Illustrated Aviary

Reimagining the California Quail

A contemporary take on an antique-looking bird.

This update of John James Audubon’s California quail, painted by portrait artist Marc Burckhardt on a wood panel, faithfully recaptures the bird’s appeal. “The quail looks like an antique to me, with its odd plume,” he says. The context, however, is thoroughly contemporary. “The thought of it now living in urban environments,” says the artist, “picking through the leftovers of our modern age, struck me as both a reflection of its endurance and our indifference to the natural wonders around us.”

Illustration: John James Audubon
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