July 29, 2021

Art & Lifestyle:

Register for Healthy St. Mary’s Annual Meeting -

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Entries Sought for DNR Photo Contest -

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Poplar Hill Music Series Continues -

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Save the Date for TPP Annual Dinner -

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Catesby Adds Color, Locale to Bird Painting

The second painting of a flamingo in America was drawn by Mark Catesby (1679-1749), an English nobleman and explorer. He made two trips to America but on his first journey from 1712 to 1719, he spent most of his time with his sister and her husband, Dr. William Cocke, who was the secretary of state of Virginia. He was a typical tourist on this first trip and only upon his return to England did he realize his lost opportunities to paint and gather specimens.

I thought so little of the Design and Nature of this Work that in the seven years I resided in that Country (I am ashamed to own it.), I chiefly gratified my inclination in observing and admiring the various Productions of those Countries.

After securing wealthy patrons, he returned to America to collect botanical and natural history specimens which he sent back to his sponsors. He painted 109 birds. In 1731, he published the Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands which is the first book of American birds published in color.

Catesby was the first naturalist to extensively travel in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. He was the first ornithologist to include both the bird and typical tree, flower, or plant that indicated the food or habitat of each bird. The painting of his flamingo was painted with the bird standing next to a piece of coral with the ocean in the background. Many succeeding ornithologists, including John James Audubon, followed his example of combining birds and their habitats.

The first known painting of a flamingo in America is a watercolor by John White (1577-1593) who was the governor of the famous Lost Colony of Roanoke Island, Virginia, founded by his friend Sir Walter Raleigh in 1585.

The third flamingo was drawn by Alexander Wilson (1766-1810), who is considered the real father of American ornithology.  Wilson discovered nearly 50 new species of birds, and more birds are named in his honor than any other person in the world: Wilson’s Warbler, Wilson’s Plover, Wilson’s Phalarope, Wilson’s Petrel, Wilson’s Snipe, Wilson’s Tern, and Wilson’s Thrush.

Inquire dbw43@comcast.net for pricing on this Whooping Crane print by Alexander Wilson; available framed or unframed.

It was Alexander Wilson who published the first book in America of our birds with beautiful hand-colored lithographs.

Dennis B. Williams Rare and Antique Bird Prints is liquidating the last of its collection.

Information on available prints is available on their Member Page. Or email dbw43@comcast.net.

Read about other of Wilson’s flamingo prints in “Wilson Beat Audubon to the Birds” and “Roanoke Gov. Paints 1st Flamingo.”

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