Yellow Billed Cuckoo Art Print by John James Audubon

Brandywine General Store

SKU: 02 audubon

An archival premium quality art print of the yellow billed cuckoo bird as originally drawn by John James Audubon for sale by Brandywine General Store. The artist painted this for his ornithology book, The Birds of America. This was plate or picture number 02 in this epic first Havell edition book. This was one of the first pictures done by Audubon, so it was originally engraved and hand colored by Lazars in Edinburg in 1829, but was later retouched by Havell in London, who done the majority of the engraving work on this first edition. The picture shows a male and female yellow billed cuckoo birds with both setting in a paw paw tree which has ripe fruit, the male bird has a huge butterfly in its mouth. Coccynus Americanus - Audubon says of the yellow billed cuckoo "The flight of the bird now before you is rapid, silent, and horizontal, as it moves from one tree to another, or across a field or river, and is generally continued amongst the branches of the trees in our woods. When making its way among the branches, it occasionally inclines the body to either side, so as alternately to shew its whole upper or under parts. During its southward migration, it flies high in the air, and in such loose flocks that the birds might seem to follow each other, instead of their keeping company together. On the other hand, early in March, the greater number enter our southern boundaries singly, the males arriving first, and the females a few weeks after. They do not fly in a continued line, but in a broad front, as, while traveling with great rapidity in a steamboat, so as to include a range of a hundred miles in one day, I have observed this Cuckoo crossing the Mississippi at many different points on the same day. At this season, they resort to the deepest shades of the forests, and intimate their presence by the frequent repetition of their dull and unmusical notes, which are not unlike those of the young bull-frog. These notes may be represented by the word cow, cow, repeated eight or ten times with increasing rapidity. In fact, from the resemblance of its notes to that word, this Cuckoo is named Cow-bird in nearly every part of the Union. The Dutch farmers of Pennsylvania know it better by the name of Rain Crow, and in Louisiana the French settlers call it Coucou. It robs smaller birds of their eggs, which it sucks on all occasions, and is cowardly and shy, without being vigilant. On this latter account, it often falls a prey to several species of Hawks, of which the Pigeon Hawk (Falco columbarius) may be considered as its most dangerous enemy. It prefers the Southern States for its residence, and when very mild winters occur in Louisiana, some individuals remain there, not finding it necessary to go farther south....". He also describes the paw paw tree and telling of how the bark can be stripped from the bottom of the tree clear to the top and rope could be made of this bark, of which made about as strong a rope as hemp. Audubon Birds art print #02

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