Thanks for reply to queries.
Requests that a wild rock-pigeon be sent. Have they been domesticated as William Macgillivray says [History of British birds (1837) 1: 275–84; see also Variation 1: 185n.]?
Is rabbit wild in Shetlands?
LE's information on drifted trees adds an archipelago to his list.
Requests information on variation in domesticated Shetland animals;
bones of large quadrupeds in peat.
Down Bromley Kent
I beg to thank very truly for your kind & very interesting answer to my
queries.— The fact, which you communicate to me of a cock Rock Pigeon, having
come to your Dove Cot & paired with a domestic Bird is of value to
me.— I had fancied from the several statements in
I am making a collection of skeletons of all the domestic kinds of Pigeons, but I have
failed in getting a real wild adult Rock Dove. Should you think me very
unreasonable to beg you to do me the great favour to send one, in strong paper, or light
Box per post: but I ask this on one condition that you will permit me to return you the
I thank you for the information in regard to the drifted trees, it adds one more
archipelago to my list.— If any fact should ever occur to you in regard
even to any very slight variation or
difference or Habits in regard to any of the domesticated animals of the
You ask about myself; I have devoted my whole life to do what little I could for our favourite pursuit of Natural History, & I volunteered my Services on board H.M.S. Beagle in her circumnavigation, & did my best during our long voyage of five years, & published an account of it.—
With my cordial thanks, pray believe me, my dear Sir, Yours' truly obliged | Ch. Darwin
- f1 1867.f1Dated on the basis of CD's interest in acquiring skeletons of pigeons and other birds.
- f2 1867.f2Cited in Variation 1: 185 n. 15.
- f3 1867.f3Macgillivray 1837–52.
- f4 1867.f4In Variation 1: 185 n. 15, CD stated: ‘Mr. James Barclay and Mr. Smith of Uyea Sound, both say that the wild rock-pigeon can be easily tamed; and the former gentleman asserts that the tamed birds breed four times a year.’
- f5 1867.f5Edmondston sent CD two wild rock-doves from the Shetlands (Variation 1: 134 n. 5). A drawing of one of them is in Variation 1: 135. See also letter to L. D. Edmondston, 11 September .