Collection: John James Audubon

John James Audubon – An American Ornithologist

Introduction

John James Audubon was born on April 26, 1785, in Les Cayes, Saint Domingue, Hispaniola. Audubon made his first scientific studies from his father's Pennsylvania estate. After trying and failing in many different types of business ventures, he tried on drawing and studying birds and began traveling around the country to get success in this work. John got his extraordinary four-volume Birds of America published in London in 1827 and followed it up with several kind works.

Early life

Audubon was born in Les Cayes, now Haiti, on April 26, 1785. He was the illegitimate son of French plantation owner Captain Jean Audubon and his Creole servant Jeanne Rabin; he was named Jean Rabin at birth. After his mother's death, Audubon and his sister were sent to France. The couple legally adopted the children in 1794 and gave Jean a new name: Jean-Jacques Fougère Audubon.

Audubon fell in love and got married to Lucy Bakewell, an educator and philanthropist of that time. They had four children's named Victor Gifford Audubon, John Woodhouse Audubon, Lucy Audubon, and Rose Audubon. 

'Birds of America'- A great success

The Birds of America were his first successful publication, which made him popular in the whole world. This popular book featured many North American bird species. After researching for fourteen years, John James Audubon was able to get this remarkable accomplishment. He deeply researched and studied 435 birds, all on his own, and made it noteworthy. The book contained the original drawings by Audubon and was the first publication that was made on birds. 

Death

Audubon died at his home on January 27, 1851, and was buried at Trinity Cemetery in New York City. He is remembered as one of the most talented naturalists of his era. 

His interest and concern for the natural environment mark him as one of the important people of the modern conservationism and environmentalism movements. In 1886, the first bird-preservation society was named in his honor, which led to the establishment of the National Audubon Society in 1905. Countless wildlife sanctuaries, parks, and towns also use his name and honor his legacy.

 

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