Which book is John James Audubon's publication of US bird species?
The 'Birds of America' is a book by naturalist and painter John James Audubon (1785-1851), containing illustrations of a wide variety of birds of the United States. It was first published as a series in sections between 1827 and 1838, in Edinburgh and London. The official title is 'The Birds of America; from original drawings' by John James Audubon. In all there are 435 hand-colored life-size prints, made from engraved plates, measuring around 39 by 26 inches (99 by 66 cm).
Some specimens were collected by Audubon himself and others were sent to him by John Kirk Townsend (1809-1851), an American naturalist, ornithologist and collector. Townsend had collected them on an 1834 expedition with Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859), an English botanist and zoologist.
One complete copy of his book exists as part of The Darlington Collection at the University of Pittsburgh located in the state of Pennsylvania. Another complete collection is housed with Meisei University in Tokyo, Japan. Other libraries and colleges in Canada and the United States also house a complete collection.
Audubon was born in the French colony of Saint-Domingue on his father's sugar plantation (Haiti). He held dual citizenship in France and the United States and lived part of his early life near Nantes, France.
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."