Catesby's Birds of Colonial America

Catesby's Birds of Colonial America

by Alan Feduccia
     
 

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With this lovely and informative volume, Alan Feduccia preserves the pathbreaking work of Mark Catesby, the English naturalist and illustrator who founded natural history and bird art in America. First published by UNC Press in 1985, the book features all 109 bird illustrations, 20 color plates, and the entire text from Catesby's pioneering Natural History of

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Overview

With this lovely and informative volume, Alan Feduccia preserves the pathbreaking work of Mark Catesby, the English naturalist and illustrator who founded natural history and bird art in America. First published by UNC Press in 1985, the book features all 109 bird illustrations, 20 color plates, and the entire text from Catesby's pioneering Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahamas. Annotating Catesby's writings from a modern perspective, Feduccia discusses the perception of each species during the Colonial period, comments on its habits, and compares Catesby's observations with those of such other early naturalists as John White, John Lawson, Alexander Wilson, and John James Audubon.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This is a book that speaks to human history, natural history, Native American ethnography, geography, and cultural studies.

Southern Cultures

[B]eautiful in the simple accuracy of its drawings and historically interesting for its pictures and descriptions of species now extinct.

New Yorker

This glimpse of colonial ornithology will attract historians as well as birders.

Publishers Weekly

The first 'profusely' illustrated tome on America's birds should be on every ornithologist's night stand.

The Wilson Bulletin

Alan Feduccia's Catesby's Birds of Colonial America is a celebration of Catesby's considerable accomplishments.

Southern Living

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
English naturalist Mark Catesby presented Europeans with their first comprehensive view of American flora and fauna. He had traveled extensively in the southern colonies and the Caribbeana five-year period starting in 1712, and a later four years beginning in 1722gathering seeds, drawing wildlife and observing their habits. Though his Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands was well known in its time, it was superseded by the works of Alexander Wilson and Audubon. Feduccia, author of The Age of Birds, rescues Catesby from oblivion with a fresh appreciation of his pioneering studies. Here are all the bird illustrations and the entire text of Catesby's book (parts of it borrowed from John Lawson's New Voyage to Carolina). Catesby used native plants as a background for his birds; his descriptions, made before the era of systematic nomenclature, are augmented by Feduccia and compared to those of other early naturalists. This glimpse of colonial ornithology will attract historians as well as birders. November 15

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807848166
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
02/22/1999
Series:
Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies
Edition description:
1
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

Roger Caras
To acknowledge Catesby is to honor conservation, the environment, fine art, historical scholarship, and the spirit of a pioneer. Nothing less than this splendid undertaking would have done all of that.
From the Publisher
Glorious. . . . Feduccia places Catesby's work within the greater context of the evolution of science itself in the colonial period. For that reason alone, this is a book that speaks to human history, natural history, Native American ethnography, geography, and cultural studies. The brilliance of this book is that Feduccia is content to stay out of the spotlight, only stepping in to provide insight, context, and color commentary when necessary.—Southern Cultures

Both beautiful in the simple accuracy of its drawings and historically interesting for its pictures and descriptions of species now extinct.—New Yorker

Alan Feduccia's Catesby's Birds of Colonial America is a celebration of Catesby's considerable accomplishments. After all, Catesby gave us the best and most detailed look at the flora and fauna of the New World until the time of Audubon.—Southern Living

American ornithologists can no longer claim unavailability as an excuse for not having read Catesby. The first 'profusely' illustrated tome on America's birds should be on every ornithologist's night stand.—The Wilson Bulletin

Even before Audubon, there was Mark Catesby. Catesby is a national treasure who recorded the splendors of a newly explored continent. Making him accessible to a broad audience is a gesture of patriotism and scholarship both. To acknowledge Catesby is to honor conservation, the environment, fine art, historical scholarship, and the spirit of a pioneer. Nothing less than this splendid undertaking would have done all of that.—Roger Caras, president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

This book is . . . welcome. It reproduces [Catesby's] complete text plus all his bird paintings and many of the plants. . . . All involved parties have done a service by making Catesby's charming art and writing easily available. Highly recommended.—Library Journal

Feduccia . . . rescues Catesby from oblivion with a fresh appreciation of his pioneering studies. . . . This glimpse of colonial ornithology will attract historians as well as birders.—Publishers Weekly

Everyone who has an historical interest in ornithology or birdwatching will welcome this book.—Roger Tory Peterson

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Meet the Author

Alan Feduccia is S. K. Heninger Professor Emeritus and former chair of the Department of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His books include The Age of Birds, The Origin and Evolution of Birds, and Birds of Colonial Williamsburg.

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