Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Audubon and His Legacy

Today is the 226th anniversary of the birth of John Audubon.  Born in Haiti, he was an ornothologist, a hunter, a painter and a naturalist who spent his life cataloging the birds of North America.  Wikipedia gives a sketch of his early life:

"From his earliest days, Audubon had an affinity for birds. "I felt an intimacy with them...bordering on frenzy [that] must accompany my steps through life." His father encouraged his interest in nature; "he would point out the elegant movement of the birds, and the beauty and softness of their plumage. He called my attention to their show of pleasure or sense of danger, their perfect forms and splendid attire. He would speak of their departure and return with the seasons." In France during the chaotic years of the French Revolution and its aftermath, Audubon grew up to be a handsome and gregarious young man. He played flute and violin, and learned to ride, fence, and dance. He was hearty and a great walker, and loved roaming in the woods, often returning with natural curiosities, including birds' eggs and nests, of which he made crude drawings. His father planned to make a seaman of his son. At twelve, Audubon went to military school and became a cabin boy. He quickly found out that he was susceptible to seasickness and not fond of mathematics or navigation. After failing the officer's qualification test, Audubon ended his incipient naval career. He was cheerfully back on solid ground and exploring the fields again, focusing on birds."

For additional insight into this incredible artist/naturalist go to Wikipedia's bio of him:    John James Audubon Biography

And, here are two more arrivals out here JOTOLR.  Directly below is the Indigo Bunting a bright jewel that spends the summer with us...

And here is the Baltimore Oriole which nests high above the ground with a swinging basket-like nest that resembles an elongated hammock.

We will be welcoming over 100 different species of neo-tropical arrivals this spring.  The Eastern Flyway of the Northern Hemisphere is alive with color!


  1. Elora -- Your photos are beautiful. You do live in a lovely place that provides a welcoming habitat for migrating birds. -- barbara

  2. Forgive me, everyone! I failed to insert that both photos were compliments of Google's images, though there was no copyright. My undying gratitude for those who publish these photos. I believe they make us all aware, (as we could not without photos) of our beautiful world. Please give credit where credit is due. It was take a much larger lense and more patience that I have, to capture such exquisite jewels!