John James Audubon, b. Apr. 26, 1785, d. Jan. 27, 1851, was a French-American ornithologist noted for his bird drawings and paintings. After being educated in France, he came to "Mill Grove," the Audubon estate outside Philadelphia where he first experimented with bird-banding and migration. Eventually he devoted his life to painting birds and other animals. Audubon earned a living painting portraits and for a while taught drawing in New Orleans. He took his bird paintings to a publisher in Edinburgh, Scotland, and they were printed in Birds of America between 1827 and 1838, with the text, Ornithological Biography, appearing in five volumes between 1831 and 1839. William MacGillivray, a Scottish naturalist, collaborated with Audubon on the text and supplied most of the scientific data. Audubon had completed more than 400 paintings by 1838.

Because he was one of the first U.S. naturalists, the Audubon societies of today were named for him.

Bibliography: Adams, A. B., John James Audubon: A Biography (1976); Audubon, J. J., Letters, 1826-1840, ed. by H. Corning (1930; repr. 1969); Chancellor, John, Audubon (1978); Durant, Mary and Harwood, Michael, On the Road with John James Audubon (1980; repr. 1984); Ford, Alice E., John James Audubon (1965; repr. 1988); Herrick, F. H., Audubon the Naturalist, 2 vols. (1938; repr. 1968).

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