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image forAudubon paint the Blue-headed pigeon in the Florida Keys

A Guide to John Audubon's visit to the Florida Keys 

 

 

 

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AUDUBON IN THE FLORIDA KEYS


 

 

INDEX

  
AUDUBON


INDIAN KEY
1832


CORMORANT


ROSEATE
TERN


GRAY
KINGBIRD


REDDISH
EGRET


LOUISIANA
HERON


SANDY KEY


WHITE IBIS


WILLET

 
ZENAIDA
DOVE


WHITE
CROWNED
PIGEON


THE AUDUBON HOUSE IN
KEY WEST


AUDUBON'S
KEY WEST


KEY WEST AFTER
AUDUBON


ROSEATE
SPOONBILL


GREAT
WHITE
HERON


GREAT
BLUE
HERON


KEY WEST
DOVE


FLAMINGOS


BLUE-
HEADED
QUAIL DOVE


FRIGATE BIRD


BROWN
PELICAN


MANGROVE
CUCKOO


TORTUGAS


SOOTY
TERN


BLACK
HEADED GULL


BROWN
NODDY


CAYENNE
TERN


BROWN
BOOBY


SANDWICH
TERN


NIGHT
HERON


GREENSHANK


GREAT
MARBLED
GODWIT


MANGO
HUMMING-
BIRD


TROPIC
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John Audubon visits Key West and observes
the Blue-headed Pigeon

 

map of the Florida Keys and Key West

May 1832 - Observes Blue-headed Pigeon in Key West


 

 

(Blue-Headed Quail Dove)

Audubon painting of Blue headed Pigeon from Birds of America
 

Above image from Historical Museum of Southern Florida - Audubon images at the Historical Museum website were produced from prints of an original Elephant Folio belonging to the museum. collection. http://www.historical-museum.org/collect/audubon/audubon.htm) See Audubon House  

 

While in Key West, Audubon sighted two Blue-Headed Quail Doves in early May 1832. This species native to Cuba has not been seen in Florida since Audubon observed them.

Part of what Audubon writes in his Ornithological Biography, Volume. II, pages 411 and 412 appears below:

"I have represented three of these Pigeons on the ground, with some of the creeping plants which grew in the place where I saw the pair mentioned above. . . "

The wild poinsettia plants [Cyperus] visible in the background were painted by Lehman.

Audubon wrote,

"The beautiful Cyperus represented in this plate is quite abundant on all the dry Keys of the Floridas, and is also found in many parts of the interior of the peninsula."

 

 "A few of these birds migrate each spring from the island of Cuba to the Keys of Florida, but are rarely seen, on account of the deep tangled woods in which they live. Wearily in May 1832, while on a shooting excursion with the Commander of the United States Revenue Cutter, Marion, I saw a pair of them on the western side of Key West. They were near the water, picking gravel, but on our approaching them they ran back into the thickets, which were only a few yards distant. Several fishermen and wreckers informed us they were abundant on the 'Mule Keys;' but although a large party and myself search these islands for a who;le day, not one did we discover there. I saw a pair which I was told had been caught when young on the latter Keys, but I could not obtain any other information respecting them, than that they were fed on cracked corn and rice, which answered the purpose well. "

 

Since the Blue-headed Pigeon has not been seen in the Florida Keys since Audubon saw them the bird has been placed on the Hypothetical List - The Check-list of North American Birds by the American Ornithological U. indicating that Audubon's record of observation of this Cuban species [Blue-headed Pigeon] is 'unsatisfactory.'

 

 

 


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