May 16, 2024

Audubon Revolutionized Art of Bird Painting

John James Audubon (1785-1851), the best bird illustrator of all time, revolutionized the art of bird painting by making the birds look alive with intelligence and personality.

Lear’s Flamingo Is the 5th

In the history of flamingo painting, following the first notable four, the next notable rendition is Edward Lear’s (1812-1888), who paints the captivating bird dramatically assuming the pose of a ballerina.

Stone Paints Flamingo – Sight Unseen

Sarah Stone was the fourth painter to capture a flamingo on paper. The first painter so inclined was John White, governor of Roanoke. But Alexander Wilson beat Stone — and even John James Audubon — to paint the third.

Catesby Adds Color, Locale to Bird Painting

The second painting of a flamingo in America was drawn by Mark Catesby, the first ornithologist to include a typical tree, flower, or plant that indicated the food or habitat of each bird and the first to publish his paintings in color.

Roanoke Gov. Paints 1st Flamingo

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.

Wilson Beat Audubon to the Birds


Even John James Audubon considered Alexander Wilson the 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.