April 26, 2011
226th Birthday of John James Audubon
John James Audubon was a rare breed. Equally gifted in scientific observation and in painting, he contributed a great deal to the field of ornithology when, in 1827, he began publishing his seminal book of plate illustrations, "Birds of America." This folio contained over 400 approximately three-feet-tall prints made from Audubon's original gouache and watercolor paintings.
Audubon had a meticulous attention to detail, and catalogued his subjects so faithfully that he contributed to the discovery of 25 new species of bird. For this doodle, we wanted to honor Audubon by using his original work, so we collaborated with the Google Books team – who, in their quest to catalogue the world's books, already had high-quality high-resolution scans of "Birds of America." We composited those original images to make this doodle. You can read more about Audubon, and "Birds of America," over at the Google Books blog.
Posted by Sophia Foster-Dimino