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image for Audubon paints the Zenaida Dove in Florida Keys and Key West

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AUDUBON


INDIAN KEY
1832


CORMORANT


ROSEATE
TERN


GRAY
KINGBIRD


REDDISH
EGRET


LOUISIANA
HERON


SANDY KEY


WHITE IBIS


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ZENAIDA
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WHITE
CROWNED
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THE AUDUBON HOUSE IN
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AUDUBON'S
KEY WEST


KEY WEST AFTER
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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


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GODWIT


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John Audubon paints the Zenaida Dove

 

map of Florida Keys and Key West

April 30, 1832 - Zenaida Dove painted on day Audubon left Indian Key for Key West.


 

Zenaida Dove
Audubon painting of Zenaida Dove 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. http://www.historical-museum.org/collect/audubon/audubon.htm) See Audubon House  

 

Zenaida Doves were painted on April 30. The pond-apple branch. was painted by assistant Lehman.

 

" The branch ( pond-apple or custard apple) on which I presented these birds, belonged to a low shrub abundant in the Keys where they are found. The flower has a musty scent, and is of short duration"

Additional portions of what Audubon writes in his Ornithological Biography, Volume II, pages 354-358, and 359 are provided below:

 

"The impressions made on the mind in youth, are frequently stronger than those at a more advanced period of life. My father often told me, that when yet a child, my first attempt at drawing was from a preserved specimen of a dove, and many times repeated to me that birds of this kind are remarkable for the gentleness of their disposition, and the manner in which they prove their mutual affection, and feed their offspring, was undoubtedly intended to teach other beingings a lesson of connubial and parental attachment. Be this as it may, hypothesis or not, I have always been especially fond of doves. . . ."

 

"The Cooing of the Zenaida Dove is so peculiar, that one who hears it for the first time naturally stops to ask, "What bird is that?" A man who was once a pirate assured me that several times, while at certain wells dug in the burning shelly sands of a well known key, which must here be nameless, the soft and melancholy cry of the doves awoke in his breast feelings which had long slumbered, melted his heart to repentance, and caused him to linger at the spot in a state of mind which he only who compares the wretchedness of quilt within him with the happiness of former innocence, can truly feel. He said he never left the place without increased fears of futility, associated as he was, although I believe with force, with a band of the most desperate villains that ever annoyed the navigations of the Florida coasts. So deeply moved was he by the notes of any bird, and especially by those of the dove, the only soothing sounds he ever heard during his life of horrors, that through these plaintive notes, and them alone, he was induced to escape from his vessel, abandon his turbulent companions, and return to a a family deploring his absence. After paying a parting visit to those wells, and listening once more to the cooing of the Zenaida Dove, he poured out his soul in supplication for mercy, and once more became what one has said to be "the noblest work of God," an honest man. "

 

". . . in less than an hour, with the assistance of Captain, I shot nineteen individuals the internal and external examinations of which enabled me to understand something of their structure.

The flesh is excellent, and they are generally very fast. They feed on grass seeds, the leaves of aromatic plants, and various kinds of berries, not excepting those of a tree which is extremely poisonous, -so much so, that if the juice of it touch the skin of a man, it destroys it like aquafortis. Yet the berries do not injure the health of the birds, although the render the flesh bitter and unpalatable for a time. For this reason, the fishermen and wreckers are in the habit of examining the crops of the doves previous to cooking them. . . "

"This species resorts to certain wells, which are said to have been dug by pirates, at a remote period. There the Zenaida Doves and other birds are sure to be seen morning and evening. The loose sand thrown up about these wells suits them well to dust in, and clean their apparel."

 

 

Purple-flowered Anona ( pond-apple or custard apple)

This plant is very abundant on many of the outer Keys of the Florida. It grows among other shrubs, seldom exceeding seven or eight feet in height, and more frequently not more than four or five. The leaves are obovate, rounded at the base, thick, glossy above, downy beneath. The outer petals are larger, and not unlike the divided shell of a hickory or pig nut; the inner ovate, deep purple, with a white band at the base. I did not see the fruit, which I am told is not unpalatable when ripe, it being then about the size of a common walnut, and of a black colour."

 

 

 

 

 
 


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