Strange Bird Shot Up at Shirley’s Bay Had 8 Feet Wing Spread

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Strange Bird Shot Up at Shirley’s Bay Had 8 Feet Wing Spread

In 1931 John Slack of Ottawa, while hunting In Shirley’s Bay, shot a strange bird, the identity of which could not at the time be ascertained by the government Ornithologists. Even Professor John Macoun was puzzled. The bird had the appearance of a duck. It weighed 20 lbs, and had a wing spread of eight feet.

It had web feet and the neck was two feet long. Just before it was shot, the bird had dived under water and had it brought up a 14-inch fish. John Smith, brother of Henry Smith, who lived on the bay, told Mr. Slack he had never seen anything like it before. Mr. Slack took the bird to Ottawa and got Henry, the taxidermist of Bank street, to mount it.

Then he showed the bird to the the Ottawa Field Naturalists Society who took the matter up, but with out success. Finally, as the bird was too large for his house, Mr. Slack gave it to the Dominion Museum. (War Museum was the former Dominion Archives Building) Local experts expressed the view that the bird was a wanderer from some other part of the world.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Jun 1929, Sat  •  Page 40

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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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