Birds of America

Audubon's watercolors are of great scientific interest and also prized for their artistic qualities.


 A family copy

The Library’s copy of the Birds of America was acquired directly from the family of John James Audubon in 1857.

Lost species

Among the bird species drawn by Audubon and found in Canada at the time, three are now extinct: the Great Auk, the Labrador Duck and the Passenger Pigeon.

Largest in the collection

At about one metre long by 70 centimetres wide, Birds of America is the largest book in the Library’s collection. This format allows each bird to be depicted to scale.

All illustrations digitized

All 435 plates from the Library’s copy have been digitized.