Excerpt from: Birds of America

illustration from Birds of America

An exquisite cup, less than two inches across, of felted plant, fern or dandelion-seed down, covered so perfectly with moss and lichens and fastened with spider webs as to appear a mere protuberance on the limb, and lined with a layer of the finest down.

from Birds of America, 1936 – Garden City Publishing Company, Inc.

illustration from Birds of America
pages from Birds of America

20 thoughts on “Excerpt from: Birds of America”

    1. This book “Birds of America” (not Audubon’s version) published first in 1917 and then again in 1936 by Garden City Publishing Company, Inc. , Garden City, New York features illustrations from R.I. Brasher, R. Bruce Horsfall and Henry Thurston. The large and beautiful colorful plates are from artist Louis Agassiz Fuertes and are taken from paintings at the New York State Museum at Albany. The editor in chief is T. Gilbert Pearson and there is a list of 7 Editors and Contributing Editors.

      I bought this book for two dollars at a book sale a couple weeks ago and the writing is beautiful as well as the illustrations and plates of paintings. A treasure.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, it really is. I looked through it at the sale and put it back (on the floor with the other oversized books), thinking that I didn’t need another large, heavy book at my tiny cottage-sized house. But then after walking around a bit, I went back to it because I love birds, I love books and I love old things. I’m very glad to have purchased it as it’s much nicer than I even imagined upon my quick, initial review.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am glad that you are enjoying the book. I did much the same with a butterflies book. I looked at it for ages before buying it (it is a new book) as it has wonderful illustrations not photos.


  1. Lucky you, I always look for old books about birds but never find real old ones. Great post, Sylvia. Thank you! 🙂 👍


    1. It was rather lucky. I looked up this book when I came home and found that it ranges (on Ebay, Etsy and Thrift bookstores) from $6.99 (for a copy in poor condition) to 175.00 (for a copy in excellent condition). I have no desire to sell it, but I found that rather interesting. It far exceeds my initial estimate of it being a nice book to have, it’s really quite lovely in its illustrations and in its writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The second you picked it up the first time, you knew you needed the book regardless. It’s a little bit of Wichita Lineman, “I need you more than want you.” I’ve bought things I shouldn’t have bought but was happy I did. Enjoy your book. 🙂


    1. Yes, I agree. I would have deeply regretted not buying it. I’m very pleased with it and have been looking through it every day since I got it! I would love to frame some of the images but I don’t want to damage the book so I’ll have to take pictures (better pictures to frame) of the color plates.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stunning. Thanks for sharing the photos, your lovely words, and your comments about how you found it. There’s much to be said for ‘ancient’ hand-drawings/paintings of birds (and butterflies!). 🙂


    1. Well it did strike me that this book seems written with such beauty for a “text book”. That’s an interesting question…when did the norm for “informative” books become drier and less poetic? I’m certain that many people prefer a more direct and dry style for text books. Because I love words, it makes the subject more engaging and holds my interest longer if the composition of the words are beautiful as well as informative.

      Liked by 1 person

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