From Charles Henry Binstead 17 April 1868
April 17. 1868
My dear Sir
I have had during the past few days the pleasure of reading your valuable & interesting book on “The Variation of Animals &c under domestication”—1
—As an ornithologist in a very small way I have read with great interest your Chapter on Ducks &c But I do not notice that you have observed a change that I fancy takes place in Mallards when becoming domesticated— it is this that in the wild Duck the claws are black whereas in the tame ones they are white I think I have noticed this in several cases & take the liberty of informing you—as it may have escaped your observation &—should there be anything in it & your book reaches a 2nd Edition—it may be of service to you in rendering the same more complete.2
I have taken the liberty of forwarding you this letter through the hands of your publisher Mr. Murray.3
I am Dr Sir | Yours very faithfully | Chas. H. Binstead
The | Revd. C. Darwin M.d.
In reading Variation, notices CD has not observed that after mallards have been domesticated their claws turn from black to white.