The Library is open for limited services. Online resources, including downloadable books & movies, are available 24/7.
Contact the library through our chat service. You can also email us at rdesk@mhl.org or send a text to 978-315-6123.

Memorial Hall Library

Happy Bird Day, John Audubon!

Jean Rabin, better known as John James Audubon, was born in the French colony Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) on April 26, 1785. In 1803, he immigrated to the United States, where he hunted and fished for food, but began to draw and paint the birds he saw. In 1827 he published the first edition of The Birds of America, a book that is still in print and still revered for its artistic and scientific merit. Sadly, some of the birds Audubon painted are now extinct, such as the passenger pigeon and great auk.

John Audubon's passenger pigeon
John Audubon's painting of the now-extinct passenger pigeon

 

If you'd like to follow in Audubon's footsteps, MHL has some great resources for you! With your MHL library card, you have access to the Birds of North America Online database, which has comprehensive information on the birds of North America, including audio recordings of their songs.

Whether you'd like to get outside and see some birds up close, or prefer to observe them from the comfort of your living room, here are some library materials about John Audubon's life and the birds of North America.

 

Bird Is the Word

Birds of America
Birds of America
by John James Audubon

Contains 435 illustrations and brief descriptions of birds indigenous to the United States.
Audubon : life and art in the American wilderness
Audubon : life and art in the American wilderness
by Shirley Streshinsky

A profile of the Haitian-born French artist recounts Audubon's arrival in New York, his expeditions into the American wilderness, and his portraits of native American birds and animals.
This strange wilderness : the life and art of John James Audubon
This strange wilderness : the life and art of John James Audubon
by Nancy Plain

Describes how the writer and naturalist set about recording in both word and image the birds of North America, and details the legacy his work has left behind.
John James Audubon: Drawn From Nature
John James Audubon: Drawn From Nature

PBS American Masters takes a look at naturalist John James Audubon's work and his work documenting American birds and their habitats.
The National Audubon Society field guide to North American birds : Eastern Region Eastern region
The National Audubon Society field guide to North American birds : Eastern Region Eastern region
by John L. Bull

A revised edition of the popular field guide includes hundreds of all new, full-color photographs, along with information on diverse species of eastern birds, their characteristics, habitats and ranges, identification tips, and more.
National Geographic field guide to the birds of North America
National Geographic field guide to the birds of North America
by Jon L. Dunn

Presents a guidebook which provides identification tips, information on behavior and nesting, locator and range maps, and plumage and species classification data on over 990 species of birds found in North America.
Sibley birds east : field guide to birds of eastern North America
Sibley birds east : field guide to birds of eastern North America
by David Sibley

A new edition of the eastern North American guide for bird enthusiasts profiles 550 species, and features new illustrations and maps, in a guide specifically designed for use in the field.
Birds of North America
Birds of North America
by Tom Wood

A guide to North American bird watching offers more than two hundred color photographs of breeds seen in North America and includes information on behavior, nesting, and habitat.
randomness