I am not a birder. I don’t chase the snowy owls to photograph. Those who know me well know that I jokingly refer to all the birds as a finch variety, like long-necked swimming finch, that purple long-legged finch, and so on. It is not that I do not appreciate the beauty and majesty of birds, I do. But not enough to run to see a glimpse of a hawk ready to dive on a rodent on the ground.
John James Audubon
That said, I enjoy the work and art of John James Audubon. We have a thick book of his Birds of America, probably published in the 1940s. I think Jan got it from an aunt. Many years ago, when I saw that book for the first time I was amazed at the quality of the illustrations. There were a few loose-leaf plates, probably included with the book, which I had framed and had them hanging on the wall. And, we still have the book on the shelf even today.
Recently, the Audubon Society released all the plates for everyone to enjoy, not only to view but download large-format files for printing for personal use. They have released them, all 435 plates to the public domain in a well organized digital library. You can view them online, read the detailed text about every one of them, and if you like, download them for your own library. If you have a printer, you can print those you like and put them on your wall.
Build Your Collection
I have been going through and downloading the large format files into a library I called “finches.” Below are some selections from my collection of 70 plates. You can see the full collection of John J. Audubon’s Birds of America on their dedicated site. They are highly enjoyable. Now, this will take probably several days!
The images below, a small sample, are resized for a gallery presentation but not otherwise edited or cropped. When I print any, I will maintain the aspect ratios and cut the paper to fit the image. I hope you enjoy them.