The Google theme for yesterday, April 26, 2011, which shows a Doodle with an eagle, an owl, a turkey and several other birds, was intended to commemorate the 226th birthday of John James Audubon; a Haitian-American ornithologist, naturalist, hunter, and painter.
John James Audubon was born in Haiti on April 26th, 1785. He is famous for his book “Birds of America”, which contains his own paintings and illustrations of various birds found in the United States. Many consider this book to be one of the most important works of the 19th century in the United States.
During his career as an ornithologist, Audubon discovered twenty-five new species and twelve new subspecies of birds.
The “Birds of America” series consists of 435 hand-colored, life-size prints of 497 bird species made from engraved copper plates of various sizes, depending on the size of the image. They were printed on sheets measuring about 39 by 26 inches (660 mm).
The work contains just over 700 North American bird species.
Last December 7th, 2010 – an original print of “Birds of America” was sold at an auction, in Sotheby’s, for $11.5 million – a record price for a printed book.
Happy birthday John James Audubon!