John J. Audubon’s Birds of America
The life’s work of both a lover and observer of birds and nature.
John James Audubon's Birds of America is a portal into the natural world. Printed between 1827 and 1838, it contains 435 life-size watercolors of North American birds (Havell edition), all reproduced from hand-engraved plates, and is considered to be the archetype of wildlife illustration. Nearly 200 years later, the Audubon prints are coming to life once again, thanks to our vibrant digital library. Click through the images below to read Audubon’s writings on each species and access a free high-resolution download.
These artworks are a spectacular product of John James Audubon’s life’s work, but his legacy is also intertwined with that of America’s past and present culture of racial oppression. Learn more about his biography and explore questions that it raises about diversity and inclusion in the birding and conservation movements today.
The images in our collection are provided courtesy of the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove in Audubon, Pennsylvania; the Montgomery County Audubon Collection; and Zebra Publishing. Learn more about the John James Audubon Center.