Barn Swallow Fine Art Bird Print by John James Audubon

Brandywine General Store

SKU: 173 audubon

An archival premium Quality art Print of the Barn Swallow by John James Audubon for sale by Brandywine General Store. In this painting, Audubon features a male and female pair of the Barn Swallows in their full spring plumage in their nest. This nest is on the side of a board in a barn in which Mr. Audubon states that at least 20 pairs of these small birds had nests. These barn birds were plate or picture number 173 in the great ornithology book, The Birds of America, the first Havell edition. In the lower right corner it states engraved, parinted and colored by R Havell 1833.

In his book Mr. Audubon describes the barn swallows thus "The Barn Swallow makes its first appearance at New Orleans from the middle of February to the first of March. They do not arrive in flocks, but apparently in pairs, or a few together, and immediately resort to the places where they have bred before, or where they have been reared. Their progress over the Union depends much on the state of the weather; and I have observed a difference of a whole month, owing to the varying temperature, in their arrival at different places. Thus in Kentucky, Virginia, or Pennsylvania, they now and then do not arrive until the middle of April or the beginning of May. In milder seasons they reach Massachusetts and the eastern parts of Maine by the 10th of the latter month, when you may rest assured that they are distributed over all the intermediate districts. So hardy does this species seem to be, that I observed it near Eastport in Maine, on the 7th May, 1833, in company with the Republican or Cliff Swallow, pursuing its different avocations, while masses of ice hung from every cliff, and the weather felt cold to me. I saw them in the Gut of Cansso on the 10th of June, and on the Magdeleine Islands on the 13th of the same month. They were occupied in building their nests in the open cupola of a church. Not one, however, was observed in Labrador, although many Sand Martins were seen there. On our return, I found at Newfoundland some of the present species, and of the Cliff Swallow, all of which were migrating southward on the 14th of August, when Fahrenheit's thermometer stood at 41 degrees. In spring, the Barn Swallow is welcomed by all, for she seldom appears before the final melting of the snows and the commencement of mild weather, and is looked upon as the harbinger of summer. As she never commits depredations on any thing that men consider as their own, every body loves her, and, as the child was taught by his parents, so the man teaches his offspring, to cherish her. I never saw one of these nests in a chimney, nor have I ever heard of their occurring in such situations, they being usually occupied by the American Swift, which is a more powerful bird, and may perhaps prevent the Barn Swallow from entering. The eggs are from four to six, rather small and elongated, semi-translucent, white, and sparingly spotted all over with reddish-brown. The period of incubation is thirteen days, and both sexes sit, although not for the same length of time, the female performing the greater part of the task. Each provides the other with food on this occasion, and both rest at night beside each other in the nest. In South Carolina, where a few breed, the nest is formed in the beginning of April, and in Kentucky about the first of May....". Audubon bird print #173


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