark sooty plumage, the male being slightly 
lighter in color beneath, the female nearly uniform sooty throughout. 
Several, including one in the normal white-breasted plumage, were 
seen about Loon Island, July 11 to 14. While we were crossing from 
Loon Island to the north shore of the lake during the night of July 
14, a number were seen and two females were collected. One of these 
is of a nearly uniform sooty color throughout. The other is white 
beneath, slightly barred with dusky; lower tail coverts conspicuously 
barred with black and brownish; upper tail coverts slightly barred 
with dull fawn. The stomach of one of these contained various in- 
sects and the bones of a small bird, evidently a young tern ; the other 
had eaten a dragon fly, various beetles, and a small fish. Several 
individuals were seen July 15 near the mouth of the Northern Arm of 
Great Slave Lake, but the species was not afterwards noted. 

In 1903 I observed numbers of this species on the Northern Arm 
between Gros Cape and Trout Rock, July 23 and 24, and noted it 
near Fort Rae, July 28. 

In the summer of 1904, while descending the Mackenzie, I saw 
three individuals, exhibiting both the normal and melanistic plum- 
ages, near Roche Trempe-l'eau, June 8, and one near Fort Norman, 
June 10. A specimen taken at Fort Providence is in the museum 
at Fort Simpson. 

Swainson and Richardson, under the name Lestris richardHom^ 
described a specimen killed at Fort Franklin." Fisher recorded four 
seen June 10, 1820, on Melville Island.^ McCormick noted the species 
on Wellington Channel August 30, 1852.*' King rejjorted the para- 
sitic jaeger from Clinton-Colden Lake.** Armstrong records the ar- 
rival of this ppecies at Mercy Bay, Banks Land, May 31, 1852.*' 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway recorded specimens from Fort Resolu- 
tion, F'ort Rae, Fort Simpson, and Fort Anderson.^ MacP'arlane 

* Fauna Boreali-Americana, II, p. 43'], l.s;ji. 

^Jourii. Voy. of Disi-Dvery, p. 217, 1S21. 

'^ MeCormiek's Voyaj^es, II, j). 141, 1SS4. 

<* Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean, I, p. 242, l.S'UJ. 

''Narrative Discovery Northwest Tassajre, p. 521, 1K57, 

^ Water Birds N. A.. II, p. H-SS, 1884. 



262 XORTH AMERICAK FAUNA. Ixo.2T. 

s|x»aks of many nests being discoveretl on the Barren Grounds be- 
tween Fort xVnderson and Franklin Bay, and of specinnens being ob- 
tained from the Eskimo of the lower Anderson." A specimen fi*oin 
Big Island, Great Slave Lake, is still in the National Museum. 

Stercorarius longicaudus Vieill. T^ng-tailed Jaeger. 

This is apparently the least abundant of the jaegers in this region. 
It has been observed at various points in the interior in migration, 
but si»ems to breed only in the far north. 

While descending the Mackenzie in 19G4 I saw one near Sans Sauli 
Rapid on June 19. It was flying northward over the tops of the 
trees which fringed the valley. Probably i-eferring to the present 
species, Sabine records, under the name LcHtriH paraJiitieuH^ a jaeger 
which was abundant, though less so than the pomarine, in the islands 
of the Polar Sea. On Melville Island it was frequently met with, 
seeking its food along the water wuirses.* Ross collected iS. lon<jirau- 
dftat at Fort Simpson/ Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that Mac- 
Farlane found it abundant at Fort Anderson and on Franklin Bay, 
and record a specimen taken at Peel River.** I have recently exam- 
ined a specimen obtained at Fort Rae by Frank Russell, and recorded 
by him.*' A six^cimen collected for MacFarlane by the Eskimo on 
Anderson River in July, 1865 (the label l)earing the inscription 
" "2 eggs ''), is still in the National Museum. A mounted specimen i-. 
the P'ort Simpson museum was taken some years ago at Fort Provi- 
dence. Scale states that this species was abundant along the Arctic 
coast from Icy CajH* to Hei*s<*hel Island, July to September, 1800.- 
Reed records two eggs from Baillie Island [Arctic Sea], taken July 
1-2, 1901, by 11. II. Bodfish.i' 

Pagophila alba (Guun.). Ivory Gull. 

Parry recorded the ivory gull from Winter Harbor, Melville 
Island, where the fii*st were observed May '24, 1820.* J. C. Ross re- 
cords it as breeding commonly at Port Bowen, but as rare west of 
Prince Regent Inlet.' Ilarting records a specimen taken at Assist- 
ance IIarl)<)r in IS.*)!; J and McCormick noted the species in Wellin*:- 

"PnH-. V. S. Nat. Mus.. XIV. p. 417. 1801. 

*» Siifipl. to ApiK>ndlx Parry's First Voyage, p. ccvi. 1S24. 

'• Nat. Hist. Uev.. 11 ( schoihI ser.). p. 28J), 1S(K>. 

''Water Rinls N. A., 11, pp. :ML\ 343. 1««4. ^ 

♦ Expl. in Far North, p. 2rM, 1S!>S. 

f Pnx'. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila.. IKOS, p. 131. 

ff N. A. Hirds' E>:ps, p. 24, lfK>4. 

*.Tniirnal First Voyage, p. 17s, 1S21. 

' Appendix to Ross's Stvontl Voyajire. p. xxxv, 1S35. 

> Proe. Zool. JSoi:. lA>udon, JS71, p. 122. 



1908.] BIKDS. 263 

,ton Channel as late as -September 5, 1852;'' Richardson reported it 
bi'eeding on Darnley Bay on August 16, 1848, when the young were 
nearly fledged.^ 

Bissa tridactyla (Linn.). Kittiwake. 

Concerning the breeding of this species on Franklin Bay, Richard- 
son states under date of July 22, 1826 : " The common kittiwake breeds 
in great numbers on the rocky ledges in this quarter, and their young 
were already fledged.'' ^ Armstrong reported shooting the species on 
Prince Albert Land, near Princess Royal Islands, June 9, 1851.'' 
J. C. Ross states that the kittiwake breeds on the south shore of North 
Somerset ; ' and in Prince Regent Inlet.^ McCormick noted the kitti- 
wake as common on September 2, 1852, in Wellington Channel.^ 

Lams hyperboreus Gunn. Glaucous Gull. 

This beautiful gull is abundant along the Arctic coast in summer, 
and occurs in small numbers in the interior during migration. In 
1903 I saw one, a bird of the year, on the Mackenzie near Roche 
Trempe-leau, October 9. In 1904, while descending the Mackenzie, 
I saw one near the mouth of Black water. River, June 9. It was flying 
northward along the Mackenzie. 

Parry recorded it first at Winter Harbor on June 3, 1820; and ob- 
served young in the nest on August 5.* J. C. Ross noted the bird as 
common at Port Bowen in June, 1825, and as breeding commonly on 
the south shore of North Somerset in July, 1825.* Collinson recorded 
two seen May 31, 1852, near Walker Bay, Prince Albert Land.^ 
Sutherland records several seen June 6, .1851, near Cape Osborne, 
North Devon.* xVrmstrong, in his narrative of the voyage of the 
Inrestigator^ mentions. shooting glaucous gidls off the southern part 
of Baring Land September 13, 1850; on Prince Albert Land, near 
Princess Royal Islands, June 9, 1851 ; and at Mercy Bay, Banks Land, 
May 31, 1852.' MacFarlane reported about 20 nests collected in 
Franklin and Liverpool bays and on islands in the lower part of An- 
derson River."* Frank Russell records a specimen taken at Herschel 

« McCornilck'8 Voyages, II, p. 151, 1884. 

«► Arctic Searching Exiipditlon, I, p. 281. 1851. 

<• Narrative Second Exi>edition to I»olar Sea, p. 2:^7, 1828. 

^ Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 347, 1857. 

<• Parry's Third Voyage, Api)eudix, i). 105, 1826. 

f Appendix to Ross's Second Voyage, xxxv, 1835. 

i' McCormlclc's Voyages, II, p. 140, 1884. 

* Journal First Voyage, pp. 207, 235, 1821. 

< Parry's Third Voyage, Ap|)endix. p. ia3. 1820. 
i Journ. H. M. S. Enterprinc. p. 202. 188J). 

* Joum. Voy. to Baffin Bay, II, p. 88, 1852. 

' Narrative Discovery Nortliwest Passiige, pp. 222, 347, 521, 1857. 
« Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 418, 1891. 



264 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. f no. 27. 

Island August 4, 1804." Another, taken by him at Fort Rae, Sep- 
tenilHT ;^0, lRt)8, but not recordeiL has l)een examined. Hubert Dar- 
rell informs me that he obst»rved large gulls with wings entirely while 
near the base of Kent Peninsula, June, 1902. Ross's notes on Z. 
(/lancesrenH^ which he records as occurring on Great Slave Lake, and 
as having been procured at Fort Simpson,'' probably refer to the 
prostMit species. Scale states that glaucous gulls were abundant ..1' 
along the Arctic coast east to Mackenzie Bay in the late summer of 
1891).'' Eeed records a set of 3 eggs, taken on Herschel Island July 1, 
1900, by I. O. Stringer." 

Lams leucoptems Faber. Iceland Gull. 

J. C. Ross states that this gidl breeds at Felix Harbor, Boothia/ 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that it has been obtained at Mel- 
ville Island,^ and that '• MacFarlane procured several sets of thi» f^^^ 
of this si)ecies on the Arctic coast in July, 18G3, and again in July, 
1805/' fl' Reed records eggs taken at Mackenzie Bay, Arctic America, 
June 18, 1899.* Three eggs, taken by Collinson at Cambridge Bay. 
Victoria Land, are in the British Museum.' These ai-e the i)rincipal 
records regarding the occurrenc^e of the bird within the region, and 
the more westerly of these seem open to question. 

Lams schistisagus Stejn. Slaty-backed Gull. 

An adult male taken at Franklin Bay, Mackenzie, June 9. 1901. 
was identified by Dr. A. K. Fisher, of the Biological Survey, in 
H)02. This appeal's to l)e the cmly record for the region. 

Lams argentatns Pontoppidan. Herring Gull. 

The widely distributed herring gull is abundant throughout the 
region now under review. In 11K)1 a few were seen on Athabaska 
River below the mouth of La Biche River, May 7. The species was 
common on the lower river between the mouth of the Clearwater 
and Athabaska Lake, May 15 and 16, and on Athabaska Lake in 
the vicinity of Fort Chi[H»wyan, May 18 to 31, and was noted near 
the outlet. June 8. Several individuals were seen at Fort Smith, 
>'Iackenzie, Juno *27. It was common on Great Slave Lake about 
Fort Resoluti(m, and between there and Fort Rae, during the month 

« Expl. in Far North, p. L>r».^ 1808. 

«»N{it. Hist. Kev., II (sikm)iuI series), p. 2«», 1862. 

^ VviK'. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila.. 1808, p. 131. 

^ N. A. Birds' ERin?, p. 27, VMH, 

' AiMMMidix Itoss's Second Voyape, p. xxxiv, 1835. 

MVater Birds N. A., II. i». 21S, 1S84. 

" Ibid., p. 21!), 1S,S4. 

* X. A. Birds' E^s, f). 2S. 1004. 

U^al. Birds' Ejjps Brit. Mns., I, p. 221, 1001. 



lOOft.l BIRDS. 265 

of Jul}'. On July 13, while detained by wind on Ix)on Island, 50 
miles north of Fort Resolution, I visited a breedin*;? colony on a 
small island a quarter of a mile to the westward. The island was 
merely a rock about 50 yards in diameter and only 3 or 4 feet out 
of water, and was bare except for small patches of grass growing 
in the crevices. Upon it were nesting about 100 pairs of herring 
and California gulls, the latter outnumbering the herring gulls two 
to one. Most of the nests of the two species, which were indistin- 
guishable after the eggs were hatched, contained young which varied 
in size fnmi chicks just hatched to birds the size of a teal. Many 
of the larger young, scrambled to the water and swam away, but 
the greater number sought to conceal themselves in the crevices 
or beneath tufts of grass. The entire company of old birds flew 
about, keeping up a deafening clamor, the herring gulls being much 
more wary than their smaller relatives. An adult male was col- 
lected. While ascending Slave River from Fort Resolution to Fort 
Smith, Mackenzie, August 1 to 3, we noted an occasional bird. 

In 1003 we observed the herring gull on the Athabaska near Peli- 
can River, May 18; between there and Grand Rapid, May 19 and 
20; near Little Buffalo River, May 25; and 50 miles below Fort 
McMurray, May 29. We saw a few on Athabaska Lake, June 2, 3, 
and 4; at Fort Smith, Mackenzie, June 15; and on Slave River 50 
miles Ix^low Fort Smith, June 10, and near Limestone Point, June 
17. The species was common <m Great Slave Lake near Fort Reso- 
lution during the latter part of June. Alfred E. Preble and Merritt 
Cary noted it commonly on (ireat Slave I^ake between Fort Resolu- 
tion and Hay River, June 27, and saw a few at Fort Providence, 
June 2 and 3. They also observed it at Fort Simpson, July 10; 
found it abundant near the mouth of Xahanni River, July 11 and 
19, and noted it near Fort Wrigley, July 20. On their return trip 
they saw it on the Mackenzie, above Fort Simpson, July 25; on 
Great Slave Lake, between its outlet and Fort Rae, July 27 and 
28 ; found it common at the delta of the Athabaska, August 4 ; and 
noted one at Bnde Rapid, on the Athabaska, August 19. After the 
division of the party, I frequently observed the species near Fort 
Resolution during the early part of July, and while crossing the 
lake to Fort Rae, July 17 to 29. It was an abundant breeder on 
most of the lakes along the route traversed between Great Slave 
and (ireat Bear lakes in August, and greater or less numbers were 
seen almost daily. While traveling along the south shore of (ireat 
Bear Lake, August 28 to September 17, I observed the species nearly 
every day, and took an immature bird east of T^ith Point on August 
^JS, Two young which had not been long on the wing and were 
still attended by the mother were seen on McVicar Bay, September 



266 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

10. During my stay at Fort Franklin, September 18 to 27, 1 observed 
one or more nearly every day, and one was seen near the head of 
Bear River, Septeml>er 28. While ascending the Mackenzie I saw 
one near the Blackwater, October 8; another 10 miles below Fort 
Wrigley, October 10: and a few daily between Fort Wrigley and 
Xahanni River, October 11 to 13. 

In the spring of 1904 large gulls, probably of this species, wei-e first 
observed near Fort Providence by J. W. Mills, May 4. I did not see 
any at Fort Simpson until May 24. The species undoubtedly had 
arrived some time })reviously, but from its scarcity had been over- 
looked. It was several times observtnl during the latter part of the 
month. While descending the Mackenzie in June, I occasionally 
noted a few between Forts Simpson and Good Hope, taking one at 
the mouth of the Blackwater, about 50 miles below Fort Wrigley. 
June 9. Ahmg the lower Mackenzie and Peel rivers, between Fort> 
GcK)d Hope and McPlierson, I saw it daily, June 2(5 to July 1. AMiile 
ascending the Mackenzie during the latter part of July, I occasionally 
obst»rved tlie species, and it was common on Great Slave Lake, July 
Jil and August 1. 

Sabine recorded a specimen of this species killed on a cliif in the 
North (reorgia Islands (Melville Island)." M'Clintock states that 
the silvery gull breeds at Bellot Strait, where it had eggs June 2.'». 
1859.'' McCormick took it near Beechey Island, Wellington Channel. 
Septemlx»r 8, lSr2, and July 21, 1853.'* Armstrong, in his narrative 
of the voyage of the InrcHtigator^ states that the si)ecies was shot 
on Prince All)ert Land, June 9, 1851;'' he also noted it at Mercy Bay, 
Banks Land, May 31, 1852.'' Saunders records two specimens taken 
by Doctor Anderson of the Enter ptUe on Prince Albert Land/ 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was found breeding at 
Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, Big Island, Fort Simpson, Fort Andei-son. 
and on the lower Anderson and Horton rivers.^ The National Muse- 
um catalogue shows that the sjwcies was received also from Great 
Bear Lake; and a si>ecimeii from Fort Resolution taken by Kennicott, 
June 10 1 18()0|, and one from Big Island, are still in the collection. 

IIul)j»rt Darrell informs me that he observed a large gull with 
bla(»k on the wings, probably this species, on Bathurst Inlet, June 2iK 
1902. 

'* Siippl. to Ai»peii<lix Parry's First Voyage, p. cciv, 1824. 

^ Voyajre of the 7'o./-. p. -JIM), 1S(K). 

'• MoCorinhk's Voyajros, II, pp. 157, 84, 1884. 

'' Narr. DiscovtMy Northwest rassape, p. H47, 1857. 

' II)i<l., p. 521. IsTm. 

^'at. Birds Hrit. Miis.. XXV, p. 2(M{, 1806. 

i/ Water Hinls N. A., 11. p. 2:JS, 1SS4. 



1W)8.] BIRDS. 267 

Lams calif omicus Lawr. California Gull. 

This western gull is a common breeder about Great Slave Lake, 
and has been noted also from the lower Anderson. 

In 1901 we first noted it at Fort Resolution, Mackenzie, July 8, 
wlien several were seen flying about over the lake. They are usually 
easily distinguished from the herring gulls by their smaller size, dif- 
ferent cry, and by the greater amount of black on the primaries. 
The species was abundant about Loon Island, July 11 to 14, where 
(>0 or 70 pairs were nesting on the small adjoining island before re- 
ferred to. They seemed to lay a little later than the herring gulls, 
as most of the unhatched eggs were of the present species. Thre:> 
fine adults and a young one a few days old were collected July 13 and 
14. A few were seen at Trout Rock, July 10, and at Fort Rae, July 
t^4. While crossing Great Slave Lake by steamer from Fort Rae to 
Fort Resolution, July 30, many were observed near Hardisty Island. 

In 1903 I noted the California gull at Fort Re.solution, July 7, and 
several times among the islands between Fort Resolution and Fort 
Rae, July 17 to 26. 

In 1904, while on my return trip, I found it rather common on 
Great Slave Lake, July 30 and 31. 

Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway record eggs taken near Fort Resolu- 
tion, and specimens of the birds from the same place, and from Fort 
Simpson and Big Island." MacFarlane reported nests found near 
Fort Anderson, and received specimens with eggs from lower Ander- 
son River.^ 

Larus delawarensis Ord. Ring-billed Gull. 

This species occurs in summer north to Great Slave Lake, where 
it is one of the rarest of the breeding gulls. 

While we were descending Athabaska River in 1901 a flock of 
these gulls was seen at the mouth of Pelican River, 100 miles below 
Athabaska Landing, on May 9. 

In 1903 we saw a few at a small slough near Sturgeon River, 
Alberta, May 12, and several on the Athabaska near Pelican River, 
May 18. While at Fort Chipewyan we noted a few% June 3 and 4, 
and we observed the species near Smith Landing, June 10. Alfred 
E. Preble and Merritt Cary noted tw^o near the Desmarais Islands, 
July 1, and one at Fort Providence a few days later. 

Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway record eggs of the ring-billed gull 
from Great Slave Lake.^ Russell has recorded specimens taken at 
Fort Chipewyan in the spring of 1893,^ and an adult taken by him 
there has l)een examined during the preparation of this report. 

"Water Birds N. A., II, p. 244, 1884. 
M'rw. IT. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 418, 1891. 
'• Water Birds N. A.. II, p. 247, 1884. 
^'Expl. in Far North, p. 255, 1808. 



2(>8 NORTH AMKRICAN FAUNA, [xol'T. 

Larus brachyrhynchus V\rh. SI lorl -billed Gull. 

This small ^iilK ori/irin^Hy <U*sc-ribod from (ireat Bear I^ake. is 
one of the commonest breeders of its penus from the lower part of 
Slave Kiver northward to the Arctic coast. 

In 11)01 we first met with this sf^ecies on Slave River 75 miles below 
Fort Smith, July 1, when several individuals were seen and one 
was taken. During the next two days, while following the cours* 
of the river to its mouth, Ave observed the birds in considerable num- 
iK'its. We did not note it again until July 10, wdiile sailing among 
tlnrs|)ruce-covcre<l islands of the Northern Arm of (Ireat Slave Lake 
bettlieen Yellowknife Bay an<l Trout Kmrk, when wo passed througli 
th#*bn»iMling ground of a large colony. The birds percdied freely 
on the summits of the spruces, and were noisy and familiar. Manv 
young ones, still unable to fly, left the small islands on our approach, 
and attempted to escape by swinmiing. An adult female was col- 
lected. A small fl(H*k Avas seen feeding on the lake at Fort Rae, 
July ii2, and a nearly full-grown bird was taken. The last were 
noted wJiile wc were cro-wing the lake, July 30, when a number 
were si»en near llardisly Island. 

In VMM) we first saw the short-billed gull on Slave River, 50 miles 
l)elow Fort Smith, Mackenzie, June JO, observing about 25, and we 
noted it in numbers between there and Limestone Point, June IT. 
AVhil(» on the Mackenzie, Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Cary ob- 
served it U»low the mouth of the Xahanni, July 15). On their 
return tri]) they noted it at Smith Landing, August 2. While 
crossing (ireat Slave Lake to Fort Rae, I found the s|)ecies common 
among the islands of the Northern Arm, July 24 to 20, and observed 
many young birds just conmiencing to ily. Along my nnite l>e- 
tweeii (ireat Slave ai^d (ireat Bear lakes it seemed to Ih^ a com- 
mon breeder. Adults acc()mi)anied by newly fledged young were 
common on lower (irandin River, August 1. I observed it on 
Sarahk Lake, August 7: Lake Rae. August 0, when young with 
the dark-banded tail were noted; and near I^ke St. Croix. August 
b*]. On tlie lakes between Lake Ilardisty and Great Bear I^ake I 
observed it in numlK'rs (m August 20, 24, and 25, this l>eing the 
last (hue noted. 

In the ^i)ring of liK)4, I first saw the short -billed gull at Fort 
Sim])son, Mackenzie, May S, when several individuals, evidently 
m'wjy arrived, were seen flying back and forth over the river. I 
next saw tlie bird on May 10, and it was common from that date. 
I)eing noted nearly every day through May. Thi'ee siH»cimens col- 
lect (m1 May 12 had been feeding on water In^etles (Dytmus fftntn'cus). 
I note<l the iri-^ }is jio-ht hazt^l. While descending the Mackenzie I 



1»«)8.] BIRDS. 269 

Observed the species daily between Xahaiini River and Fort XoniatB. 
Jiiie 6 to 10; between Wolverene Rock and Fort Good Hope, Jnne 18 
te^21; and frequently on the lower Mackenzie and Peel, June 25 to 
July 1. At Fort McPherson I noted it on July 4, 15, and 16; and on 
my return trip saw a few near Fort Providence, July 29. 

Larus hrachyrhynchus was first described by Richardson from a 
young female taken at Fort Franklin, Great Bear Lake, May 2.^, 
1826.*' Another specimen, an aduh male, killed at the same place, 
Jiine 7, 1826, and recorded under the name Laruat ca/ws,^ is referable 
to the same species. Ross next referred to it as a bird of this region 
under the name Rissa septentr ion alls, recording it as common on 
Great Slave Lake, and as having been collected at Fort Simpson.*- 
Balrd, Brewer, and Ridgway recorded specimens taken during the 
bi^eeding season on Slave River, and at Fort Resohition, Big Island, 
and Fort Rae; and eggs from Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, Anderson 
River, and Peel River. They also describe the location of various 
nests found by MacFarlane. One nest, merely a cavity in the sand, 
was found on Lockhart River, May 28; another found June 10, near 
Fort Andei'son, was placed on a stump 4 feet from the ground: 
another found June 21, near Rendezvous Lake, was in a tree at least 
10 feet from the ground.*' Specimens from Fort Resolution and Fort 
Rae are still in the collection of the National Museum, and the 
catalogue of the birds there show^s that skins were received also 
from F'ort Simpson, Fort Norman, Peel River, Anderson River, and 
Great Bear Lake. A specimen collected by Frank Russell at Fort 
Chipewyan in the spring of 1891^ has been examined. 

Lams Philadelphia (Ord). Bonaparte Gull. 

This gull is a ^common breeder in suitable places throughout the 
region north at least to the borders of the wooded country. In 
1901 this bird was first observed on Slave River about 50 miles below 
Fort Smith, Mackenzie, June 30, when several were seen. A num- 
ber were observed, and one was collected, 25 miles below there on 
July 1, and during the next two days the species was found to be 
common along the lower part of the river. Though doubtless 
occurring, it was not seen after we reached Great Slave Lake. 

In 1903 we noted three individuals al)out a small pond 70 miles 
north of Edmonton, Alberta, May 14, and one near Athabaska 
I>anding, May 15. We next saw the species on the lower Athabaska 
near Poplar Point, May 30. While crossing (ireat Slave Lake. I 

« Fauna BoreaH-Amerlcana, II, i». 422, \K\\. (Tbis si)ociim'n is now in the 
V. S. National Museum.) 
*► Ibid., p. 420. 1831. • 

«?Xat. Hist. Rev., II (second sor.), p. 2S0, 18t>2. 
^ Water Birds N. A., II, p. 240. 1SS4. 



270 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. lxo.27. 

found it coniinon near Trout Ro<;k, Northern Ami, July 25, and Ix*- 
tween there and Fort Rae, July 26, and I saw a pair on Lake Marian, 
July 31. 

In 1904, J. W. Mills first observed this bird near Fort Providence. 
May 9, and H. W. Jones collected two at the same place on May 20. 
At Fort Simpson I first saw it May 12, and it was common on May l\\ 
when I took a specimen. On May 25 I observed about 25 individuals 
on the river near the post. 

A female specimen, taken near Fort I^ovidence, May 14, 1905, by 
11. W. Jones, has recently been received. 

This bird apparently was fii*st recorded from this region by Rich- 
ardson, who, under the name Larns honaparti^ describes a male said 
to have been killed on Great Slave Lake, May 26, 1826.*» In his ac- 
count of his third Arctic journey, he states that this bird breeds on 
Bear Lake Kiver, where it builds in colonies, sometimes placing 7 or 8 
nests on a single tree.^ The following year large flocks arrived at 
Fort Franklin on May 18/ Kennicott mentions that one was shot bv 
W. L. Hardisty at Fort Resolution, May 18, 1860.** Baird, Brewer, 
and Ridgvvay state that specimens and eggs were procureil at Fort 
Resolution, Fort Rae, Big Island, Fort Simpson, Fort Good Hope, 
Peel River, Fort Anderson, and on the lower Anderson River.^ Mac- 
Farlane records that 87 nests with eggs were found near Fort 
Anderson, and on the lower Anderson River, all being built on trees.^ 
Hulx»rt Darrell informs me that he observed small black-headed gulls, 
prol)ably referable to this species, on Melville Sound, on the Ai'ctic 
coast, June 15, 1902. 

Khodostethia rosea (Macgil.). Rosy (full. 

Though occurring, sometimes abundantly, in the Arctic regions to 
the eastward and westward, apparently the only record for the region 
now under review is that of J. C. Ross, who states, luider the name 
Larfffi roMnii that it was reported once at Felix Harbor, Boothia.-'' 

Although the rosy gull has Ik^cu known for eighty years, its breed- 
ing grounds remained undiscovered until 1905. In June of that year 
the bird was found breeding conmionly in the Kolyma Delta, eastern 
Siberia, by S. A. Buturlin, who describes for the first time its breed- 
ing habits, eggs, and young.'* 

" Knuim Horoall-Ainerlcuim. II, p. 425, 1831r 

^Arctic Searching KxpcHlitlon, I, pp. 200, 201, 1851. 

'• IhUh, II, i». KHJ. 1851. 

«* Trans. Cliica^o Acad. Si'i., I, p. 171, 1869. 

' -Wat«n- Birds X. A., 11, v. 203, 1884. 

f Proc. r. S. Nat. Miis., XIV. p. 418, 1801. 

''Api>en(li.\ liOss's Swoud Voyage, p. xxxvi,*1885. 

* Ibis, llKKi, i>p. 131-iaO : 333^31^7. 



1008. J BIRDS. 271 

Xema sabini (8ab.). Sabine Gull. 

This small fork-tailed gull has been found breeding at several 
points on the Arctic coast of Mackenzie, but has not been detected in 
the interior. Sutherland recorded it from near Beechey !?;land, 
where several were observed June G, 1851." J. C. Ross recorded it 
from Felix HarlK)r, and states that it was reported to breed on the 
west side of Boothia.* It was I'ecorded from this region by Richard- 
son, who found it breeding on an island off Point Dalhousie, August 
8, 1848. At this time the spotted young were accompanying their 
parents on the wing. The eggs had been deposited in hollows in 
the short and scanty mossy turf.'' MacFarlane found it breeding on 
Franklin Bay in June, 1805, and Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway de- 
scribe eggs collected by him.** MacFarlane states that eggs were 
obtained by the Eskimo on Liverpool Bay.« Scale states that in 
1890 this gull was first seen at Herschel Island on August 28.^ An 
egg taken by CoUinson at Cambridge Bay, Victoria Land, is in the 
collection of the British Museum.^ 

Sterna caspia Pallas. Caspian Tern. 

The widely distributed Caspian tern occurs in summer in a few 
loc*alities, notably the deltas of the larger rivers, north to the mouth 
of the Mackenzie. In 1901 we met with it but once, on July 9, when 
a single bird was seen flying over the shallow lagoons between the 
mouth of Slave River and Stone Island, Great Slave Lake. 

In 1903 we obs«*ved it first at the delta of the Athabaska, June 2, 
when several birds were seen. I frequently noted the species at Fort 
Resolution, June 20 to July 17, but seldom saw more than one or two 
at a time. I saw several among the islands of the Northern Arm, 
between Yellowknife River and Fort Rae, July 25 and 20, and one on 
Lake Marian, July 81. 

Richardson, undoubtedly referring to the present species, recorded 
the " Great Tern Sterna cayana " fi'om below Harrison Island, near 
the mouth of the Mackenzie, where he saw it on August 1, 1848.* 
Ross, in 1802, noted the species as rare on Great Slave Lake.' During 
the next few years the Smithsonian Institution received a number 

ojouni. Voy. to Baffin Bay, II, p. 88, l.sr)2. 
^Appendix Ross's Scvoiid Voyage, p. xxxvii, 1835. 
<^ Arctic Soarchinp lOxpoditioii, I, p. 202, 1851. 
<« Water Birds N. A., II, p. 272, 1884. 
^Proc. T'. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 419, 1891. 
n»roc. Ac-ad. Nat. Sci. Phila., 1898, p. i;^. 
fi' Gates, Cat. Birds' Kjr^'s Brit. Mus., I. p. 2U3, UK)!. 
* Arctic Searching' Expedition, I, p. 231, 1851. 
<Nat. Hist. Kev., II (second scr.), p. 289, 1802. 



272 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

of s|)o<!iniens from Fort Resolution. Fort Rae. and Big Island ;° 
skins from these localities are still in the collection. 

Sterna himndo Linn. Common Teni. 

This widely distributed tern breeds in suitable places throughout 
the region. It is rather rare north of Great Slave Lake. l)einp 
largely replaced by the Arctic tern, but occurs with that species in 
some localities. 

In 1001 this species was first seen at the delta of the Athabaska 
the date of our arrival. May 17, when a number were observed. It 
was common at the mouth of the Quatre Fourches, near Fort C'hi|x»- 
wyan. May 28, and a few were seen near the outlet of Athabaska 
Lake, June 2. 

In 1903 we noted it at the delta of the Athabaska, June 2, and 
saw a few on Rocher River, June 6. Alfred E. Preble and Merritl 
Cary observed two near Hay River, Great Slave Lake, June 27, and 
on their return trip observed a few in company with Arctic temr* at 
the mouth of the Athabaska, August 5. I saw a few, associated with 
Arctic terns, among the islands of the Northern Arm, July 24 and 20. 

Ross recorded the common tern as being very rare on Great Bear 
and Great Slave lakes, and as having been collected at Fort Simpson.^ 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway record specimens from Fort Rae, Big 
Island, and the Arctic coast below Anderson River.*^ 

Sterna paradisaea Briinn. Arctic Tern. 

This tern is a common breeder in suitable places from lower Slave 
River northward, replacing the common tern to a gi'eat extent north 
of Great Slave Lake. 

In 1901 we first observed this bird 50 miles below Fort Smith, 
June 80, when a number of individuals were seen flying over the 
river, and one was collated. During the next three days we noted 
the species frequently between that point and Great Slave Lake, and 
found it breeding on some low sandy islands in the lower part of the 
river, July 3. While crossing Great Slave Lake we found it common 
among the islands. On I^on Island, 50 miles north of Fort Reso- 
lution, where we were detained by wind, July 11 to 14, about 50 pairs 
were nesting. At this time most of the eggs were hatched, but the 
colony raised very few young. Many were killed by the cold storm 
which kept us fnmi leaving the island, and the jaegers and gulls 
were frequently seen to swoop down and snatch a young one. A num- 
l)er of the birds, including a young one a few days old which I 
picked up dead, were preserved. 

« Water Hirds N. A., II, p. 283, 1884. 

''Nat. Hist. Uev., II (second ser.), p. 281), 1802. 

<- Water Birds N. A.. II, p. 297, 18S4, 



1»1>«.1 BIRDS. . 278 

In 1903 we first observed this species on Slave River, 50 miles below 
Fort Smith, June 16. We found it common between there and Lime- 
stone Point, June 17; and near the mouth of the river, June 19; and 
noted several at Fort Resolution, June 20. Wliile on the Mackenzie, 
Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Cary found the species common at 
Fort Providence, June 7 and 8; observed upward of 500 on the Little 
Lake, near Fort Providence, July 9; and several at Fort Simpson, 
July 10. On their return journey they noted it commonly between 
Fort Simpson and Fort Providence, July 25 and 26; and observed 
about 50 near the mouth of the Athabaska, Aug:ust 5. I found it 
common on Great Slave Lake, especially among the islands of the 
Northern Arm, when I crossed late in July, and it was abundant on 
Lake Marian on July 31. 

In 1904 J. W. Mills first noted this species near Fort Providence 
May 25. I did not observe the bird during the spring migration, but 
found it common at the head of the Mackenzie delta, June 30. On 
July 1, while ascending the Peel to Fort McPherson, I observed sev- 
eral nesting colonies on its grassy banks, finding about a dozen nests 
containing incomplete sets of eggs. Several families of Eskimo also 
traveling along the river were interesting themselves in these nests, 
doubtless considering the eggs an agreeable change from a diet of 
fish and putrid geese. While at Fort McPherson on July 11 and 16 
I noted a few individuals, probably stragglers from these breeding 
colonies. 

Sabine recorded two immature birds which were killed July 8, 
probably at Winter Harbor, Melville Island." Richardson gives a 
description of one killed at Great Bear Lake [probably at Fort 
Franklin] June 7, 1826.^ J. C. Ross states that this species is rare 
on the east and west coasts of Boothia.^ McCormick records it from 
Wellington Channel as late as August 28, 1852.'' Baird, Brewer, and 
Ridgway state that the species has been found occurring in abun- 
dance at Fort Resolution ; Fort Rae ; Big Island ; Fort Simpson ; Peel 
River ; Fort Anderson ; Franklin Bay ; Rendezvous Lake ; and other 
localities.*' Seale states that the species was abundant at Herschel 
Island on August 27, 1896.^ 

« Siippl. to Appendix Parry's First Voyage, p. cciii, 1824. 

* Fauna Boreali-iVmericana, II, p. 414, 1831. 

c Appendix Ross's Second Voyage, p. xxxiii, 1835. 

*McCormlck*8 Voyages, II, p. 137, 1884. 

^ Water Birds N. A., II, p. 300, 1884. 

^ Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phlla., 1898, p. 133. 

44131— No. 27—08 18 



274 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [!co.27. 

Hydrochelidon nig^a snrinamensiB (Gmel.). Black Tern. 

The black tern occurs commonly in suitable places north to Great 
Slave Lake. The marshes at the delta of Slave River appear to 
mark its northern limit of abundance in this region. 

In the spring of 1901 it was first met with on the lower part of 
Athabaska River May 17, when we saw large numbers flying to and 
from the numerous marshes which cover the face of the country back 
of the fringe of trees which borders the river. We next noted the 
species about 50 miles below Fort Smith July 30, and during the 
next three days found it numerous along the lower part of Slave 
River, where the many outlying marshes afford a congenial habitat. 

In 1908 we found this species common on the lower Athabaska, 
May 31 to June 2; and noted it on Slave River near the mouth of the 
Peace, June 9 ; and between there and Smith Landing, June 10. 

Ross listed this tern as rare on Great Slave Lake.* Baird, Brewer, 
and Ridgway recorded specimens from Fort Resolution.* A skin 
collected there by Kennicott is still in the National Museum. 

Ftdmarus glacialis (Linn.). Fulmar. 

Armstrong noted the fulmar petrel near the southern extremity 
of Baring Land, where it was observed September 7, ISoO.*" M'Clin- 
tock observed it at Brentford Bay August 10, 1859.* McCormick 
noted the species in Wellington Channel, September 2, 1852.*^ 

Fhalacrocorax auritns (I^rcsson). Double-crested Cormorant. 

This cormorant breeds commonly on some of the lakes in the 
Saskatchewan and upper (^hurchill basins, and a few stragglers have 
been taken about Great Slave Lake. Ross recorded it as being rare 
on Great Slave Lake: f and the catalogue of the birds in the National 
Museum contains the record of a specimen (Xo. 20139) taken at Big 
Island by John Reid. Macoun, on the authority of Dippie, records 
it as breeding on Buffalo I^ake, Alberta.^ Seton records it as breed- 
ing in large numbers at Isle a la Crosse.* 

Capt. J. W. Mills informed me that one was shot at Willow 
River, near Fort Providence, about October 10, 1901. This was the 
only instance of the occurrence of the species known to the natives 
who saw the specimen. 

"Nat. Hist. Rev., II (socond sor.), j). 289, 1862. 

6 Water Birds X. A., II, p. 320, 1884. 

''Narrative Discovery Northwi?st Passage, p. 213, 1857. 

^ \'oya^'o of the Fot, p. 300, 1860. 

^ MoC'oruiick's Voyages, II, p. 146, 1884. 

f Nat. Hist. Uev., II (sec-oud ser.), p. 288, 1862. 

^Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 66, 1900. 

* Auk, XXV, p. 69, 1908. 



1908.] BIBDS. 275 

Pelecanus erythrorhynclios Gmel. American White Pelican. 

In the spring of 1901 we saw about ten pairs at the mouth of 
Pelican River, 100 miles below Athabaska Landing, May 9. The 
birds are said to be usually found at this point and to nest among 
the rapids which occur on the lower part of Pelican River. A large 
number nest on the islands at Smith Rapids, and while encamped at 
Smith Landing near the head of the rapids, we saw straggling indi- 
viduals on June 14 and 16. At Fort Smith, near the foot of the 
rapids, we saw the birds almost daily, June 19 to 28. After leaving 
Fort Smith we did not again observe the species until August 3, 
when a single young bird was seen about 15 miles below Fort Smith. 
• In 1903 we saw several individuals near Fort Smith, June 14. Mer- 
ritt Gary was informed that several pairs breed annually on a small 
rocky islet, one of the Desmarais group, in Great Slave Lake. J. W. 
Mills tells me that during the past few years he has seen three small 
flocks near Fort Providence. 

The Smith Rapids colony occupy the most northern breeding sta- 
tion of this species in North America (excepting the small colony 
on Great Slave Lake), and have evidently occupied this site from time 
inunemorial, as Alexander Mackenzie refers to the ' Pelican ' as one 
of the portages passed in these rapids when he descended the river 
in 1789." Richardson mentions the species as numerous on Isle a La 
Cross Lake, in flocks of 40 or 50, in June, 1848.* Ross recorded 
it as common north to Big Island 'S and the catalogue of the birds in 
the National Museum contains the record of a specimen taken there. 
Frank Russell collected young birds and eggs at the Smith Rapids 
breeding ground, July 3, 1893. He reported man}^ scores of young 
birds in different stages of development.** J. Alden luring reported 
seeing a number of these pelicans on Lake Ste. Anne, Alberta, in 
August, 1895; he also noted several on an island in the same lake, 
May 26, 1896. Fleming records one taken by the Eskimo in Liver- 
pool Bay in June or July, 1900.*^ The bird was new to the natives, 
and was probably merely a straggler. 

Merits americanus Cass. American Merganser. 

This merganser occurs as a rather unconmion breeder north to 
Great Slave Lake. While descending the Athabaska, May 6 to 17, 
1901, we saw a pair or two almost daily. We observed the species 
on the marshes at the mouth of the Quatre Fourches, near Fort Chip- 
ewyan, May 24 ; and at Point La Brie, V2 miles northeast of the post, 

<* Voyages to Frozen and Pacific Oceans, p. 4, 1801. 
» Arctic Searching Expedition, I, p. 101, 1851. 
^^Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 288, 1862. 
' Expl. in Far North, p. 256, 1898. 
•Auk, XXIII, p. 218, 1906. 



276 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Iko.27. 

« 

May 30 and 81 ; and saw several birds on Great Slave Lake near Stone 
Island, July 11. We did not note the species again until we were 
ascending the Athabaska on our return, when we saw a number of 
individuals near the mouth of Big Mouth Brook, August 20. 

The Hudson's Bay Company museum at Fort Simpson contains a 
specimen said to have l^een taken at Fort Providence several years 
since. An alleged specimen taken by Russell near Fort Rae* has 
been examined and proves referable to M. serrator. 

Hergns serrator I^inn. Red-breasted Merganser. 

This species breeds throughout the region north to the tree limit 
In 1901 it was positively identified but once, near the north shore 
of Great Slave Lake, at the mouth of the Northern Arm, where a 
female was shot July 15. 

In 1903 we noted the species at Edmonton, Alberta, May 8 ; on the 
Athabaska, Ik»1ow (irand Rapid, May 25 and 26; and on the lower 
Athabaska on May 29, 30, and 31. We next observed it on Great 
Slave Lake, where it was frequently seen between Fort Resolution 
and Fort Rae, July 17 to 29. During my trip northward from Fort 
Rae I observed the bird on Lake Hardisty on August 16 and 17, and 
a few miles south of MacTavish Bay, August 21, when a* female, with 
young alx)ut a week old, was observed. While traveling along the 
south shore of Great Bear Lake I found the species common, noting 
it nearly every day, August 28 to September 17, and taking one 
near Manito Islands, Septemlwr 15. WTiile encamped at Fort Frank- 
lin, September 18 to 27, I observed it on several occasions, and while 
ascending the Mackenzie noted it near Blackwater River, Octolier 7; 
a few miles above there, Octolx»r 8; at Roche Trempe-l-eau, October 
9; and above Xahanni River, October 15 and 16. 

In the spring of 1004 I first observed this species at Fort Simpson 
on May 19, though it had doubtless arrived earlier. Wliile descend- 
ing the Mackenzie I observed it near Roche Trempe-Peau, June 8; 
near Fort Norman, June 10; near Sans Sault Rapid, June 19; near 
the Ramparts, June 20; and on the lower Mackenzie and Peel rivers. 
June 30 and July 1. On my return trip I saw a few on the Mackenzie 
near Roche Trempe-lVau, July 22. 

Ross notes this species as Ixiing found conunonly north to Peel 
River, and as having been collected at Fort Simpson;^ MacFarlane 
collected several sets of eggs in the vicinity of Fort Anderson and 
on the border of the ' Barrens ' to the eastward of that post.^ Sp)eci- 
mens were received by the Smithsonian Institution from Fort Reso- 
lution, Fort Rae, Big Island, Fort Simpson, and Peel River. Seton 

« Expl. in Far North, p. 250, 1898. 

''Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 289, 1862. 

<> Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 419, 1801. 



1908.] BIRDS. 277 

reports the bird abundant on Great Slave Lake, and northeast to 
Clinton-Colden Lake m 1907.« 

Lophodytes cncuUatus (Linn.). Hooded Merganser. 

This beautiful merganser is a rather rare summer resident north 
to Great Slave Lake and the upper Mackenzie. While ascending the 
Mackenzie in the autumn of 1908 I observed a fine male a few miles 
below Fort Wrigley, October 9. This seems to be the most northern 
record for the region. 

Ross seems to have been the first to record the hooded merganser 
from this region, noting it as being rare north to Great Slave Lake.'' 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway recorded specimens collected at Fort 
Resolution by J. Lockhart.*' J. Alden luring reported taking one on 
Fishing Lake, a few miles west of Jasper House, Alberta, in the sum- 
mer of 1895, and saw another, which had been killed on Spotted Lake, 
60 miles west of Edmonton, November 3, 189G. A specimen in the 
National Museum (No. 124705) labeled Lac du Brochet, May 18, 1891, 
was collected at the post of that name on Reindeer Lake. The Hud- 
son's Bay Company museum at Fort Simpson contained a mounted 
sf)ecinien, but I did not ascertain its locality. 

Anas platyrhynclios Linn. Mallard. 

One of the most abundant and genei'ally distributed ducks through- 
out the wooded region. In 1901 we noted it daily on the Atha- 
baska between Athabaska Landing and Fort Chipewyan, May 6 to 
17. A nest found near the bank of the river about 50 miles above 
Athabaska Lake, May IG, contained 9 eggs about one day incubated. 
We noted the bird almost daily while collecting at Fort Chipewyan, 
while descending Slave River, and at Fort Smith. We saw females 
with young a few days old in the marsh near the latter place, June 
26 and 27; found the species common on lower Slave River July 
2 to 4, collecting an adult male July 3; and noted the si)ecies several 
times at Fort Resolution during July. AMiile crossing Great Slave 
Lake I noted it near the mouth of the Northern Arm July 15, and 
observed females with young about a week old among the islands 
near Yellowknife Bay July IG, and at Trout Rock, July 17. While 
on our return trip we noted the species on Smith Portage August 5, 
at Fort Chipewyan August 8, near Crooked Rapid August 15, and 
below Pelican Rapid August 23. 

In 1903 we saw mallards at Edmonton, Alberta, May 10, and nearly 
every day on the way to Athabaska Landing, May 11 to 15, and 
between there and Fort Chipewyan, May IG to June 2. We found 
the species common also along our route between Fort Chipewyan 

«Auk, XXV, p. 69, 1008. 

»Nat. Hist. Kev., II (second ser.), p. 288, 1862. 

c Water Birds N. A., II, p. 124, 1884. 




278 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [»0.27. 

and Fort Resolution, and noted it nearly every day, collecting a speci- 
men near Fort Resolution June 19. Alfred E. Preble and Merritt 
Cary noted it in the marsh at Hay River June 30 and July 1, and 
below the mouth of Nahanni River July 19. On their return trip 
they observed it at Grand Rapid August 20, House River August 
21, Quito River August 29, where several small flocks were noted, 
and near Athabaska Landing September 13. While crossing Great 
Slave Lake to Fort Rae I found it common among the islands of 
the Northern Arm July 23 to 26. While on my trip northward to 
Great Bear Lake I noted it on Lake Marian July 31, Grandin River 
August 2, Lake Mazenod August 6, Sarahk Lake August 7, and 
Lake Hardisty August 16. While ascending the Mackenzie I saw 
a small flock 20 miles below Nahanni River October 13. 

In the spring of 1904 the mallard was noted near Fort Providence 
by H. W. Jones April 27. At Fort Simpson it was first observed 
May 3, four being seen. While descending the Mackenzie June 6 
I observed a few near Nahanni River, and on my return trip saw 
two near the same place July 26, and several on the Athabaska near 
Little Buffalo River August 21. 

Ross recorded this species as being abundant in the Mackenzie 
River district north to the Arctic coast, and as having been collected 
at Fort Simpson.*" Kennicott noted its arrival at Fort Resolution 
on May 7, I860,* and obtained a set of 9 eggs on the 25th of the 
same month/ MacFarlane met with it throughout almost the entire 
wooded portion of the Anderson River region.' The National 
Museum catalogue shows that s|M?cimens were received from Fort 
Resolution, Fort Rae, Big Island, and Fort Simpson, and the 
species has also been taken at Fort Good Hope. J. Alden Loring 
reported it as common at Edmonton, September 7 to 26, 1894. 

Anas rubripes Brewst. Dusky Duck ; Black Duck. 

MacP'arlano found the black duck on Anderson River, where it 
was not uncommon, and where several specimens were shot, but 
failed to find nests.'' T was informed by A. F. Camsell, of Fort 
Simpson, that this species was sometimes shot at that post in spring. 

Chanlelasmns strepems (Linn.). Gadwall. 

Eg^ of the gadwall were collected at Lesser Slave Lake, probably 
in 1808, by St radian Jones. Macoun says it breeds in large num- 
bers at Edmonton, Alberta, and states on the authority of Dippie 

«Nat. Hist. Uev., II (socoml «er.), p. 287, 1862. 
^Trniis. Chica^'o Acad. Sci.. I, i». 170. 1869. 

"- n>i(i., p. 172, \m\). 

<'Piuc. U. S. Nat. Mu8., XIV, p. 420, 1891. 



1908.] BIRDS. 279 

that it was common at Buffalo Lake, Alberta, in July, 1895.« Mac- 
Farlane in a manuscript list states that a female gadwall was 
obtained at Fond du Lac, Athabaska Lake, by J. Mercredi. The 
species seems to be mainly a bird of the prairie region, and has not 
been recorded from the Mackenzie Valley. 

Mareca americana (Gmel.). Baldpate. 

In 1901 we first noted this species on the lower Athabaska, May 
16 and 17, when we saw it in numbers. We next observed it on 
Rocher River, June 5, and at the mouth of Peace River, June 6, 
collecting a male and female at the latter place. We again noted 
it and collected a male 25 miles below Peace River, June 11, and 
saw it at Smith Landing, June 13. While descending Slave River, 
June 30, about 40 miles below Fort Smith, Mackenzie, we saw a large 
flock composed entirely of males. They were resting on drift logs 
and sandbars in a shallow part of the river, and were not at all shy. 
I saw a single bird in a marsh at Fort Resolution, July 6 ; and shot 
one on Great Slave Lake near the mouth of the Northern Arm, July 
15. While ascending the Athabaska we observed a few below Pelican 
Rapid, August 23. 

In 1903 we first observed this species on the Athabaska above 
Stony Rapid, May 26, and next noted it on Athabaska Lake near 
Fort Chipewyan, June 1. It was common on the marshes adjoining 
Rocher River, June 6 to 8, and a pair was taken on the latter date. 
We also noted it near the mouth of the Peace, Jmie 9, and found 
it common on Slave River between Fort Smith and Fort Resolution, 
Mackenzie, June 15 to 19. Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Cary noted 
about 25 individuals between Desmarais Islands and Fort Provi- 
dence, July 2; about the same number between Fort Providence and 
Fort Simpson, July 9; and a few near Nahanni River, July 11. On 
their return trip they saw large flocks flying up the Athabaska, 
evidently on their southward migration, near the mouth of Quito 
River, August 29. While on my way to Fort Rae, I saw a few near 
Stone Island, July 18. During my trip through the lake country 
north of Fort Rae, I noted the species in considerable numbers. 
Females accompanied by young, many of which were just beginning 
to fly, were common along Grandin River, August 1 to 4. I noted 
it also on Lake Mazenod, August G; Sarahk Lake, August 7; and 
Lake Hardisty, August 16. 

In the spring of 1904 I first noted this duck at Fort Simpson, 
Mackenzie, April 28, when I saw half a dozen. I next saw it May 
3, and found it rather common May 4, and during the remainder of 
the month. While descending the Mackenzie I saw several near 



«Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 71). liMX). 



r 



280 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA, [so. 27. 

the moutli of Xahanni River, June 0, and noted it almost daily on 
the lower Mackenzie and Peel, between Forts Good Hope and Mc- 
Pherson, June 25 to July 1. 

This is an abundant species throughout the wooded pMjrtion of the 
region. Ross recorded it as common north to Peel River and as hav- 
ing l>een collected at Fort Simpson." Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway 
state that it has been reported in the breeding season from Fort 
Resolution, Fort Anderson, Anderson River, and Swan River, east 
of Fort Anderson.'' Specimens were received by the Smithsoniaii 
Institution also from Big Island, Peel River, and Fort Rae, one from 
the latter place l)eing still in the collection.** J. Alden Loring re- 
ported it common at Edmonton, Alberta, September 7 to 20, 1804, and 
in the various lakes a short distance northwest of Edmonton, Novem- 
ber 4, 5, and G, 1896. 

Nettion carolinense (Gmel.). Green- winged Teal. 

The green-winged teal occurs throughout the forested pMJrtion of 
the region, but is rare in the northern part of its range. In 1901 
we saw several on Sturgeon River, 25 miles north of Edmonton, 
Allx»rta, May 2, and found the specie.s common on the Athabaska l)e- 
tween Grand Rapid and Athabaska Lake, May 11 to 17. We saw a 
numl)er on the marshes at the mouth of the Quatre Fourchcs, near 
Fort Chipewyan, May 23 and 24, and took a pair on the latter date. 
We noted the species on Rocher River, June 5 ; 25 miles below Peace 
River, June 13: and on several occasions at Fort Smith, Mackenzie. 
June 19 to 28; and 50 miles lx»low that post, June 30. We collected 
one at the mouth of Slave River, July 4; and observed a pair near 
Fort Resolution, July G. In a small pond near Fort Rae, July 22, I 
observed a fenuile with eight young about one-fourth gro\yn. 

In 1903 we first noted this teal at Edmonton, Alberta, May 8. We 
saw about 25 near Sturgeon River, May 12, and noted the si)ecier= 
among the small sloughs to the northward of that place on May 13. 
While desci»nding the Athabaska we noted it near Athabaska Land- 
ing, May 10; l>elow Grand Rapid, May 25; and on the lower Atha- 
baska, May 31 and June 1. We found it common on Rocher River. 
June to 8 ; and noted it on Slave River, near the mouth of the Peace, 
June 9; and near Limestone Point, June 17. We observed it also in 
a snuill i)ond near Fort Resolution, June 23; among the Simpson 
Islands, 50 miles northeitst of Fort Resolution, July 21; and ne^ir 
(iros Ciipi\ July 23. During my trip northward from Fort Rae, I 

»Nat. Hist. Rev., II. (second ser.), p. 287. 1S(»2. 

& Water birds X. A., I, \). 524, ISM. 

^'A si>eeiinen from Fort Rae, recorded by Russell as Anan penelope (Expl. 
in Far Xortb, p. 257, 189S), lias been examiueU by Mr. Ridgway, and proves 
referable to J/, amencana. 



1908.] BTKDS. 281 

observed the species on Marian Lake, July 31; and on MacTavish 
Bay, August 25. On their return trip Alfred E. Preble and Merritt 
Cary noted flocks near Athabaska Landing, Alberta, August 31 and 
September 7. 

In the spring of 1904 I first observed this species at Fort Simpson, 
May 3, noting two. I saw others on May 4, 5, and 11, and collected a 
female on the last date. During the remainder of the month the 
bird was only noted once or twice. AMiile descending the Mackenzie 
I saw one near the mouth of Xahanni River, June 3; and several 
between Fort Good Hope and the site of the old fort, June 25 and 
26, collecting a male on the former date. 

Richardson, under the name Anas rrecca, gives a description of a 
male killed at Fort Franklin." Ross records the species as common 
in the Mackenzie River district north to Peel River, and as having 
been collected at Fort Simpson.^ Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway 
state that Kennicott saw it on October 2 at Fort Liar3, and found it 
abundant at Fort Resolution ; they note its occurrence also at Fort Rae, 
La Pierre House, and Big Island ; '' and a skin from the latter locality 
is still in the National Museum. In the vicinity of Fort Anderson, 
MacFarlane found it one of the rarest of the breeding. ducks, dis- 
covering but one nest during the several seasons spent there.** In 
the spring of 1897, Spreadborough found greenwings abundant 
^bout Edmonton, \yhere the birds arrived about April 17, and were 
common by April 24. Nests containing 9 and 7 eggs were found 
May 25 and June 1, respectively.*^ 

J. Alden Loring found it common along the route between Edmon- 
ton and the Rocky Mountains in the summer of 189G, and shot one 
a short distance west of Edmonton, November 3. 

Qnerqnednla discors (Linn.). Blue-winged Teal. 

This duck is a rather rare or local summer resident north to Great 
Slave Lake. Ross recorded it as being found north to Fort Resolu- 
tion, but as being rare.^ Kennicott noted one at Fort Resolution 
May 7, 1860,^ and a specimen taken by him there June 8 [1860 J, is still 
in the National Museum. The Museum catalogue also records a 
specimen collected at Fort Simpson. J. Alden Loring found the 
species common at Edmonton, Alberta, in September, 1894, and on the 
trail between Edmonton and Jasper House in the early autumn of 

"Fauna BoreaU-Americaiia, II, p. 443, 1831. 
»Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 287, 1862. 
<^ Water Birds N. A., II, p. 7, 1884. 
<»Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus.. XIV, p. 420, 1801. 
«Macoun, Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 82, 1900. 
^Nat. Hist. Kev., II (second ser.), !>. 287, 1862. 
^ Trans. Chicago Acad. Sci., I, p. 170, 1869. 



282 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [ko.27. 

1895. In the spring of 1897 Spreadborough found it common at 
Edmonton. It was first observed April 28, was conmion by May 3. 
and a nest was found May 19.® MacFarlane, in a list recently sent 
me, states that a nest containing three eggs was found by an Indian 
near Fort Providence on June 1, 1885. H. W. Jones, by letter, re- 
ports this teal from Hay River, Great Slave Lake, where he observed 
three pairs in the summer of 1907. 

Spatula clypeata (Linn.). Shoveler; Spoonbill. 

The shoveler is a common species in the southern part of the region, 
and occurs in small numbers north to the mouth of the Mackenzie. In 
1901 we observed several individuals a few miles north of Edmonton, 
Alberta, May 1 ; and single birds a short distance below Athabaska 
Landing, May 6; below Grand Rapid, May 11; and at Smith Land- 
ing, June IG. 

In 1903 we first observed this species in small numbers near Stur- 
geon River, Alberta, May 12, and saw several among the sloughs to 
the northward on May 13. WTiile descending the Athabaska we noted 
the species near Little Huffalo River, May 25, and near the Athabaska 
delta, June 1. On their return trip up the Athabaska, my brother and 
Cary noted a few at Quito or Calling River, August 29. 

In 1904 I observed spoonbills but once, noting two pairs near the 
mouth of Peel River, July 1. 

Richardson was the first to report this species from the Mackenzie 
region, describing a specimen taken at Fort Franklin in May, 1826.* 
Kennicott mentions a pair shot by Hardisty, May 18, 1860, at Fort 
Resolution/" Ross recorded it as being found, not commonly, how- 
ever, in the Mackenzie River district north to Fort Good Hope, and 
as having U^en collected at Fort Simpson.*' Baird, Brewer, and Ridg- 
way state that it was reported as breeding at Fort Resolution, Fort 
Rae, Big Island, and Anderson River.*' The bird catalogue of the 
National Museum records specimens collected at the first three of these 
localities, as well as one (No. (50123) from Lesser Slave Lake. Mac- 
Farlajie recorded it as very rare on Anderson River, only two having 
been shot during the several seasons he collected there/ Russell 
records that a male was taken at Fort Chipewyan, May 7, 1893, when 
the species was not uncommon, and was breeding.^ Macoun reports 
that a few pairs were breeding at Lake Ste. Anne in the summer of 

« Macoun, Cat. C^anadian Birds. Part I, p. 83, 1900. 

^ Fauna Roroali-Aniericana, II, p. 439, 1831. 

^ Trans, (^hicaj^o Acad. Sci.. I. p. 171, 1809. 

''Nat. Hist. Hev., II (sec-ond ser.). p. 287, 1862. 

^ WattM- Birds N. A., I, p. aSO, 1884. 

f Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus.. XIV, p. 420, 1891. 

9 Expl. iu Far North, p. 257, 1898. 



1908.] BIBDS. 288 

ISOS.** J. Alden Loring shot several at Edmonton, Alberta, Septem- 
ber 13, 1894. 

Dafila acnta (Linn.). Pintail. 

This fine duck breeds throughout the region now under review, 
being abundant from Great Slave Lake northward to the Arctic coast, 
and nesting commonly in portions of the Barren Grounds. 

In 1901 we saw several on the marshes a few miles north of Edmon- 
ton, Alberta, May 1, and several on the Athabaska below Athabaska 
Landing, May 6. We observed one near the mouth of the river, 
May 17, and a number near the outlet of Athabaska Lake, June 2 
and 4. Between this point and Smith Landing we saw the species 
almost daily. A nest found on a sandy island 10 miles below the 
mouth of Peace River, June 8, contained 9 eggs on the point of 
hatching. We did not note the species again until August 12, when 
we saw a large flock at Fort McMurray. 

In 1903 we first saw this species near Sturgeon River, Alberta, 
May 12, and noted several a few miles to the northward, May 13. 
We noted it daily on the lower Athabaska, May 31 to June 2; and 
found it common on Rocher River, June 6 to 8, finding a nest with 
2 eggs on the latter date. The nest was among thick grass on dry 
grourfd at a distance of 25 yards from a slough. On Slave River 
we noted pintails near Smith Landing, June 10; and found them 
common between Fort Smith, Mackenzie, and Fort Resolution, June 
15 to 19, noting the species nearly every day, and taking a male 100 
miles below Fort Smith, June 17. Alfred E. Preble and Merritt 
Gary observed the species at Fort Providence, July G, and on the 
Little Lake, July 9. On their return trip, at Athabaska Landing, 
Alberta, August 31, they saw several large flocks evidently migrating 
southward. During my trip northward from Fort Rae, I found it 
to be an abundant breeder along lower Grandin River, noting many 
females with young, August 1 to 3, when some of the broods were 
able to fly. While traveling along the south shore of Great Bear 
Lake I saw a small flock at our camp east of Leith Point, August 29 ; 
and others near Mc Vicar Bay, September 9 and 10, and took one on 
the latter date. While encamped at Fort Franklin, September 18 to 
27, 1 observed small flocks daily. They resorted to the shallow water 
of the small bay, where our camp was situated, to feed in their char- 
acteristic fashion on the small moUusks (Lymnma palustria) which 
abounded there. 

In the spring of 1904 the pintail was first observed near Fort Prov- 
idence, April 27. At Fort Simpson I noted it April 28, when 10 
individuals were observed. It was next seen May 4, and was common 

« Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 84, 1900. 



284 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [wo. 27. 

from that date. While descending the Mackenzie I saw several near 
the mouth of Gravel River, June 9 and 10. 

Richardson reported this species from Fort Confidence, Great Bear 
Lake, where Doctor Rae observed it May 22, 1849 ;« Ross recorded 
it as conmion in the Mackenzie River district north to La Pierre 
House, and as having been collected at Fort Simpson.^ Baird, 
Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was reported from Fort Resolu- 
tion, Fort Anderson, the lower Anders(m River, and Rendezvous 
Lake; *" and the bird catalogues of the National Museum show that 
specimens were received also from Fort Rae, Big Island, Fort Simp- 
son, and La Pierre House. MacFarlane states that this is one of 
the most numerous of the ducks that breed in the Anderson River 
country, and one of the earliest to arrive.** Russell records speci- 
mens collected May 18 and June 3, 1893, at F'ort Chipewyan, where 
the species was breeding commonly.*^ 

Aix sponsa (Linn.). WockI Duck. 

This beautiful duck is apparently a rare summer resident in the 
southern part of the region, north to the Peace River Valley. A duck 
whose description applies unquestionably to this species was exam- 
ined by Reverend Mr. Warwick of Fort Chipewyan, in the summer of 
1904. It had l)een killed in the vicinity. John Gullion, captain of 
the steamer Gr(tham(\ who seemed familiar with the species, infonned 
me that he occasionally saw it on the lower part of Peace River. 

Marila americana (Eyton). Redhead. 

Macoun records a specimen taken at Edmonton, Alberta, wfiere 
Spreadborough found the species rare and late in arriving.^ It is a 
bird of the prairie sloughs, and apparently does not regularly range 
to the northward of their limits. 

Marila vallisneria (Wils.). Canvasback. 

This northwesterly ranging species occurs rather commonly in 
certain marshy districts in the Mackenzie Valley, but has rarely 
been detected to the eastward of that stream. In the north, where 
its food is doubtless similar to that of most of the other species of 
the genus, its flesh is not distinguishable in flavor. Among a bunch 
of ducks which T saw in the possession of an Indian at Fort Chipe- 
wyan, August 8, 19()1, and which were killed in the near-by marshes, 
was a female of this species. On my next trip I obtained a specimen 

« Arctic Searching t:xi)edltion. II, p. 105, 18^1. 

^Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 287, 1862. 

<- Water Birds X. A., I, p. 513, 1884. 

Troc. r. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 420, 1891. 

^ Exi.l. in Far North, p. 257, 1808. 

1 Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 89, 1900. 



ft 



1908.] BIRDS. 285 

which was shot at Willow River, near Fort Providence, late in Sep- 
tember, 1903. The species is stated to be of regular occurrence there 
and to be rather common in autumn. 

Boss first recorded the canvasback from the region, giving it as 
common north to Great Slave Lake;« Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway 
state that it was found breeding at Fort Resolution, Fort Simpson, 
Fort Rae, and on Anderson River ;^ and the bird catalogue of the 
National Museum shows that specimens were received also from Big 
Island, Great Slave Lake. MacFarlane found a few nests in the 
vicinity of Fort Anderson ;^ and specimens of the bird and its eggs 
were taken at Lesser Slave Lake by Strachan Jones in 1868. Macoun 
states that he had seen it in immense numbers on Lesser Slave Lake 
and in the Peace River country; and that Spreadborough found it 

common and breeding near Edmonton in the summer of 1898.** 
ft 
. Karila marila (Linn.). Scaup Duck. 

The large ' bluebill ' occurs commonly north at least to the region 
^of the upper Mackenzie. 

)► In the summer of 1901 several scaups were seen on the marsli«8 at 
the mouth of the Quatre Fourches, near Fort Chipewyan, May 24, 
and on Athabaska Lake near the same place, May 31. A\Tiile detained 
by wind on Loon Island, Great Slave Lake, 50 miles north of Fort 
Resolution, July 11 to 14, I observed a few daily and took a pair on 
July 11. The crop of one of them contained nearly a handful of 
small moUusks {Lymnoia). On July 2G, 1903, I observed a female, 
accompanied by young, among the islands between Trout Rock and 
Fort Rae. 

In the spring of 1904 I did not detect this species at Fort Simpson 
until May 24, when I shot an adult male from a small flock composed 
of this species and M. a^nis. 

This bird was apparently first recorded from this region by Ross, 
who gave it as occurring north to Fort Resolution:' Baird, Brewer, 
and Ridgway state that it was found breeding at Big Island and 
Fort Rae;^ Macoun states that Spreadborough found it breeding in 
small lakes between Edmonton and Lake Ste. Anne in June, 1898.^ 

Marila affinis (Eyton). lesser Scaup Duck. 

The little bluebill abounds in suitable places throughout the region 
north to the tree limit. An adult male, shot by one of the canoemen 

»Nat. Hist. Rev., II (sec-ond ser.), p. 287, 1862. 

ft Water Birds N. A., II, p. 35, 1884. 

c Proc. XJ. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 421, 1891. 

* Cat. Canadian Birds, Part 1, p. 80, 1900. 

^Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 287, 1862. 

/ Water Birds N. A., II, p. 19, 1884. 

Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 91, 1900. 



286 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. 1x0.27. 

on the Athabaska above Pelican Rapid, May 7, 1901, was identified, 
but was not preserved. 

On May 13, 1903, we saw two individuals on a anall slough north 
of Sturgeon River, Alberta, and noted the species on the Athabaska 
at Grand Rapid, May 25, and near Poplar Point, May 30. We saw 
several in the marshes adjoining Rocher River, June 6 to 8, and 
on Slave River below Fort Smith, June 15 and 16. I next observed 
the species at Fort Franklin, Great Bear Lake, September 20, when 
I shot two from a small flock in the bay; I saw another flock at 
the same place, September 27. While ascending the Mackenzie, I 
noted a few nearly every day between Fort Norman and Fort 
Wrigley, October 2 to 11, and daily to the mouth of Nahanni River, 
October 12 to 16. 

In the spring of 1904 I first observed this species at Fort Simpson, 
May 24, when I shot an adult male from a mixed flock on the river. 
I saw a few in the lakes on Manito Island, near Fort Good Hope, 
June 23, and a pair in a small lake near Fort McPherson, July 8. 

This species has l>een reported from a number of localities through- 
out the wooded portion of the region. Ross records it as abundant 
in the Mackenzie River district north to Peel River, and as having 
been collected at Fort Simpson.*" In the Anderson River region, 
MacFarlane found it breeding in fair numbers to the very edge of 
the wooded country east of Fort Anderson.* Entries in the bird 
catalogue of the National Museum, in Baird's handwriting, record 
si>ecimens from Fort Resohition, Big Island, Fort Simpson, F^ort 
Xonnan, and Fort Rae, and one from the latter locality is still in 
the collection. Macoun records a specimen taken at Edmonton;^ 
and J. Alden Loring reported shooting several at the same place in 
September, 1894. 

Marila coUaris (Donov.). Ring-necked Duck. 

This (hick has not l)een observed north of Fort Simpson, and is 
rather rare up to that latitude. In the season of 1901 we detected 
it but once, near the mouth of Peace River, June 5, when we saw 
a pair and collected the male. The birds were in a small land- 
locked pond in dense spruce woods, in company with a pair of green- 
winged teals, and both species were extremely tame. 

On Sei)teml)or 3, 1903, Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Gary col- 
lected 2 specimens on the Athabaska, a few miles above Athabaska 
Landing. 

The ring-necked duck was first recorded from the Mackenzie 
River region by Ross, who states that it was rare north to Fort 

« Nat. Hist. Rev.. II (.second ser.), p. 287. 1862. 
&Prt)c. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 421, 1892. 
^ Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 94, 1900. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 287 

Simpson, and had been taken at that post." Russell records a speci- 
men taken by him at Fort Chipewyan, May 22, 1893, no others being 
seen.^ 

Clangnila clangnila americana Bonap. American Golden-eye. 

This is an abundant breeder along the Athabaska and Slave 
rivers, especially on their lower courses, and occurs also, though 
much less abundantly, on the Mackenzie nearly to its mouth. 

In 1901 we saw a number on Lily Lake, Alberta, May 2, and found 
the species common on the lower Athabaska, May 16 and 17. We 
found it fairly common also on upper Slave River, and collected a 
female 10 miles below the mouth of the Peace, June 11. A nest 
found the same day was just completed, but no eggs had been de- 
posited. The site consisted of the nesting cavity of a flicker in 
the top of a dead poplar, which, weakened by the excavation, had 
been broken off. We saw several and took a female on Slave River, 
100 miles below Fort Smith, Mackenzie, July 1, and found the 
species rather common on the lower Slave, July 3 and 4. While on 
our outward trip we observed a few near Fort Chipewyan, August 8. 

On May 14, 1903, we noted a few individuals at Two Lakes, Al- 
berta, and while descending the Athabaska saw the species nearly 
every day. It was especially conmion on the lower river, where 
numerous large balsam poplars afford convenient nesting sites. On 
May 31, at a point about 30 miles above the mouth of the river, 7 
pairs were seen inspecting a hollow in a high stub. They repeatedly 
circled about it, one or two frequently alighting at the entrance for 
a few seconds. We saw several at Fort Chipewyan, June 4; and 
found the species common on Rocher River, June 6 to 8. A set of 
10 fresh eggs was collected, June 6, from a hollow in a poplar stub, 
15 feet from the ground. The nest was composed of down from the 
breast of the parent, and a small quantity of grass. The species was 
common on Slave River between Peace River and Smith Landing, 
June 9 and 10, and between Fort Smith, Mackenzie, and the lower 
river, June 15 to 18. Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Cary noted 
several near the mouth of Nahanni River, July 11 and 12, and on 
their return trip found it common on the lower Athabaska, August 
5 and 6. 

In the spring of 1904, the golden-eye was first noted at Fort Simp- 
son on April 28, when one was shot by an Indian. Two were seen 
May 2, two on May 4, and several on May 12. While descending 
the Mackenzie, I found it rather common between Forts Norman and 
Good Hope, June 16 to 20. 

"Xat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 287, 1862. 
6 Expl. in Far North, p. 257, 1898. 



288 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

Til is spocios was recorded from the Ma<!kenzie River region by 
Ross, who listed it as occurring north to the Arctic coast, and as 
having lK»en coHected at Fort Simpson.** Kennicott noted its arrival 
at Fort Resolution on May 7, 1800.* Baird, Brewer, and RidgAvay 
record eggs from Fort Raer and the bird catalogue of the Xational 
Musinmi shows that s]>ecimens were received from Fort Rae, Big 
Island, P^ort Simpson, and Peel River [Fort McPherson] : one from 
the latter localitv is still in the collection. Macoun states that he 
has found it breeding on Buffalo I^ake, near Methye Portage.'' J. 
Alden Loring reported shooting several along the upper Athabaska. 
near Jasper House, in the fall of 1895. 

Clangula islandica (Gmel.). Barrow Golden-eye. 

This golden-eye is known from the region only from a few scatter- 
ing specimens which have l)een taken in the Mackenzie and Anilei^son 
River valleys. Brewer states that " a single individual was taken 
by Mr. M. Mcleod, June 20, 18(»3, in the vicinity of Fort Anderson. 
On the 14th of June in the following year (1804) Mr. MacFarlane 
secured a fine male example at Fort Anderson. This individual had 
lH»en in the habit of flying over the fort for several evenings in suc- 
cession, and was at length secured on a small lake just l)ehind the 
res(»rvation. The female had her nest somewhere in the vicinity, 
but eluded all their endcNivors to discover the place. Mr. MacFarlane 
speaks of this species as the rarest of the ducks that visit those 
parts." ^ MacFarlane mentions the same circmnstances more 
briefly:^ and Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway also record the two 
specimens," one of which is still in the Xational Museum. The 
museum catalogue records also a specimen of Bucephala hJandira 
from Fort Rae, but apparently it is not at present in the museum. 

Tn the collection of mounted l>irds in the museum of the Hudson's 
Bay C'omj)any at Fort Simpson are two specimens, shot some years 
ago at Willow River, near Fort Providence. 

Charitonetta albeola (Linn.). Buflle-head. 

The butlle-head is an abundant breeder along the Athabaska and 
Slave rivers, especially along the lower parts of their courses, where 
nesting sites an* easily found, and occurs less commonly along the 
Mackenzie to its mouth. In the spring of 1901 we found this bird 
abundant on tlu* Athabaska, noting it daily between Athabaska Land- 
ing and Athabaska Lake May to 17. We saw a few neaf Fort Chip- 

'^ Nat. Hist. Kov., II (second ser.), p. 288, 1862. 

& Trans. Chicago Acad. Sci., p. 170, 1869. 

^ Wator Birds N. A., II, p. 47, 1884. 

<'Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. J)5, 1900. 

^ Bun. Nntt. Orn. Clui), IV, pp. 150, 151. 1879. 

/ Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 421, 1891. 

ff Water Birds N. A., II, p. 44, 1884. 



1908] BIRDS. 289 

ewyan May 24, and after leaving Athabaska Lake noted it on Rocher 
Hiver June 5; 10 miles below Peace River June 7, and 25 miles 
below the Peace June 12 and 13. I saw a pair at Fort Smith, 
Mackenzie, June 21, and while on the way to Great Slave Lake noted 
it a short distance below Fort Smith June 29, and 100 miles below 
July 2. I saw a few on Great Slave Lake near Stone Island July 9/ 

In 1903 we first noted this species near Sturgeon River, Alberta, 
May 13, and saw several at Two Lakes, May 14. We found the bird 
common on the Athabaska, and noted it nearly every day while we 
^vere descending the river. We found it common also on Rocher 
River June 6 to 8; and on Slave River between Fort Smith, Mac- 
l^enzie, and Fort Resolution June 15 to 19. \\liile crossing Great 
i!>lave Lake to Fort Rae I saw several on the lake near Gros Cape 
July 23. 

In the si)ring of 1904 I saw a pair at Fort Simpson May 11 and a 
few near the same place May 12 and 14. During the remainder of 
May I occasionally noted a pair or two on the small ponds in the 
vicinity, near which the birds are said to nest. AMiile descending 
the Mackenzie I noted the species between Fort Simpson and Nahanni 
River June 2 and 3, and 75 miles below Fort (jood Hope June 26. 
T saw a female with her brood of young near Fort McPherson July 8, 
and two young, probably from the same brood, were obtained from 
an Indian the same day. 

Ross lists the buffle-head as abundant in the Mackenzie River region 
north to the Arctic coast, and as having been taken at Fort Simpson." 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was found breeding at Fort 
Resolution, Fort Simpson, and Fort Rae.^ In the summer of 1895 
J. Alden Loring reported it as common on the lakes along the route 
between Edmonton and Jasper House, Alberta. In 1890 he found it 
common and breeding in the vicinity of Henry House in July, and 
noted it on most of the lakes on the route between Jasper House and 
Smoky River August 20 to October 8. 

Harelda hyemalis (Linn.). Old-squaw. 

In spring and fall these interesting birds pass through the region 
now under review in large numbers, while migrating to and from 
their breeding grounds along its northern border. In spring they 
appear soon after the breaking up of the ice and move leisurely north- 
ward with the advancing season, easily reaching their summer homes 
near and on the Barren Grounds as early as they are ready for occu- 
pancy. The various tribes of the north designate the s])ecies by 
names derived from its characteristic note, and these names have been 

«Nat. Hist. Rev., II (seooinl s(»r.), p. 288, 1862. 
^ Water Birds N. A., II, p. 51, 1884. 
44131— No. 27—08 19 



290 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. fyo. 27. 

adopted to some extent by the whites. The Crees along the Atha- 
baska call it ra-ra-wve' : the Chipewyans and related tribes of the 
Slave and Mackenzie rivers refer to it as a-ha-lUc' ; while the Eskimo 
are said to give it the name a-hmi-Un', A few were still lingering on 
the lower Athabaska when we descended it in the spring of 1901, and 
we saw a flock 50 miles below Fort McMurray on the evening of 
May 15. 

In 1903 this species was first observed on Great Bear I^ake east of 
Ix^ith Point, where I saw a large flock August 28. It was next ob- 
served near the same place on September 4, a few being seen. While 
coasting along the south shore of the lake several flocks were observed 
near I^eith Point September 8, and between there and McVicar Bay 
September 9. Between this \yo\i\i and the outlet of the lake, which 
we reached SeptemlK»r 17, iloi*ks were seen nearly every day. 

In the spring of 1904 I first saw this species at Fort Simpson May 
10, from which date it was common. The birds, usually in small flocks, 
floated down with the current among the ice floes, occasionally rising 
and winging their way swiftly upstream to regain lost ground. The 
males played about on the water, chasing each other and uttering 
their loud, clear notes, which soon became associated in the mind with 
the long, cool evenings of the Arctic spring, with the sun hanging low 
in the northwestern horizon. When they are lightly swimming about, 
the long tails are elevated at an angle of about 45°, and with their 
striking color pattern the birds present a very jaunty ap|>earance. 
They are usually lather tame, sometimes rising and coming to meet 
the canoe, and actually Ix^coming less wild if shot at. AVhen slightly 
wounded they are among the most expert of divers and are difficult 
to secure. The males played together considerably before the females 
arrived, but after that important event their gymnastic and voqiI 
IMM'formaiices kn(»w no bounds. Several males were taken May 11. 
and the first female was secured May 23, though apparently they had 
arrived several days earlier. During the remainder of May the birds 
wvvQ noted almost daily. 

While I was descending the Mackenzie in June the species was 
still slowly moving northward, and small flocks were seen Wtween 
Fort Simpson and Nahanni Kiver, June 2 and 3; near Fort Wriglev. 
June 7; n(»nr Rlackwater River, June 9; near Gravel River, June 10: 
50 miles below Fort Xorman, Jime 17; near Wolverine RcK^k, June 
18; Inflow Fort Good Hope, June 25; and above the lower Ramparts. 
June 20. 

Sabine stat(»s that this species " breeds in the North Georgia 
Islands, but is not common there.'*^ Franklin, during his first jour- 
ney to the Arctic coast, observed it on Melville Sound, August 1-4 and 
15, 1821. The birds were molting and were assembled in immense 



" SuiJpl. to Apueiidix l^arry's First. Voyage, p. covin, 1824. 






n 



1908.1 BIBDS. 291 

flocks." Simpson also noted this circumstance near the same locality 
August 5, 1838.* King recorded the species from Clinton-Colden 
Lake.*' Richardson noted it on the Arctic coast west of Cape Hope in 
the summer of 1848,*' and states that Rae observed it June 1, 1849, 
at Fort Confidence, Great Bear Lake.^ J. C. Ross noted it at Port 
Bowen, where it arrived early in June, 1825.^ M'Clintock records it 
from Port Kennedy.^ Greely records it as seen by the members of 
Belcher's squadron on July 11, 1851, in Wellington Channel.* Arm- 
strong noted it as common near Prince Alfred Cape, Banks Land, 
August 19, 1851; he records it also from Mercy Bay and states it 
is the last duck to arrive in spring, and the last to leave in autumn.* 
Ross lists it as abundant in the Mackenzie River region north to the 
Arctic coast ; ^ and MacFarlane found it breeding in great numbers 
near Fort Anderson; along Anderson River; on the Barren Grounds; 
and on the shores of the Arctic Sea [Franklin Bay]. The number 
of eggs in a set ranged from 5 to 7.*^ The bird catalogue of the 
National Museimi records specimens from Fort Rae, Big Island, 
Fort Simpson, and Peel River [Fort McPherson]. Russell noted 
the species in the delta of the Mackenzie in the summer of 1894.' 
Seale intimates that this species was abundant about the mouth of 
the Mackenzie in late August, 1896.*» Set on mentions it as breeding 
€m the Barren Grounds northeast of Great Slave Lake in the sum- 
mer of 1907, and as common near Fort Reliance in mid-September." 

I Hiitrionious histrioniciu (Linn.). Harlequin Duck. 

^ This l:)eautiful species apparently occurs throughout the wooded 

; portion of the region, but is rather rare. It usually frequents rapid 

streams, and is generally detected during migration. Adult males, 

roughly mounted, said to have been shot near the post, were obtained 

from natives at Fort Resolution in 1901 and 1908. 

During my trip northward from Great Slave Lake in 1903 I took 
a specimen among the rapids on the river north of Lake Hardisty 
on August 20, and noted another on the lower part of the same 

« Narrative of Journey to Polar Sea, p. 383, 1823. 
•- * Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, p. 283, 1843. 

t ^ Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean, I, p. 235, 1836. 

«« Arctic Searching Expedition, I, p. 287, 1851. 

^ Ibid., II, p. 105, 1851. 

f Parrj's Third Voyage, Appendix, p. 106, 1826. 

if Voyage of the Fox, p. 292, 1860. 

*Rei)t. Exped. I^dy Franklin Bay, IT, p. 35, 1888. 

* Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, pp. 391, 522, 1857. 

^ Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 288, 1862. 

*Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 421, 1891. 
!j « Expl. in Far North, p. 139, 1898. 

•• Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., 1898, p. 137. 

»Auk, XXV, p. 69, 1908. 



292 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. rxo.27. 

stream Augriist 24. Those seen allowed themselves to be carried 
downstream by the swift current on our approach, and on rising in- 
variably attempted to fly past us up the river. 

In the spring of 1904 a pair was secured from a flock of 4 near 
Fort Simpson, May 25. They were the first detected, though the 
species must have arrived some time previously. This duck is said 
to be often seen on Bluefish Creek, a small rapid stream emptying 
into the Mackenzie opposite Fort. Simpson. 

Richardson states that the harlequin frequents Bear Ijake River, 
and notes its habit of allowing itself to be carried down a rapid, 
while it seeks its food in the eddies; « Ross lists it as rare in the 
Mackenzie River region north to the xVrctic coast, and as having l)een 
collected at Fort Simpson;'' Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that 
specimens were obtained near Fort Resolution, Fort Simpson, Fort 
Rae, La Pierre House, Fort Halkett, and on the Barren Lands ; ^ and 
the bird catalogue of the National Museum shows that skins were 
received also from Peel River and Fort Liard. Russell took a female 
at Fort Rae, July 27, ISOS.** In 1895 J. iUden Loring procure<l a 
skin near Jasper House from an Indian, who said he had shot the 
bird on one of the streams in the high mountains. Reed records eggs 
from Peel River, taken June 13, 1898, by C. E. AVhittaker.*^ 

Somateria moUissima borealis (C\ L. Bi-ehm). Northern Eider. 

The conunon northern eider cwcurs in the eastern part of the Arctic 
Archipelago, being replaced by S. v-nigra to the westward, probably 
in the region of Banks Land. 

J. C. Ross recorded ' Anas moHhama ' from Port Bowen, when* it 
arrived abundantly early in June, 1825.^ ^Sntherland noted the first 
eiders at Assistance Bay. June II 1851.^ Osborn reported the si>ecies 
abundant in Wellington Chainiel the last week in August, 1850. wheu 
the birds wen* going south.* Eider ducks have been reported also 
from various j)oints about Melville Island. 

Somateria v-nig^a Gray. Pacific Eider. 

During my descent of the Mackenzie in June, 1904, an adult male 
in the flesh was obtained at Fort (ichkI Hope from an Indian. lie 
had killed it on the Mackenzie, *20 miles below the post, on June 14. 

« Arctic Sojircliin^' KxiJOditlon, I, p. LH)2, 1S51. 
^ Nat. Hist. Uov., II (sec(ni(l sor.). p. 2sS, 1S02. 
'•Water Hirds N. A., II. p. Tvl. 1S.S4. 

''Exi»l. Ill Viw North, p. 257, ISOS. (Si)eciinen probably from Yellowkulfe 
Rivor.) 

''N. A. Klnls E^'jrs. p. 75), IIKW. 
1 Parr>-'s Third Voyajre. Appendix, p. KHJ. 1S2(>. 
i? Journ. Voya^o to Baftiii Bay. TI, p. i;«), 1X52. 
* Stray Leaves from Arctic Jourual, p. 121, 1852. 






1908.] BIRDS. 298 

and had saved the specimen for me. Its occurrence was considered 
very unusual. On my return I obtained a second specimen, which had 
been killed near the post about June 30. Another, killed by a native 
near Fort Providence in the spring, was obtained from Joseph Hodg- 
son of that post Another individual, a male, was observed on the 
Mackenzie near Fort Providence, on June 21, by J. W. Mills. 

This is the coimnon eider on the Arctic coast of Mackenzie, replac- 
ing S. moUissima^ according to Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway, as far 
east at least as the mouth of the Coppermine.** Richardson, on Au- 
gust 11, 1848, observed eider ducks, probably of this species, near 
Cape Bat hurst. They were assembled in immense flocks and were 
migrating westward along the coast.^ Probably referring to the 
present bird, Armstrong speaks of seeing many eiders, which he sup- 
posed to belong to the common species, on Banks Land near Prince 
Alfred Cape, August 19, 1851.^ MacFarlane found it breeding in 
immense numbers on Franklin Bay, and also notes it as abundant on 
Liiverix)ol Bay.** 

Though essentially maritime, the Pacific eider \ms been taken in 
the interior on a few occasions previous to our visits. Ross, in 1862, 
summed up the evidence relating to this point as follows: " A male 
specimen of this very rare bird was shot by me at Fort Resolution in 
1858, and a female was obtained by Mr. Alex. McKenzie in 1861 at 
the same place." ^ 

A specimen collected at Fort Resolution by McKenzie, probably the 
one referred to by Ross, is still in the National Museum. 

Somateria spectabilis (Linn.). King J^ider. 

This eider is rather common on the coast and islands of the Arctic 
Sea, and our observations show that it migrates through the interior 
in small numbers. On October 25, 1908, a few days after my arrival 
at Foil Simps(m, a flock of 4 was seen on the Mackenzie, and a female 
was secured. The birds were quietly resting on the water and allow- 
ing themselves to be carried down stream by the ice-laden current. 

In the summer of 1904, on my return trip, I obtained the skin of 
an adult male from James MacKinley, of Fort Resolution. It had 
been killed by a native during the spring, somewhere on Great Slave 
Lake to the eastward of that post, and was considered a great rarity. 
These seem to be the first records of its occurrence in the interior of 
this region. 

Sabine stated that the king eider was abundant on the North 
Georgia Islands (referring more particularly to Melville Island), 

« Water Birds X. A., 1 1, p. 81, 1884. 

* Arctic Searching Expetlition, I, p. 2(JJ), 1851. 

<^ Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 391, 1857. 

<«Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 422, 1891. 

«Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 288, 1862. 



294 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. fxo. 27. 

where it nested on the ground in the neighborhood of fresh-water 
ponds.<» J. C. Ross recorded it from Port Bowen, where it arrived 
abundantly in early June, 1825.'' M'Clintock noted it at Port Ken- 
nedy ;*' M'Dougall from Winter Harbor;' and McCormick from 
Beechey Island.^ Armstrong observed many near Prince Alfred 
Cape, Banks Land, August 19, 1851, and noted the arrival of the bird 
at Mercy Bay about Jime 1, 1852/ MacFarlane found it numerous 
on Franklin Bay, and also received eggs from the Eskimo of Liver- 
pool Bay.^ Hul)ert Darrell informs me that he observed king eiders 
on Melville Sound on June 10, 1902. 

Oidemia deglandi Bonap. White-winged- Scoter. 

This species, the ' big black duck ' of the residents, occurs on 
nearly all the lakes throughout the wooded portion of the region. 
In 1901 we saw a number on Athabaska Lake near Fort Chipewyan 
May 24, and found it common on the Northern Arm of Great Slave 
Lake July 15 and 16. 

In 1903 we first noted this bird on Athabaska Lake June 2, and 
saw several on Rocher River June 6, and near Smith Landing June 
10. Several were seen on Great Slave Lake near Fort Resolution, 
June 23. Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Gary noted it on the way to 
Hay River June 27, and l^tween there and Desmarais Islands July 
1; saw a number between Desmarais Islands and Fort Providence 
July 2; and found it common below the mouth of Nahanni River 
July 19. On their return trip they noted it near Slave Point, Great 
Slave Lake, July 27, and saw one at Athabaska Landing September 
4, and a few on Lily Lake September 24. While crossing Great 
Slave Lake to Fort Rae I found it common among the islands of 
the Xorthern Arm July 24 to 26. During my trip northward from 
F'ort Rae I noted the species on lower Grandin River August 1, and 
on Sarahk I^ake August 7. A few were seen on Great Bear Lake 
to the eastward of Ix»ith Point August 28; I noted it also near 
McVicar Bay September 9 ; oast of Manito Islands September 18 and 
14, collecting one on the latter date; and near the outlet of Great 
Bear Lake Septenil)er 17. While ascending the Mackenzie I noted 
the species 10 miles below Gravel River October 4; below Roche 
Trenipe-reau OctolxT 8 and 9; near Fort Wrigley October 10; and 
several times l)et\yeen there and Nahanni River October 12 to 14. 
Some of these later birds were wounded individuals which could not 

« Suppl. to Appendix Parry's First Voyage, p. ccvn, 1824. 

^Parry's Third Voyajre. Api>eudix, p. 106, 1826. 

<• Voyage of the Fox, p. 1>1)2, 1860. 

^ Voyage of the lirtfolntr, p. 259. 1857. 

<"Mc(^orinick's Voyages, IT, p. 90, 1884. 

f Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, pp. 391, 522, 1857. 

ff Proc. U. S. Nat. Mua., XIV, p, 422, 1891. 



Id08.1 BIHDS. 295 

migrate, but some were strong on the wing and evidently were re- 
maining voluntarily. 

In the spring of 1904 I first noted this bird at Fort Simpson May 
18, when I saw a small flock on the river. The species was common 
the next day and was several times observed during the remainder 
of the month. It was most abundant in some small lakes near the 
post, where the natives reported that it breeds. While descending 
the Mackenzie in June I noted it nearly every day. Several were 
seen near Fort McPherson July 15, and a few on my return trip up 
tha Mackenzie late in July. 

MacFarlane found the white-winged scoter breeding throughout 
the Anderson River region, both in the wooded country and on the 
* Barrens'.** Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was taken at 
Fort Resolution by Kennicott;^ and the bird catalogue of the Na- 
tional Museum shows that specimens were received also from Fort 
Rae, Fort Simpson, and Fort Norman. Salvadori records speci- 
mens from Big Island and Fort Simpson.*^ Macoun states that 
Spreadborough found it common on Lake Ste. Anne, near Edmon- 
ton, June 9, 1898.** Seton records the species from Artillery Lake.* 

Oidemia perspicillata (Linn.). Surf Scoter. 

This widely distributed species, usually called ' black duck ' by the 
inhabitants, breeds commonly throughout the wooded portion of the 
region north of Athabaska Lake, and to some extent north of the 
limit of trees. 

In the spring of 1901 we first noted the surf scoter on the Atha- 
baska below Fort McMurray, where a few were seen on May 14. 
While we were coasting along the shore of the lake from Fort 
Chipewyan to Point La Brie, May 25, we saw number's, and while 
returning, May 31, we again noted the species. The birds were 
rather common on the Northern Arm of Great Slave Lake July 15 
and 16, and a number were seen near Fort Rae July 22. 

In 1903 we first saw this scoter on the Athabaska, above Grand 
Sapid, May 20. We next noticed it near Smith Landing June 10, 
and saw numbers on Slave River between Fort Smith and Fort 
Resolution, Mackenzie, June 16, 18, and 19. My brother and Gary 
noted the species at Hay River, June 28, and saw upward of 500 on 
Ihe lake between Hay River and Desmarais Islands, July 1. On July 
2 they saw immense flocks, aggregating thousands of individuals, on 
the upper part of Mackenzie River, between the lake and Fort Provi- 
dence. They noted the species also at Fort Providence, July 2 and 7, 

« Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 422. 1891. 
» Water Birds N. A., II, p. OG, 1884. 
<^Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., XXVII, p. 410, 1895. 
'Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 110, 1900. 
«Aul£, XXV, p. 69, 1908. 



296 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. f xo. 27. 

and on the way to Fort Simpson, July 9. On the return trip they 
again found it common near Fort Providence, July 26. After the 
division of the party I saw the bird daily on the lake near Fort Reso- 
lution during the latter part of June and the first half of July, and 
while crossing the lake to the northward noted it nearly every day, 
finding it especially common among the islands of the Northern Arm, 
July 23 to 26, and on Lake Marian, July 31. I next noted it among 
the small lakes north of Lake St. Croix, August 14, when the young 
were nearly full grown. On most of the lakes from this point north- 
ward to Great Bear Lake it was common, and numbers were noted 
nearly every day. A flock containing several hundred molting indi- 
viduals was seen on Lake Hardisty, August 15, but generally the 
species was observed in small flocks or family parties. AMiile travel- 
ing along the southern shore of Great Bear Lake I saw several near 
McVicar Bay, Septeml)er and 10, and noted the sjiecies almost daily 
U^tween there and the outlet of the lake. I took a specimen near 
Manito Islands, September 14, and saw a few near Fort Franklin on 
September 17, the latest record for Great Bear Lake. AMiile ascend- 
ing the Mackenzie I noted the species nearly every day betweiMi Fort 
Norman and Fort Wrigley, October 2 to 11, and saw a few between 
Fort Wrigley and a i)oint alx)ut 50 miles below Fort Simpson, Octo- 
l)er 12 to 16. By this time the ice had commenced to run in earnest 
and most of the ducks able to fly had departed, while nearly all the 
wounded ones had succuml)ed to the cold or their enemies. 

In the spring of 1904 I first saw this scoter at Fort Simpson, May 
13, and on May 18 saw a large flock on the river. I found it common 
in tlie vicinity during the remainder of the month, and while descend- 
ing the Mackenzie noted it between Fort Simpson and Xahanni River, 
June 2 and 3; near the mouth of the Blackwater, June 9, collecting a 
male; and Ix^tween Forts Good Hope and McPherson, June 25 to 
July 1. noting it daily on the latter stretch. At Fort McPherson 1 
saw the species on Juh' 5, 8, and 16; and on my return trip observoil 
it 50 miles Ix^low Fort Good Hope, July 18; near Nahanni River, 
July 23; and near Fort Providence, July 28. I saw numl)ers on 
(ireat Slave Lake, lx»tween Desmarais Islands and Hardisty Island, 
July 30, and on the lower Slave, August 2. 

Richardson descriln^s a male killed at Fort Franklin ; ^ Ross lists it 
as occurring abundantly throughout the Mackenzie River region 
north to Pe(»l River, and as having lx»en collected at Fort Simpson:'^ 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that MacFarlane found it bi'eetl- 
ing at Fort Anderson; on the lower Anders(m River; and on Frank- 
lin Bay; and that it was rei)orted fioni Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, 
Fort Simpson, and La Pierre House/" 

« Fauna Boroali-Ainoricaiia, 11, p. 440, 1831. 
»Nat. Hist. Kev., II (second ser.), p. 288, 1862. 
<: Water Birds N. A., II, pp. 102, 103, 1884. 



1908.) BIRDS. 297 

Erismatnra jamaicensis (Gmel.). Biukly Duck. 

This is one of the rarest of the ducks in the Athabaska region, and 
has not been detected to the northward of Great Slave Lake. We did 
not observe it during our trips through the country. In the museum 
of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Simpson are three specimens 
taken some years ago at Fort Providence. 

This species was first recorded from the region by Ross, who lists 
it as occurring north to Great Shive Lake, and as rare." Baird, 
Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was found breeding near Fort 
Resolution by Kennicott in June, and at the same place by Lockhart, 
who took its eggs in July.^ A male collected June 5, 18()0, by Kenni- 
cott is now in the National Museum, and the bird catalogue records a 
specimen from Fort Rae. Macoun, on the authority of Dippie, says 
that it breeds on Buffalo Lake, Burnt Lake, and many other lakes in 
Alberta.*^ 

Chen hyperborea (Pall.). Lesser Snow Goose. 

The snow geesc», universally called in the north ' white wavies,' 
pass through the region now under review in great numl>ers in spring 
and fall, while migrating to and from their summer homes on the 
shores and islands of the Arctic Sea. Since their breeding grounds 
are not ready for occupancy until well into the summer, their spring 
movement northward is correspondingly late in comparison with the 
Canada goose, which breeds at lower latitudes.*' During their semi- 
annual visits they are much sought after by the inhabitants, and, 
being killed with comparative ease, are procured in great numbers, 
to be frozen or salted for future use. The beauty of the birds and 
their importance as food to northern travelers have caused them to 
be frecpiently mentioned in narratives of Arctic journeys. 

The valleys of the Athabaska and the Mackenzie lie in the path of 
migration of great numbers of snow geese of both the eastern and 
western forms. The rivers themselves, however, are seldom followed 
by the birds, except for short distances, since their general courses 
trend somewhat toward the west, while the lines of flight of the 
geese are usually nearly due north and south. Flocks of snow geese, 
leaving in spring the marshes at the delta of the Peace and Atha- 
baska, a favorite stopping place, strike nearly due northward over 
the rocky hills, probably not again alighting until several hundred 

«Nat. Hist. Uev., II (second ser.), p. 2RS, 1802. 

» Water Birds N. A.. II, 108, 1884. 

«Oit. (Canadian Birds, Part I, p. ll.S, 11)00. 

<* According to Ross, the thnn* forms of snow geese pass through the Great 
Slave I^ke region in the foUowing ordi^r: I-'irst tlic lesser snow goose; then 
CJien roHHX, and lastly the form now known as nivalis, Nat. Hist Rev., II 
(second ser.), p. 286, 1862. 



298 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo.2r. 

miles nearer their breeding grounds. Thus they press onward, close 
on the heels of retreating winter, feeding, when suitable open water 
is denied them, on the various berries which have remained on the 
!?tems through the winter. 

Pursuing the course of the river northward, the next favorite goose 
ground is the delta of the Slave, where great numbers stop both 
spring and fall for rest and food. The low country about the outlet 
of Great Slave I^ke is also a favorite resort Leaving this point, 
the geese in spring take a general northerly course, which suggests 
that their breeding grounds are north of the east end of Great Bear 
Lake. Most of the specimens which I have examined were taken on 
this line of flight. Most of them prove referable to hyperhorea^ but 
an occasional large sj^ecimen must be referred to niralvi. It thus 
appears that this line of flight lies not far west of the imaginary 
line dividing the two races, which in this region may be roughly 
represented by the longitude of 118°. It must' be understood that 
much more material is needed to settle definitely this question, but for 
present purposes the records may be divided in accordance with this 
plan. 

It seems desirable to place on I'ecord the measurements of a few 
prepared specimens, as well as those of a number of birds which I was 
able to examine hastily, but could not preserve. An adult male taken 
on (treat Bear I^ke, east of I-jeith Point, September 7, 1903, measured 
as follows: Wing 422 mm., exposed culmen 60 mm. A male and fe- 
male, evidently young of the year, taken at the same time meas- 
unMl, respectively: wing 445, culmen 03; wing 419, culmen 51. These 
birds would seem to he intermediate between hyperhorea and niralh, 
though perliaj>s nearer hyperhoreiu I took measurements also of a 
nnnilx'T' of birds shot at Willow River, near Fort ProWdence, about 
September 25, 1J)03. The sex of these birds could not be determined, 
but the measurements and the few notes taken are here given: (1) 
Adult, wing 430, culmen 50; (2) young of the year, wing 400, culmen 
50: (3) young of the year, wing 405, culmen 56; (4) young of the 
year, wing 415, culmen 50; (5) evidently adult, head yellowish, bill 
reddish with white nail, feet and legs yellowish, wing 400, cuhnen 
55; (6) similar to Xo. 5, wing 400, culmen 53; (7) similar to Xo. 5, 
w ing 425, culmen 58. They may safely be referred to hyperborea. 
as may also a specimen in the National Museum, taken many yean^ 
ago at Big Island, (Jreat Slave Lake, by John Reid, which measures: 
wing 305, culmen 52. 

In 1J)03 I saw a flock of about 40 on the south shore of Great 
Bear Lake, to the eastward of Leith Point, September 7, and secured 
three individuals, one of which was preserved. Their measurements 
have already l)een given. They had been feeding almost exclusively 
on the crowberries {Empctrunt nigrum)^ which grow luxuriantly on 



1908.1 BIRDS. 299 

the sandy shores above high-water mark. While descending Bear 
River, September 29, I noted several large flocks flying southward. 
The species was last seen on October 3, when I saw a flock flying 
southward along the Mackenzie, 20 miles below the mouth of Gravel 
River. 

In the spring of 1904 I first saw snow geese at Fort Simpson on 
May 2, noting upward of 40. On May 3 several small flocks, aggre- 
gating about 50 individuals, were seen. The bulk of the specie>s 
passed over May 9 to 11, many large flocks, daily aggregating hun- 
dreds of individuals, being observed during this time, and smaller 
numbers daily, May 12 to 17. The last, a few scattering individuals, 
were seen May 24 and 25. They all passed in V-shaped flocks, never 
alighting in the vicinity, usually flying high, and but rarely descend- 
ing low enough for even a chance shot. With rare exceptions, the 
flocks did not follow the course of the Mackenzie, but first appeared 
in sight over the land from the southward or from the Liard, and 
disappeared nearly due northward. 

Wliile at Fort McPherson early in July I saw numbers of these 
geese in possession of the Eskimo. They had been killed on their 
breeding grounds, about the mouth of the Mackenzie, in June, and 
preserved by being kept in the water, hanging in bunches from the 
stern of the boat. When the birds are desired for use the feathers 
are scraped off and the birds roughly drawn. On account of their 
high condition at this stage only a slight amount of cooking is re- 
quired, but during this brief process close proximity to the kettle 
is undesirable. I was informed by E. S. Jones, a young missionary 
who had accompanied a party of Eskimo from Herschel Island, that 
large numbers of the birds were found nesting on the western shore 
of Richards Island in June. 

During Richardson's journey along the Arctic coast in the summer 
of 1848, snow geese were procured on Darnley Bay August 17, at 
which date they were migrating along the coast toward the south- 
east.<» Many were seen near Bloody Fall, Coppermine River, on Sep- 
tember 5.* They were stated by Richardson to breed on Wollaston 
Land, " to which they cross in the beginning of June. We had noticed, 
while on the coast of Dolphin and Union Straits, the earliest bands 
traveling southward again in the middle of August, so that their 
stay in their native place falls short of three months."^ In the follow- 
ing spring Richardson noted their arrival at Fort Franklin, Great 
Bear Lake, May 18, while Doctor Kae observed large flocks passing 
northward at Fort Confidence on Mav 30 and HI.'' In 1838, Thomas 



« Arctic Searching Exi^editiou, I, p. 2S2, 1851. 

''Ibid., p. 318, 1851. 

''Ibid., p. 820, 1851. 

«» Arctic Searching Expedition, II, pp. 105-106, 1851. 



300 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. rxa27. 

Simpson had noted their arrival at the latter point on May 17.« In 
Prince of Wales Strait, near Princess Royal Islands, Armstrong 
noted a flock passing to the northward on May 31, 1851 ; ^ he saw 
large numbers on the northwest coast of Baring [Banks] Land Au- 
gust 19, 1851 ; ^ and during the following year saw two individuals 
at Mercy Bay, Banks Land, on the same date.** Billings (apparently 
quoting from the British 'Blue Book'), states that two large flocks 
were seen by Mecham at the entrance of Liddon Gulf, Melville Island 
fin the summer of 1853]/ MacFarlane did not find the 'white 
wavies ' breeding on Franklin Bay, but was assured by the Eskimo 
that they nested on Liverpool Bay/ In notes sent to the Smith- 
sonian he records their arrival at Fort Anderson on May 20, 1864, 
and May 27, 1865. McConnell noted their arrival at Fort Simpson 
May 5, 1888.^ Seale states that in 1896 they were fairly common at 
Herschel Island late in August, and that a number were killed by 
natives at the mouth of the Mackenzie on August 23.* 

Chen hyperborea nivalis (Forst). Greater Snow Goose. 

In the spring of 1901 we did not see snow geese until we reached 
the delta of the Athabaska May 17, when several flocks were noted. 
The residents of Fort Chipewyan were'then shooting large numbers 
and sahing them for future use. Flocks were seen overhead daily 
wliile we wore encamped at the Fort, May 18 to 24. We saw none 
while at Point La Brie, probably being out of their line of flight; 
but while returning from there May 31 we saw two, presumably a 
pair, alight on the high rocky shore of the lake near the post, and 
secured a fine male. These were the last seen. The bird taken is 
referal)le to C\ h, nivalis. The wing measures 435 mm.; exposed cul- 
men, (>3. 

In the spring of 1903 we saw a small flock on the Athabaska near 
Pelican Rapid on May 18, and found a few still lingering at the delta 
of the Athabaska when we arrived there on June 2. One was killeil 
on Slave River, about 100 miles below Fort Smith, by a party de- 
scending the river, about July 12. It probably had been injured dur- 
ing migration. My brother and Gary saw a large flock flying south- 
ward ov(T Athabaska Landing, September 19. A bird killed at 
Willow River, near Fort Providence, about September 25, and which 
I was able to examine in a frozen state, seemed referable to niralis. 



° Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, p. 241, 1843. 
^Narrative Discovery Northwest I'assage, p. 336, 1857. 

^ iinii., p. am, is.'jT. 

<'I!)ia., p. 521, IST)?. 

^ (^an. Nat. and Oeol., TI, p. 175, 1^57. 

f I»roc. V. S. Nat. Miis., XTV, p. 423, ISJJl. 

f'Aiin. Kept. Can. «*k)1. Surv., IV (new ser.), p. 86D, 1891. 

* Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., 1898, p. 138. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 301 

It was evidently a bini of the year. The back was grayish, the head 
tinged with rusty, the bill, feet, and legs dull black. The wing meas- 
ured 445; exposed culmen, 63. A bird killed at Fort Simpson May 
7, 1904, measured as follows: Wing, 444; exposed culmen, 54. 

During Franklin's first journey to the Arctic Sea, snow geese were 
seen passing southward about September 1, 1820, at Winter Lake, 
near Fort Enterprise;** large flocks were observed feeding on crow- 
berries at Point Lake on September 12 of the same year.* During 
the following summer snow geese were observed near Parry Bay, 
Melville Sound, on August 13.^^ Thomas Simpson states that numer- 
ous snow geese had bred on the borders of lakes on Victoria Land 
opposite Kent Peninsula.** Walker saw a flock at Port Kennedy in 
June, 1859.^ Kennicott noted the first arrivals at Fort Resolution on 
May 17, 1860; ' and Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway record two speci- 
mens taken there by him on May 26.^ Pike found the species abun- 
dant near Lake Mackay June 11, 1890, when they were still " resting 
by thousands, waiting till the warm weather should have melted the 
snow from their feeding grounds along the seacoast." * 

The dates of spring arrival of this species at Fort Chipewyan, dur- 
ing a series of years, appear in a table given on page 23. 

Chen caemlescens (Linn.). Blue Goose. 

This beautiful goose, which breeds, so far as known, only in 
northern Ungava, has been observed on a few occasions in the Macken- 
zie region. As the birds are well known to accompany^flocks of snow 
geese migrating northward along the western coast of James Bay, it 
is not unlikely that an occasional individual may keep with these 
flocks instead of turning off to its usual summer home, and eventually 
return southward by way of southern Mackenzie. 

Richardson stated that it had been seen at Fort Enterprise and 
Slave Lake.* While in the north I was informed by David McPher- 
son, of Fort Simpson, that a few years ago a blue goose (probably 
this species) was shot at Willow River, near Fort Providence. 

Chen rossi (Cassin). Ross Snow Goose. 

This diminutive snow goose, usually called ' scabby-nosed wavey ' 
at Great Slave Lake, is a regular spring and autunm migrant over 

« Narrative Jouraey to Polar Sea, p. 230, 1823. 
»Ibld., p. 234, 1823. 
« Ibid., p. 382, 1823. 

* Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, p. 383, 1843. 
e Proc Roy. Soc. Dublin, III, p. 65. 1860. 

^ Trans. Chicago Acad. Sci., I, p. 171, 1860. 
Water Birds N. A., I, p. 444, 1884. 

* Barren Ground of Northern Canada, p. 161, 1802. 

* Appendix Parry's Second Voyage, p. 365, 1825 (1827). 




302 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [ko. 27. 

the eastern part of the region. Its breeding grounds remain un- 
known. 

In the spring of 1901 this species was not identified with certainty 
among the snow geese seen, but the remains of one killed earlier in 
the season, or during the previous autumn, were seen on the Quatre 
Fourches marsh, May 24. 

In 1908, on May 31 and June 1, we saw numbers on the lower 
Athabaska and took a male on the latter date. Upward of 1,000 indi- 
viduals were seen at the mouth of the river on June 2, and many 
flocks were leaving the lake for the north on June 3. The species 
was last noted on the morning of June 4, when several flocks, aggre- 
gating about 200 individuals, were seen leaving the marshes in a 
northeasterly direction. They were about the last migrants of the 
season. I was informed by J. W. Mills that he has known of two 
being shot at Willow Kiver, near Fort Providence. 

This species, the ' horned wavey ' of Heame, was first formally 
described by Cassin from specimens sent to the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion from Fort Resolution, (ireat Slave Lake, by Kennicott.^ Baird, 
Brewer, and Ridgway state that a large number were taken at Fort 
Resolution in May, 1860, by Kennicott, and in May, 1863 and 1865, 
by J. Lockhart. A specimen (No. 44029) taken by the latter in 
May, 1865, is still in the National Museum. MacFarlane records one 
shot May 25, 1865, at Fort Anderson, where it was the least abundant 
of the genus. He never discovered its nesting ground, and it was 
said by the Eskimo not to breed at Liverpool Bay.* Russell noted 
flocks flying southward at Yellowknife Bay September 1, 1893.** 
Hanbury records two individuals passing northward near the base of 
Kent Peninsula on June 2, 1902.*' 

Anser albifrons gambcli Hartl. American White- fronted Goose. 

This is the ' gray wavey ' of the inhabitants. It is reputed to be 
the shyest and most difficult of all the geese to call, and is said to 
be almost invariably in good condition. Though the bulk of the 
species nest on the Barren Grounds, a few remain to breed in the 
northern part of the wooded country.. 

A flock was seen overhead while we were descending the Athabaska, 
about 50 miles below Fort McMurray, May 15, 1901. 

In 1903 we failed to see this species in the spring, and noted the 
bird first on Great Bear I^ake, about 20 miles east of its outlet, on 
September 15. Large flocks passed southward over our camp at 
Fort Franklin on September 18 and 19. We last noted it on the 

«Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci,, Phila., [XIIIl, p. 72, 1861. 

^Proc. U. S. Nat. Miis, XIV. p. 423, 18J)1. 

''Expl. in Far North, p. 81, 1«98. 

<* Sport and Travel in Northland of Canada, p. 157, 1904. 



1908.] BIRDS. 808 

Mackenzie near Roche Trempe-reau, where a large flock was seen 
flying southward on October 9. An immature bird, taken at Willow 
River, near Fort Providence, about the last of September, 1903, and 
obtained at Fort Simpson in a frozen state, was preserved. 

In the spring of 1904 I first saw this species at Fort Simpson on 
May 11, noting five individuals. Several flocks were seen passing 
on the following day. While ascending the Mackenzie on my return 
trip I saw a small flock a short distance above Fort Wrigley, July 
23. They were molting their wing quills and took to the woods on 
the approach of the steamer. In all probability they had nested 
in the vicinity. 

The white-fronted goose was apparently first recorded from the 
region by Richardson, who refers to a specimen taken at Fort Enter- 
prise May 17 [1821].** Thomas Simi3son, during his journey along 
the Arctic coast, observed numbers breeding on the borders of the 
swamps and ponds near the mouth of Coppermine River.'' Doctor 
Rae shot the species on Point I^ockyer, Coronation Gulf, May 31, 
1851.* Ross listed it as occurring commonly in the Mackenzie River 
region north to the Arctic coast and as having been taken at Fort 
Simpson.* Kennicott noted its arrival at Fort Resolution on May 
7, I860.* In notes sent to Professor Baird, MacFarlane noted its 
arrival at Fort Anderson on May 10, 1864, and May 17, 1865. Baird, 
Brewer, and Ridgway state that MacFarlane found it breeding 
abundantly on the Lower Anderson, and on the coast and islands of 
the Arctic Sea [Franklin Bay] ; ^ and MacFarlane records the same 
facts, with many additional particulars regarding the nesting. On 
July 5, 1864, while his party was returning across the ' Barrens ' 
from Franklin Bay to Fort Anderson, 30 molting gandei-s, most of 
which were captured, were observed on a small lakes' Salvadori 
lists a specimen taken on the Arctic coast east of Fort Anderson;* 
and the bird catalogue of the National Museum shows that skins were 
received from Fort Simpson ; Franklin Bay ; Fort Anderson ; Liver- 
pool Bay; and Fort Resolution; one from the latter locality, col- 
lected by Kennicott, May 24, 1860, is still in the collection. War- 
burton Pike observed the ' grey wavey ' breeding in the marshes 
along Back River above Lake Bcechey on July 18, 1890 ; * and 

« Fauna Boreali-Amerlcana, II, p. 400, 1831. 

* Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, p. 262, 1843. 
« Joum. Roy. Geog. Soc., XXII, p. SO, 1852. 

*Nat. Hist. Rev., II (secoiul ser.), p. 280, 1802. 
«^ Trans. Chicago Acad. Sci., I. j). 170, 1S<J0. 
t Water Birds N. A., I, p. 450, 1884. 
iTroc. U. S. Nat. Miis., XIV, p. 42.3, 18f)l. 
*Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., XXVIl, p. 07, 18J)5. 

* Barren Oround of Northern Canada, p. 183, 1892. 



304 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ino.27. 

Macoun records that a specimen was shot on Red Deer River, Al- 
berta, Sei:)tember 12, 1896, by Dippie.« Reed records eggs taken on 
an island in the delta of the Mackenzie June 10, 1899, by I. 0. 
Stringer.^ Seton noted the bird on Aylmer Lake, August 15, 1907/ 

Branta canadensis (Linn.). Canada Goose. 

This wide-ranging species breeds in suitable places throughout 
the wooded portion of the region and constitutes an important 
article of food of the inhabitants. It is the earliest goose to arrive 
in spring, and its advent marks a welcome break in the monotcmous 
winter bill of fare. Though associating with the smaller Hutchins 
goose during the latter part of the migrating season, it usually 
arrives before that form. The records of spring arrival of "^ geese' 
or ' Canada geese ' refer almost exclusively to this species, the others 
l)eing designated by dilferent names. 

In 1901 we ol>served migrating flocks at Sturgeon River, All>erta. 
May 1 ; on the Athabaska, 50 miles below Athabaska Landing, May 7; 
and on the lower Athabaska May 17. While at our various camps 
in the vicinity of Fort Chipewyan, May 18 to June 5, we occasionally 
saw small flocks, and we started a very large one on the Quatro 
Fourches marsh May 23. AMiile descending Slave River we saw a 
pair a short distance above Smith Landing June 13, and ol>servc-^ 
small flocks at Smith Landing June 16 and 17, and at Fort Smith 
June 19. While on our way to Great Slave Lake we saw several 
females with young the size of teals on the lower Slave on July 8. 
Later we saw small flocks at Fort Resolution July 8, and at the 
mouth of Slave River July 9. AVhen we were ascending the Atha- 
baska on our return trip a small flock was seen below Grand Rapids 
August 20. 

In the spring of 1903 we first noted the Canada goose on the Atha- 
baska, 50 miles Inflow Athabaska Landing, on May 17, noting a 
small flock. We noted a few on the lower Athabaska May 31, and 
several near the month of the river June 1. We saw it next on Slave 
River, near Smith Landing, June 10. Small flocks were seen on 
lower Slave River on June 17 and 19, and a few at Fort Resolution 
June 22, 23, and 24. During my trip northward from Fort Rae I 
observed it on but one occasion, noting a small flock just south of 
MacTavish Bay on August 24. 

In the spring of 1904 the first goose was reported at Fort Simpson 
April 22, and the next April 20. The species was common by May 3. 
and large Hocks j)asse(l nortliward daily from this date on. While 

Tat. Canadian Birds. Part I, p. 118, 1900. 
f' N. A. lairds" Kjr^'s, p. S4. 11X>4. 
^Auk, XXV, I). 70, 11K)S. 



1908.1 BIKDS. 805 

we were descending the Mackenzie in June small flocks referred to 
this form were seen near Roche Trempe-l'eau June 8, and near Sans 
Sault Rapid June 19. 

From information mainly compiled from the journals of the 
traders Richardson gave the approximate dates of the arrival of 
this species at several points in the region as follows: Athabaska 
Lake, April 20 to 25 ; Great Slave Lake, May 1 to 6 ; Fort Enterprise, 
May 12 to 20.*" Franklin recorded its arrival at Fort Chipewyan on 
April 8, 1820.* At Fort Confidence Thomas Simpson noted the first 
Canada goose May 15, 1838,*^ while during the previous autumn the 
s|)ecies had been last seen at the same place on September 25.*' Re- 
ferring mainly to this form, Richardson says: "The most northern 
localities in which we observed them were the channels between the 
alluvial islands which form the delta of the Mackenzie."* In the 
following spring (1849) he observed the firs:t one near Fort Franklin 
n May 11.' Kennicott took its eggs at Fort Resolution May 19, 
18(50.^ Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was found breeding 
at Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, Fort Simpson, and among the moun- 
tains west of the lower Mackenzie.* MacFarlane speaks of it as 
follows : 

This wen-known goose breeds throughout the entire wooded region of the 
.• 'Cljenale Bnsin. Nests were discovered In the vicinity of Fort Anderson and 
;o the borders of the forest on the east and west sides of the river of that name, 
but none were met with in the Barrens proper, nor on the Arctic coast. Sev- 
eral deserted hawks' nests on trees were found occupied by incubating female 
birds of this species.* 

Ill notes sent to Professor Baird, MacFarlane noted its arrival at 
Fort Anderson on May 15, 1864, and May 17, 1865. At Fort Simpson 
McConnell noted its arrival on May 1, 1888.^ Russell gives the dates 
of arrival at Fort Simpson from 1881 to 1894 (inclusive, excepting 
1891). The average date is April 28.* Macoun states that Spread- 
borough found the species breeding at Henry House, Athabaska Pass, 
in 1898.' J. Alden Loring reported seeing several flocks on Fishing 
Lake, near Jasper House, Alberta, in the early autumn of 1895. In 
1896 he saw a pair at Whitemud Lake, about 135 miles west of Ed- 

« Appendix Parry's Second Voyage, p. 3as, 1825 (1827). 

* Narrative Journey to Polar Sea, p. 144, 1823. 

^ Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, p. 241, 1843. 

^Ibld., p. 108, 1843. 

^Arctic Searching Expedition, I, p. 320, 1S51. 

f Ibid., II, p. lOG, 1851. 

^ Trans. Chicago Acad. Scl., I, p. 171. 1860. 

* Water Birds N. A., I, p. 464, 1884. 

* Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 424, 1801. 

^Ann. Kept. Can. Oeol. Snrv., IV (new sor.), p. 801), 1801. 

* Expl. in Far North, p. 258, 18aS. 

' Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 118, 1000. 

44131— No. 27—08 20 



306 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA, I no. 27. 

inonton, on June 8, and while returning to Edmonton saw large 
flocks about Lake Ste. Anne on November 3, 4, and 5. 

A skin referable to this species, collected by B. R. Ross at Fort 
Simpson, May 13, 1860, is now in the National Museum. It is labeled 
' Bemida Ram4it07ii^ and is in all probability the type of that nom- 
inal species. The spring dates of arrival of this species at Lac du 
Brochet Post, Reindeer I^ake, as observed by J. Hourston for the 
years 1874 to 1889, inclusive, are incorporated in a table given on 
page 22. The spring dates of arrival at Fort Chipewyan, for a num- 
ber of years, appear in a table on page 23. 

Branta canadensis hutchinsi (Rich.). HutchiiLs Goose. 

This form breeds mainly in the Barren Grounds, associating in 
migration to a considerable extent with B, catwdensis. A flock of 
about 30 was seen on the Athabaska, 50 miles below Fort McMurray, 
May 15, 1901. A number of small geese, probably referable to this 
fonn, were seen among flocks of Canada geese near Fort Chipewyan 
on May 23, and at Smith Landing on June 16 of the same year. In 
1903 I first met with this si)ecies on the shores of Great Bear Lake 
east of Leith Point, where a few were noted August 29, and a large 
flock was seen August 30. They had alighted on the shore near our 
camp to feed on the berries of Empetrum nigrum^ which grew there 
in great luxuriance. Two were shot, but were not preserved. One, a 
male, had 16 tail feathers and wings measuring 445 mm.; the other 
was slightly smaller. Small flocks were seen near McVicar Bay on 
September 10 and 11. The sj^ecies was last noted on the Mackenzie 20 
miles above Fort Wrigley October 12, when a single bird, identifie<l 
by its small size, was observed. 

In 1904, though it was probably present among flocks of Canada 
geese seen hite in May, this form was positively identified only on 
the lower Mackenzie. A small flock, comprising two or three family 
parties, was seen a short distance below the site of old Fort (Jood 
Hope June 28, and an adult male and downy young were taken. 
Several adults referred to the same form were seen on the lower Mac- 
kenzie and Peel rivers June 30 and July 1. At Fort McPherson I 
was informed that the birds had arrived there on May 11. 

J. C. Ross recorded this goose from Felix Harbor, Boothia, where 
it arrived about the middle of June and bred commonly.*" Thomas 
Simpson noted it at Fort Confidence on May 17, 1838;'' the last had 
been seen nenr Cape McDonnel on September 25 of the previous 
year.^ Richardson states that many were seen near Bloody Fall, 

« App. to Ross's Socond V(>yaj:e, p. xli, 1835. 

* Narrative Discoverios on North Coast of America, p. 241, 1843. 

^ Ibid., p. 108, 1843. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 807 

Coi>perniine Kiver, September 5, 1848." Baird, Brewer, and Ridg- 
way record specimens from Fort Resolution, Big Island, Fort Simp- 
son, Anderson River, and Franklin Bay.^ MacFarlane describes the 
nesting of this bird on the lower Anderson, and on the shores and 
islands of the Arctic Sea [Franklin Bay].^ A skin taken by him on 
Franklin Bay, June 5, 1864, and labeled as having been taken with 
three eggs, is still in the National Museum. King, probably referring 
to this form, records geese from Lake Pelly, Back River, where they 
commenced to migrate southward on September 4.<^ J. W. Tyrrell 
noted many broods of a small gray goose, undoubtedly this form, on 
the upper Thelon River in July, 1900.*^ Geese, undoubtedly referable 
to this form, were seen by Hubert Darrell on Melville Sound July 9, 
1902. Gates records two eggs taken by CoUinson at Cambridge Bay, 
Victoria Land.^ 

Branta bernicla glaucog^tra (Brelmi). White-bellied Brant. 

The eastern brant, as nearly as can be determined by migration 
and breeding records, inhabits the islands bordering the Gulf of 
Boothia, Prince Regent Inlet, and Wellington Channel, within this 
area apparently not breeding south of latitude 74°, and being the 
only goose which penetrates north to that point There seems to be 
no definite record of brant west of Cornwallis Island until Melville 
Island is reached, the birds of which seem properly referable to the 
western form. 

J. C. Ross states that the brent goose was abundant at Felix 
Harbor in migration, but did not breed, and that it was common, 
probably breeding, at Fury Point.^ Sutherland recorded it as com- 
mon and probably breeding at Assistance Bay, July 7, 1851.* 
M'Dougall reported it from Beechey Island, June 17, 1^54;* and 
there are many other records for Wellington Channel. Belcher 
found brent geese common June 19, 1853, near the extreme northern 
part of North Devon, near latitude 77°, longitude 96° J 

Branta nigricans (Lawr.). Black Brant. 

The black brant inhabits the Arctic coast east at least to Franklin 
Bay, and northeastwardly on the islands. Judging by what has 

« Arctic Searching Expedition, I, p. 318, 1851. 

» Water Birds N. A., I, p. 466, 1884. 

<^ Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 424, 1891. 

* Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean, II, i*. 77, 1836. 

« Ann. Kept. Dept. Interior (Canada) for 1900-1901, p. 122, 1902. 
f Cat. Birds' Eggs Brit. Mus., 11, p. 152, 1902. 
ff App. Ross's Second Voyage, p. xl, 1835. 

* Joum. Voyage to Baffin Bay, p. 203, 1835. 

* Voyage of tlie Resolute, p. 421, 1857. 

i Last of Arctic Voyages, I, p. 315, 1855. 



308 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA, [no. 27. 

been recorded concerning their migration route, it is reasonably cer- 
tain that the brent gee.se which vi^t Banks Land and Melville 
Islands are of this specias. Though keeping strictly to the seacoast 
east of the Mackenzie during migration, many of the flocks (probably 
all the eastern breeding birds) strike across Alaska from near the 
mouth of the Mackenzie to the north Pacific. 

Very little is known regarding the boundaries of the breeding 
ranges of this and the preceding species, but it is probable that the 
following records refer to B. nigricans. 

Sabine states that brent geese breed in great nimibers on the islands 
of the Polar Sea,*" referring particularly to Melville Island, since 
Fisher in his account of the same expedition states that many were 
seen near Liddon (lulf (and elsewhere) in June, 1820.* Armstrong 
records large numbers of brent geese seen on Banks Land, near 
Prince Alfred Cape, August 19, ISol.*' 

Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that — 

Mr. MacFarlane found it breedinjc in abundance on islands nortlieast of 
tlie nioutli of Anderson River, in Liverpool Bay, on tlie Arctic coast, on EYanicliu 
Hay. on various other parts of tlie -coast, and esf)ecially in regrions west of 
Anderson River/ 

Salvadori records a skin from Liverpool Bay, collected by Mac- 
Farlane.*^ Reed records eggs from Cape Bathurst, taken June 22, 
1901, by H. H. Bodfish.^ 

Richardson observed ' brent geese ', undoubtedly of this species, 
near Cape Bathurst on August 11, 1848, and refers to the circum- 
stances as follows: 

Tlie elder duclcs had now assembled in immense flocljs and with tlie brent 
jreese were tnlpratinj? to the westward. Both these waterfowl follow the coast 
line in their inijrratlons. ♦ ♦ ♦ The brents are not seen inland to the east- 
ward of P(H»rs River.i' 

In the same work Richardson published extracts from a letter 
from Mr. Murray, describing a black goose which regularly passed 
through the Yukon Valley in migration, the description plainly 
leferring to this species. A few of the birds were said to pass 
down Peel River, '* but they are more abundant on the Yukon."* 

<* Suppl. to Apiiendix Parry's First Voyajce, p. ccvii, 1824. 
^ Journal Voyaj^e of I)is<.*overy, p. 223, 1821. 
*■' Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 391, 1857. 

^ Water Birds N. A., I, p. 474, 1884. These records are mainly from Eslilnio 
r-olhHting, since MacFarlane visited the coast in summer only at Franklin Bay. 
'Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., XXVII, p. 124, 1805. 
f N. A. Birds' P^ggs, p. 8G, 1904. 
if Arctic Searching Expedition, I, p. 2G0, 1851. ♦ 
Mhid., II, p. Ill, 1851. 



1908.] BIRDS. 309 

As confirming this evidence that the bird uses a portion of the 
valley of the Yukon as a migration route, the following paragraph 
by Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway is of interest : 

Mr. Kennicott, In a note dated Fort Yukon, May 19, refers to procuring 
three sitecimens of this bird, known In that region as the * Eskimo Goose *. 
He states that it arrives there the latest of all the birds, and after nearly all the 
other Geese have passed. It flies in large flocks, and very rapidly. The 
three specimens were the flrst noticed that season, and the only ones killed, 
although two dozen or more flocks of from 25 to 50 were seen in all; but 
in no comparison, in point of numbers, with the other four species. This 
bird is said to pass La Pierre House in immense numbers both in spring and 
fall.« 

While at Fort McPherson in the summer of 1904, I learned that 
large numbers of ' husky or black geese ' had passed down Peel 
Kiver during the latter part of May, the first having been observed 
about May 17. 

Olor ooliunbianus (Ord). Whistling Swan. 

Formerly abundant, this species now passes through the region in 
spring and fall in small numbers, apparently breeding only in the 
far north. While we were crossing Athabaska Lake from the delta 
of the Athabaska to Fort Chipewyan during the night of May 17, 
1901, we several times heard the loud whistling notes of these birds. 
They were again heard near Fort Chipewyan during the nights of 
May 21 and 26. 

In 1903 I first noted this fine species on Great Bear Lake, near 
Manito Islands, September 15, when its soft notes were heard from 
a group of low islands at some distance offshore, and a few tracks on 
the sandy beach showed where the great birds had been feeding. Its 
notes were again heard among some sandy islands in the Mackenzie, 
15 miles above Gravel River, on October 6. 

In the spring of 1904 two individuals were seen on the Mackenzie 
near Fort Simpson early on the morning of May 5. 

While the birds were still abundant swan skins formed an impor- 
tant article of trade. I was told that sixty or seventy years ago about 
500 were annually traded at the Hudson's Bay Company post at Isle a 
la Crosse, and that an annual average of 300 skins was obtained at 
Fort Anderson during the five years of its existence. 

MacFarlane states that between 1853 and 1877 the Hudson's Bay 
Company sold a total of 17,671 swan skins. The number sold an- 
nually ranged from 1,312 in 1854 to 122 in 1877. 

From 1858 to 1884, inclusive, Atliabasca district turned out 2,705 swan sliins, 
nearly all of them from Foi^ Chii>ewyan. Mackenzie River district, according 
to a statement in my i)os8es8ion, supplied 2,500 skins from 1863 to 18S3. From 
1S(>2 to 1877 Fort Resolution, Great Slave I^ike, contril>uted 70S thereof. For 



• Water Birds N. A., I, p. 473, 1884. 



310 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

1889 Athabasca traded but 33, as against 251 skins in 1853. In 1889 and 1890 
Isle ft la Crosse, headquarters of Knglish River district, sent out two skins for 
each outfit." 

The rapid decrease in numbers of this magnificent bird is well 
illustrated by these figures. 

Under the name Anas cygnus^ Sabine, probably referring to the 
whistling swan, says: '"Breeds in the North (Jeorgia Islands, but 
is by no means numerous, and a single specimen only was obtained.*' * 
Ross listed the species as occurring in the Mackenzie River region 
north to the Arctic coast and as having been collected at Fort Sinip- 
son.<* Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that MacFarlane found it 
breeding in considerable numbers in the vicinity of Fort Anderson, 
where eggs were found from the middle of June to the last of July. 
Nests were found also on islands in Franklin Bay and in other parts 
of the Arctic Sea. The above authors also record specimens taken at 
Big Island, and on Porcupine, Anderson, and Swan rivers, and 
islands in Franklin Bay.'' Hanbury noted the first swan of the sea- 
son on June 5, 1902, near the base of Kent Peninsula.*" Reed records 
a nest found on an island near the mouth of the Mackenzie by I. O. 
Stringer.^ Gates records an egg taken by CoUinson at Cambridge 
Bay.^ 

Olor buccinator (Rich.). Trumpeter Swan. 

A more southern breeder than 0. columbianus^ this species also 
nests far to the north. Richards<m states that Rae shot one on Frank- 
lin Bay in the summer of 1848.* Ross listed it as having been col- 
lected at Fort Simpson; '' Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway record speci- 
mens from Fort Rae and Big Island, and state that MacFarlane found 
it breeding on the lower Anderson River, in the Barren (irounds, and 
on islands in Franklin Bay.' The bird catalogue of the National 
MustMun shows that the sjH^cies was received also from Fort Resolu- 
tion; Kennicott took it at that place on May 23, 1860.^ Gates lists an 
egg in the collection of the British Museum from Fort Rae.* 

« Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XXVI II, p. 754, VMi^K Both 8i>ecies of swans are prob- 
ably included in these statements. 

^ Suppl. to Api)endix Parry's First Voyape, p. ccvii. 1824. 

''Nat. Hist. Kev.. II (second ser.), p. 2S«. lSfi2. 

<* Water Birds N. A., 1, pp. 429, 4.m 1.S84. 

''Si)ort and Travel in Northland of Canada, p. 158, 1904. 

f N. A. Birds' Kjrjrs, p. ss, IJMM. 

oCut. Birds' Kpps Brit. Mus.. II, i>. 130, 1JK)2. 

* Arctic Searchinjr Kxi>edition, 1. p. 275, 1S51. 

< Water Birds \. A., I, p. 4:«, 1.SS4. 

> Trans. Chicajro Acad. Sci., I, p. 172, 1S(10. 

*rat. Birds' K^KS Brit. Mus., II, p. 140, 1902. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 311 

Botaums lentiginosus (Montag.). American Bittern. 

This is a rather common summer inhabitant of the marshes of this 
region north to Great Slave Lake. We saw one at the mouth of the 
Athabaska May 17, 1901, and found the species common on the 
Quatre Fourches marsh, near Fort Chipewyan, May 23 and 24. Its 
notes were heard a few miles west of Fort Chipewyan, May 31, and 
25 miles below Peace Kiver, June 12 and 13. A single bird was seen 
near Smith Landing June 17, and another in the marsh near Fort 
Smith June 20. 

In 1903 we heard the notes of this bird on many occasions while 
passing the marshes of the lower Athabaska, May 31 and June 1, and 
we again noted the bird on Rocher River, June 6 to 8. The species 
was reported common in the marshes near Hay River, where my 
brother and Gary saw one on June 28. On their return trip they 
saw one at Pelican Portage, August 25, and one at Lily Lake, Sep- 
tember 24. On May 6, 1904, the notes of this species were heard at 
Willow River, near Fort Providence, by H. W. Jones. He reported 
the bird common there, and on May 18 shot 2 males. An examina- 
tion of their stomachs showed that they had been feeding on frogs 
and large beetles. While descending the Mackenzie I saw a single 
bird 15 miles below Fort Norman on June 16. 

H. W. Jones reports its occurrence near Fort Providence on May 
12, 1905. Ross listed this species as occurring in the Mackenzie River 
region north to the Arctic coast, but as being rare northward.*" The 
National Museum bird catalogue records specimens from Big Island 
and Fort Rae. 

Ardea herodias Linn. Great Blue Heron. 

J. Alden Loring reported seeing one at Spotted I^ake, GO miles 
west of Edmonton, May 27, 1896. 

Oms americana (Linn.). Whooping Crane. 

This fine species formerly bred in considerable numbers in suitable 
places throughout the region north to the Barren Grounds. It has 
now l>ecome almost extinct in the north, and was not observed during 
our journeys. 

King mentions seeing a large flock of these birds at Fort Chip- 
ewyan.* Ross lists the species as rare in the Mackenzie River region 
north to Fort Simpson, where it had been collected.*' Coues de- 
scribes eggs collected by J. Lockhart at Great Slave Lake.** Baird, 
Brewer, and Ridgway record specimens of the birds taken at Fort 

«Nat. Hist, llev., II (second ser.), p. 284, 1862. 

* Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean. II, p. 212, 1836. 
'•Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second series), p. 284, 1802. 

* Birds of the Northwest, p. 531, 1874. 



312 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [wo. 27. 

Resolution, Big Island, Fort Rae, and Salt River, and describe a set 
of eggs taken at the latter place in 1864.« Concerning the status of 
the species in the Anderson River region, M acFarlane says : 

' We never succeeded in finding a nest of this crane, which undoubtedly breeds 
hi Arctic America as weU as in the country to the southward, as a few flocks 
were observed flying past Fort Anderson both in spring and autumn.^ 

In notes sent to the Smithsonian he records three white cranes seen 
at Fort Anderson on May 25, 18G5. A specimen taken at Willow 
River, near Fort Providence, is in the museum at Fort Simpson. 
H. W. Jones reports the occurrence of the species at the same place 
on May 13, 1905. 

Grua canadensis (Linn.). Little Brown Crane. 

This species is common throughout the region, breeding to the 
northward. I was unable to identify satisfactorily many of the 
cranes seen ; but as our records from the more southern portions of 
the district were made in spring or fall, when the birds were migrat- 
ing to or from their breeding grounds in the north, I have referred 
all the birds observed to G, canaderms. 

In the spring of 1901 migrating flocks were seen near Edmonton 
May 1 ; on the Athabaska 40 miles below Athabaska Landing, May 7; 
and below Fort McMurray May 15. A small flock was seen at Fort 
Resolution July 8, and another about 15 miles above Pelican Rapid 
August 25. 

In 1903 five migrating cranes were seen at Edmonton, Alberta, May 
10, several more near Sturgeon River May 13, and a flock of 6 near 
Sandy Creek May 14. A few were noted on Rocher River, Alberta, 
June 8. WTiile we were descending Slave River a few miles above 
its mouth June 19, four cranes were observed on the shore of a 
low island, and a pair was secured. The plumage of both is heavily 
suflFused with brownish, especially on the back and breast. They 
measure as follows: Male, wing 483, exposed culmen 109; female, 
wing 458, exposed cuhneii 93. Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Cary 
saw a single bird below the mouth of Nahanni River July 19. On 
their return trip they noted 3 near Swift Current Rapid August 27, 
5 at Athabaska Landing August 31, and observed large flocks migrat- 
ing southward near the same place September 14 and 19. They last 
saw the species 20 miles south of Athabaska Landing on September 
22, noting 2. During my trip northward from Fort Rae I saw it 
only once, noting one on Grandin River August 3. 

In 1904 I first heard the notes of this bird at Fort Simpson on 
May 9 and again noted the species on May 11 and 18. While 
descending the Mackenzie I saw 2 near Fort Wrigley June 7. 

« Water Birds N. A., I, pp. 405, 407, 1884. 
^ Prcx?. U. 8. Nat. Mus., XIV. p. 425, 1891. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 318 

Franklin mentions seeing several cranes, .undoubtedly referable to 
this form, on Parry Bay, Melville Sound, August 14, 1821.® Rae, 
when at Fort Confidence, observed large flocks passing northward on 
May 30 and 31, 1849.^ John Boss recorded cranes as common June 
6, 1830, near Felix Harbor, Boothia.^ Armstrong observed the spe- 
cies at Mercy Bay, Banks Land, about the middle of May, 1851.'' 
Koss lists it as occurring in the Mackenzie River region north to 
the Arctic coast and as having been collected at Fort Simpson.* 
Coues records eggs from Great Slave Lake and Liverpool Bay.^ 
Baird, Brewer, and Kidgway record skins from Fort Resolution and 
the lower Anderson River,^ and the bird catalogue of the National 
Museum shows that specimens were received also from Fort Simp- 
son and Big Island. Kennicott noted the first one of the season at 
Fort Resolution on May 7, I860.* Hanbury noted that brown cranes 
were numerous and paired on Melville Sound early in June, 1902.* 
J. Alden Loring reported seeing a pair on Grand Cache River, a 
tributary of Smoky River, about 125 miles north of Jasper House, 
on September 13, 1896. H. W. Jones, in a letter, reports this bird 
near Fort Providence April 28, 1905. Seton observed the species at 
Fort Reliance, September 14, 1907.^ 

Onu mezieana (Miill.). Sandhill Crane. 

Under the name Grus canadensis Richardson dascribes a specimen 
killed at Great Slave Lake May 15, 1822, which, from its measure- 
ments, should be referred to the present species.* Some of our more 
southern records, here referred to G. canadensis^ may really relate to 
the present species. Apparently G, mexicana does not regularly 
extend its range north of the plains country, but much additional 
information must be gained before all questions regarding the re- 
lationship and range of this and the preceding species can be 
decided. 

Poraana Carolina (Linn.). Sora Rail. 

The familiar sora is an abundant summer resident of the marshes 
norths at least to the region of Great Slave Lake, but on account of 
its elusive habits it is seldom seen. 

« Narrative Journey to Polar Sea, p. 383, 1823. 
"Arctic Searching Expedition, II, p. 105. 1851. 
« Narrative Ross's Second Voyage, j). 31K), 18:i5. 

* Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 522, 1857, 
«Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 284, 18G2. 

t Birds of the Northwest, p. 534, 1874. 
^ Water Birds N. A.. I, p. 413, 1884. 

* Trans. Chicago Acad. Sci., I, p. 170, 1869. 

* Sport and Travel In Northland of Canada, p. 161, 1904. 
i Auk, XXV, p. 70, 1908. 

* Fauna Boreali-Americana, II, p. 373, 1831. 



314 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [Ma 27. 

In the spring of 1901 we heard its voice daily in a marsh near 
the outlet of Athabaska Lake June 2 to 4. While descending Bocher 
and Slave rivers to Smith Landing June 5 to 13, we heard the birds 
almost every day in the swamps near the river and collected 2 spec- 
imens in a small marsh 25 miles below the mouth of Peace River 
June 12. While crossing Smith Portage June 18 we noted its cry 
on several occasions, and we found it common in the marsh at Fort 
Smith June 19 to 28. We heard it also near Slave River, about 125 
miles below Fort Smith, July 2 and 3. I flushed one from the grassy 
margin of a small pond on Loon Island, Great Slave Lake, July 10, 
and my brother saw one at Fort Resolution July 27. 

In 1903 the characteristic notes of this bird were heard near Ed- 
monton, Alberta, May 10, and between there and Sturgeon River 
May 12. The species was next noted near the mouth of the Atha- 
baska June 1 and was frequently heard in the marshes near Rocher 
River June 6 to 8. It was several times noted at Fort Resolution 
June 20 to 24. On June 22 I watched a male for some time at the 
edge of a small slough in a swamp near the post. He leisurely 
threaded his way among the sprouting grass stems, often jetting his 
tail, which was carried slightly erected. He frequently paused in 
his wandering to emit his two-syllabled crying note, holding his body 
in a nearly horizontal position, with the head extended forward, 
while he repeated the cry several times. My brother and Gary saw 
numbers in the marsh at Hay River June 28 to July 1, often hearing 
their notes in the night. I saw one on the south shore of Great Slave 
Lake, near the mouth of the Slave, July 18. 

In the spring of 1904 I collected a single bird in a small grassy 
pond at Fort Simpson on May 19. 

Ross lists this bird as occurring north to Big Island, Great Slave 
Lake, but as rare;" Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was 
found at Fort Resolution and Fort Rae; * skins from these places are 
still in the National Museum. Maeoun records eggs taken at Edmon- 
ton, and gives instances of its breeding in other parts of Alberta.*^ 
Strachan Jones took the eggs of this species, probably in the summer 
of 1808, at Lesser Slave Lake, and sent them to the Smithsonian In- 
stitution. 

Cotumicops noveboracensis (Gmel.). Yellow Rail. 

WTiile traversing the delta of Slave River on the evening of July 17, 
1 heard the characteristic notes of this species, and caught a glimpse 
of the bird as he ran through the thick grass near the water's edge. 

«Nat. Hist. lU'v., ir (second ser.). p. 286, 1862. 

& Water Birds N. A.. I, p. 371, 1884. 

^ Cat. Canadlau Birds, Part I, p. 140, 1900. 



IdOSJ BIRDS. 815 

Under the name Relive noveboracensis^ Bonaparte records a male 
and female, in the collection of Leadbeater, taken on the ''Athapescow 
Lake near the Kocky Mountains.'' " Seton records the species from 
the marshy country along Little Buffalo River, 50 miles south of Fort 
Resolution, where its notes were heard in the summer of 1907.^ 

-Fnlioa amerioaiia Gmel. American Coot. 

A few records of the occurrence of this species indicate that it is 
found nearly throughout the wooded region, but is not conmion except 
in its southern part. 

In 1901 we met with this species but once — near Fort Chipewyan, 
Alberta, May 23, when a single individual was seen in a small marshy 
pond. 

In 1903 we first observed the bird in a small slough near Sturgeon 
River, Alberta, May 13, and we noted two on Slave River a few 
miles below Fort Smith June 15. J. W. Mills writes me that he ob- 
served this species at Fort Simpson on June 1, 1905. In a manuscript 
list recently received from MacFarlane he states that a nest contain- 
ing six eggs was found near Fort Chipewyan on June 7, 1880. H. W. 
Jones reports the species from Hay River, Great Slave Lake. 

Ross listed this bird as occurring in the Mackenzie River region 
north to Fort Simpson, and as having been collected at that post.** 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was taken at Fort Resolu- 
tion, Fort Simpson, Big Island, and in the Gens de Large Mountains.'' 
Eggs, collected probably in 1868, were sent to the Smithsonian by 
Strachan Jones from Lesser Slave Lake. J. Alden Loring reported 
the species common at Edmonton September 7 to 26, 1894, and during 
his trip from Edmonton to Jasper House in 1896 saw many in the 
lakes along the first 75 miles of the trail during the last week in May. 

PhalaropnB fnlicarius (Linn.). Red Phalarope. 

Under the name Phalarojms platyrynchos^ Sabine states that this 
species was found to be abundant during the summer on the North 
Georgia Islands, probably referring particularly to Melville Island;* 
Annstrong says it was frequently shot in June, 1852, at Mercy Bay, 
Banks Land; ^ Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was found 
breeding by MacFarlane at Franklin Bay on July 4 and 5, and de- 
scribe eggs taken by him.^ A si)ecimen (No. 48758), labeled as 

«Zool. Joum., Ill, p. 50, 1827. (Concerning this locality, see note regarding 
scarce of Leadbeater*s specimens, p. 61.) 
6 Auk, XXV, p. 70, 1908. 

«Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 286, 1862. 
^ Water Birds N. A., I. p. H95, 1884. 
« Suppl. to Appendix Parry's First Voyage, p. cci, 1824. 
f Narrative Discovery Nortliwest Passage, p. 525, 1857. 
9 Water Birds N. A., I, PP. 329, 330, 18S4. 



816 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

having been collected, with three eggs, on Crane Island, Franklin 
Bay, July 5, 1864, is still in the National Museum. 

We did not observe this species during our journeys, but have re- 
cently received a specimen in winter plumage taken on the Mac- 
kenzie 60 miles below Fort Providence October 4, 1904, by H. W. 
Jones. 

Lobipes lobatns (Linn.). Northern Phalarope. 

The northern phalarope, an abundant breeder on the Barren 
Grounds, passes through the more southern parts of the region in 
spring and fall, sometimes occurring abundantly in certain localities. 
During my return trip in 1904 I saw one on Great Slave Lake near the 
Desmarais Islands July 29. The bird was swimming about in its 
characteristic energetic manner, seeking food. 

In the museum at Fort Simpson I found two specimens collected 
some years ago at Fort Rae. Captain Mills informs me that he has 
fre<iuently observed the species on the upper Mackenzie in the autumn. 

In the early autumn of 1896 J. Alden Loring observed the species 
on the Athabaska at Jasper House, Alberta. Numbers alighted on 
the water above rapids and allowed themselves to be carried down, 
when they flew back and repeated the performance. He noted the 
bird also at Sulphur Prairie, Grand Cache River, about 70 miles 
north of Jasper House, taking a specimen there September 12. 

Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that MacFarlane found this 
species in great abundance betw^een the edge of the wooded country 
and the Arctic Sea [Franklin Bay], where more than 50 nests with 
eggs were found from Juno 17 into July.** The bird catalogue 
of the National Museum records specimens from Big Island and 
Fort Rae. Frank Russell took one at Herschel Island July 14, 
1894.^ Seton records the species from Sandhill Bay, Aylmer Lake, 
where one was observed August 20, 1907.*' 

Steg^nopns tricolor Vieill. Wilson Phalarope. 

Richard King, naturalist to Back's Expedition to the mouth of 
Great Fish River, claims to have taken this species near Artillery 
Lake/ It is a coninion bird on the northern plains. Macoun, on 
the authority of Dippie, states that it breeds at Buffalo Lake, Alberta: 
that Spreadborough found it nesting commonly from Indian Head, 
Saskatchewan, to Edmonton ; and he records a specimen taken at the 
latter point/ 

« WatiT Birds N. A., I, p. 3,35, 1884. 

^ Exi)I. in Far North, p. 258, 1898. 

'^Auk, XXV, ]). 70, 1908. 

<* Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean, I. p. 228, 1836. 

r^ Cat. Canadian Birds, Part 1, p. 148, 1900. 



1908.] BIBDS. 817 

■ecnrvirostra americana Gmel. American Avocet. <'r 

' In the museum at Fort Simpson are two specimens taken some years 
ago at Fort Chipewyan, Alberta; and I was informed by J. W. 
Afills that several had been seen at Willow River, near Fort Provi- 
dence, by J. S. Camsell, who formerly collected quite extensively and 
was familiar with the species. 

First recorded from the Mackenzie region by Ross, who gives it as 
occurring north to Fort Rae, but as rare.* Baird, Brewer, and Ridg- 
way state that examples were procured at Fort Rae, Fort Resolution, 
and on Peace River; * and the catalogue of the birds in the National 
Museum records two specimens from Fort Rae, two from Peace 
River, and one from Fort Resolution, the latter taken June 1, 1864, 
as well as one taken at I^esser Slave Lake, probably in 1808, by 
Strachan Jones. Eggs from the same locality, also collected by 
Jones, are in the National Museum. 

Philohela minor (Gmel.). Woodcock. 

In August, 1892, while exploring on Black River, between Black 
Lake and the eastern end of Athabaska I^ake, J. B. Tyrrell, of the 
Canadian Geological Survey, saw a woodcock, and refers to the cir- 
cumstance as follows: 

A quarter of a mile below the foot of the rapid, on the soft bank, the canoes 
were pushed in among the willows over a soft muddy, swampy flat to the be- 
ginning of Woodcock Portage, so called because we arouse<l a woodcock 
(Philohela minor), in one of the swamps as we passed it, this bird being ex- 
ceedingly rare so far north.<» 

The occurrence of the species at this point must be merely acci- 
dental. 

Oallinago delicata (Ord). Wilson Snipe. 

The common snipe probably breeds throughout the wooded region, 
but Ls not common on its extreme northern border. In 1901 it was 
abundant between Edmonton and Athabaska Landing, Alberta, April 
29 to May 5. The males were then performing their aerial evolutions 
and were heard almost continually morning and evening, and in 
cloudy weather at all times of the day. After leaving Athabaska 
Landing, we did not again meet with the species until May 15, when 
one was heard in a marsh below the mouth of Red River, Alberta. 
WTiile I was collecting on the Quatre Fourches marsh, near Fort 
Chipewyan, May 23 and 24, several were seen, and a male was taken 
on the latter date. About a small marsh near Slave River, 25 miles 
below the Peace, we saw a pair daily June 11 to 13, and we found 
their nest, which contained four eggs on the point of hatching, on 

«Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), P 284, 1SG2. 

> Water Birds N. A., I, p. 342, 1884. 

«Aim. Kept. Can. Geol. Surv., VIII (new sen), p. 73D, 1896. 



318 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [so. 27. 

June 12. A pair seen at a marsh on Smith Portage June 18 evi- 
dently had a nest near by, and males were heard at Fort Smith 
June 21, and about a marsh 125 miles below Fort Smith July 2 and 
3. On our return trip a single bird was seen at Athabaska Landing 
August 30. 

In 1903 we observed this snipe in numbers at Edmonton on May 
9 and 10, and found it abundant along the route to Athabaska Land- 
ing May 11 to 15. On May 13, in a marsh about 50 miles north of 
Edmonton, I saw one alight on the summit of a tall dead spruce, 
where it remained fully five minutes, uttering continuously a loud, 
querulous cry. Several were seen or heard on the lower Athabaska 
June 1, and it was frequently noted on Rocher River June 6 to 8. 
While we were descending Slave River, between Fort Smith and 
Fort Resolution, June 15 to 19, numbers were heard nearly every 
day. It was also frequently heard at Fort Resolution during the 
latter part of June. My brother and Cary noted two pairs, evidently 
nesting, at Hay River, June 28 to July 1, and a pair at Fort Provi- 
dence July 6. On their return trip, on the evening of August 2, 
they saw several at Smith Landing flying about at dusk, and noted 
two at Pelican Rapid August 24. After the division of the party I 
frequently noted the bird at Fort Resolution during the remainder 
of June and the first half of July, hearing the flight song on July 15 
for the last time. I saw one in a marshy spot on Grandin River 
August 3. 

Jn the spring of 1904 the arrival of this species was noted on May 2 
at Willow River, near Fort Providence, by Messrs. Mills and Jones, 
and a specimen was collected there on May 13. At Fort Simpson 
I first noted it May 10, when I heard the flight j-ong of several indi- 
viduals. I again noted the bird May 11 and took a female May 12. 
During the remainder of the month I frequently saw or heard the 
bird at Fort Simpson, and while descending the Mackenzie heard 
its notes about a large marsh a few miles above Wolverene Rock, 100 
miles below Fort Norman, June 18. 

WTiile collecting at Edmonton in 1894 J. Alden Loring saw a pair 
September 10. In the early autumn of 1895 he reported seeing sev- 
eral about some small lakes near Jasper House. In 1896 he noted 
one 15 miles south of Henry House July 5, and one on Fishing Lake, 
90 miles north of Jasper House, September 13. Ross recorded speci- 
mens collected at Big Island and Fort Simpson," and the bird cata- 
logue of the National Museum records skins from Fort Resolution, 
Fort Rae, Peel River, La Pierre House, and Fort Halkett. Baird, 
Brewer, and Ridgway state that MacFarlane found it breeding at 
Fort Anderson June 16 and 29; * MacFarlane states that it was not 

«Can. Nat. and Geol., VI. p. 443, 1861. 
ft Water Birds N. A., I, p. 192, 1884. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 319 

numerous there.** Hanbury noted one on the upper part of Dease 
River on August 14, 1902.* II. W. Jones heard the notes of this 
species near Fort Providence May 1, 1905. 

Macrorhamphus griseus (Gmel.). Dowitcher. 

A dowitcher in the U. S. National Museum collection (No. 31591), 
taken at Fort Rae June 9, 1863, is apparently a typical example of 
this species. 

Macrorhamphus scolopaceus (Say). Long-billed Dowitcher. 

Judging by the records, dowitchers migrate in large numbers 
through the Mackenzie Valley, but probably do not breed south of 
the Barren Grounds. In accordance with the generally accepted idea 
of the distribution of these two forms, some of the following records, 
published under the name griseus^ have lx?en presumed to refer to the 
western form, though, in spite of various attempts which have been 
made to determine the relationship and distribution of the American 
species of this genus, the matter is apparently not yet fully under- 
stood, owing to lack of sufficient data. 

Richardson describes a female taken at Fort Franklin May 25, 
1820.'' Specimens have been recorded by various authors from Big 
Island, Fort Rae, Fort Simpson, Fort Norman, and La Pierre House. 
MacFarlane states that nests of M. scolopace^is were found in the 
Anderson River region from June 21 to July 1." Macoun records 
.specimens of scolopaceus from Edmonton and Banff, Alberta.* 

Hicropalania himantopus (Bonap.). Stilt Sandpiper. 

This notable species is a rather late spring migrant through the 
southern portion of the region, and apparently is a fairly abundant 
breeder on the Barren Grounds. I did not observe it during my 
investigations, but found a mounted specimen, taken some years since 
at Fort Rae, in the Hudson's Bay Company museum at Fort Simpson. 

Ross recorded this bird as having been taken at Fort Simpson.*' 
Kennicott took it at Fort Resolution May 19, 1860.^ Baird, Brewer, 
and Ridgway state that MacFarlane found it breeding at Rendezvous 
Lake, Franklin Bay, and Langton Harbor, and record specimens 
from Fort Resolution, Fort Simpson, and Big Island.^ Ru&sell took 
specimens at Fort Chipewyan June 6 and 12, 1893, and states that 

«Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 42G, 1801. 

& Sport and Travel In Northland of Canada, p. 233, 1904. 

'^ Fauna Boreall- Americana. II, p. 31K), 1831. 

*Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 154, IIKK). 

^^Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 285, 1862. 

t Trans. Chicago Acad. Sci., I, p. 171, 18C9. 

^ Water Birds N. A., I. p, 2(M, 1884. 



320 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [50.27. 

the species passed northward in considerable numbers during June.« 
Specimens from Fort Anderson, Fort Rae, and Big Island are still 
in the National Museum. 

Tringa canntns Linn. Knot. 

Edward Sabine, probably referring particularly to Melville Island, 
says that this species breeds in great abundance on the North Georgia 
Islands.^ 

Arquatella maritima (Briinn.). Purl3le Sandpiper. 

A sandpiper identified as this species was seen on the shore of Great 
Bear Lake a few miles east of its outlet on September 16, 1903. I had 
a good view of the bird at a distance of a few yards. At this time all 
the other sandpipers, with the exception of a very few belated sander- 
lings, had departed southward. 

Armstrong states that this species was frequently shot at Mercy 
Bay, Banks Land, early in June, 1852.*^ J. C. Ross records a few at 
Port Bowen in early June, 1825,'' and near Fury Point.^ McCormick 
observed one in Wellington Channel August 23, 1852.^ Russell has 
n»corded specimens from Herschel Island and Fort Chipewyan,' but 
they prove, on examination, to have been incorrectly identified. 

Fisobia maculata (VieilL). Pectoral Sandpiper. 

This is a rather common migrant in the wooded portion of the 
region now under review, and it breeds in some parts of the Barren 
Grounds, though MacFarlane failed to find its nest in the Anderson 
River region. 

In 1903 we first saw this species near Sturgeon River May 12, and 
we saw a few 20 miles south of Athabaska Landing May 14. My 
brother and Cary saw a flock of five, apparently passing southward, 
near the mouth of Willow Lake River, near Fort Wrigley, July 10. 
On their return trip they saw six at Cascade Rapid August 14; two 
at Pelican Rapid August 25; a few at Athabaska Landing on Aug- 
ust 31 and September 2, and several flocks at the same place Septem- 
ber '^. I took a single bird, the only one seen, at my camp on Great 
Bear Lake, east of Leith Point, August 29. A late straggler was seen 
on the Mackenzie a few miles above the mouth of the Blackwater 
October 7. 

In the spring of 1904 I first saw this species at Fort Simpson May 
16, observing three individuals about a small .grass-bordered pond 

« Exf)!. in Far North, pp. 258, 250, 1898. 

^ Siippl. to Appendix Parry's First Voyage, p. cci, 1824. 

'•Narrative J)iscovery Northwest Passage, p. 525, 1857. 

^ Parry's Third Voyage, Api>endlx, i). 101. 1826. 

< Appendix to Ross's Sec*ond Voyage, p. xxxii, 1835. 

f Mccormick's Voyages, II, p. 121, 1884. 

if Expl. in Far North, p. 250, 1898. 



1«)8.I BIRDS. 321 

formed by the melting snow. The bird was again noted May 18. On 
May 26 it was common at the same place and severa,l specimens were 
collected. 

We have received two specimens, both males, taken near Fort 
Providence, May 14, 1905, by Mills and Jones. 

Ross lists this species as occurring in the Mackenzie River region, 
and as having been collected at Fort Simpson ; ^ Baird, Brewer, and 
Ridgway state that it was taken at Fort Simpson, Fort Resolution, 
and Fort Anderson ;* and the bird catalogue of the National Museum 
shows that it was received also from Fort Rae. Oates records two 
eggs taken by CoUinson at Cambridge Bay, Victoria Land.^ J. 
Alden Loring saw four at Edmonton, September 25, 1894, taking 
one specimen. 

Piiobia f uscicollis (Vieill.). White-rumped Sandpiper. 

Ross recorded specimens taken at Big Island, Great Slave Lake,** 
and from Fort Simpson, noting the species as rare ; * the catalogue 
of the birds in the National Museum shows that specimens were 
received also from Fort Resolution and Fort Rae. Baird, Brewer,* 
and Ridgway state that MacFarlane found the species breeding on 
the Arctic coast [Franklin Bay], and on the Barren Grounds [east 
of Fort Anderson], and describe eggs collected by him.^ Among 
sandpipers collected by Frank Russell at Fort Chipewyan, and now 
in the Museum of the University of Iowa, are four specimens of this 
species taken June 3 to 8, 1893; a specimen taken by Kennicott at 
Fort Resolution, May 19, 1860, is still in the National Museum. 

PiBobia bairdi (Coues). Baird Sandpiper. 

This is the sandpiper most characteristic of the Mackenzie region. 
Its early appearance at Great Slave Lake at the close of the breed- 
ing season seems to indicate that it nests at no great distance to the 
northward, though probably not south of the Barren Grounds. 

In 1901 this bird was first met with on the Quatre Fourches marsh, 
near Fort Chipewyan, where a small flock was seen and a female 
taken May 24. On May 25, while we were coasting along the north 
shore of Lake Athabaska to Point La Brie, we encountered large 
masses of floating ice, on which were feeding several large flocks of 
this species, together with smaller companies of turnstones. Two 
specimens were taken. We next met with the species on Great Slave 

•Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second sor.), p. 285, 1862. 

* Water Birds N. A.. I, p. 233, 1884. 

«Cat. Birds* Eggs Brit. Mus., II, p. 55, 1902. 

««Can. Nat. and Geol., VI. p. 443, 1861. 

«Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.). p. 285, 1862. 

f Water Birds N. A., I, p. 229, 1884. 

44131— No. 27—08 21 



322 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [Ka27. 

Lake near I»on Island, July 10, wlien several small flocks were seen 
and a female was taken. The species was noted also at Fort Rae, 
July 23. On our return trip up the Athabaska River, we found a 
small flock at Crooked Rapid August 15, when a specimen was col- 
lected, and another above Grand Rapid, August 22. 

In 1903 we noted a small flock near the mouth of the Athabaska, 
June 1. The species was next seen July 13, when a few, probably 
marking the commencement of the southward migration, appeared 
at Fort Resolution. On their return trip Alfred E. Preble and Mer- 
ritt Gary saw a small flock at the delta of the Athabaska, August 4, 
and a flock of five at Fort McMurray, August 11. 

In the spring of 1904, I fii-st saw the Baird sandpiper at Fort 
Simpson, May 20, and took a single bird on the margin of a small 
grass-bordered pond. It was common by May 22 and was noted 
nearly every day up to June 1. The birds were most commonly ob- 
served in fair-sized flocks about the fields, occasionally accompanying 
a flock of golden plovers. During my return trip, while anchored 
near Hardisty Island, July 31, I observed a large flock flying past 
the steamer. 

This bird was first characterized by Coues, who based his descrip- 
tion of the species mainly on specimens from Great Slave Lake.** He 
later recorded the species from Fort Resolution and eggs from An- 
derson River and the Arctic coast.* MacFarlane speaks of finding 
a nest containing 4 eggs on the Barren Grounds June 24, 1864, and 
of subsequently finding other nests, though the bird was uncommon 
throughout the region.^ A specimen from Fort Resolution, taken 
May 19, 1860, by Kennicott; one from Fort Simpson, May 26, 1860, 
by Ross; and one from Fort Rae, by Clarke, are still in the National 
Museum collection. An egg taken by Collinson at Cambridge Bay, 
Victoria Land, is listed by Gates.** Reed records eggs taken with 
the parent bird by an Indian at Peel River, June 18, 1898.*' Seton 
has recently recorded the species from Casba River and Aylmer Lake, 
where he observed it August 8 and 13, 1907.^ I have examined speci- 
mens taken by Frank Russell at Fort Chipewyan in the spring of 
1893 and at Horschel Island July 13 to August 14, 1894. 

Pisobia minntilla (Vieill.). I^east Sandpiper. 

This diminutive sandpiper is a regular spring and fall migrant 
through the region and breeds on the Barren Grounds. In 1903 sev- 

aProc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila. [XIIIl, p. 196. 1861. 

& Birds of the Northwest, p. 485, 1874. 

Troc'. r. S. Nat. Miis., XIV, pp. 426, 427, 1891. 

''Cat. Birds' Ejrjjs Brit. Miis.. II, p. 55, 1902. 

<^N. A. Birds' Ejjps, p. 115, 1904. 

^Auk, XXV, p. 70, 1908. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 323 

era! were seen and one was taken about 50 miles north of Edmonton 
May 14. 

On May 17, in the spring of 1904, at Fort Simpson, I took a soli- 
tary individual, the first one ' observed. The species was next seen 
May 22, was common May 27, and was several times noted during the 
latter days of May. I usually saw them in company with the larger 
sandpipers about the grassy margin of a small pond. On my return 
trip I saw a small flock on the Athabaska below Brule Rapid Au- 
gust 19. 

On May 15, 1905, J. W. Mills took three specimens, all of which 
proved to be males, at Fort Providence. First recorded from this 
region by Ross, who took it at Fort Simpson ;« and the bird cata- 
logue of the National Museum shows that specimens were afterwards 
received from Isle h la Crosse, Fort Resolution, Big Island, and Great 
Bear Lake. Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was found 
breeding abundantly at Fort Anderson ; on the Barren Grounds [to the 
eastward]; at Rendezvous Lake; and near the Arctic coast [Frank- 
lin Bay] ; and that nests were found between June 21 and July 3: a 
set of eggs are described.^ A skin from Big Island ; one from Fort 
Resolution, taken May 19, 1860, by Kennicott; and one from near 
Rendezvous Lake, taken in June, 1864, by MacFarlane, and labeled as 
having been collected " with 3 eggs," are now in the National Museum. 
Three eggs taken by CoUinson at Cambridge Bay, Victoria Land, 
are in the British Museum.^' 

Pelidna alpina sakhalina (Vieill.). Red-backed Sandpiper. 

This bird was recorded by Edward Sabine, under the name Tnnga 
variabilis^ as being rare in the islands of the Polar Sea, Melville 
Island being referred to particularly .<* Reed records eggs taken at 
Peel River, Arctic America, June 30, 1899, by I. O. Stringer. <^ J. C. 
Ross recorded the species as breeding abundantly at P>lix Harbor.^ 
Walker noted a few breeding at Port Kennedy in July, 1859.^ 

Ereunetes pusillns (Linn.). Semipalmated Sandpiper. 

This tiny sandpiper, closely resembling the least sandpiper super- 
ficially, but readily distinguished from it by the slight webbing of 
the toes, is a rather common migrant through the region. It breeds 
on the Barren Grounds. 

In the spring of 1901 a few were seen on the Quatre Fourches 
marsh, near Fort Chipewyan, May 24. The species was not again 

«Xat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 285. 1862. 

* Water Birds N. A., I, p. 240, 1884. 

« Gates, Cat. Birds' Eggs Brit. Mus., II, p. 53, 1902. 

* Suppl. to Api)endlx Parry's First Voyage, p. cc, 1824. 
«N. A. Birds' Eggs, p. 116, 1904. 

/Appendix Ross's Second Voyage, p. xxxii, 1835. 
9 Proc. Roy. Soc., Dublin, III, p. 63, 1860. 



324 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [Ka27. 

noted until July 24, when a small flock was seen, and a male taken, 
on the shore of the lake at Fort Rae. 

In 1903 we did not detect this species during the spring migration, 
but the advance guard of the southward movement made its appear- 
ance at Fort Resolution on July 13. Single birds were noted on 
Grandin River August 3 and 5. 

In the spring of 1904 I first saw this species at Fort Simpson May 
26 and took a single specimen. I took another on the following 
day, when the species was common, and noted the bird nearly every 
day up to June 1. 

First recorded from the region by Richardson, who described a 
specimen taken at Great Bear Lake on May 24, 1826.* Ross listed 
it as haying been taken at Fort Simpson, but as being rare.^ Baird, 
Brewer, and Ridgway state that MacFarlane found it nesting on 
•Franklin Bay and on the Barren Grounds between there and Fort 
Anderson, where nests were found between June 20 and July 10.^ 
Specimens were sent to the Smithsonian Institution from Big Island 
and Fort Good Hope. Sharpe records specimens in the British 
Museum from Franklin Bay and Fort Simpson.* 

Calidris leucophsea (Pallas). Sanderling. 

This cosmopolitan species migrates through the region now under 
review in spring and fall. It passes northward in early summer, 
breeds sparingly on the Arctic coast, but more conmionly on the 
islands of the Arctic Sea, and in autumn lingers in flocks on the 
storm-swept shores of the larger lakes after most of the other sand- 
pipers have departed. When seen running along the sandy margins 
of lake or river its singular stiff-legged gait, taken together with its 
size and light color, serves to distinguish it even at a distance from 
any of its allies. 

In 1903 I first noted this species at our camp on Great Bear Lake, 
east of Ijeith Point, August 31, when several flocks were observed. 
Numbers were seen there nearly every day to September 4, and 
several specimens were taken. Three individuals were seen on the 
shore 40 miles east of McVicar Bay September 13, and a few were 
noted west of Manito Islands Septeml)er 15, and near Fort Franklin 
September 16. 

In the spring of 1904 I first saw the sanderling at Fort Simpson 
on May 29, when a small flock was observed feeding along the river 
shore, and one was shot. A few more were seen near the same place 

<^ Fauna Boreall-Americana, II, p. 386. 1831. 
»Nat. Hist. Rev.. II (second ser.), p. 285. 1862. 
"-' Water Birds N. A.. I, p. 209, 1884. 
^ Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., XXIV, p. 518, 1896. 



1908.] BIRDS. 325 

June 1. The species was last noted near Fort Wrigley June 7, when a 
single individual was observed. 

This species apparently was first recorded from the Mackenzie 
River region by Ross, who mentions a specimen taken at Big Island, 
Great Slave Lake." It had been recorded previously from the North 
Gteorgia Islands by Edward Sabine, who, probably referring par- 
ticularly to Melville Island, states that it was found breeding in con- 
siderable numbers and that several specimens were taken.^ Arm- 
strong, in his narrative of the voyage of the Investigator^ states that 
a few were shot in Prince of Walas Strait, near Princess Royal 
Islands, June 7, 1851,*^ and that it was frequently shot early in 
June, 1852, at Mercy Bay, Banks Land.^ On June 29, 1863, Mac- 
Farlane discovered a nest of this species, " the only one at that time 
known to naturalists," on the Barren Grounds, about 10 miles west 
of Franklin Bay. The bird was rare in this region, and no other 
nests were found.*^ Frank Russell took it at Fort Chipewyan June 7, 
1893.^ 

Liinosa hsemastica (Linn.). Iludsonian Godwit. 

Richardson described a specimen taken at Fort Franklin, Great 
Bear Lake, but otherwise the species apparently was unknown from 
the region until the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company began 
to collect birds, when specimens were received by the Smithsonian 
Institution from Fort Rae, Big Island, and Anderson River. 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that MacFarlane found it breed- 
ing near Fort Anderson on June 9, and that other nests were found 
on the lower Anderson, and describes eggs taken by him in that 
region.^ Reed records eggs from the [mouth of] Mackenzie River, 
collected by I. O. Stringer.* 

Totaniu melanolencus (Gmel.). Greater Yellow-legs. 
. The large yellow-legs occurs very sparingly in migration north to 
the Great Slave Lake region. Its breeding grounds are practically 
unknown, except inferentially, but the best information at hand in- 
dicates that numbers nest in the region between Great Slave Lake 
and Hudson Bay. 

In 1903 we saw one at a small pond near Sandy Creek, 20 miles 
south of Athabaska Landing, May 14. Another was seen on the lower 
Athabaska May 31. 

«Can. Nat and GeoL, VI, p. 443, 1861. 

* Suppl. to Appendix Parry's First Voyage, p. cxcix, 1824. 

^ Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 340, 1857. 

««Ibld., p. 525, 1857. 

«Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 427. 1891. 

f Expl. In Far North, p. 259, 1898. 

^ Water Birds N. A., I, p. 263. 1884. 

»N. A. Birds' Eggs, p. 118, 1904. 



326 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo.27. 

In the spring of 1904 I observed this species but once, taking a 
male from among a flock of lesser yellow-legs at Fort Simpson, May 
16. 

Ross recorded this yellow-legs as occurring in the Mackenzie River 
region as far north as Fort Simpson, where it had been taken, but as 
being rare." A skin (No. 1993^1) taken by Ross at Fort Simpson 
May 23, 1860, is now in the National Museum, and the catalogue shows 
that specimens were rec^eived also from Big Island and Fort Reso- 
lution. 

Totanus flavipes (Gmel.). Yellow-legs. 

This small tattler breeds in suitable places throughout the region 
north to the Barren Grounds. We saw two individuals at a prairie 
slough about 15 miles north of Edmonton May 1, 1901. A pair seen 
almost daily at a marsh near Fort Smith, June 19 to 28, were un- 
doubtedly breeding. I saw one at Fort Rae July 20 and on July 22, 
while exploring about some marshy ponds several miles to the east- 
ward of the post, observed a number. WTiile we were ascending the 
Athabaska a number were seen at Grand Rapid August 21. 

In the spring of 1903 we first saw this yellow-legs about some small 
ponds near Sturgeon River, Alberta, May 12, noting about 50 in- 
dividuals, and between thei-e and Athabaska Ijanding we observed a 
few daily May 13 to 15. Several were seen on the lower Athabaska 
May 30. Next noted at Hay River, where my brother and Gary saw 
one June 30. While at Smith Landing during the night of August 2 
they heard this species migrating, and they found it common on the 
bars at the mouth of the Athabaska August 4. During my trip north- 
ward from P'ort Rae I found it common along Grandin River, August 
1 to 3. 

In the spring of 1904 I took a specimen, the only one seen at the 
time, at Fort Simpson May 9. The six^cies was seen also May 10, was 
common by May 13, and was seen nearly every day during the remain- 
der of May. At Willow River, near F'ort Providence, several sj)eci- 
iiieiis were taken May 9 to 11 by Messrs. Mills and Jones. The latter 
observer also noted the species at the same place on May 3, 1905. 

Richardson first recorded this species from the region, describing a 
male killed at Fort Franklin, Great Bear Lake, May 16, 1826; ^ Ross 
listed it as abundant in the Mackenzie River region north to La Pierre 
TFouse, and as having been collected at Fort Simpson;^ Baird, Brewer, 
and Ridgsvay state that it was met with at Fort Resolution May 5. 
18()0, by Kennicott; at Fort Simpson May 15, by Ross; at Big Island 
by Reid: and in <^reat abundance at Fort Anderson, on Anderson and 
Ilorton [MacFarlane] rivers, and at Rendezvous Lake by Mac- 

« Nat. Hist. Kev., tl (swoiul ser.), p. 285, 1862. 
^ Fauna Hon^ali-Aiiu'ricana, II, p. 300, 1831. 
^•Nat. Hist. Rov., II (second ser.), p. 285, 1862. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 827 

Farlane. Nests were taken at Fort Anderson as early as June l.<» A 
male (No. 19946), taken " with four eggs " at Fort Resolution June 1, 
1860, by Kennicott, and labeled as having been " shot sitting on nest," 
is now m the National Museum. In the Anderson River region Mac- 
Farlane found it one of the earliest and probably the most abundant 
of the waders, and discovered upward of 30 nests.'' In notes sent to 
the Smithsonian he records its arrival at Fort ^Viiderson on May 27, 
1865. Macoun states that Spreadborough found it at Edmonton, Al- 
berta, in June, 1897, and that Dippie found it apparently breeding at 
Buffalo Lake, Alberta, in July, 1896.^ Seton records the bird from 
Casba Lake, where it was observed August 8, 1907.'' 

Helodromas solitarius cinnamomeus (Brewst.). Western Solitary 

Sandpiper. 

This sandpiper occurs rather commonly in the Athabaska and 
Mackenzie region, where its breeding range is probably nearly coex- 
tensive with the forest, though its eggs are still practically imknown. 
Since our specimens from the Athabaska and Mackenzie region are 
referable to the western form, I have assumed that the various 
references to 11. solitanus in this region belong here. It is likely 
that the eastern form occurs in eastern Saskatchewan and Mac- 
kenzie, but definite records from this region are lacking. 

In the spring of 1901, a single individual was seen at a deserted 
beaver pond near Athabaska Landing May 5. The species was next 
noted at a marsh near Slave River, 25 miles below the mouth of the 
Peace, where we saw a pair daily June 11 to 13, and we saw another 
pair while crossing Smith Portage June 18. We saw one bird at 
Fort Smith June 19, and several on Slave River a few miles below 
there June 29. 

In 1903 we first noted this species at Edmonton on May 10. Sev- 
eral were seen near Sturgeon River May 12, and 50 miles north of 
Edmonton May 14, one being taken on the latter occasion. Next 
observed at Fort Resolution June 22, when I saw a pair on a small 
marsh near the post. My brother and Gary saw a pair in a tamarack 
muskeg at Fort Providence July 6 and took the male. On their 
return trip they heard solitary sandpipers on the night of August 11 
at Fort McMurray. During my trip northward from Fort Rae, I 
saw one on Grandin River August 3. 

On May 10, in the spring of 1904, 1 observed two at Fort Simpson, 
securing one, and while descending the Mackenzie saw one near the 
mouth of Nahanni River June 3. On May 14, 1905, H. W. Jones 
took a male at Willow River, near Fort Providence. 



« Water Birds N. A., II, pp. 1>7(>. 277, 1S.S4. 
ftProc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 428, 181)1. 
<^ Cat. Canadian Birds, l»art I, pp. 173, 174, 1900. 
*Auk, XXV, p. 70, 1908. 



828 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

Richardson gives a description of one killed at Oreat Bear Lake 
May 14, 1826 ; " Ross listed the species as occurring commonly in the 
Mackenzie River region north to Fort Simpson, where he had taken 
it.* A specimen (No. 19952) collected by him at Fort Simpson May 
30, 1860, is still in the National Museum. Baird, Brewer, and Ridg- 
way record the capture of the species at Fort Rae and Big Island.^ 
Macoun, under the name solitarius^ states that Spreadborough saw 
numbers in the spring of 1897 at Edmonton, where he believed they 
were breeding, and found the birds breeding at Jasper Lake, Al- 
berta, in July, 1898.' Raine has recently recorded the discovery of 
three sets of eggs of the solitary sandpiper in northern [now central] 
Alberta in the smnmers of 1903 and 1904.* 

While collecting in the mountains 15 miles south of Henry House, 
Alberta, July 19, 1896, J. Alden Loring took a young bird of this 
form. It was accompanied by the female parent, which was not 
secured, but the male was taken on the following day. The birds 
were in a meadow which had formerly been a beaver pond. 

Catoptrophoms semipalmatiu inomatns (Brewster). Western Willet 
This bird, a plains species, reaches the district now under review 
only in Alberta. Merritt Cary heard its notes at Edmonton, May 9, 
1903. Macoun records young found by Dippie at Buffalo Lake, July 
4, 1895, and specimens taken by Spreadborough at Edmonton in the 
spring of 1897/ 

Bartramia longicanda (Bechst.). Bartramian Sandpiper. 

The upland plover occurs in small numbers in suitable places over 
nearly the entire region and evidently breeds throughout its Cana- 
dian range. In 1901 we met with it only in the vicinity of Fort 
Smith. Here I secured a female in a field on June 21, and while 
hunting on the ' prairies ' several miles to the westward of the p>ost 
June 24 collected a male. He was first observed on the top of a dead 
tree at some distance away, but soon left his perch and circled past 
me, whistling loudly. His gullet was filled with grasshoppers. 

In 1903 we heard the notes of this bird a few miles north of Ed- 
monton May 12, and saw 4 individuals in the valley of Sturgeon 
River May 13. During their return trip my brother and Cary noted 
the species at Athabaska Landing, where it was migrating abun- 

Fauna Boreal i-Americana, II, p. 393, 1831. 
^Nat. Hist. Uev., II (second ser.), p. 285, 1882. 
^ Water Rlrds N. A., I, p. 280, 1884. 
^ Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 173, 1900. 
^Ottawa Naturalist, XVIII, pp. 135-138, 1904. 
f Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 17G, 1900. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 829 

dantly, August 31 to September 3. Concerning this species Baird, 
Brewer, and Ridgway say : 

Mr. R. MacDonald noticed it breeding among tlie mountains west of the lower 
Mackenzie, and Mr. J. M'Dougall iuet with it in the Gens de Large Mountains, 
200 mileB northeast of the Yu]{on.<> 

Macoun says: 

This species is an abundant summer resident in the whole prairie region 
• ♦ ♦ from the International Boundary to latitude 54° in the eastern part of 
the region, and northwesterly to far north of the o\)en prairies of the Peace 
River. 

He also records a specimen taken at Edmonton by Spreadborough 
and a set of eggs obtained by J. B. Tyrrell in nor,thern [now central] 
Alberta July 1, 1886.^ 

Tryngites sabraflcollis (VieilL). Buff-breasted Sandpiper. 

This beautiful sandpiper migrates through the wooded portion of 
the region and breeds on the Barren Grounds. During our investi- 
gations we met with it but once, noting several on the Quatre 
Fourches marsh, near Fort Chipewyan, May 24, 1901. A mounted 
specimen in the museum at Fort Simpson was procured some years 
ago at Fort Rae. 

Ross noted the species as having been collected at Fort Simpson ; ^ 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that MacFarlane found upward of 
20 nests on the Barren Grounds between Horton River and the Arctic 
coast between June 26 and July 9 and describe eggs taken by him.'' 
A specimen (No. 19954) taken by Ross at Fort Simpson, May 29, 
1860, is still in the National Museum, and the bird catalogue shows 
that skins were received also from Fort Rae and Big Island. Frank 
Russell took one at Herschel Island, August 13, 1894.<^ 

Actitis maonlaria (Linn.). Spotted Sandpiper. 

Abundant and generally distributed throughout the region as far 
north as the limit of trees. In the season of 1901 we first saw it 
near Athabaska Landing May 6, and noted it almost daily while 
descending the river to Athabaska Lake May 6 to 17. We observed 
it near Fort Chipewyan May 23, and near the outlet of Athabaska 
Lake June 2 to 4. While collecting along the Rocher and Slave 
rivers between Athabaska Lake and Smith Landing, June 5 to 18, we 
saw numbers daily. The first nests were seen on a sandy island 25 
miles below the Peace June 8. We found it common at Fort Smith 
June 19 to 28 and saw several nests on the shelving banks of the 



• Water Birds N. A., I, p. 297, 1884. 
*Cat. Canadian Birds. Part I, p. 178, 1900. 
^'Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 285, 1862. 

* Water Birds N. A., I, j). 308, 1884. 
« Bxpl. in Far North, p. 259, 1898. 



J 



830 NORTH AHEBICAN FAUNA. l»a 

river. We saw numbers daily, the old birds now usually accompinxd 
by young, along Slave River between Fort Smith and Fort Besoh- 
tion June 29 to July 4. The species was noted by my brother swwl 
times at Fort Resolution during July, and I saw a few individuikai 
islets in Great Slave Lake near I.<oon Island July 10. AVhile ascod- 
ing Slave and Athabaska rivers by steamer we seldom saw the 
bird, but while traveling by boats up the Athabaska betweoi Fort 
MeMurray and Athabaska Landing, August 10 to 29, we obsemd 
the species nearly every day. 

In 1903 we found spotted simdpipers abundant on the Athabaib, 
noting them nearly every day between Athabaska Landing and Fort 
Chipewyan May 16. to June 2. They were abundant also along our 
route to Fort Resolution. The first nest, containing four eggs, wis 
found at Smith Landing June 10. The species was occasionally seen 
at Fort Resolution during the latter part of June. My brother and 
Cary found it common at Hay River June 28 to July 1, at Fort 
Providence July 3 to 8, and near the mouth of Nahanni River July 
11 to 19, noting young birds about a week old on the former date. 
They observed the species also near Fort Wrigley July 20. On their 
return trip they saw several flocks near Nahanni River July 23 and 
frequently observed it on the Slave and Athabaska. It was abra- 
dant at Red River August 6, Fort McMuiTay August 8 to 11, and 
Brule Rapid August 18, and was last observed at Athabaska Land- 
ing Septeml)er 3. During my trip northward from Fort Rae, after 
the division of the party, I observed the species on Lake Marian July 
30, Grandin River August. 2, 3, and 4, Sarahk Lake August C ami 7. 
and a few miles south of MacTavish Bay, Great Bear Lake, August 
li,*). While ascending the Mackenzie I saw a single bird about Gravel 
River OctolK^r 5, and another, or jx?rhaps the same individual, a few 
miles farther on, October (>. 

In the spring of 1J)04 the spotted sandpiper was fii'st observed at 
Willow River, near Fort Providence, May 17, by J. W. Mills. At 
Fort Simj)son I first saw the species May 19, noting it about a small 
l)ond in the woods. It was next seen May 21 and 23, and was ob- 
served nearly every day during the remainder of the month. While 
descending the Mackenzie during June I noted numbers nearly even- 
day. The first nest, not (juite finished, was seen near Fort Norman 
June 10. The sj)ecies was common at Fort McPherson during the 
first half of July, and e^^ were collected July 7. While I was as- 
cending the Mackenzie during the latter part of July the species was 
common along its entire course, and it was observed nearly every day 
along the Athabaska between Fort MeMurray and La Biche River 
August 10 to 31. 



MM.] BIRDS. SSI 

Although this widely distributed species is found in suitable locali- 
^ throughout the wooded portion of the region, Richardson, for 
3nme reason, did not note it, at least during his earlier journeys. 
Boss found it abundant along the Mackenzie, collecting it at Fort 
Simpson." MacFarlane found it abundant along Anderson and 
Lockhart rivers.'^ Seton records the bird from Clinton-Colden and 
Aylmer lakes, where it was observed in mid-August, 1907.*' The 
catalogue of the birds in the National Museum records specimens 
irom Peace River, Slave River, Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, Big 
bland, Fort Norman, Great Bear Lake, and Peel River. Eggs were 
gent to the Smithsonian from Lesser Slave Lake by Strachan Jones 
in 1868, and from Pelican Lake, eastern Saskatchewan, by H. 
IfacKay, who took them there in June, I89I. 

In 1896 J. Alden Loring found the species common and breeding 
iuring the early summer all along the trail from Edmonton to Jas- 
per House, on July 15 discovered a nest containing four eggs 15 
miles south of Henry House, and during the late summer and early 
autumn found the bird common on all the streams and lakes between 
Jasper House and Smoky River. 

Vnmenius americanns Bechstein. Long-billed Curlew. 

A mounted specimen, catalogued as having been taken at Fort 
Simpson some years ago, is in the museum of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany at Fort Simpson. This curlew inhabits the northern plains 
and seldom wanders north of their borders. 

Vumenins hndsonicns Lath. Hudsonian Curlew. 

A male was taken at my camp on Great Bear Lake east of I^eith 
Point September 30, 1903. This bird, the only one observed, had 
been feeding on the berries of Empetrum nigrum, 

Ross recorded this species from Great Slave Lake, where he regarded 
it as rare;** and the bird catalogue of the National Museum records 
a specimen from Big Island. Eggs were brought to MacFarlane by 
the Eskimo from the Barren Grounds to the westward of the lower 
Anderson River, and have been described by Coues.<' In notes sent 
to the Smithsonian MacFarlane records one seen at Fort Anderson 
May 29, 1865. A mounted specimen taken at Fort Simpson some 
years ago is in the museum at that place. 

«Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.). p. 285, 18«2. 
» Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 428, 1891. 
«Auk, XXV, p. 70, 1JK)8. 

<Nat. Hist. Rev., II ( second ser.), p. 200, 18G2. 
« Birds of the Northwest, p. 494, 1874. 



830 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA, [ho. 27. 

river. We saw numbers daily, the old birds now usually accompanied 
by young, along Slave River between Fort Smith and Fort Resolu- 
tion June 29 to July 4. The species was noted by my brother several 
times at Fort Resolution during July, and I saw a few individuals on 
islets in Great Slave Lake near I>oon Island July 10. ^Vhile ascend- 
ing Slave and Athabaska rivers by steamer we seldom saw the 
bird, but while traveling by boats up the Athabaska between Fort 
McMurray and Athabaska Landing, August 10 to 29, we obser\'ed 
the species nearly every day. 

In 1903 we found spotted sandpipers abundant on the Athabaska, 
noting them nearly every day between Athabaska Landing and Fort 
Chipewyan May 16. to June 2. They were abundant also along our 
route to Fort Resolution. The first nest, containing four eggs, was 
found at Smith Landing June 10. The species was occasionally seen 
at Fort Resolution during the latter part of June. My brother and 
Gary found it common at Hay River June 28 to July 1, at Fort 
Providence July 3 to 8, and near the mouth of Nahanni River July 
11 to 19, noting young birds about a week old on the former date. 
They observed the species also near Fort Wrigley July 20. On their 
return trip they saw several flocks near Nahanni River July 23 and 
frequently observed it on the Slave and Athabaska. It was abun- 
dant at Red River August 6, Fort McMurray August 8 to 11, and 
Brule Rapid August 18, and was last observed at Athabaska Land- 
ing September 3. During my trip northward from Fort Rae, after 
the division of the party, I observed the species on Lake Marian July 
30, Grandin River August. 2, 3, and 4, Sarahk Lake August C and 7, 
and a few miles south of MacTavish Bay, Great Bear Lake, August 
25. While ascending the Mackenzie I saw a single bird about Gravel 
River Octolx*r 5, and another, or perhaps the same individual, a few 
miles farther on, October (>. 

In the spring of 1904 the spotted sandpiper was first observed at 
Willow River, near Fort Providence, May 17, by J. W. Mills. At 
Fort Simpson I first saw the species May 19, noting it about a small 
pond in the woods. It was next seen May 21 and 23, and was ob- 
served nearly every day during the remainder of the month. ^Miile 
descending the Mackenzie during June I noted numbers nearly every 
day. The first nest, not quite finished, was seen near Fort Norman 
June 10. The species was common at Fort MePherson during the 
fii-st half of July, and eggs were collected July 7. While I was as- 
cending the Mackenzie during the latter part of July the species was 
common along its entire course, and it was observed nearly every day 
along the Athabaska between Fort McMurray and La Biche River 
August 10 to 31. 



1908.] BIRDS. 831 

Although this widely distributed species is found in suitable locali- 
ties throughcfut the wooded portion of the region, Richardson, for 
some reason, did not note it, at least during his earlier journeys. 
Ross found it abundant along the Mackenzie, collecting it at Fort 
Simpson." MacFarlane found it abundant along Anderson and 
Lockhart rivers.'' Seton records the bird from Clinton-Colden and 
Aylmer lakes, where it was observed in mid-August, 1907.*^ The 
catalogue of the birds in the National Museum records specimens 
from Peace River, Slave River, Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, Big 
Island, Fort Norman, Great Bear Lake, and Peel River. Eggs were 
sent to the Smithsonian from Lesser Slave Lake by Strachan Jones 
in 1868, and from Pelican Lake, eastern Saskatchewan, by H. 
MacKay, who took them there in June, 1891. 

In 1896 J. Alden Loring found the species common and breeding 
during the early summer all along the trail from Edmonton to Jas- 
per House, on July 15 discovered a nest containing four eggs 15 
miles south of Henry House, and during the late summer and early 
autumn found the bird common on all the streams and lakes between 
Jasper House and Smoky River. 

Hnmenins americanns Bechstein. Long-billed Curlew. 

A mounted specimen, catalogued as having been taken at Fort 
Simpson some years ago, is in the museum of (he Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany at Fort Simpson. This curlew inhabits the northern plains 
and seldom wanders north of their borders. 

Hnmenins hndsonicns Lath. Hudsonian Curlew. 

A male was taken at my camp on Great Bear Lake east of Leith 
Point September 30, 1903. This bird, the only one observed, had 
been feeding on the berries of Empetrum nigrum. 

Ross recorded this species from Great Slave Lake, where he regarded 
it as rare ; ^ and the bird catalogue of the National Museum records 
a specimen from Big Island. Eggs were brought to MacFarlane by 
the Eskimo from the Barren Grounds to the westward of the lower 
Anderson River, and have been described by Coues.^ In notes sent 
to the Smithsonian MacFarlane records one seen at Fort Anderson 
May 29, 1865. A mounted specimen taken at Fort Simpson some 
years ago is in the museum at that place. 

«Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 285, 1862. 

»Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 428, 1891. 

« Auk, XXV, p. 70. 11K)8. 

*Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second wt.), p. 2tK), 1862. 

« Birds of the Northwest, p. 494, 1874. 



332 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. I3ia27. 

Numenius borealis (Forst.). Eskimo Curlew. 

A melancholy interest attaches to this species, which evidently has 
become practically exterminated within the past few years, although 
formerly enormously abundant and fairly common up to about 1890. 
It was first recorded from this region by Richardson, who says: 
*' On the 18th of June, 1822 [ 1821]. I discovered one of these curlews 
hatching on three eggs on the shore of Point Lake." " He met with 
the birds also at Fort Franklin, Great Bear Lake, late in Ma^'^, 1849, 
when they were feeding on large ants.^ Kennicott mentions taking 
one at Fort Resolution May 26, 1860.*' MacFarlane found the species 
bret»ding abundantly on the Barren Grounds to the eastward of Fort 
Anderson, where some thirty sets of eggs were taken.* In not«s sent 
to the Smithsonian he states that the species arrived at Fort Andw- 
hon on May 27, 1865. The bird catalogue of the National Museum 
records skins from Fort Resolution, Big Island, Fort Simpson, Ander- 
son River, and Rendezvous Lake. Sharpe records a specimen from 
Fort Good Ho|>e/ 

Sqnatarola sqnatarola (Linn.). Black-bellied Plover. 

This handsome plover migrates through the Athabaska and Mac- 
kenzie region and associates to some extent with the golden plover, 
but is much less conunon than that species. It breeds on the Barren 
Grounds. 

In the spring of 1901 we noted the black-bellied plover only on 
the Quatre Fourches marsh, near Fort Chipewyan, where a small 
flock was seen May 28. 

In 1908 we ol)scrve(l a flock of about 25 near Sturgeon River May 
12. The sjM^cies was not again seen until September 5, when I took 
a female on the shore of (ireat Bear Lake east of Leith Point. It 
was in ('(>ini)any with a small flock of golden plovers and had been 
feeding on Kmpctnon l)erries. 

In the nniseuni at Fort Simpson is a specimen obtained at that 
place some years ago. 

J. C. Ross recorded this bird as breeding near Somerset House 
(Fury Point), and as taken near Felix Harl)or.^ B. R. Ross recorded 
it from the Mackenzie River region, where he regarded it as rare.*' 
Bainl, Brewer, and Ridgway state that MacFarlane found it brei»d- 
ing on islands in Franklin Bay, where he took eggs on July 4 and 5, 



Fanna Horenli-Ainerieana, II, p. 378, 1831. 

«» Arctic Scarcliing ExiKHUtion, II. p. 108, 1851. 

'"Trans, rhica^o Acad. Sci., I, p. 172, 1869. 

^ Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 429, 1891. 

^(\it. Hirds Hrit. Miis., XXIV, \\ 370, 1896. 

^ Appendix to Hoss's Second Voyage, p. xxx. 1835. 

f'Nat. Hist. Kev., II (second ser.). p. 285, 1862. 



1908.] BIRDS. 

1864, and in 1865.« Sharpe records sj^eciniens taken at Fort Simpson 
iiUsA Fort Resolution.'^ The bird catalogue of the National Museum 
records a specimen from Fort Rae; another from Fort Resolution, 
taken June 2, 1860, by Kennicott ; and one taken on the Arctic coast 
east of Fort Anderson July 8, 1865, by MacFarlane, and labeled as 
the parent of four eggs, are still in the collection. Russell took one 
June 8, 1893, at Fort Chipewyan;^ Macoun records one taken at Ed- 
monton in May, 1897.*' 

CSharadrius dominicns Miill. American Golden Plover. 

In 1903 I first saw this species on Great Bear Lake east of Ijeith 
Point August 28. Here it was common until September 6, an^ a 
number of specimens were collected. The birds kept in small flocks, 
sometimes frequenting the sandy beach, but usually frequenting the 
semibarren rocky areas, where they fattened on berries. After leav- 
ing this place I noted the species 40 miles east of McVicar Bay 
September 12, and lastly near Manito Islands September 14. 

In the spring of 1904 I first noted golden plovers at Fort Simpson 
on May 19, when two or three flocks, aggregating about 50 indi- 
viduals, were seen flying northward along the Mackenzie. On May 
21 a flock of 9, comprising both sexes, made its appearance on the 
fields about the post and remained during the rest of the month. 
A female from this flock was collected May 28, and others of both 
sexes were taken on May 25 and 30. A. F. Camsell informed me that 
a flock almost invariably lingered about the fields for a week or so 
during each spring. 

Edward Sabine, probably referring particularly to Melville Islanff, 
states that this species breeds in considerable abundance in swampy 
parts of the North Georgia Islands.^ 

J. C. Ross states that this species arrived at Port Bowen, Prince 
Regent Inlet, about the middle of May, 1825; f he later reports it as 
breeding abundantly at Felix Harbor.^ Walker records eggs taken at 
Port Kennedy in June, 1859.* Armstrong mentions that the species 
was shot near Princess Royal Islands, Prince of Wales Strait, June 7, 
1851; ' and that it was frequently taken at Mercy Bay, Banks Land, 
early in June, 1852.^ Doctor Rae saw golden plovers near Admiralty 

« Water Birds X. A., I, pp. 136, 137, 1884. 

*Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., XXIV, p. 11)0, 1896. 

<^Expl. In Far North, p. 259, 1898. 

<»Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 185, KKX). 

«Suppl. to Api^endix Parry's First Voyage, p. cxcix, 1824. 

/Parry's Third Voyage. Appendix, p. 102. 1826. 

^Appendix to Ross's Second Voyage, p. xxx, 1835. 

*Proc. Roy. Soc. Dnblin, III, pp. 63, 1860. - 

* Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 346, 1857. 

^Ibld., p. 625, 1857. 



334 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. Ixa27. 

Island, All)ert Edward Bay, Victoria Land, August 15, 1851, when 
they were migrating toward the southeast.® Kennicott noted the 
species arriving in large flocks at Fort Resolution May 23, 18t>0.* 
Ross listed it as abundant in the Mackenzie River region north to the 
Arctic coast, and as having been collected at Fort Simpson.*" Mac- 
Farlane found it abundant throughout the Barren Grounds in the 
Anderson River region, discovering upward of 170 nests.* Russell 
records two specimens, one taken at Fort Chipewyan June 1, 1893, 
and one at Herschel Island August 13, 1894, on which date the species 
arrived from the northwest.* Macoun records two specimens taken 
at Edmonton in May, 1897, by Spreadborough ; ^ and J. Alden Loring 
re]K)rted that he saw three at the same place September 23, 1894, and 
took one. The bird catalogue of the National Museum records speci- 
mens from Fort Rae, Fort Resolution, Big Island, Fort Halkett, La 
Pierre House, and Fort Simpson, one from the latter locality having 
been taken September 10, 1800. Two specimens, one from Big Island, 
and another, a male, taken at Fort Simpson May 26, 1860, are still 
in the collection. Reed records eggs taken at Peel River, ^\jrctic 
America, June 1, 1898, by C. E. WTiittaker.^ 

Oxyechns Yocif ems (Linn.). Killdeer. 

This widely distributed species occurs regularly, though not com- 
monly, north to the region of Great Slave Lake and in all proba- 
bility farther. We saw three individuals about a marshy spot on the 
plains 15 miles north of Edmonton May 1, 1901. 

In 1903 we noted the killdeer near Edmonton May 12, found it 
common along our route a few miles north of Sturgeon River May 
13, and saw a few 60 miles north of Edmonton May 14. It was next 
observed at Smith Landing June 12, three being seen on the flat near 
the post. Two or threi*. the last individuals noted, were seen at Fort 
Resolution June 25. 

Specimens of lx)th birds and eggs were received by the Smith- 
sonian from Lesser Slave Lake, where Strachan Jones collected them 
in 1868. Macoun records specimens of the birds from Edmonton, 
as well as eggs taken by Spreadborough at the same place, May 19, 
1897.* 



'^.Toiirn. Royal Geog. Soc., p. 01, 1852. 

^ Trans. Chicago Acad. Sci.. I, p. 171. 1860. 

<^Nat. Hist. Kev., II (second aer.), p. 284, 1862. 

tfproc. r. S. Nat. Mus.. XIV, p. 429, 1891. 

<'KxpI. in Far North, p. 2.^)0, 1898. 

^('at. Canadian Hinls, I»art I, p. 187, 1900. 

^N. A. Birds' K^KS, p. 127, 11H)4. 

*Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 189, 1900. 



1908.] BIRDS. 835 

iEg^alitis semipalmata Bonap. Semipalinated Plover. 

First noted May 23, 1901, when a number were seen on the shore 
of the lake near Fort Chipewyan. The species was next met with on 
some low, sandy islands in the lower part of Slave River, where 
several pairs, undoubtedly breeding, were seen July 3. It was not 
again noted until we were ascending the Athabaska, where several 
migrants were seen at Middle Rapid, 40 miles below Grand Rapid, 
on August 15, and several above Pelican Rapid August 24. 

J. C. Ross reports this species as abundant in summer on 
Boothia « Walker records several taken in June and July, 1859, at 
Port Kennedy.* Kennicott mentions taking this species at^ Fort 
Resolution on May 23, 1860.*^ Ross listed it as common in the Mac- 
kenzie River region and as having been collected at Fort Simpson ; <* 
MacFarlane found it quite common on the Arctic coast [Franklin 
Bay], along Anderson and Lockhart rivers, and between Fort Ander- 
son and Fort Good Hope.^ Sharpe records specimens from Fort 
Simpson and Horton River/ The bird catalogue of the National 
Museum shows that specimens were received from Slave River, Big 
Island, Fort Resolution, Fort Simpson, and Franklin Bay. Russell 
records two specimens taken June 2 and 12, 1893, at Fort Chipewyan, 
where he regarded it as not common.^ Seton records the bird as 
breeding on Artillery Lake in 1907.* 

iEgialitis hiaticula (Linn.). Ring Plover. 

This wide-ranging plover, a regular breeder about Greenland, 
Cumberland Gulf, and other localities in that region, is included 
among the birds of the Mackenzie region on the authority of Baird, 
Brewer, and Ridgway, who state: "An undoubted specimen of it 
has been taken at great Slave Lake." * 

Arenaria interpres morinella (Linn.). Ruddy Turnstone. 

This showy species occurs in the Mackenzie apparently only in 
spring, as it is migrating to its breeding grounds on the shores and 
islands of the Arctic Sea. 

"While we were coasting along the north shore of Athabaska Lake, 
about 10 miles northeast of Fort Chipewyan. May 25, 1901, we saw 

« Appendix to Ross's Second Voyage, p. xxx, 1835, 
^Proc. Roy. Soc-. Dublin, III, i>. fW, 186(). 
« Trans. Chicago Acad. Sci., I, p. 171. 1860. 
^'Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 284, 1862. 
«Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus.. XIV, p. 430, 1891. 
^Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., XXIV, p. 253, 1896. 
^Expl. In Far North, p. 260, 1898. 
»Auk, XXV, p. 70, 1908. 
< Water Birds N. A., I, p. 158, 1884. 



836 NORTH AMEBICAN FAUNA. [ko. 27. 

two or three small companies, aggregating about 20 individuals, feed- 
ing on the floating fields of ice. Two males and a female in fresh 
spring plumage were taken. Their stomachs were filled with insects, 
mainly beetles, which they had evidently picked up on the ice. 

In the spring of 1904 I first observed the tumstone at Fort Simp- 
son, May 29, when a solitary female was secured. Snow was falling, 
and several inches had already accumulated on the river shore, but 
the bird did not seem to be much troubled by these conditions. I 
next noted the species June 7, observing a flock of about 50 near 
Fort Wrigley. They were feeding on a broad stretch of muddy 
shore. 

Uiider the name Strepsilas collaris^ Edward Sabine recorded speci- 
mens from the North Georgia Islands [probably Melville Island], 
where the species was stated to breed.** Doctor Rae, while traveling 
along the southern coast of Victoria Land, in August, 1851, observed 
old and young birds, indicating that the species breeds on that const.* 
J. C. Ross states that one was seen at Felix Harbor in early July, 
and others between Victoria Harbor and Fury Point, Boothia, in 
June.*' MacFarlane refers to the species in the Anderson River 
region as follows: 

In June, 1864, a dozen birds were observed at Fort Anderson, and one was 
shot. The species breeds on the shores of Liverpool and Franklin bays, and 
on the lower Anderson River. Several nests were secured In the latter region; 
but none were met with in the Barren Grounds.* 

Under the name Strepsilas interpres^ Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway 
record specimens received from Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, Big 
Island, Fort Simpson, Fort Anderson, and the lower Anderson 
River.^ A specimen from Fort Anderson collected June 10, 1864, 
one from Fort Resolution taken June 1, 1860, by Kennicott, and one 
from Big Island, are still in the National Museum. 

Dendragapus obscurns richardsoni (Dough). Richardson Grouse. 

This large and handsome grouse inhabits the Rocky Mountains 
and reaches the vicinity of the Mackenzie only among the spurs of 
that range. Our records are the most northerly for this region, 
though the species may exist still farther to the northward among 
the unexplored ranges. Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Gary, while 
collecting on Mount Tha-on'-tha, near the mouth of Nahanni River, 
July 16, 1908, took an adult male and female and two young birds. 
They were found near the summit of the mountain, where the timber 

« Suppl. to Appendix Parry's First Voyage^ p. cc, 1824. 
^Canadian Record of Science, III. p. 135, 1888. 
^'ApiKjndix to Ross's Second Voyage, p. xxxi, 18S5. 
<»Pioc. U. S. Nat. Mus.. XI V, p. 430, 1891. 
« Water Birds N. A., I, p. 123, 1884. 



r 



1»08.] BIBDS. 337 

was dwarfed and scrubby. The Indian guide reported the species 
common on the foothills west of Fort Simpson and on all the moun- 
tains along Liard Biver. 

On June 4, 1904, while collecting near the simmiit of the same 
mountain, I flushed and killed an adult male. Its crop was filled 
with leaves of low willows {Salix myrtUUfolia) , berries of mountain 
cranberry {Vitisidcsa vitisidoMi), and berries and flowers of bearberry 
(Arcto8tapht/lo8 uvaursi). 

This well-marked form was first described by David Douglas under 
the name Tetrao richardsoni^ from specimens collected by him in 
the Rocky Mountains near the sources of the Athabaska.® Two years 
later Richardson described a male taken by Drummond "on the 
Kooky Mountains,-' probably not far from where Douglas collected 
his specimens. '^ The next important note on the species which I 
find is also by Richardson, who refers to the bird under the name 
* Tetrao Sayi^ stating that it " has not been killed farther north than 
the Nohhan^ Bute."^ Ross listed T. richardsani as being found 
north to Fort Halkett " only in the mountains." * Specimens from 
Fort Halkett are still in the National Museum. Ogilvie-Grant lists 
specimens in the British Museum from the same place and from Fort 
Simpson ; • and the National Museum bird catalogue shows that skins 
were received also from Fort Liard and the mountains west of Fort 
Simpson. The British Museum specimens also, listed by Ogilvie- 
Grant from Fort Simpson, in all probability were taken in the moun- 
tains to the westward. 

J. Alden Loring collected a pair near Jasper House, Alberta, Au- 
gust 27, 1895. In 1896 he reported seeing a female with young 15 
miles south of Henry House in July, and speaks of shooting four 
individuals near the head of Grand Cache River, 60 miles north of 
Jasper House, late in August. He collected a female 15 miles west 
of Henry House on October 12. 

MacFarlane writes me that a Richardson grouse was shot at Fort 
Providence on March 20, 1885. 

Canachitefl canadensis (Linn.). Hudsonian Spruce Grouse. 

Though foimd throughout the region, this species was not noted 
during our 1901 trip until we reached Fort Qiipewyan, where a 
female was taken May 21. It was uncommon in the immediate 
vicinity of that post, but at Point La Brie, on the north shore of the 

• Trans. Linn. Soc. London, XVI, p. 141, 1829. 

* Fauna Boreall-Americana, II, p. 345, 1831. 

<» Arctic Searching Expedition, I, p. 179, 1851. 
*Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 283, 1862. 
*Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., XXII, p. 77, 1893. 

44131— No. 27— 08 22 



338 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

lake 12 miles to the northeastward, we found it abundant in the 
spruce woods May 25 to 30, and took several specimens. The crop 
of one killed May 29 was filled with l)erries of ArvtoxtaphyloH vm- 
ursL We next met with the species 25 miles below Peace River June 
12. At Fort Smith females with young a few days old were seen 
June ±4: and 25. At Fort Resolution my brother noted it 3\\\\ 20 and 
22. While we were ascending the Athabaska we saw one at Big 
Cascade Rapid August 13, and a brood at Grand Rapid August 2*j. 

In 1903 we did not observe the spruce partridge until June 22, when 
several were seen at Fort Resolution. The stomach of one contained, 
besides a small quantity of gravel, only spruce leaves. ]^Iy brother 
and Gary noted the species at Fort Providence July 6, and on the 
mountain near the mouth of Nahanni River July 13, taking one on 
the latter date. While crossing Great Slave Lake I took a female, 
with young just ready to fly, on one of the islands of the Simpson 
Group, July 20. Its crop contained leaves of fern (Cryptogramma 
acrostichoides) and berries of a blueberry {Vaccinvjm uUginosum)^ 
and of the mountain cranberry {Vitmd(va mtisid(pa). Other fe- 
males, also with young, were noted near (Jros Cape on July 23 and 
24. During my trip northward from Fort Rae I noted the s}>ecies on 
Lake St. Croix, August 11, and on Lake Hardisty, August 18, noting 
a single bird on each occasion. One was observed near our camp east 
of Leith Point on September 5. At Fort Franklin I took a male, 
the only one seen there, September 22. It had just risen from the 
margin of a small inlet, and its crop contained several niollusks 
{Lymnfpa palustris)^ which it had just picked up. I saw several 
birds in the possession of a hunter encamped near the rapid on Bear 
River, where the species was re|X)rted common, on September 29. 
While ascending the Mackenzie the species was observed above Na- 
hanni River, October 15, and a short distance below Fort Simpson. 
October 19 and 20. The crops of three shot near Nahanni River, 
October 15, contained nothing but leaves of spruce {Picea canadensh). 
At Fort Simpson I occasionally observed the species during November 
and December, usually in spruce or pine woods. A pair taken on 
October 25, and a single one on November 14, had filled their crops 
with the leaves of Banksian pine {Pinus divaricata).' 

During the first three months of 1904 this bird was seldom ob- 
served, but several were taken early in April. Their crops contained 
nothing but leaves of Pinus divaHcata. The birds were always found 
singly or in twos, and were very tame. As a result, by this time they 
were practically exterminated in the vicinity of the post, and were 
not observed during the remainder of the spring. 

Six eggs, perhaps an incomplete set, taken at Fort Simpson, May 29, 
1905, have recently been received from J. W. Mills. He writes that 



« Fort Simpson and Fort Chli^ewyan siiecimens are referable to C. c. osgoodL 



1908.] BIRDS. 339 

the nest was a small hollow at the base of a cUimp of willows, and 
that the eggs were fresh. 

This species occurs throughout the region nearly to the limits of 
the forest, and figures frequently in the narratives of northern travel. 
Franklin noted it about Fort Franklin, Great Bear Lake, about the 
last of October, 1825 ; « Douglas stated that occasionally a solitary 
individual was seen near the sources of the Athabaska, and that the 
species abounded about Lesser Slave Lake ; ^ Richardson described a 
male "killed on the eastern declivity of the Rocky Mountains" 
[probably in the Jasper House region], and figured the head of a 
female from Great Bear Lake ; <^ Ross listed the species as occurring 
in the Mackenzie River region north to the Arctic coast, and as having 
been collected at Fort Simpson ; «* Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway de- 
scribe eggs from Fort Resolution, collected by Kennicott; ^ MacFar- 
lane frequently observed the species in the forested country to the 
southward of Fort Anderson.^ The bird catalogue of the National 
Museum records skins sent by various officers of the Hudson's Bay 
Company about forty years ago from Methye Portage, Fort Resolu- 
tion, Fort Rae, Big Island, Fort Simpson, mountains west of Fort 
Simpson, Fort Liard, and Fort Halkett; skins from Fort Rae, Fort 
Resolution, and Liard River are still in the collection. Bendire 
records eggs taken by Ross near Fort Simpson as early as May 23 ; ^ 
eggs taken by H. MacKay at the Hudson's Bay Post on Pelican Lake, 
eastern Saskatchewan, in June, 1891, were received by the National 
Museum through MacFarlane. 

During his trip to western Alberta in 1895 J. Alden Loring took a 
miale about 40 miles west of Henry House October 1. In this region 
the range of the Hudsonian spruce grouse overlaps that of the 
Franklin grouse, a closely related species. In 1896 he took speci- 
mens of the former 100 miles west of Edmonton about May 30, re- 
ported the species as common in the foothills and valleys between 
Jasper House and Smoky River August 20 to October 8, and took a 
male and female in the Blueberry Hills, on the Jasper House trail, 
about 100 miles west of Edmonton, on October 29. 

Canachitefl franklini (Dougl.). Franklin Grouse. 

The Franklin grouse occurs within the area now under review only 
about the headwaters of the Athabaska, where its range overlaps 
slightly that of the spruce grouse. It was first described by Douglas 

o Narrative Second Expedition to Polar Sea, p. 60, 1828. 
* Trans. Linn. Soc. London. XVI, p. 147, 1829. 
^ Fauna Boreal 1-^Vmericana, II, pp. 847, 348, 1831. 
*Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 283, 1862. 
^'Hlst. N. A. Birds, Land Birds, III, p. 418, 1874. 
f Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 430, 1891. 
i'Life Hist. N. A. Birds [I], p. 56, 1892. 



340 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

from specimens taken by him in the Rocky Mountains near the 
sources of Columbia River.® Two years later Richardson described 
a male taken by Drummond near the sources of the Athabaska, in 
the same region.* J. Alden Loring took males at Banff, Alberta, 
August 26 and 28, 1894. He took a female about 40 miles west of 
Henry House on October 1, 1895, and a male 15 miles west of Henry 
House on October 18, 1896. Macoun states that Spreadborough 
reported the species common about Jasper House in the summer of 
1898.*' 

Bonasa umbellus umbelloides (Dougl.). Gray Ruffed Grouse. 

The ruffed grouse occurs commonly in the wooded parts of the 
region north to Great Slave Lake, and to about latitude 63° on the 
Mackenzie. In 1901 it was seen or heard nearly every day along the 
road between Edmonton and Athabaska Landing April 29 to May 5, 
and along the Athabaska between the Landing and the mouth of the 
river, May 6 to 17. The birds were especially abundant along the 
Athabaska from the mouth of Red River to within a short distance 
of Athabaska Lake, and their drumming was heard almost con- 
stantly, several being frequently noted at once. On the evening of 
May 15 several females were seen hurriedly gathering a supper of 
the buds of the balsam poplar. They had probably left their nests 
to fill their crops with the food most readily available. 

At our several camps near Fort Chipewyan we found the species 
fairly abundant May 18 to June 5. On May 25 and 26 I observed 
a male in the act of drumming. He had several drumming stands 
within a distance of 25 yards in rather heavy mixed woods. If dis- 
turbed at one place he was s(K)n heard at another, but owing to the 
surrounding vegetation I was able to observe him plainly at but 
one of these stands, and there only after a careful and tedious ap- 
proach through a mosquito-infested muskeg. While drumming he 
stood erect on the log, and his wings, not extended to their full length, 
but held about half open, were raised above the back and brought 
downward against the body, at the end of the stroke apparently o<!- 
cupying the same position that they ordinarily do when closed. 
During the intervals between the dnmimings he walked slowly back 
and forth on the log, holding himself erect, with his feathers closely 
compressed to the body. He was oblivious of my presence, and 1 
watched him from a distance of 20 yards until the mosquitoes over- 
came my enthusiasm. 

The species was noted near the mouth of Peace River June 5, and 
was fairly common, June 7 to 11, at our camp 10 miles below the 

o Trans. Linn. Soc. London, XVI, p. 139, 1829. 
^ Fanna Boreal i-^Vniericana. II, p. 349, 1831. 
^Cat. Canadian Birds, Pait I, p. 201, 1900. 



1908.1 BIBDS. 841 

mouth of Peace River, where two males were taken. At this place 
we pitched our camp within 5 yards of the stand of an old drummer. 
Soon after sunset he came to drum, but not relishing the proximity 
of our camp, walked away after clucking a protest. He was so loath 
to forsake his accustomed stand, however, that next evening, after all 
was quiet, he again visited the place, and this time ventured to drum 
several times, and he came back on the third evening also. The drum- 
ming of one was heard 25 miles below the Peace June 12, and females 
with young were seen at Smith Landing June 15, and at Fort Smith 
June 28. The species was next noted near Fort Besolution, where 
one was heard drumming July 3. We saw broods of well-grown 
young on the Athabaska near Big Mouth Brook, 65 miles below Atha- 
baska Landing, August 25; and near La Biche River August 27. 
Several individuals were seen on the road 40 miles north of Edmon- 
ton September 3. 

In 1903 we noted the ruffed grouse on several occasions between Ed- 
monton and Athabaska Landing May 11 to 15, and between Atha- 
baska Landing and Pelican Rapid May 17 to 18. Its drumming was 
heard near Stony Rapid .May 26, and a number of individuals were 
seen or heard on the lower Athabaska on May 29 and 31 and June 1. 
The crops of two taken June 1 contained only the catkins and young 
leaves of willows. We found the species common on Rocher River, 
where, on June 6, we took one whose crop contained willow catkins 
and fertile heads of Eqyisetum. We noted it also on Slave River, 
below Foi-t Smith, June 15 to 17, usually detecting it by its drumming. 
My brother and Gary noted females with fledged young at Fort 
Providence on July 6 and 8. On their return trip they noted one at 
Swift Current Rapid late in August, and found it common between 
Athabaska Landing and Lily Lake September 21 to 24. 

During the same season I did not observe the species during my 
journey between Great Slave and Great Bear lakes, and on my fall 
trip up the Mackenzie first saw it near Roche Trempe-l'eau October 9. 
During October, November, and December I occasionally observed it 
at Fort Simpson, and collected a few specimens. The crop of one 
shot November 7 contained rose hips, buds of Salix and Lepargyrcea^ 
and seeds of a species of grass. Though the birds usually were soli- 
tary, three were seen together on December 5. The pectinations on 
the toes were fully developed, nearly 5 millimeters in length, early in 
November. 

In 1904 I occasionally noted the species at Fort Simpson during 
the latter part of the winter and during the spring, and took several 
specimens. A fine male shot April 14 has 20 rectrices. Drumming 
was first heard on April 26. By the latter part of April nearly all 
the pectinations had been shed. I examined the crops of several and 



842 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

noted the contents as follows : Male, April 14, buds of Poptdus hah 
samifera^ Salix^ and Lepargyrcea canadensis^ and leaves of Pyrola; 
male, April 21, buds of Salix and Lepargyrcea^ and young shoots of 
Equisetum; male, April 28, catkins of Salix; male, May 16, young 
leaves of Populus tremuloides. WTiile descending the Mackenzie I 
saw one near Roche Trempe-Peau June 8. This point is near the 
northern limit of the bird's range on the Mackenzie. 

This form was first described by Douglas, who stated that it in- 
habited the Rocky Mountains in latitude 54° north, and near the 
sources of Peace River.* Ross listed the species as common in the 
Mackenzie River region as far north as La Pierre House, and as hav- 
ing been collected at Fort Simpson.* The bird catalogue of the 
National Museum records skins from Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, 
Fort Simpson, Fort Liard, and Big Island, specimens from the last 
three localities being still in the collection. 

While collecting in Alberta in 1894, J. Alden Loring reported the 
species common at Edmonton September 7 to 26, taking one speci- 
men. In 1890, he took a male at Henry House October 12, and a 
female at Jasper Hou.se October 22. Macoun states that Spread- 
borough reported the species common between Edmonton and Jasper 
House in 1898.^ 

Lagopns lagopus (Linn.). Willow Ptarmigan. 

This species occurs throughout the region, breeding mainly in the 
Barren Grounds, and to some extent southward along the mountains, 
and in winter migrating more or less regularly to the Saskatchewan 
region. 

In 1903, the willow ptarmigan was first noted at Fort Resolution 
June 28, when an Indian brought me a female which he had shot 
near the i)ost. It was, of course, merely a straggler and was the only 
one the native had ever .seen at this season. Its crop contained 
young leaves of Populus halsamifera. My Indian canoeman re- 
ported .seeing ptarmigan in the mountains south of MacTavish Bay, 
Great Bear Lake, on August 25 and 26. At our camp on the shore 
of Great Bear Lake east of Leith Point the species was first seen 
August 29, several broods of nearly grown birds being observed. 
Three old males, two of which were secured, were seen August 31. 
The crop of one c(mtained leaves of dwarf willow (Salix 7'eficulata). 
wild rosemary (Andromeda poli folia), and a small vetch (Aragal- 
lvs)n catkins of dwarf l)ircli (BctHla nana)^ and berries of blueberrv 



« Trans. Linn. Soo. London, XVI, p. 14S. 1829. 

^Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 283. 1802. If this record for La Pierre 
House is well foun(le<l, the hird must reach there from the Yukon or along the 
mountains, since it is certainly absent from the lower Mackenzie. 

<^Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 203, 1900. 



1908.1 BtRDg« 34d 

(Vac&intum uligino&um) and crowberry {Empetrum nigrum). Sev 
eral broods and small companies were seen September 3 and 4, 
and a number were collected, including old and young birds of both 
sexes. The crops of two adult males killed September 3 contained 
mushrooms (95 per cent), a. few leaves of dwarf willow {Salix 
reticulata)^ and fruit of Andromeda polifolia. Their stomachs 
were filled with the seeds of Empetnmi nigrum,^ and the linings and 
to some exteyit the muscular tissue of the gizzards were stained with 
the purple juice of this fruit. Among the contents of the crops of 
other individuals taken on these dates were found the tops and seeds 
of grass, seeds of Hedysarum americanum^ and berries of alpine bear- 
berry {Mairania alpina). The old birds at this date had acquired 
many of the feathers of the winter plumage, and the young were 
just beginning to show the same change. These feathers, especially 
when first acquired, show a delicate pink tinge, like the breast feath- 
ers of certain gulls. The birds undoubtedly breed all along this part 
of the shore in considerable numbers, and were usually in small com- 
panies, evidently family gi'oups, though a large flock was seen near 
Me Vicar Bay September 9. One taken near the same place Septem- 
ber 10 had been eating the leaves of Betula nana^ Salix reticulata^ and 
a vetch, and the berries of Empetrum and Vitisidaa, A few in- 
dividuals were seen to the westward of McVicar Bay September 
10, 11, and 12, and a single adult bird showing much white was seen 
at Fort Franklin September 22. A few seen in the possession of 
Indians at the same place, September 28, had nearly completed the 
change to the winter plumage. While ascending the Mackenzie a 
few miles above Fort Norman, October 2, I noted two in complete 
winter plumage; and I saw another near Gravel Biver October 5; 
near Eoche Trempe-l'eau October 8 ; and a short distance below Fort 
Simpson October 20. One that was pursued by a goshawk flew high 
and straight out over the river, and soon distanced its pursuer, which 
gave up the chase. The ptarmigan then descended nearly to the 
surface of the river and regained the shore by a long, circuitous 
flight. 

During the winter of 1903-4, the willow ptarmigan was not com- 
mon in the vicinity of Fort Simpson, but occasionally was observed 
in twos and threes, and a number were collected. Their crops inva- 
riably contained buds and twigs of willows, mainly Salix hehhiana^ 
usually to the exclusion of other food, though in one instance a few 
buds of Populus halsamifera were found. The last ptarmigan ob- 
served, still in complete winter plumage, was taken March 12. 

While at Fort McPherson I was informed that these birds breed 
among the mountains a few miles to the westward. «!. W. Mill 
informs me that on one occasion late in September some years ago, 
while the brigade of York boats w^as traversing Great Slave Lake, 



844 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [iia27. 

large numbers of ptarmigan appeared on Deadman Island, on the 
south side of the lake west of Little Buffalo River, evidently having 
crossed the lake from the northern shore. All of them were ex- 
hausted, and many, unable to fly farther, fell into the water before 
reaching the island. 

As was stated by Richardson, the willow ptarmigan undoubtedly 
breeds in the Rocky Mountains, south to the Jasper and Henry 
House region. While collecting in that region in 1895, J. xVlden 
Loring found the species abundant at a point about 50 miles west 
of Henry House during the latter part of September. The camp 
was close to the timber line, and a heavy snow had driven the birds 
down into the open parks, where they were feeding on the seeds of 
grasses. Four specimens were taken at Henry House, September 
26. They had commenced to assume the winter plumage, most of 
the lower parts being white, and white feathers appearing also on 
the back, head, and throat. In the case of the female the molt is 
slightly more advanced than in either of the three males taken. In 
1896, Loring reported taking one in Smoky Valley, 50 miles north of 
Jasper House, on August 27, and on October 18 collected three from 
a flock of nine in Caribou Basin, 15 miles west of Henry House. In 
these sj^ecimens the winter plumage is complete, except for a few 
scattering feathers about the heads, and on the back of one. 

These specimens from the Henry House region are considerably 
smaller than birds from Hudson Bay and the Mackenzie. Five adult 
males from Great Bear Lake and Fort Simpson have an average 
wing measurement of 194; six adult females from the same locali- 
ties average 188. Adult males from Fort Churchill and the * Bar- 
rens' south of there have a wing measurement of 203, and females 
from 100 to 203, while males from near Henry House measure about 
190 and females about 171. Since no specimens in summer plumage 
from the latter region are available, no satisfactory color comparisons 
can be made, but it is probable that the willow ptarmigans breeding 
in the southern Canadian Rockies will be found to be separable from 
tliose inhabiting the Barren Grounds and now included under the 
name L. lagopus. 

The dates of the arrival of willow ptarmigan at Lac du Brochet 
Post, Reindeer Lake, during the autumnal movement southward, as 
observed during a series of years, are incorporated in a table given on 
page 22. Corresponding dates for Fort Chipewyan appear in tabu- 
lar form on page 23. 

Franklin enumerated 'ptarmigan,' doubtless referring mainly 
to the present species, as one of the four birds which still re- 
mained about Fort Enterprise at the latter end of October, 1820." 

<» Narrative Jouruey to I'olar Sea, p. 247, 1823. 



•8.1 BIBD8. 345 

I his second northern journey he noted the ' willow partridge ' at 
>rt Franklin the last of October, 1825.« Richardson, under the 
me Tetrao saliceti^ made many general observations on the habits 
d other characteristics of the species, and gave a description of a 
lie killed in July in the Rocky Mountains in latitude 56°.* Dur- 
5 his third northern trip he recorded the species from Fort Frank- 
i, where it commenced to assume the summer plumage toward the 
i of April.*^ In the winter of 1833-34 King noted the presence of 
How ptarmigan at Fort Reliance, at the eastern end of Great 
ave Lake, where they arrived about December 7.* Thomas Simp- 
a, probably referring to this species, stated that ptarmigan had 
come perfectly white on September 24, 1837, on Dease Bay, Great 
>ar Lake;<^ and he found them numerous and mating at Dease 
ver on June 8, 1838/ While crossing Great Bear Lake between 
.pe McDonnell and the Scented Grass Hills in the autumn of 1839, 
observed many white partridges which had been drowned in cross- 
; the lake.^ 

Under the name Lagopus albtiSy Ross listed the species as having 
*n collected at Fort Simpson.* Willow ptarmigan have been re- 
rded, under various names, from a number of points on the Arctic 
ands. J. C. Ross states that they were seen at Port Bowen every 
mth except January during the winter of 1824-25 ;* and that one 
ir was seen on the east side of Boothia in latitude 71°, and a few at 
ilix Harbor.^ Walker records the species from Port Kennedy.* 
"mstrong states that willow grouse were tolerably common in 
inoe of Wales Strait near Princess Royal Islands, May 31, 1851J 
3 also states, referring to the willow grouse (since he elsewhere 
lies that no rock ptarmigan were killed there), that ptarmigan 
ire killed at Mercy Bay, Banks Land, every month between Octo- 
r, 1851, and April, 1853.*» 

En the early sixties MacFarlane found the willow ptarmigan ex- 
dingly abundant in the neighborhood of Fort Anderson and in 
) wooded country to the eastward, and found many nests. The 

« Narrative Second Expedition to Polar Sea, p. 60, 182S. 

* Fauna Boreall-Amerlcana, II, p. 358, 1831. 

<^ Arctic Searching Expedition, II, p. 254. 1851. 

* Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean, I, p. 161, 1836. 

« Narrative Discoveries on North Coast of America, p. IIXS. 1843. 

f Ibid., p. 248, 1843. 

9 Ibid., p. 396, 1843. 

»Nat fiist Rev., 11 (second ser.), p. 284, 1862. 

'Parry's Third Voyage, Appendix, p. 101, 1826. 

^Appendix to Ross's Second Voyage, p. xxviii, 1835. 

*Proc. Roy. Soc. Dublin, III, p. 63, 1860. 

' Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 337, 1857. 

••Ibid., p. 601, 1857. 



346 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

birds commenced to lay their eggs about the last of May, the molt to 
the summer plumage beginning a week or two earlier. They assem- 
bled in large flocks in autumn, but during the winter only small num- 
bers remained in that neighborhood, though the species was numerous 
at that season at Fort Good Hope and other posts on the Mackenzie.* 
Eggs taken by MacFarlane near Fort Anderson have been described 
by Bendire.^ Ogilvie-Grant has recorded specimens from Fort Reso- 
lution and Fort Simpson ; "" and the Smithsonian Institution received 
skins from Big Island, Anderson River, and La Pierre House. War- 
burton Pike found ptarmigan, undoubtedly this species, to be numer- 
ous about Lake Camsell, 75 miles north of the narrows of Great 
Slave Lake, on September 15, 1899.^ During the following year 
James MacKinlay, who accompanied Pike, found the birds numerous 
about Lac du Mort, south of Lake Mackay, on June 2, and noted that 
the necks of the birds were dark brown, though the rest of the 
plumage still remained white. On June 20 he noted that the female 
birds had acquired their summer plumage, but that the males were 
still white, with brown necks.* Russell observed the species at Fort 
Rae in the winter of 1893-4, where he took specimens from October 2 
to May 7. They arrived there on the 1st of October, and, having 
already begun to assume their winter plumage, were very conspicuous. 
They were much preyed upon by goshawks. A male taken May 7 
had commenced to acquire the summer plumage/ During his jour- 
ney down Telzoa River in the summer of 1893 J. B. Tyrrell first saw 
ptarmigan at a rapid, which he named from the circumstance, below 
Hinde Lake, in about latitude 61° 30'.^ J. W. Tyrrell records e^gs 
found on Artillery Lake on May 30, 1900,* and states that the bird^! 
were common on the eastern shore of that lake in latitude G3°, June 8 
to 11 of the same year.* Hanbury noted that ptarmigan had com- 
menced to assume their simimer plumage on May 21, 1902, at White 
Bear Point, near Ogden Bay ; > he found them common on Melville 
Sound early in June; *' and noted fledgelings near the mouth of Ken- 
dall River Julv 30.' 



« Pn>o. r. S. Nat. Miis., XIV, i>p. 43<X 431, 1891. 

^ Life Hist. N. A. Birds 1 1 ], p. 74. 1S!>2. 

Tat. Birds Brit. Miis., XXII, p. 43. 1S1«. 

<* Barren (iroiiiul of Northern Canada, p. 41, 1892. 

*" Dowlinj? (from AlacKinlay's notes), Ottawa Nat.. VII, p. 109, 1893. 

f Expl. in Far North, pp. SO, 260, 189S. 

^Ann. Kept. Can. (Jef)!. Surv., IX (new ser.), p. 46F, 1897. 

* Ann. Kept. Dept. Interior (Canada), 1900-1901, p. 137, 1902. 

* Ibid., p. 115, 1902. 

> Sr)ort and Travel in Northland of Canada, p. 149, 1904. 
^ Ibid., p. 162, 1904. 
' Ibid., p. 2U». IJKW. 



1908.] BXBDd. S47 

LagopuB rupestris (Omel.). Rock ptarmigan. 

The distribution of this species is similar to that of the willow 
ptarmigan, but in general it is a more northern bird than L. lagopus 
and is much less migratory. Edward Sabine states that during 
Parry's first voyage it was found in great abundance on Melville 
Island, where it arrived on May 12, still in its winter plimiage. The 
females completed their summer plumage by the end of the first week 
in June, but some of the males had not begun to change by the middle 
of the month.* During Franklin's second overland journey the 
species was noted at Fort Franklin late in October, 1825; * and Rich- 
ardson described a winter specimen from the same place and a female 
taken in summer on the Rocky Mountains in latitude 55°.*^ This 
last record indicates that L. rupestrin breeds in the higher parts of 
the Rockies to the southward of its generally recognized range. The 
record has not been confirmed by later investigations, but it is not 
improbable. King noted the occurrence of the rock ptarmigan in the 
winter of 1833-84 at Fort Reliance, at the eastern end of Great Slave 
Lake ; ** and Richardson observed it in the summer of 1848 at Point 
Maitland, Liverpool Bay.* J. C. Ross records it from Port Bowen in 
October, 1824, where it was also seen from March to May, 1825.^ 
Armstrong states that it was common on Prince of Wales Strait.^ 
Harting records a specimen from Wellington Channel.* M'Dougall 
states that ptarmigan (probably of this species) were shot near Cape 
Hay, Prince Patrick Island (latitude 76°), and also on Eglinton 
Island, in the summer of 1853.^ Ross recorded a specimen taken at 
Fort Good Hope.^ In the early sixties of the last century MacFar- 
lane found this species to be far less plentiful in the Anderson River 
region than L. lagopus^ and met with it in numbers only between Wil- 
mot Horton River and the shores of Franklin Bay. He intimates, 
however, that a few breed near the lower Anderson. In winter many 
were found in the forested country to the eastward of Fort Anderson.* 
Bendire records eggs taken in Gens de Large or Romanzoff Moun- 
tains, northeast of Fort Yukon, Alaska, in May, 1869, by James Mc- 
Dougall.' Russell states that one was killed in the Barren Grounds 

« Suppl. to Api)en(lix Parry's First Voyage, pp. cxcv, cxcvi, 1824. 

* Narrative Second Expedition to Polar Sea, p. 60, 1828. 
'^ Fauna Boreall-Amerieana, II, pp. 355, .350. 1831. 

<* Narrjitlve Journey to Arctic Ocean, I, p. 160. 1836. 
'^Arctic Searching Exi)edltion, I, p. 264, 1851. 
f Parry's Third Voyajre, Apiiendix, p. 9J>. 1820. 
^Narrative Discovery Northwest Passage, p. 521. 1857. 

* Proc. Zool. Soc. Ix)ndon, 1871. p. 117. 

* Voyage of Resolute to Arctic Kogions, [)p. 291, 21^8, 1857. 
^ Can. Nat. and Geol., VI, p. 44.3, ISOl. 

*Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, pp. 431. 432, 1891. 
' Life Hist. N. A. Birds [II, p. 78, 181>2. 



848 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [Na 27. 

northeast of Fort Rae, over 100 miles from the edge of the woods, in 
April, 1894." James MacKinlay, who accompanied Pike to the Bar- 
ren Grounds in 1890, first noted the bird on Lockhart River, between 
Mackay and Aylmer lakes, on June 25. At this time the males were 
still white, but the femjales had assumed the brown summer plumage.* 
In the National Museum are specimens from Fort Anderson taken 
in February, 1863; from Fort Rae, January 28, 1863; and from the 
Arctic coast east of Fort Anderson, taken by the Eskimo in July, 
1865. The bird catalogue records also skins from Fort Resolution, 
Fort Rae, and Anderson River. Specimens from Cape Bathurst and 
BailHe Island, taken in June and July, 1901, probably by a whaler, 
were identified by Dr. A. K. Fisher, of the Biological Survey, in 
Mardi, 1902. 

Lagopus lencurus Swains, and Rich. White-tailed Ptarmigan. 

The white-tailed ptarmigan occurs on the alpine summits of the 
Rocky Mountains throughout nearly their entire length. 

A young man who passed the winter of 1903-^ on Liard River a 
few miles above its mouth told me that among some ptarmigan 
brought in by the natives he noticed a very small one that was entirely 
white. This must have been a white-tailed ptarmigan. 

This species was first descril:)ed from specimens taken by Drum- 
mond " on the Rocky Mountains in the fifty-fourth parallel," prob- 
ably in the Jasper House region. Four specimens from this region 
are mentioned, and another is said to have been taken on the same 
chain 9 degrees fai^ther north.'' Ross listed the species as occurring 
in the mountains of the Mackenzie River region north to La Pierre 
House, and as having been collected at Fort Simpson.** A specimen 
in winter plumage, taken in the Nahanni Mountains to the westward 
of Fort Simpson, and which is probably the one alluded to, is still 
in the National Museum. Ross recorded also one collected at La 
Pierre House/ Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway describe one in winter 
plumage from Fort Halkett, on Liard River.^ 

Pedioeoetes phasianallus (Linn.). Sharp-tailed Orouse. 

The distribution of this grouse in the region now under considera- 
tion is nearly coextensive with the forest, though the bird is absent 
or very rare on its northern border. It breeds throughout this 
range, but to some extent is migratory. 

« Expl. In Far North, p. 2G1, 1898. 

^ Dowling, from MacKiulay'8 notes, Ottawa Nat., VII, p. 109, 1893. 

<• Fauna Boreal l-Americana, II, pp. 35(>. 357, 1831. 

<»Nat. Hist. Rev., II (set-oud sor.), p. 284, 18G2. 

«Can. Nat. and (Jeol., VI, p. 443, 1861. 

/Hist. X. A. Birds, Land Birds, III, p. 404, 1874. 



1908.] BIRDS. 849 

During the summer of 1901 we observed the first sharp-tailed 
grouse referred to this form near Poplar Point, 90 miles below Fort 
McMurray, May 16, when we saw one flying across the Athabaska. 
AVe saw several and took one near Fort Chipewyan June 1. After this 
we did not again see the bird until we reached Fort Smith, where we 
found it common and observed it daily June 19 to 28. An adult was 
taken on June 24 and a young one a few days old on June 27. The 
birds were abundant at Trout Rock July 16 and 17. Several broods 
of young were seen at Fort Rae July 19 to 29, and two were taken 
July 19. On our return trip a few old birds were seen on Smith 
Portage August 5. 

In 1903 this species was reported to occur at Hay River, and eggs 
taken about June 1 were shown in support of the assertion. It was 
reported common on the upper reaches of Hay River. I first ob- 
served it on the eastern shore of the Northern Arm of Great Slave 
Lake, 40 miles south of Trout Rock, July 24. At Fort Rae a brood of 
young, accompanied by the parents, was seen July 28. One bird was 
noted on the lower part of Grandin River August 1. The species 
was not again detected until we reached the rapid on Bear River, 
September 29, where it was common. It was abundant and appar- 
ently migrating at Fort Norman October 1, and between there and 
Gravel River October 2 and 3. A few were noted near Fort Wrigley 
October 11, and above Nahanni River October 15. During the 
autumn of 1903 the species was occasionally observed at Fort Simp- 
son, and a number were collected. Their crops and stomachs usually 
contained nothing but the catkins of alders {Alnus alnohetula and 
incana)^ but one shot November 7 had eaten also a few berries of 
Viburnum pauciHorum, 

During January and February, 1904, I did not observe the species 
at Fort Simpson. I saw two on March 12, and others during the 
latter part of the month, noting 10 in a flock on March 24. During 
April the birds are said to dance on the crusted snow, but by that 
time they again had become rare in the vicinity, probably having 
moved northward, and I had no opportunity to observe the habit. 
During my voyage down the Mackenzie I failed to note the species, 
though it is said to occur at all the posts north to Fort Mcpherson. 

This bird was first recorded from the region by Richardson, who 
gave a description of a male killed at Great Slave Lake in November, 
1826.* He afterwards traced the species as far north as the delta of 
the Mackenzie.* Ross listed it as occurring in the Mackenzie River 
region north to Fort Good Hope, and as wintering in the region.*^ 

fl Fauna Boreali-Americana, II, p. 362. 1831. 
» Arctic Searching Expedition, I, p. 179, 1851. 
cNat Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 283, 1862. 



850 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [ifa27. 

Suckley, comparing specimens from Great Slave Lake with examples 
of one of the southern forms, renamed the species Pedioccetes kenni- 
rottii in 1862, recording specimens from Fort Rae and Big Island.^ 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway describe a specimen from Fort Resolu- 
tion,^ and the catalogues of the National Museum show that skins 
were received also from Fort Simpson, mountains west of Fort Simp- 
son, Fort Good Hope, and Fort Rae, as well as eggs from the latter 
place. MacFarlane found the species breeding in the forests on both 
sides of the Lockhart and upper Anderson rivers, and found a few 
nests/ Russell observed it near Prospect Lake, near the headwaters 
of Yellowknife River, late in July, 1893, and took specimens at Fort 
Rae October 4 to 7, referring to the bird as rather common there dur- 
ing the autumnal migration.** 

Pedioecetes phasianellus colmnbianus (Ord). Columbian Sharp-tailed 

Grouse. 

This southern form of sharp-tailed grouse was abundant on the 
road between Edmonton and Athabaska Landing April 29 to May 5. 
1901. They were found in small companies and when flushed usually 
alighted on poplars at a little distance away and excitedly resented 
our intrusion. They were especially abundant in the farming lands 
near Edmonton. On our return trip several small flocks were seen in 
the fields near Sturgeon River September 3. 

In 1903 we noted a small flock near Sturgeon River May 12. The 
crop of a female collected there contained barley (60 per cent), small 
green leaves, myriapods, ants, and two species of beetles. ^Vnother 
small flock was noted 50 miles north of Edmonton May 14. During 
their return trip my brother and Gary found this grouse rather com- 
mon in the open country and cultivated fields between Athabaska 
Landing and Edmonton Septembi»r 1 to 2(). 

During my trip from Athabaska Landing to Edmonton, Septem- 
ber 2 to 4, 1904, 1 observed this bird daily in small numbers. 

J. Alden Loring reported the birds common at Edmonton Sep- 
tember 7 to 26, 1894. They were found in flocks frequenting the 
grain fields, plowed land, and edges of thickets. In 1895, while re- 
turning from the mountains, he saw six individuals at Whitemud, on 
McLeod River, 135 miles in a direct line west of Edmonton, about 
the middle of October. Macoun reports that in the summer of 1898 
Spreadborough (presumably while on his way to the mountains) 
saw the last birds of this species about 25 miles west of Edmonton.^ 

aProc. Acad. Nat. Scl. Phila. [XIVl, p. 362, 1861. 
&HIst. N. A. Birds, Land Birds. Ill, p. 434. 1874. 
^•Proc-. IT. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 432, 1891. 
^Expl. in Far North, pp. 70, 2«1. 1808. 
^ Cat. Canadian Birds, Part I, p. 212, 1900. 



1908.] BIKD8. 851 

Ectopistes migratorins (Linn.). Passenger Pigeon. 

This famous species formerly reached the Mackenzie River Valley, 
but apparently only in small numbers. Alexander Mackenzie, dur- 
ing his voyage of exploration to the mouth of the river in the summer 
of 1789, mentions seeing it in the Hare Indian country — that is, in 
the Fort Good Hope region." Hood mentions pigeons as occurring at 
Isle a la Crosse about the last of June, 1820, during Franklin's first 
northern journey.'* Thomas Simpson noted the occurrence of the 
species at Fort Simpson in the summer of 1837, referring to it as 
follows : 

The fields here looked well, but had a troublesome enemy in the passenger 
pigeons. Except one at Salt River, we saw none of the^ graceful birds else- 
i^here throughout our Journey.*^ 

Ross recorded it as occurring in the Mackenzie River region north 
to Fort Norman, and as having been collected at Fort Simpson, but 
a.s being uncommon.'* I find no later records of the occurrence of 
the species anywhere in the region. 

Cathartes aura septentrionalis (Wied). Northern Turkey Vulture. 

Macoun states that three individuals were seen at different times 
at Edmonton, Alberta, during May, 1897.*' 

Circus hudsonius (Linn.). Marsh Hawk. 

This harrier is apparently quite generally distributed throughout 
the wooded region, but is not common. A few were seen almost 
daily on the road between Edmonton and Athabaska Landing, April 
29 to May 5, 1901. After this, single individuals were seen at the 
mouth of the Athabaska, May 17; at Smith Landing, June 14; at 
Fort Smith, June 20, and 50 miles below Fort Smith, June 30. On 
our return trip one was seen near the mouth of La Biche River 
August 27, and one at Athabaska Landing August 31. 

In the spring of 1903 we saw half a dozen migrating individuals 
between Edmonton and Sturgeon River May 12, and four a short 
distance north of there May 13. We next saw the species at Fort 
Resolution June 22, and noted one bird on lower Grandin River 
August 1. During their return trip Alfred E. Preble and Merritt 
Car>^ noted the species at Grand Rapid August 20, and near House 
River August 22. 

In 1904 I first noted this bird at Fort Simpson on April 23, and 
next recorded it on June 1. On June 11, while collecting in a muskeg 

<» Voyages to Frossen and Pacific Oceans, p. 81, 1801. 

* Narrative Journey to Polar Sea, p. 180, 1823. 

^ Narrative Discoveries on Nortli Coast of America, p. 93, 1843. 

<Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second sen), p. 283, 1862. 

<^Cat Canadian Birds, Part II, p. 220, 1003. 



\ 



352 NORTH AMEBICAN FAUNA. (no. 27. 

at Fort Norman, I saw a pair and collected the male. Another bird 
was seen near the same place June 14. During my return trip single 
birds were observed near Little Red River, August 9; near Fort 
McMurray, August. 10 ; and above Little Buffalo River, August 21. 
It was noted also below Athabaska Landing, September 1, and near 
Lily Lake, September 3. 

Richardson noted the marsh hawk as being found on Great Bear 
Lake." Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was found breed- 
ing at Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, Fort Simpson, La Pierre House, 
and on lower Anderson River.* Concerning the latter record Mac- 
Farlane says: 

In June, 1865, an Eequimau snared a female bird on her nest on a willow 
bush along the lower Anderson River. It contained five eggs. In June, 1806, a 
nest composed of twigs and grasses, etc., was found in a similar position ; there 
were six eggs, but they were unfortunately among those lost that season.'' 

Bendire records an egg from this locality, probably one of the 
first set mentioned, stating that it is the largest specimen in the series 
examined.** Besides specimens from the localities mentioned by 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway, the bird catalogue of the National 
Museum shows that skins were received from Fort Good Hope and 
Fort Halkett; and an adult from the latter locality, taken by Lock- 
hart in May, 1863, is still in the collection. Russell records one taken 
near Fort Rae, August 22, 1893/ Macoun records eggs taken by 
Spreadborough at Edmonton, Alberta, June 2, 1897.' 

J. Alden Loring reported the species common at Edmonton, Sep- 
tember 7 to 26, 1894, and along the trail between Jasper House and 
Smoky River in the early autumn of 1896. 

Accipiter velox (Wils.). Sharp-shinned Hawk. 

In 1901 this species was first met with at our camp on Slave River, 
10 miles below the Peace, w^here one was seen June 9, and where a 
specimen, perhaps the same individual, was taken the next day. 
Single birds were afterwards seen on Slave River, at points 25 miles 
below the Peace June 12, and 100 miles below Fort Smith July 2. 
On our return trip one was seen on Smith Portage August 5, and 
several on the Athabaska, between Grand Rapid and Athabaska 
Landing, August 22 to 29. 

In 1903 we first noted the sharp-shinned hawk at Edmonton May 
10. AVe saw several between Athabaska Landing and Pelican Rapid 
May 17 and 18, and next noted it on Slave River, 100 miles below 

« Fauna Borea 11- Americana, II, p. 57, 1831. 

^'Hlat N. A. Birds, I^ind Birds, III, p. 220. 1874. 

^'Proc. U. S. Nat. Miis., XIV, p. 432, 1891. 

^'Life Hist. N. A. Birds [I], p. 186, 1892. 

'' Kxpl in Far Nortli, p. 2G1, 1808. 

f Cat. Canadian Birds, Part II. p. 224, 1W3. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 358 

Fort Smith, June 17. On their return trip my brother and Cary 
noted one near Boiler Rapid August 17, and another at Athabaska 
Landing September 5. A pair with their nest, which contained 
young about to fly, was seen by myself in an open forest of pine and 
spruce on upper Grandin River, a short distance south of Lake 
Mazenod, August 5. The species was seen also on a small lake 
north of Lake Hardisty August 19. 

In the spring of 1904, I first observed this bird at Fort Simpson 
May 20, taking a male specimen. Other individuals were noted on 
May 28 and 30. While descending the Mackenzie, I saw one below 
the site of old Fort Good Hope June 28. During my return trip I 
noted it at Fort McMurray August 12, near Mountain Rapid August 
15, and near Grand Rapid August 22. 

Ross listed this species as occurring north to -Fort Simpson, where 
he collected it;* Ridgway recorded specimens from Fort Rae, Fort 
Simpson, La Pierre House, and Fort Resolution, the latter locality 
represented by a specimen taken April 26 [1860], by Kennicott.^ 
Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway state that it was found breeding on the 
upper Slave River by Ross, and at Fort Resolution by Kennicott;*' 
eggs taken at Fort Resolution June 16, 1860, by the last-named nat- 
uralist, are recorded by Bendire.* Russell took a specimen at Fort 
Rae August 17, 1893.« 

Accipiter cooperi (Bonap.). Cooper Hawk. 

While we were ascending the Athabaska in the autumn of 1901, one 
was seen at close range and satisfactorily identified near the mouth 
of La Biche River, August 27. This is apparently the only record 
for this region. 

Astnr atricapillus (Wils.). Goshawk. 

This beautiful hawk breeds throughout the wooded parts of the 
region, and to some extent is migratory. A fine male was taken in 
a trap June 8, 1901, at our camp on Slave River 10 miles below the 
Peace. While we were on our way to Great Slave Lake, another was 
seen 150 miles below Fort Smith. He was feeding on a full-grown 
varying hare, and on our approach flew away with his quarry. 

Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Gary, during their return journey 
in the autumn of 1903, noted single birds at Swift Current Rapid 
August 27, La Biche River August 28, and Athabaska Landing 
September 5 and 12. They saw several also between Athabaska 

«Nat. Hist. Rev.. 11 (second ser.), p. 270, 1862. 

^ Bull. 2, U. S. Geol. and Geog. Snrv. Terr., II, pp. 114, 115, 1876. 

<^ Hist. X. A. Birds, I^nd Birds, III, p. 229, 1874. 

^'Life Hist. N. A. Birds (II, [». 187, 1892. 

♦^ Expl. In Far North, p. 261, 1898. 

44131— No. 27—08 23 



854 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [stx2 

Landing and Lily Lake September 21 to 24. One seen a few mile 
north of the latter point on September 24 had a f reshly^ killed ruW 
grouse in its talons. It was flying through the pine woods with ita 
quarry, and, becoming startled by suddenly j>erceiving the party, 
dropped the grouse, which fell into the midst of the company, tha 
at breakfast. While ascending Grandin River on August 3, 1 found 
a nest of this species from which the young had just flown, and col- 
lected one of the young birds near by. The nest was bulky and was 
built in a medium-sized birch 15 feet from the ground. I noted one 
individual on the shore of Great Bear Lake 40 miles west of McVicar 
Bay September 12, and several near Manito Islands September 15. 
A bird of the year shot at the latter place had been editing a ptar- 
migan. I noted another at Fort Franklin September 18. While 
ascending the Mackenzie, I saw the species near Roche Trempe- 
I'eau October 9, and daily between Nahanni River and Fort Simpson 
Octolx»r 18 to 20. The birds observed appeared to be mostly young 
of the year, though a few were adults. During the latter part of 
October and the first part of November I found the species rather 
common at Fort Simpson, but during December I noted it but twice— 
on the 2d and 27th. 

During January, 1904, I saw only a single bird — on January 14— 
and during February saw none. On March 24 I observed two pairs 
evidently newly arrived from the south. During the early part of 
April I noted goshawks, usually in pairs, on several occasions. In 
one instance I surprised one in the act of eating a varying hare which 
it had taken from a snare. A pair were evidently contemplating 
nesting in a tract of poplar woods near the banks of Liard River to 
the southward of the post, but the breaking up of the ice late in April 
])ut a stop to my excursions in that direction. I failed to observe 
the bird during the summer. AVliile ascending the Athabaska on my 
return trij) I saw one a short distance below Athabaska Ljinding. 
All)orta, September 1, and I observed another a short distance south 
of that place Septeml^r 2. 

lender tlie name Ai<ttir palumbarius^ Richardson mentions a speci- 
men killed near Jasper House." Ross listed this species as being 
found in the Mackenzie Valley north to Fort Good Hope, but as 
rare.^ A specimen from Fort Simpson, taken by R. MacDonald, is 
in the National Museum, and the catalogue of the birds shows that 
skins were received also from Big Island and Fort Good Hope. 
MacFarlane believed that the species bred in small numbei*s in the 
wooded country between Fort Good Hope and Anderson River/ 



« Fauna Boroali-Aniorlcann, II, p. 43, 1831. 

''Xat. Hist. Kev.. II (second ser.). p. 276, 1862. 

"- Vi'iK'. V. S Xat. Mus., XIV. p. 432, 1891. 



1908.] BIRDS. 855 

Russell took a number of specimens in the late summer and the 
autumn of 1893 at Fort Rae, where he reported it the commonest 
representative of the order. After the arrival of the ptarmigan from 
the north about the 1st of October, the goshawks preyed principally 
upon them.<» Macoun states that Spreadborough found the species 
not unconmion and evidently breeding at Edmonton, Alberta, in 
June, 1897;^ and records, on the authority of Raine, a set of three 
eggs taken by Doctor George in northern [now central] Alberta, May 
10, 1894.^ 

Eggs, collected with the female parent at the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany post on Pelican Lake, eastern Saskatchewan, in April, 1891, by 
Daniel Thomas, were received by the National Museum through 
MacFarlane. J. Alden Loring reported the species common in the 
foothills of the Rockies west of Edmonton, Alberta, in the early 
autumn of 1895. 

Buteo borealis calnms Cass. Western Red-tailed Hawk. 

This powerful hawk occurs throughout the region north to the 
limit of trees. In the spring of 1901 one was seen on the road near 
Sturgeon River May 1. The species was next noted near the outlet 
of Athabaska Lake June 2, when a pair was observed, and another 
pair was seen near the mouth of the Peace June 6. Single birds 
were observed 10 miles below the Peace June 6, 25 miles below 
June 13, and near Fort Smith June 24. At a point on Slave River 
100 miles below Fort Smith a pair was seen July 1, and their nest, 
which contained young, was discovered in a large balsam poplar 
near the river. One or two single birds were observed not far below 
here on the following day. On our return trip, single birds were 
seen at Fort McMurray August 12, below Pelican Rapid August 
23, near La Biche River August 27, and 50 miles north of Edmon- 
ton September 2. 

In 1903 we first noted this species near Athabaska Landing May 
14, and again near that place May 15. We next saw it on the Atha- 
baska 50 miles below the Landing May 17, and observed a melanistic 
individual a few miles farther down on the following day. We saw 
a pair near the outlet of Athabaska Lake June 5, and a single one 
near the mouth of the Peace June 9. A nest was found on an island 
a few miles below Fort Smith June 15, and the male, a melanistic 
bird, secured. The female was seen to be normally colored. The 
species was noted between there and Fort Resolution on June 16, 
18, and 19. My brother and Gary observed it at Fort Simpson July 
10 and at Nahanni River July 12. On their return trip they fre- 

«Expl. in Far North, pp. 86, 261, 1898. 
»C5at. Canadian Birds, Part II, p. 227, 1003. 
<^ Ibid., p. 220, 100.T 



366 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [Ka 27. 

(fuently noted the bird while ascending the Athabaska, and found 
it common near Athabaska Landing August 31 to September 21. 
observing two melanistic birds September 5. Several individuals 
were seen at Lily Lake September 24. During my trip northward 
from Fort Rae, I observed the species on Grandin River August 1 
and 3 and on Lake Faber August 8. I next noted it while descend- 
ing Bear River September 30, when I saw several a few miles above 
Fort Norman. They seemed to be hunting varying hares, which 
were abundant. 

In the spring of 1904 I saw the first redtail at Fort Simpson May 
7, and others on May 15 and 22. While descending the Mackenzie I 
saw the species nearly every day between Fort Simpson and Fort 
Nornian June 2 to 10. The melanistic and normal phases seemed 
to be about equally represented. I saw one near the head of the 
Ramparts June 20 and another below Fort Good Hope June 25. On 
my return trip I observed a melanistic individual a short distance 
below Fort Norman July 25, and birds of the normal coloration 
below Fort Smith August 3, near Poplar Point August 8, near 
Grand Rapid August 22, near House River August 24, and near 
Pelican Rapid August 26, collecting the last one. 

J. Alden Loring saw red-tailed hawks at Edmonton, Alberta, on 
September 13 and 20, 1894, and reported the species common on the 
Jasper House trail between Edmonton and the Rocky Mountains 
in the summers of 1895 and 1896. 

Macoun records a nest of two eggs, probably belonging to the west- 
ern form, taken at Edmonton May 17, 1897, by Spreadborough." 

Buteo swainsoni Bonap. Swainson Hawk. 

This western hawk is rare over most of the region now under con- 
sideration, but has been reported from a few localities. On May 13, 
1903, we saw a single bird, apparently a male, a few miles north of 
Sturgeon River, Alberta. 

This species was taken by MacFarlane in the Anderson River 
country and referred to as follows: 

In July, 18(51, we discovered a neat of this species, which was built on a 
spruce tree along Onion River, the princliial tributary of the Lockhart. It 
contained two well-grown birds. Both parents were about and made a great 
ado in endeavoring to protect their offspring. The male was shot. In June, 
1S05, another nest was found on the top crotch of a tall pine in a ravine some 
20 miles southeast of Fort Anderson. In composition it was similar to tin* 
nest of an Archibuteo. The female was shot as she got off her nest, whidi 
contained but one egg in a well-developed stage. The male was not seen.* 

The male obtained by MacFarlane, a melanistic specimen, wa^ 
described by Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway, who state that the specie? 



\ 



«C^at. Tanadian Birds, Part II. p. 231. 1903. 
^ Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 432, 1891. 



1908.1 BIRDS. 357 

was obtained also by Ross on the Mackenzie." Ross, however, does 
not appear to have taken specimens and may have been mistaken as 
to the species. 

Bnteo platyptenu (VieilL). Broad- winged Hawk. 

Apparently a regular summer inhabitant of the southern part of 
the Athabaska region. On May 8, 1903, we saw one in the wooded 
valley of the Saskatchewan near Edmonton. It was in suspicious 
proximity to an old nest and possibly intended to reoccupy it. 
Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Gary saw one on the Athabaska a few- 
miles above Athabaska Landing on September 5 of the same year. 

J. Alden Loring found a nest of this species on the Jasper House 
trail 12 miles west of Ste. Anne, Alberta, May 27, 1896. It was hi 
the crotch of a poplar about 40 feet from the ground, was loosely con- 
structed of dry twigs, with a lining of green leaves, and contained 
two eggs. The female was shot as she left the nest and is now in 
the Biological Survey collection. 

Archibnteo lagopus sancti-johannis (GmeL). American Rough- legged 
Hawk. 

This Arctic species has oeen recorded from various points in the 
region now under consideration. It probably breeds throughout this 
area, though most abundantly in its northern portion. In the spring 
of 1901 single birds were seen 10 miles north of Edmonton, May 1 ; 
on the Athabaska below Fort McMurray, May 14 ; and on the Quatre 
Fourches marsh, near Fort Chipewyan, May 24. 

The species was noted near Sturgeon River May 12, 1903, when 
two birds were seen. It was next observed on Great Bear Lake to 
the eastward of Mc Vicar Bay, where I saw two individuals on Sep- 
tember 8. I observed several while descending Bear River, Sep- 
tiember 29 and 30, and while ascending the Mackenzie from Fort 
Norman noted these birds daily, October 1 to 16, moving southward 
along the valley. The latter date, when the cold had increased so that 
the ice had begun to drift freely in the river, seemed to mark the de- 
parture of this and several other species, and the bird was last noted 
at this time, 50 miles north of Fort Simpson. While ascending the 
Athabaska the same autumn, my brother and Gary saw several be- 
tween Quito River and La Biche River, August 27 to 29. They 
found it common about Athabaska Landing, September 1 to 15, and 
on the Edmonton trail between the Landing and Lily Lake, Septem- 
ber 21 to 24, noting many immature birds. Though so common in the 
valley of the Mackenzie in autumn, this species must perform its 
spring migration by some other route, since during the spring of 1904 
only two individuals were seen, on April 28 and May 3. at Fort 
Simpson. 

•Hist, N. A. Birds, Land Birds, III, pp. 264, 209, 1874. 



358 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

Richardson mentions a specimen killed by Drummond on ' Smoking 
River.'*' Ross listed A. lagopus as common throughout the Macken- 
zie River region north to La Pierre House, and as having been taken 
at Fort Simpson ; ^ and the bird catalogue of the National Museum 
shows that skins were received from these localities and from Fort 
Resolution. Kennicott noted the species at Fort Resolution on May 
7, 1860.*^ MacFarlane found the bird abundant in the Anderson River 
region, both in the forested country and on the Arctic coast, and saw 
upward of 70 nests during the several seasons. The majority wen* 
built on trees, but 15 were on cliffs or banks.^ Bendire records eggs 
taken by MacFarlane on Anderson River on May 23 and June 16, 
1863.^ Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway describe an adult male in the 
normal plumage taken at Fort Resolution by Lockhart.^ Russell 
records a specimen taken at Herschel Island August 4, 1894.^ Ma- 
coun, on the authority of Raine, records eggs taken by Stringer at 
Mackenzie Bay ; he also mentions a nest with 3 eggs found by Bishop 
Lofthouse on Artillery Lake, June 4, 1900.* In the summer of 18% 
J. Alden Loring reported seeing several in the foothills of the Rocky 
Mountains in western Alberta, and took a male on the Smoky River 
trail between Muskeg Creek and Baptiste River, September 30. 

Aquila chrysaetos (Linn.). Golden Eagle. 

This cosmopolitan species is found throughout the wooded region, 
but occurs more commonly in the vicinity of mountains, probably 
on account of the advantages they afford for nesting. It is migratory 
to some extent, though many individuals brave the winter in high 
latitudes. 

In 1001 one was seen a short distance below Athabaska Landing 
May 6. The species were not again noted imtil we were crossing 
Great Slave Lake July 10, when I observed one about an island 50 
miles north of Fort Resolution. 

In 1903 I noted the first individual of this species near Gros Ca])e. 
Great Slave Lake, July 24. Several were seen in the range of moun- 
tains south of MacTavish Bay, Great Bear Lake, August 20. Eyries 
were common on the cliffs here, but as the bald and golden eagles 
were e(iually common, particular nests could not be attributed to 
either species with certainty. The species w^as next noted on the Mac- 
kenzie near Gravel River October 6, and a fine individual was seen 



"Fauna Boreal l-Amoricana, II, p. 52, 1831. 

^Nat. Hist. Kev.. II (second ser.), p. 270, 1862. 

'•Traiis. Chicajro Acad. Sci., I, p. 170, 1800. 

dProc. T'. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, pp. 432, 433, 1891. 

''Life Hist. X. A. Hirds HI, p. 259, 1802. 

/Hist. X. A. Birds, Ijind Birds, III, p. 304, 1874. 

f'Expl. in Far North, p. 202, 1898. 

* Cat. Canadian Birds, Part II, p. 241, 1903. 



1908.] BIEDS. 859 

sailing about over Roche Trempe-l'eau, a fitting resort for this ma- 
jestic bird, on October 9. Another was noted 20 miles below Nahanni 
River October 13. While ascending the Athabaska, Alfred E. Preble 
and Merritt Gary saw two flying about the sandstone cliffs near Brule 
Rapid August 19. 

While descending the Mackenzie in June, 1904, I saw a fine adult 
flying about some steep cliffs on Mount Tha-on'-tha on July 4, and 
another near the same place two days later. They were probably 
nesting in the vicinity, as ideal sites were plentiful. Later I saw one 
near the site of old Fort Good Hope, July 18, and on my return trip 
noted another at Spence River, 35 miles above Fort Simpson, July 
28. While ascending the Athabaska in August I collected a female 
at Crooked Rapid, August 17. It had just eaten a woodchuck 
{Marmota m. canadensis) j leaving only the skin and head. Perceiv- 
ing the eagle perched on a limestone ledge, I approached stealthily 
imder cover of its overhanging edge, and not having a gun, bowled 
her over with a stone. I observed another near Athabaska Landing 
September 2. 

Richardson described a specimen killed by Drummond on the east- 
em side of the Rocky Mountains in latitude 55®." Ross recorded the 
species as rilre in the Mackenzie River region north to the Arctic 
coast, and as having been collected at Fort Simpson.^ About the 
same time MacFarlane found about a dozen nests in the Anderson 
River Valley, and on the banks of Horton River. Most of these were 
on the faces of steep banks, and contained two eggs.^ The bird cata- 
logue of the National Museum records skins received from Fort 
Resolution; Fort Simpson; Fort Liard; Fort Anderson; Anderson 
River ; Arctic coast ; and Cape Bathurst, the latter specimen collected 
by the Eskimo. Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway describe eggs taken 
by R. MacDonald in the mountains west of the lower Mackenzie.** 
J. B. Tyrrell mentions that a large golden eagle was shot beside its 
nest on a rocky cliff overlooking Stone River, just east of Athabaska 
Lake, in the summer of 1892.^ 

In the early autumn of 1895 J. Alden Loring found the golden 
eagle common along the trail between Edmonton, Alberta, and the 
Jasper House region, four being seen together on one occasion in the 
mountains. The stomach of a female shot near Jasper House con- 
tained the remains of young varying hares. In 1896 Loring reported 
the species quite common in the high mountains near Henry House 

« Fauna BoreaU-Aiuericana, II, p. 13, 1831. 

^Nat. Hist. Rev. II (second ser.), p. 277, 1862. 

^ Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 433, 181)1. 

^'Hlst. N. A. Birds, I^nd Birds, III, p. 320, 1874. 

«Ann. Kept. Can. Geol. Surv., VIII (new ser.). p. 14D, 1896. 



360 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. I no. 27. 

July 3 to 21, as well as above timber line in the mountains to the 
northward of Jasper House in the late summer and early autumn. 

Haliseetns leucocephalus alascanus Townsend. Bald Eagle. 

The bald eagle is quite generally distributed over the wooded por- 
tion of the region and breeds throughout this area. Though the 
birds usualK' migrate, some remain in winter as far north at least as 
Great Slave Lake. WTiile descending the Athabaska in the spring 
of 1901 we saw a single bird near Brule Rapid May 11. This was 
the only one seen during the season. 

In 1903 Alfred E. Preble and Merritt Gary noted the species at 
Fort Providence on July 2 and 8. I saw one individual among the 
Simpson Islands, about 50 miles northeast of Fort Resolution, July 
21. During my trip northward from Fort Rae I found this a com- 
mon species in the mountainous country south of Great Bear Lake. 
It was first noted on Lake Hardisty August 18, when a nest, near 
which the birds still lingered, was seen on a cliff near the water. It 
was also noted almost daily in the mountains immediately south of 
MacTavish Bay August 22 to 27. 

In 1904 I saw the species but once, noting a fine adult near the 
junction of the Peel and the Mackenzie June 30. 

The ' nonne ' or bald eagle is enumerated among the birds of 
Great Bear Lake by George Keith, a trader of the Northwest Com- 
pany, in a letter written from there in 1812, containing the earliest 
account of the fauna of that region." Richardson stated that it was 
common in the country between Lake Superior and Great Slave 
Lake; '' and King noted it on the Athabaska below the mouth of the 
Clearwater in the summer of 1833.*^ During Richardson's third 
journey to the Arctic Sea he found it nesting on Great Bear River.^ 
Ross listed it as occurring commonlj^ in the Mackenzie River region 
north to the Arctic coast, and as having been collected at Fort Simp- 
son.*^ MacFarlane found several nests in^ high trees on Anderson 
and I>ockhart rivers, where, however, the species was not numerous/ 
Besides specimens from these two localities, the bird catalogue of 
the National Museum records skins from Fort Resolution, Big Island, 
and Fort Rae, the last accompanied by eggs. In the summer of 1892, 
while engaged in exploring the country between Athabaska I^ke 
and Churchill River, J. B. Tyrrell observed a few bald eagles.*' Rus- 
sell mentions seeing one in the lake country to the north of Fort Rae 

«Mas80ii, Los BoiirKeois, II, p. 102, 1800. 

* Fauna Boreall-Aniericana, II, p. IT), 181^1. 

'^ Narrative Journey to Arctic Ocean, I, p. 95, 1836. 

''Arctic Searching Expedition. I. p. 202. 1851. 

^•Nat, Hist. Uev., II (second ser.), p. 277, 1862. 

f Proc. V. S. Nat. Mus., XIV. p. 434, ISOl. 

^Ann. Kept. Can. Geol. Surv.. VIII (new ser.), p. 14D, 1896. 



1908.] BIRDS. 361 

early in November, 1893; <» and several near the mouth of Peel River 
June 25, 1894.*' Maeoun, on the authority of Raine, records eggs 
taken in northern (now central) Alberta.^ In the early autumn of 
1895 J. Alden Loring saw one near Jasper House, Alberta. 

Faico msticolus gyrfalco Linn. Gyrfalcon. 

On August 29, 1903, I saw a gyrfalcon on the ' barrens ' near our 
camp east of Leith Point, Great Bear Lake. Another was seen near 
the same place August 31. It appeafied to be in pursuit of a wounded 
ptarmigan, which had towered and finally fallen, and which it had 
evidently seen from a distance. Though loath to leave its prospective 
prey, the hawk was shy and eluded my efforts to approach, and after 
a few short flights from tree to tree flew away to the southward. 

A species of gyrfalcon to which this name is supposed to apply was 
found by MacFarlane to be common in the wooded country on both 
sides of Anderson River, where over 20 nests were found, most of 
which were in trees. The earliest nest was found May 10. A speci- 
men (No. 43139, " 9 and two eggs"), taken by MacFarlane at Fort 
Andei*son May 25, 1864, which served as the type of Ridgway's de- 
scription of Falco g, aacer^ and another taken at Fort Anderson 
May 27, 1864, are now in the National Museum. Bendire records that 
eggs were taken by MacFarlane near Anderson River; ^ and various 
other published records are based on the same specimens. Under the 
name Falco islandicvs Richardson speaks of finding a nest about the 
middle of June (1821) on a lofty precipice on the shore of Point Lake.^ 
This record probably refers to the present form. Armstrong, under 
the name of Hierofalco candicans^ states that an individual was shot 
near Prince Alfred Cape, Banks Land, September 5, 1851, and that 
several others were seen later.*' J. C. Ross, under the name Falco 
islandicns^ records several seen at Victoria Harbor in August and 
September, 1832, and states that the species breeds at Felix Harbor.* 
These records may also refer to the present species. 

Falco peregrinns anatnm Bonap. Duck Hawk. 

This powerful falcon is distributed in summer throughout the 
wooded portion of the region. Since it requires cliffs or cut banks 
for nesting, it is necessarily of somewhat local distribution, but is 
fairly common along the larger rivers and in mountainous districts. 

o Expl. In Far North, p. 90, 1898. 

» Ibid., p. 138, 1898. 

« Cat Canadian Birds, Part II, p. 247, 1903. 

<«Hi8t. N. A. Birds, Land Birds, III, p. 115, 1874. 

•Life Hist. N. A. Birds [I], p. 285, 1892. 

f Fauna Boreali-Americana, II, p. 28, 1831. 

9 Narrative Discovery Nortliwest Passage, p. 426, 1857. 

* Appendix to Rosses Second Voyage, p. xxv, 1835. 



362 NORTH AMEBICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

In 1901 we saw a pair about a high bank beside the Athabaska 
near Brule Rapid May 11, and a single bird on the Quatre Fourches 
marsh May 23. We next noted the species 25 miles below Fort 
Smith June 30, when we saw a pair and discovered their nest on the 
brink of the river bank, at this point about 40 feet in height and 
nearly perpendicular. The nest was merely a slight hollow beneath 
the drooping branches of a white spruce, and contained two young. 
10 or 12 days old, and slightly clothed with white down. Their stom- 
achs contained the remains of small birds, of which I could identify 
only one species, the Louisiana tanager. The duck hawk was not 
again noted until we were ascending the Athabaska August 17, when 
we saw several immature birds near Boiler Rapid. We noted single 
birds above Grand Rapid August 22, and above La Biche River 
August 27. 

In 1903 we noted single birds on the Athabaska, 50 miles below 
Athabaska Landing, May 17, and below Grand Rapid May 25, and 
on Slave River, near Smith Landing, June 10. My brother and Carr 
saw a pair about a high cliff on Mount Tha-on'-tha July 13, and an- 
other pair near the base of the mountain on July 14 and 16. On 
their return trip they frequently observed duck hawks about the high 
banks along the Athabaska during August. Near House River on 
August 21 one swooped down at a drake mallard which was flying 
up the river, and was seen to pursue it until a sharp bend hid the 
birds. A\Tiile ascending Grandin River August 2 I passed through a 
gorge where the stream was bordered by precipitous granitic cliffss 
On one of these I discovered a nest of this species, evidently contain- 
ing young, and secured the male bird. I noted the species also on 
upper Grandin River August 4, and saw a pair which had a nest on i 
a cliff a few miles south of MacTavish Bay August 22. They were 
very solicitous when the nesting site was approached, evidently l)e- 
cause the young had not yet flown. I noted a single bird still linger- 
ing in the vicinity of a nesting site on the shore of Great Bear Lake, 
east of Leith Point, August 28, and observed migrants at Fort Frank- 
lin September 21 and 28. I noted the species also on Bear River 
near Fort Norman September 30, and lastly on the Mackenzie above 
(iravel River Octol^er 0. 

In the spring of 1004 I did not detect this species during migra- 
tion, and noted it first a few miles below Fort Norman on June 16, 
when I saw a male bird flying about a cliff close to the shore. At 
Wolverene Rock I observed a nesting pair June 18. On the eveninc 
of June 25, as we were paddling down the Mackenzie a few miles 
below Fort Good Hope, I noticed a pair whose suspicious actions 
made me certain that a nest wa«; hidden somewhere on the face of 
the sloping clay bank. Accordingly, we went ashore, and after a 
short search found it. It was merely a slight hollow on the brink of 



1908.] BIRDS. 863 

a steep portion of the bank beneath a small white spruce, the fallen 
needles of which covered the ground and lined the nest. The female 
and the three eggs, which were about half incubated, were collected. 
While ascending the Mackenzie by steamer between the lower Ram- 
parts and Sans Sault Rapid July 17 to 19, I observed several pairs 
along the high banks. Their loud cries and suspicious actions indi- 
cated that they had young broods. While ascending the Athabaska 
I noted the species near Boiler Rapid August 18. 

MacFarlane found this species breeding in the country to the south- 
ward of Fort Anderson, and thinks it does not breed much north of 
that post." Eggs taken by him on Lockhart River June 5, 1800, are 
recorded by Bendire.^ Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway describe a 
specimen from Fort Resolution, and mention others from La Pierre 
House, Peel River, Fort Anderson, and Fort Good Hope.^ Russell 
took a female at Herschel Island August 16, 1894.** Macoun records 
a specimen taken by Spreadborough at Edmonton, Alberta, May 15, 
1897.<^ Walker records specimens taken at Port Kennedy in 1859.^ 

Falco colmnbarins Linn. Pigeon Hawk. 

In 1901 we first noted this bird at Smith Landing, where we took 
a male June 15. I did not see the species again until July 15, when I 
landed on the north shore of Great Slave Lake, near the Northern 
Arm, where I saw a pair and found their nest, apparently a deserted 
crow's nest, which was in a white spruce 20 feet from the ground. It 
held five half-grown young, two of which were preserved. Their 
stomachs contained the remains of an unidentified species of sparrow. 
I saw another pigeon hawk, which evidently had a nest near by, on a 
wooded island 60 miles south of Fort Rae July 16, and shot a male 
at Trout Rock on the evening of the same day. A nest found here 
July 18 was similar in construction to the first one discovered, and 
contained four young, one of which was collected. On our return 
trip we saw single birds at Big Cascade Rapid, 16 miles above Fort 
McMurray, August 14; near La Biche River August 27; and 50 miles 
north of Edmonton September 2. 

In 1903 we did not note the pigeon hawk until July 1, when we 
saw one at Fort Resolution. While ascending the Athabaska in the 
fall my brother and Gary saw several near Pelican Rapid August 
24, and one near Swift Current Rapid August 27. During my trip 
northward from Fort Rae I saw it on Lake Marian July 80; noted it 

« Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIV, p. 435, 1891. 

ft Life Hist. N. A. Birds [I J, p. 21)7, 1802. 

« History N. A. Birds, Land Birds, IIL l)p. 132-136, 1874. 

««Expl. i-i Far Nortli, p. 262, 18J)8. 

•Cat. Canadian Birds, Part II, p. 254. 1903. 

t Proc. Roy. Soc. Dublin, III, p. 61, 1860. 



364 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [Ka27. 

rather commonly along Grandin River August 1 to 4; and collected 
one on the shore of Lake Hardisty on August 20. On Great Bear 
Lake I noted the species nearly every day at our camp east of Leith 
Point, August 29 to September 3, and collected two specimens, one 
of which had eaten a tree sparrow. While ascending the Mackenzie 
I saw a few between Fort Norman and Gravel River, October 2 and 
8; and -one, the last of the season, below Roche Trempe-Feau, Octo- 
l>er 8. 

In the spring of 1904 I first observed this species at Fort Simpson 
April 29, noting two, one of which I collected. I observed a few 
daily May 1 to 3, and occasionally saw others during the first half of 
the month. A specimen taken by J. W. Mills at Fort Providence 
April 27, 1905, has recently been received. The pigeon hawk breeds 
rather commonly throughout the region north to the limit of trees. 
Ross listed it as common in the Mackenzie River region north to La 
Pierre House, and as having been taken at Fort Simpson.* Baird, 
Brewer, and Ridgway record specimens frcwn Fort Resolution, Bi|r 
Island, Fort Simpson, Fort Good Hope, and La Pierre House ; ^ 
and the bird catalogue of the National Museum shows that skins 
"were received also from Lockhart River, Peel River, Fort Rae, and 
Fort Halkett. Bendire records eggs taken at Fort Resolution July 
6, 1860, and at Fort Anderson in June, 1863.* In the latter region 
MacFarlane found the si>ecies to range along Anderson River almost 
to its mouth.'' Russell records two specimens taken at Fort Rae 
May 5, 1894/ Macoun records a nest taken by Spreadborough at 
Edmonton, Alberta, in May, 1897.^ 

Falco colTunbarins richardsoni Ridgw. Richardson Merlin. 
. This species has not apparently been detected north of the Sas- 
katchewan, in which region it was first found by Richardson, who, 
however, confounded it with Falco a'salon^ a European species. Ma- 
coun records, on the authority of Raine, a set of eggs taken at Fort 
Saskatchewan, Alberta, May 17, 1899.^ 

Falco sparverins Linn. American Sparrow Hawk. 

This handsome little falcon occurs throughout the region north to 
Fort Rae and the lower Mackenzie, but apparently does not range 
to the northern border of the timber. 

In 1901 this species was observed almost daily between Edmonton 
and Athabaska Landing, Alberta, April 29 to May 5. Single birds 

« Nat. Hist. llev. II (second ser.). p. 276, 1862. 

&Hist. N. A. Birds. Land Birds. Ill, pp. 146. 152, 1874. 

^- Life Hist. N. A. Birds [II, p. 302, 1892. 

^rroc. U. S. Xat. Miis.. XIV. p. 435, 1801. 

^Expl. in Far Nortli. p. 262, 18J>8. 

^(^at. Canadian Birds. Part II. p. 256, 1903. 

Ibid., p. 25.S, 1903. 



1008.] BIRDS. 866 

were seen near Fort McMurray May 14, and near the mouth of the 
Athabaska May 17. It was observed almost daily near Fort Chipe- 
wyan May 21 to 30, and was noted on Rocher River June 5, and at 
Smith Landing June 14. Several were seen on Smith Portage 
June 18, and one or more almost daily at Fort Smith June 19 to 28. 
A single bird was seen beside Slave River, 100 miles below Foii: 
Smith, Mackenzie, June 30. While ascending the Athabaska we 
took a female at Boiler Rapid August 17. 

In the spring of 1903 we first saw this species on May 13 a few 
miles north of Sturgeon River, Alberta. We next noted it on the 
Athabaska below Stony Rapid May 26 and 27. We saw one on 
Rocher River June 8, and several on Smith Portage June 13, and be- 
low Fort Smith, Mackenzie, June 15. My brother and Gary noted 
the species as follows: Hay River, June 30; Fort Providence, July 
6, 7, and 8; Nahanni Mountains, July 3, 16, 17, and 18; and Fort 
Wrigley, July 22. On their return trip they observed it at Cascade 
Rapid August 14; between Boiler and Grand Rapids August 17 to 
20 ; at Athabaska Landing August 31 ; and near Lily Lake Septem- 
ber 24. 

In 1904 this species arrived at Fort Simpson on May 4, when I 
saw three individuals and took a male and female. The stomach 
of the male contained a red -backed vole {Evotamys dawsoni). On 
May 7 I took a pair, one of which had eaten a Microtua drummondi. 
During the remainder of May I frequently observed the species and 
collected several specimens. A male shot on May 13 had the iris 
dark hazel. While descending the Mackenzie I saw one near Gravel 
River June 9, and another near the site of old Fort Good Hope June 
28. During my return trip I saw one at the Desmarais Islands, Great 
Slave Lake, July 30; and a few near Athabaska Landing September 
2, and near Edmonton September 4. 

Ross listed this species as occurring in the Mackenzie River region 
north to La Pierre House, though rather rare, and as having been 
collected at Fort Simpson.<» Mearns records a specimen from Fort 
Rae; ^ one from the same locality, perhaps the same specimen, taken 
with a set of eggs June 9, 1863, by L. Clarke, is still in the National 
Museum. The bird catalogue shows that skins were received also 
from Fort Resolution, Fort Simpson, and La Pierre House. The 
species was not observed by MacFarlane in the Anderson River 
region. 

J. Alden Loring reported the species common at Edmonton Sep- 
tember 7 to .26, 1894. In 1896 he found it all along the trail between 
Edmonton and Jasper House during the early summer; reported it 
common and breeding 15 miles south of Henry House July 3 to 21 ; 

•Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second sor.), p. 276. 1862. 
»Auk, IX, p. 262, 1892. 



366 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 27. 

and noted it between Jasper House and Smoky River in the early 
autumn. 

Fandion haliaetns carolinensis (Gmel.). American Osprey. 

The osprey occurs sparingly throughout the region north to Great 
Bear Lake and the lower Mackenzie. It is seldom observed along the 
larger rivers, probably because their muddy waters are imfavorable 
for fishing. 

A pair was seen near Poplar Point, 90 miles below Fort McMur- 
ray, May 16, 1901. A nest on an island near by was probably the 
home of these birds. Single birds were observed at Fort Rae July 
19, and on the Athabaska, near Big Mouth Brook, August 25. 

In 1903 this species was first noted on the Mackenzie, near Fort 
Providence, on July 9 by my brother and Gary. On their return trip 
they saw single birds near Athabaska Landing on September 5 and 
12. While I was crossing Great Slave Lake to Fort Rae several 
were seen among the Simpson Islands and the islands of the Northern 
Arm July 20 to 24, and a nest, apparently in use, w^as found on the 
former date. A single bird was seen on Great Bear Lake east of 
Manito Islands September 13. 

In 1904 I saw the osprey but once, noting a single bird 15 miles 
below Fort Norman on June 16. 

Richardson mentions the nesting of this bird on Bear Lake River,** 
and states that Rae observed its arrival at Fort Confidence on May 17. 
1849." Ross lists a specimen collected at Fort Good Hope ; ^ he states 
also that the species w^as common in the Mackenzie River region north 
to the Arctic coast.** MacFarlane did not note it at Fort Anderson, 
but is confident that he observed it betw een Fort Good Hope and that 
point.** The bird catalogue of the National Museum shows that skins 
were received from Fort Resolution, Fort Rae, and Fort Good Hope. 
Kennicott noted one at Fort Resolution May 7, 1860.^ Russell records 
a specimen taken at Fort Rae July 26, 1893.^ Seton records the 
species from the narrows of Great Slave Lake September 20, 1907.* 

J. Alden Loring reported seeing a pair in the mountains about 20 
miles west of Henry House September 3, 1895. Their nest, built on 
a stub near a mountain stream, held a single young bird, apparently 
fully fledged. When the party returned a few days later the birds 

« Arctic Searching PLvpedltion, I, p. 202, 1851. 

Mbid.. II, p. 104, 1851. 

'^Can. Nat. and Geol., VI, p. 442, 18(51. 

''Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 277, 1862. 

^ Proc. V. S. Nat. Miis., XIV, p. 436, 1891. 

f Trans. Chicago Acad. Sci., I, p. 170, 1869. 

i'Expl. in Far North, p. 202, 1898. 

*Auk, XXV, p. 71, 11)08^ 



1908.] BIRDS. 367 

were still there. In 1896 he saw one on Miette River, near Henry 
House, July 23. 

Asio wilsonianns (Less.). Long-eared Owl. 

On May 10, 1904, I secured a male in a thicket of mixed woods at 
Fort Simpson. The species was unknown to the inhabitants and is 
undoubtedly rare so far north. The stomach contents of my speci- 
men comprised seven individuals of Microtus drummondi (two adults 
and five naked young), and one red-backed vole {Evotomys dawsoni). 

Sharpe records a specimen taken by Ross at Fort Simpson;" it 
is probably the same one previously recorded from that place by 
Ross, who gives the species as rare.^ An ^gg taken at Fort Simpson 
by Ross on May 1 (year not stated) is in the British Museum.*' Mac- 
Farlane, in a manuscript list, states that two eggs, together with the 
female parent, were taken by an Indian at Fort Providence April 
14, 1885. The specimens were identified by J. J. Dalgleish. An- 
other female was obtained at Fond du Lac, Athabaska Lake, the 
same season. These seem to be the only previous instances of the 
capture of the species in the Mackenzie Valley. 

Macoun states that Spreadborough found it not uncommon in the 
w^oods about Edmonton in May, 1897, and that he took a set of eggs 
there on May IS.** J. Alden Loring took one and saw another at 
Edmonton September 11, 1894. 

Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan). Short-eared Owl.^ 

This cosmopolitan species occurs in summer throughout the Atha- 
baska-Mackenzie region north to the Arctic coast, and breeds in suit- 
able places over this area. 

Several individuals were seen on the road north of Edmonton on 
the afternoon of April 30, 1901. They were usually flying in pairs, 
and the males frequently swooped down toward their mates from 
a considerable height, holding their wings high above the back and 
uttering peculiar quavering cries. The species was next noted on 
the Quatre Fourches marsh, near Fort Chipewyan, May 24, when 
a single bird was observed. Another was seen on a semibarren 
island near the mouth of the Northern Arm of Great Slave Lake 

« Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., II, p. 230, 1875. 

^Nat. Hist. Rev., II (second ser.), p. 277, 18C2. 

'^ Gates, Cat Birds' Eggs Brit. Mus.. II, p. 319, 1902. 

^ Cat Canadian Birds, Part II, pp. 264, 265, 1903. 

<^Ross lists (Canadian Nat. and Geol., VI, p. 442. 1861) one specimen of 
Scop8 asio as having been taken at Fort Simpson. In his subseiiuent more 
extended article (Ibid., VII, pp. 137-155, 1S62) he does not mention Scops asio, 
but adds to his first list two species of small ow^ls, one of which probably he 
had previously incorrectly identified as a screech owl. 



368 NOBTH AMEBICAN FAUNA. [xo. 27. 

July 15. It was being vigorously assailed by bam swallows, which 
were nesting on the precipitous sides of the island. 

In 1903 we saw several at Edmonton May 10, and while on our 
way to Athabaska Landing May 11 to 15 noted a number nearly 
every day. On their return trip in the fall my brother and Gary 
observed single birds near Athabaska Landing on September i2 and 
20. During my trip northward from Fort Rae I saw one on Lake 
Faber on August 7. On Great Bear Lake I saw one near McVicar 
Bay September 9, and another 40 miles west of that place Septem- 
ber 12. 

In the spring of 1904 I first recorded the bird at Fort Simpson 
April 28, noting one. A pair, both of which had been eating meadow 
voles {Microtis drummandi) ^ were collected May 5. Another speci- 
men was taken May 12, and one bird was seen May 14. At Willow 
River, near Fort P