Sunday, January 20, 2013

Audubon's Pileateds

my favorite Audubon's:

Pileated woodpecker

"It would be difficult for me to say in what part of our extensive country I have not met with this hardy inhabitant of the forest. Even now, when several species of our birds are becoming rare, destroyed as they are, either to gratify the palate of the epicure, or to adorn the cabinet of the naturalist, the Pileated Woodpecker is every where to be found in the wild woods, although scarce and shy in the peopled districts."

"Wherever it occurs it is a permanent resident, and, like its relative the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, it remains pretty constantly in the place which it has chosen after leaving its parents. It is at all times a shy bird, so that one can seldom approach it, unless under cover of a tree, or when he happens accidentally to surprise it while engaged in its daily avocations," writes John James Audubon, the naturalist, in his 
Ornithological Biography.

Why is Audubon relevant? Because in addition to his artistic talent, perseverance and derring-do, he was a d--- good naturalist. A lot of what we know today about birds, the audacious, often farouche, John James Audubon was the first to put in print.

1 comment:

Dorothy said...

I think I would 'have a duck' if I ever got to see (and photograph) one of these!!!