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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edward Bartlett   [24] September [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Sept. 16th

Dear Sir

I am very much obliged for your note & the specimens.2 I have kept 2 of the Geese, & will the first day I send to the Station return 2.— I enclose P.O for 16s. with 1s for carriage of returned parcel.3

You say in your note that the Egyptian goose throws the water, like a Duck, out of the sides of the beak.4 Now it would be especially useful to me to know positively, whether this goose can graze or tear off herbage like the domestic goose.— Will you ask your Father,5 if he does not know, whether he could turn one of these geese out on a plot where there is fresh grass, & see whether it can use its beak well in biting off or plucking herbage.—

I shall be glad also to hear whether the spur-winged Goose of Africa ever sifts the water, which does not seem probable from what you say about its beak.—6

Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The date and year are established by the reference in CD’s Classed account books (Down House MS) to a payment of 17s. to Edward Bartlett on 24 September 1871.
See n. 1, above.
Abraham Dee Bartlett.
The spur-winged goose is Plectropterus gambensis; see letter from Edward Bartlett, 20 September 1871.


Thanks for goose specimens.

Asks whether Egyptian goose throws water out of side of beak. Can it tear herbage like the domestic goose?

[Mistakenly dated 16 Sept by CD.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edward Bartlett
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7965,” accessed on 26 May 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19