John James Audubon

John James Audubon
John James Audubon

John James Laforest Audubon (* 26. April 1785 in Les Cayes, Haiti; † 27. January 1851 in New York) was an US-American Ornithologe and draughtsman. Its Hauptwerk are the birds Americas.

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youth and first Forschungsreisen

Audubon was born as a son of a French sea-captain and owner of plan day and a Kreolin and was called after its nut/mother first Jean Rabine. Its nut/mother died a half year after its birth and Jean buildup starting from August 1788 with its stepmother Anne Moynet in Nantes . In March 1789 it was officially adopted and called Jean Jacques Fougère Audubon. After alleged training with the historical-scenes painter Jaques Louis David, of which today, whether she really took place, went it is however disputed 1803 with one from its father procured wrong passport to America.

Icterus melanocephalus audubonii, ein Vertreter der Trupiale
Icterus melanocephalus audubonii, a representative of the Trupiale
John James Audubon mit der Vogelflinte auf einem seiner Streifzüge.
John James Audubon with the bird gun on one of its excursions.

Probably the 18-Jährige wanted to escape so the military service in the army Napoleon. Briefly after or during the passage he got sick with jaundice and in a hospital led by Quäkern was maintained, where he learned for the first time English and his later Mrs. Lucy beacon-wave met. After the recovery the family property Mill Grove became close Philadelphia the new domicile of John James Audubon, as it called itself in the meantime amerikanisiert. There it lived as hunter, dealer and Tierpräparator. 1808 he married Lucy beacon-waves. On Mill Grove accomplished the young researcher also those probably first Vogelberingung in North America: It marked singing birds with cords and found out by the fact that they return in each year to the same NIST place.

Its business led it Ohio River along to the west into the States of Pennsylvania and Kentucky. In Henderson it finally opened a shopkeeper shop. Probably it met 1810 there also on Alexander Wilson, the other large American ornithologist of this time. Audubons woman bore two sons, Victor GIF Ford and John Woodhouse, and a daughter, which died however early in this time. As leisure activities Audubon, like before in France, made numerous bird designs. After initial successes however its state of business and 1819 worsened came it because of bankruptcy for short time in the prison.

Possibly it developed its ambitionierten plan during the detention to list all kinds of bird of North America which it put briefly to it into practice. Together with an assistant it began a travel the Mississippi downward. In the spring 1821 it arrived at new Orleans , where it lived for some months. In the following it drove summers again river upward, in order to work into Louis IANA for a family of owner of plan day as drawing teachers and to explore the there bird world. While these journeys remained its wife in the civilization and earned as a private teacher money. Audubon earned itself with order haven advice somewhat in addition.

When painting the birds Audubon always proceeded according to the same pattern: First it shot the animals, whereby it used very fine pellet, in order to keep the damage of the bodies as small as possible. Then it used wires, in order to fix the Kadaver in naturally working positions and draw it. With this support to nature main header Audubon of the remaining scientific draughtsmen of its time off and put the foundation-stone for its later success. From a report, which the researcher wrote over his work, it follows that he shot than 100 birds on the day more.

Columba carolinensis to find from Birds OF America, volume IV, board
17 [work on

] success with Birds OF

America Audubon in Philadelphia, tried first, a publisher for its designs had thereby however no luck, among other things probably, because he was guessed/advised into technical conflicts with the local resident scientific society. 1826 it traveled with its partly finished work to England. As “American forest runner” and with its life-large designs of the bird world he reached fast popularity and found a printer for the birds America (Birds OF America). The publication was a full success. Even king George IV. became enthusiastic for the designs. During an attendance in Edinburgh Audubon demonstrated the wire method for fixing the dead birds. With one of these lectures the student was Charles Darwin among the listeners.

Together with the Scottish Ornithologen William MacGillivray wrote Audubon a kind of “personal records” (Ornithological Biographies) of all kinds in his book. The four volumes of the birds Americas as well as the Biografien appeared between 1827 and 1838. By the economic success, which was to due not least also to its personal popularity, attained Audubon a certain prosperity, undertook however further several expeditions by North America and established themselves finally in New York on a messuage at the Huson, which is called today Audubon park. 1842 appeared a very successful American edition of the birds Americas.

in its last Lebensjahren became Audubon appreciably senile. Its last Forschungsreise undertook it 1843. The work over the mammals of North America (Viviparous Quadrupeds OF North America), coming out from it, was completed to a large extent by its sons and by the friendly lutheranischen minister John brook man, whose daughter had married one of Audubons sons. John James Audubon is bestattet on the Trinity cemetery in New York.

Independently of the zoo-logical usefulness has it “the birds America” a lasting artistic fame secured. The work is considered this very day as yardstick graphic Könnens to nature painters.


an association of bird and nature friends under the name Audubon Society was already based the Audubon societies for the Protection OF Birds in the USA. Several further establishments, which referred expressly to Audubon, followed. 1901 united the associations to national the Committee OF Audubon Societies , which used itself in the future particularly against the hunt for birds for the production of decoration feathers/springs. Today the society consists the bird protection of more than 500 local member associations in the USA, uses themselves for nature and in particular and offers to the members a forum for all topics approximately around the bird observation.


  • Birds OF America (Edinburgh, 1827-1838)
  • Ornithological Biographies (Edinburgh, 1831-1839)
  • Viviparous Quadrupeds OF North America (New York, 1845-1848)


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