Key West Dove Fine Art Bird Print by John James Audubon

Brandywine General Store

SKU: 167 audubon

An archival premium Quality art Print of the Key West Dove by John James Audubon for sale by Brandywine General Store. The painting was plate of picture number 167 in the ornithology book by Audubon entitled The Birds of America. This plate is taken from the first Havell edition, published during the 1830s. The picture shows a male and female pair of these beautiful birds in a bog or wetlands area in Key West Florida. The birds look like they are in conversation with each other, probably trying to decide where to put their nest. The purple flowers behind the birds are the railroad vine and the white ones are the rubber vine, making this a nice botanical print as well as ornithological.

Mr. Audubon describes the Key West Dove in Birds of America thus "It was at Key West that I first saw this beautiful Pigeon. The Marion was brought to anchor close to, and nearly opposite, the little town of the same name, some time after the setting of the sun. The few flickering lights I saw nearly fixed the size of the place in my imagination. In a trice, the kind captain and I were seated in his gig, and I felt the onward movement of the light bark as if actually on wing, so well timed was the pulling of the brave tars who were taking us to the shore. In this place I formed acquaintance with Major GLASSEL Of the United States Artillery, and his family, of Dr. BENJAMIN STROBEL, and several other persons, to whom I must ever feel grateful for the kind attention which they paid to me and my assistants, as well as for the alacrity with which they aided me in procuring rare specimens not only of birds, but also of shells and plants, most of which were unknown to me. Indeed--I cannot too often repeat it--the facilities afforded me by our Government, during my latter journeys and voyages, have been so grateful to my feelings, that I have frequently thought that circumstance alone quite sufficient to induce even a less ardent lover of nature to exert himself to the utmost in repaying the favour. The flight of this bird is low, swift, and protracted. I saw several afterwards when they were crossing from Cuba to Key West, the only place in which I found them. It flies in loose flocks of from five or six to a dozen, with flappings having an interval apparently of six feet, so very low over the sea, that one might imagine it on the eve of falling into the water every moment. It is fond of going out from the thickets early in the morning, for the purpose of cleansing itself in the shelly sand that surrounds the island; but the instant it perceives danger it flies off to the woods, throws itself into the thickest part of them, alights on the ground, and runs off with rapidity until it thinks itself secure. The jetting motions of its tail are much like those of the Carolina Dove, and it moves its neck to and fro, forward and backward, as Pigeons are wont to do...."

Columba Montana - We have made the sky in the background blue, in the original illustration the color was white with clouds, but this has greatly aged over the almost two centuries since completed. Mr. Audubon painted this canvas on May 06, 1832 at Key West, Florida. The Key West doves used to migrate freely between Cuba and the Keys but now the rare sighting of one of these quails or doves brings bird watchers to the Keys from all over the country. One was spotted here in 1987 and was the first sighting during this century. This bird is easy to catch and makes a tasty meal, so that has led to its decline making it very scarce in the United States. The quails or doves now primarily live in the West Indies. Audubon bird print #167


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