Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/677

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657
AN INTERESTING BIRD.

AN INTERESTING BIRD.
By J. H. KIDDER, M. D.,

PASSED ASSISTANT SURGEON, UNITED STATES NAVY.

KERGUELEN Island is in latitude 48°—49° south; longitude 70° east from Greenwich, That is to say, it is in the South Indian Ocean, about half-way between the Cape of Good Hope and Australia, but well to the southward of both. It is rather an archipelago than an island, innumerable small peaks being grouped around and in the estuaries of a central mass of volcanic rock, about ninety miles long by fifty wide, and shaped somewhat like a spider, of which its numerous long promontories and peninsulas represent the legs. Being

PSM V08 D677 Sheath bill of kerguelen island.jpg
Fig. 1.—The Sheath-bill, of Kerguelen Island.

treeless, barren, uninhabited, and uninhabitable, and situated in a region given over to boisterous gales and continual rain or snow, it is a country seldom visited. It was discovered about a hundred years ago, by the unfortunate Lieutenant Kerguelen, of the French marine, and about two years afterward found again by Captain Cook, who gave it the name of Desolation Island. During May, June, and July, 1840, Sir James Clark Ross remained there with the Erebus and Ter-