Celebrating Audubon’s 231st birthday at the Academy of Natural Sciences


Today we celebrated the birthday of famed ornithologist John James Audubon (1785–1851), with a public page turning of the first volume of his masterpiece The Birds of America (published 1827–1838). Enjoy this short video of the event, featuring Academy librarian Alexandria Capone turning to the plate of the Cowpen Bird (now known as Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater), and myself talking a bit about that species, Audubon’s legacy, and how today Academy scientists continue to study the evolutionary relationships of birds, but now we are armed with DNA sequencing technologies and digital computers.

A fun thing about turning the page is that the species depicted on the following page is a surprise! For more on the history of Audubon’s The Birds of America, see my recent paper The Heart of Audubon, published in Common-place: the journal of early American life 16(1).

Thanks to the Academy staff for making and publishing the video on the Academy of Natural Sciences facebook page.

Advertisements
Categories: History of Science, Ornithology, PhiladelphiaTags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: