April 26 marks the 226th birthday of ornithologist John James Audubon.
Celebrating this lover of birds, Google has created a custom doodle featuring avian specimens from around North America.
Audubon was born in what is now Haiti and spent much of his youth in France. He arrived in America in 1803 and lived on a farm owned by Quaker relatives in Pennsylvania. Here, Audubon fell in love with nature and spent much of his time exploring and studying his surroundings.
Audubon's seminal work, Birds of North America, featured 435 realistic life-sized painting of the wildlife he observed while traveling the continent. The project was so costly that the young naturalist traveled to Europe for funding and delivered for-pay lectures in France and Britain. Eleven years in the making, the catalogue was completed in 1838.
''These were the largest single sheets produced at the time,'' Francis Wahlgren, the head of Christie's books department in New York, told the New York Times. ''You can almost feel the feathers on these birds [...] These plates are the icons of ornithology."
In 1905, an environmental conservation society formed, taking Audubon's name. Today, the Audubon Society is one of the oldest groups of its kind.
See the Google doodle (below) and visit Google's homepage on April 26 to see the logo for yourself.
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