of the authors quoted below, Hakluyt 1583, Wormius 1655, and Martin 1697, ever saw the great auk alive or in the flesh is an item of more than passing interest.
Size of the Great Auk.—Very large, not much less than a goose—Hakluyt, 1583. Did not much exceed the bigness of a goose—Wormius, 1655. Above the size of a Solan goose—Martin, 1697. Size of a goose—Brookes, 1771. Three feet to the end of the toes—Pennant, 1812. Three feet long, size of a goose but slender—Buffon, 1812. Approaches that of a goose—Cuvier, 1817. Approaches a goose—Willoughby. Length to end of tail, 29 ins., 3112 ins. to end of feet—Audubon, 1840. Thirty inches to three feet—Jardine, 1860. About 3 feet long—Dallas, 1867. Size of a goose Seebohm,—1886. Twenty-seven and a half inches to tail—Duchaussoy, 1897.
The Great Auk of Audubon.
Bill of the Auk.
—A long broad bill—Martin, 1697. Like a broad cutlass, sides fiat and hollowed with notches—Buffon, 1812. Marked with several furrows—Pennant, 1812. Black, with 8 or 10 grooves, long and broad—Cuvier, 1817. Black with grooves between transverse ridges white—Audubon, 1840. Black with transverse furrows, the grooves white—Jardine, 1860. White grooves less conspicuous than in Razorbills—Seebohm, 1886. Bill black with 7 or S whitish grooves on upper, 10 or 11 on lower—Duchaussoy, 1897.
White Marks on Head.—Large white spot under each eye, red about the eyes—Martin, 1697. White oval spot before the eye—Linnaeus, 1761. Large white spot between eye and bill—Pennant, 1812. Great oval white spot between bill and eye, margin rising like a rim on each side of the head, which is very flat—Buffon, 1812. Oval white patch between the eye and bill—Cuvier, 1817. Large oblong white patch before each eye—Audubon, 1840. In front and around the eyes is a large oval patch of white—Jardine, 1860. White oval patch from eye to bill—Seebohm, 1886. In front of eyes oval white spot on side of head from base of bill—Duchaussoy, 1897.
Description of Neck.—Short and thick—Audubon, 1840.
Character of Wing.
—Cannot flie, their wings not able to carry them—Hakluyt, 1583. Its wings short, it flies not at all—Martin, 1697. So small as to