Sunday, April 06, 2008

Artistic Forensics: The Case of the Carbonated Swamp-Warbler

Among the many birds painted by John James Audubon, a few have never been conclusively matched with species known today. These mystery birds have caused speculation among ornithologists and birders for decades, and now David Sibley has entered the fray. Although the Carbonated Swamp-Warbler is not known to have been a NJ bird (and this post is therefore an extralimital one), this post on the Sibley Guides Notebook blog is worth the time of anyone interested in birding history or bird art (the comments on the post are interesting reading, as well). Matters such as plumage details, artistic style, printing technology and observer reputation are brought up by Sibley and the commenters.

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