Great Nebraska

Naturalists and Scientists

NOU, Myron Swenk, letter, 1919, Oct. 11


October 11, 1919.

Miss Jessie Kellogg,
Junior High School,
Red Cloud, Nebraska.

Dear Madam:
I have a postal card from Rev. J. M. Bates, written October 3, in which he states that a yellow-billed cuckoo flew into your school room and was killed, and that he was sending the bird in order to have it mounted for your school room. Rev. Bates states that he will be away until the 28th and suggests that I make up the bird and send it to you with bill for mounting.

Of course, we are not interested in commercial taxidermy, but because of the educational features involved I took the bird home when it reached me some time after the receipt of Dr. Bates’ card, but I found that it was no longer fresh and was very fat, so that after skinning it was in rather poor shape for mounting. Accordingly, I am writing you about it before proceding to mount it, in order that you may not be disappointed. It will if mounted, be only a second class specimen at best. The cost of mounting will be $5.00. I am sorry if this is a disappointment to your children, and can only suggest that a couple of years ago last spring I picked up a perfectly fresh yellow-billed cuckoo here on the University Farm Campus and mounted it, securing a very fine specimen. If your children are disappointed in not being able to get a really nice specimen from their bird, and if they do not object to the substitution, I will send them the above mentioned specimen for the mounting charges. Please let me know your pleasure in this matter, as I will do nothing further either way until I hear from you.
Yours very truly,