Great White Heron by John James Audubon Art Print

Brandywine General Store


An archival premium Quality Art Print of the Great White Heron by John James Audubon with Key West Florida in the background for sale by Brandywine General Store. In this picture, Audubon shows a large white water bird, the Great White Heron setting on a bank with a view of Key West Florida, at this early point in United States History, Key West was still a sleepy little village with just a few new buildings showing. This heron has a colorful pink tinted colored fish with yellow stripes in its long narrow beak. Audubon painted this large white bird for his great ornithology book, The Birds of America in which this heron was plate or picture number 281 in the first Havell edition. Ardea Occidentalis - Mr. Audubon says the following about this large water bird "I am now about to present you with an account of the habits of the largest species of the Heron tribe hitherto found in the United States, and which is indeed remarkable not only for its great size, but also for the pure white of its plumage at every period of its life. Writers who have subdivided the family, and stated that none of the true Herons are white, will doubtless be startled when they, for the first time, look at my plate of this bird. I think, however, that our endeavours to discover the natural arrangement of things cannot be uniformly successful, and it is clear that he only who has studied all can have much chance of disposing all according to their relations. On the 24th of April, 1832, I landed on Indian Key in Florida, and immediately after formed an acquaintance with Mr. EGAN. He it was who first gave me notice of the species which forms the subject of this article, and of which I cannot find any description. The next day after that of my arrival, when I was prevented from accompanying him by my anxiety to finish a drawing, he came in with two young birds alive, and another lying dead in a nest, which he had cut off from a mangrove. You may imagine how delighted I was, when at the very first glance I felt assured that they were different from any that I had previously seen. The two living birds were of a beautiful white, slightly tinged with cream-colour, remarkably fat and strong for their age, which the worthy pilot said could not be more than three weeks.The nest with the two live birds was placed in the yard. The young Herons seemed quite unconcerned when a person approached them, although on displaying one’s hand to them, they at once endeavoured to strike it with their bill. My Newfoundland dog, a well-trained and most sagacious animal, was whistled for and came up; on which the birds rose partially on their legs, ruffled all their feathers, spread their wings, opened their bills, and clicked their mandibles in great anger, but without attempting to leave the nest. I ordered the dog to go near them, but not to hurt them. They waited until he went within striking distance, when the largest suddenly hit him with its bill, and bung to his nose. Plato, however, took it all in good part, and merely brought the bird towards me, wen I seized it by the wings, which made it let go its bold. It walked off as proudly as any of its tribe, and I was delighted to find it possessed of so much courage. ...." Audubon bird print #281

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