Happy Birthday Audubon

Yesterday was the 226th anniversary of the birth of French-American bird lover, John James Audubon. One website noted that the painter of birds “would have turned 226 today,” as if an accident or suicide prevented him from doing so.

I thought the Google doodle on the Google main search page in honor of Audubon was pretty cool:

I like the way the shapes of the Google letters almost disappear, but they become clearer if I squint a bit. I wonder how many birders identified all the species in the logo. I think the fourth bird from the left, the black one with a yellow breast and blue throat looks kind of like a Bananaquit. The owl perched on the “l” is a Long Eared Owl. The others I can’t really even guess. I haven’t found a nice high-res version of the logo anywhere.

In honor of old Audbon, here are a few bird photos from my travels around North America over the last four months or so. First, a male mallard we saw in Fort Collins, Colorado while visiting Beth’s cousin’s family two weeks ago. Nice beading action on his head:

Her cousin’s family are also raising a few chickens for eggs:

I helped install the final panel on the roof of the coop, which was fun. Three chickens seems like a pretty good way to get a dozen or so cage-free eggs per week. I bet we’d save money if we raised hens, too. Here Peggy is engaging in a more Audubon-worthy pose–perhaps the chicken equivalent of Blue Steel:

Finally a few mundane species striking nice poses. A questioning seagull in San Francisco:

and an un-shy female house sparrow a few blocks away from the seagull:

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4 Comments on “Happy Birthday Audubon”

  1. susan Says:

    SUCH beautiful pictures (as always)!
    I confess I have no real interest in raising chickens in our back yard – I just have too much to keep up with already – but a neighbor of mine has a coop with 4 gorgeous chickens, and she sells me eggs nearly every week. I love it.

    • bpatricksullivan Says:

      Thanks, Susan! That sounds like a good system with your neighbor’s chickens–even better than having one’s own.

  2. Allison Says:

    I saw a brown-headed cowbird yesterday at the feeder (first time seeing one at my house) and thought of old Audubon since I saw the Google logo yesterday too.

    • bpatricksullivan Says:

      I was watching some brown headed cowbirds on Sunday. Have you seen them do this mating behavior where they inflate and then suddenly go PEEP!? It’s hilarious. Grackle’s do a similar trick, but not as well as the cowbirds.

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