These Vintage Wildlife Prints Are Now Available for Free Download
Bird lover and naturalist James John Audubon famously dedicated years of his life to creating some 435 life-sized watercolors of North America in the early 19th century.
While tracking birds across the U.S. and Canada, Audubon recorded their appearance, habits, and even their apparent demeanor in a book that would be called "Birds of America." The text documented the natural habitats of the continent's birds, and it has now come to serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of conservation. The Carolina parrot, for instance, which Audubon reproduced in detail in his book, became extinct in the early 20th century after the last captive bird died in 1918.
Nearly 200 years later, the collection is now available for high-resolution download through the Audubon website. The online library can be used as a point of reference for ornithologists and amateur birdwatchers alike.
Anyone can now download the prints for posters or other artwork and screen-printing projects. Explore some of the best prints that are now available through the Audubon's website.
Great Cinerous Owl
The large owl was known to Audubon for its "great antipathy to cats and dogs."
This owl emits a "single melancholy note" at night.
Audubon spotted this bird near Santa Barbara, California in 1837.
Known for its striking color, the Scarlet Ibis could be found in the Bayou Sara of Louisiana.
The Carolina parrot was declared extinct in the early 20th century.
Black White Creeper
Despite its spooky name, the creeper is nothing to fear. The bird survived mostly on ants and larvae.
"How delightful must it be to hear the melody resulting from thousands of musical voices that come from some neighboring tree," Audubon wrote of hearing the oriole's song while traveling along the Mississippi River.
This hummingbird feeds on begonias and other tubulars.
Yellow Winged Sparrow
This chipper sparrow is native to New England.
This bird was extremely rare in North America, but somewhat common in the Arctic, according to the artist.
The American puffin was sometimes known as a "Sea Parrot."
These birds were abundant in the markets of Boston and New York, Audubon wrote.
"Few birds are more gentle than this delicate species," Audubon wrote of the Lesser Tern.