Noddy Tern by John James Audubon Art Print

Brandywine General Store

SKU: 275 audubon

An archival premium Quality Art Print of the Noddy Tern by John James Audubon for sale by Brandywine General Store. This bird was plate or picture number 275 in the first Havell edition of The Birds of America, the ornithology masterpiece which was published by Audubon in the decades of the 1820 and 1830s. In this painting Mr. Audubon shows a lone male specimen of this bird setting on a dead branch. Water is all around him with land and mountains visible in the background. This bird is not very colorful, only being a brown color with a white area on top of his head. Even though not very colorful, it still makes a nice looking print. We have replaced the sky with light blue in color, in the original print, the sky has yellowed and does not look very well. Audubon painted the Noddy Tern in the Florida Keys on May 11, 1832 in a spot the artist called Noddy Key. This is thought to be the Bush Key today in the Dry Tortugas. Sterna Stolida - Mr. Audubon describes the Noddy Tern in Birds of America as follows: "At the beginning of May, the Noddies collect from all parts of the Gulf of Mexico, and the coasts of Florida, for the purpose of returning to their breeding places, on one of the Tortugas called Noddy Key. . . . " "The noddies form regular nests of twigs and dry grass, which they place on the bushes or low trees, but never on the ground. On visiting their island [Noddy Key] on the 11th of May 1832, I was surprised to see that many of them were repairing and augmenting nests that had remained through the winter, while others employed in constructing new ones, and some were already sitting on their eggs. In a great many instances their repaired nests formed masses nearly 2 feet in height, and yet all of them had only a slight hollow for the eggs . . . " "The Noddy, like most other species of terns, lays three eggs, which average two inches in length, by an inch and three-eighths in breadth, and are reddish-yellow colour, spotted and patched with dull red and faint purple. They afford excellent eating, and our sailors seldom failed to collect bucketfuls of them daily during our stay at the Tortugas." ". . . It does not see well at night, and it is perhaps for this reason that it frequently alights on the spars of vessels, where it sleeps so sound that the seamen often catch them. When seized in the hand it offers a rough cry . . . On such occasions, it does not disgorge its food . . . although it bites severely, with quickly repeated movements of the bill, . . . Some of which I've kept several days, refused all kinds of food, became dull and languid, and at length died . . . The tail of the Noddy is cueate, instead of being forked, in which respect it differs essentially from that of the other species. Perhaps the naturalists who placed it in the same genus as the Roseate tern, may have been nodding over their books" Audubon bird print #275

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