Swallow Tailed Hawk by John James Audubon

Brandywine General Store

SKU: 72 audubon

An archival premium Quality art Print of the Swallow Tail Hawk by John James Audubon for sale by Brandywine General Store. The artwork shows a male bird flying through the air with a garter snake that he has caught for his supper. This graceful raptor has a beautiful white head and neck with a blue and black body and tail feathers in the shape of a V. Audubon drew this hawk or kite for his great ornithology book, The Birds of America published in the first half of the 19th century. This raptor was plate or picture number 72 in the 1st Havell edition. Audubon describes the swallow-tailed hawk in the book thus "The flight of this elegant species of Hawk is singularly beautiful and protracted. It moves through the air with such ease and grace, that it is impossible for any individual, who takes the least pleasure in observing the manners of birds, not to be delighted by the sight of it whilst on wing. Gliding along in easy flappings, it rises in wide circles to an immense height, inclining in various ways its deeply forked tail, to assist the direction of its course, dives with the rapidity of lightning, and, suddenly checking itself, reascends, soars away, and is soon out of sight. At other times a flock of these birds, amounting to fifteen or twenty individuals, is seen hovering around the trees. They dive in rapid succession amongst the branches, glancing along the trunks, and seizing in their course the insects and small lizards of which they are in quest. Their motions are astonishingly rapid, and the deep curves which they describe, their sudden doublings and crossings, and the extreme ease with which they seem to cleave the air, excite the admiration of him who views them while thus employed in searching for food. A solitary individual of this species has once or twice been seen in Pennsylvania. Farther to the eastward the Swallow-tailed Hawk has never, I believe, been observed. Travelling southward, along the Atlantic coast we find it in Virginia, although in very small numbers. Beyond that State it becomes more abundant. Near the Falls of the Ohio, a pair had a nest and reared four young, ones, in 1820. In the lower parts of Kentucky it begins to become more numerous; but in the States farther to the south, and particularly in parts near the sea, it is abundant....." Audubon birds art print #72


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