John James Audubon

Biography

John James Audubon (1785-1851) was an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his expansive studies to document all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon’s influence on ornithology and natural history was far reaching. Nearly all later ornithological works were inspired by his artistry and high standards. Charles Darwin quoted Audubon three times in On the Origin of Species and also in later works. Despite some errors in field observations, he made a significant contribution to the
understanding of bird anatomy and behavior through his field notes. Birds of America is still considered one of the greatest examples of book art. Audubon discovered 25 new species and 12 new subspecies.

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