John James Audubon referred to his Birds of America as the “Great Work”. He anticipated that his book would become the most valuable bird reference in the world. He was right. None are even close. Audubon’s writing and artwork are extraordinary, but it was Audubon capturing a landscape and an abundance of wildlife that was vanishing faster than a hawk overtaking a hare (Plates 181 and 372 of the double elephant folio) that caused the price to own his artwork to soar and his name to become synonymous with conservation. All of Audubon’s birds and their habitats and locations are indexed at askaudubon.net.
John James Audubon wrote about the Wood Thrush: “Seldom, indeed, have I heard the song of this Thrush without feeling all that tranquillity of mind, to which the secluded situation in which it delights is so favourable. The thickest and darkest woods always appear to please it best. The borders of murmuring streamlets, overshadowed by the dense foliage of the lofty trees growing on the gentle declivities, amidst which the sunbeams seldom penetrate, are its favourite resorts.”