It’s James Audubon’s birthday. He traveled, studied & painted birds in the 1800s. 🕊🦅🦆🦜🦢🦃🦉🐧🐦🦩
When I was at Mississippi State back in the day we went to the library during breaks to do research the old fashioned way 😬 & study for tests during our breaks. (Who remembers that era ???? 😄)
I loved to look at Audubon’s best known book, Birds of America sometimes instead of studying 😆… (probably get that love of nature from my dad 😉)
And that was before I took Natural History from MSU ornithologist, Dr. Jerome Jackson. (That man probably disliked elementary ed students as much as he loved birds & torturing us.) 😅
Audubon’s book contains more than 700 North American bird species with 435 hand-colored, life-size prints of 497 bird species, many whom are now extinct like the dodo. 🦤
The photo below is an Audubon print of a roseate spoonbill.
In spite of Dr. Jackson’s torture of my classmates & me, I fell in love birds.🙄
I saw this print at the Audubon house gift shop in Key West on our first trip. I fell in love with it & bought it, having it framed & hanging it in our dining room.
For the last 14 years, I’ve wanted to see one in the wild. I saw a photo of one that was likely lost and came to the Noxubee Refuge, although it’s rare for them to go very far away from the southeastern coastal area.
Audubon’s notes state that they usually stay in brackish waters around the mouth of rivers that empty into a gulf or ocean.
Last year when we were planning our trip to the Keys, I researched all the places they usually frequent & talked Jt into going to several that were close to our route but we didn’t see any. ( Between looking for manatees & sooonbills, I ALMOST drove him 🤪 but we did get a glimpse of the tail of a manatee when we were kayaking ! They swim faster than we kayak. 🙄)
Turns out, according to Audubon’s notes, they usually feed on small shrimp & such which gives them their color, around sunset & daybreak, and roost in trees during the day.
As kids, Daddy used to take us on little trips all over Mississippi & neighboring states to see interesting things & places.
I’m praying that one day the Lord puts me in the path of a lost spoonbill.
MAYBE one day I can talk JT into taking Maeley on the Honey Island Swamp Tour that Daddy took Whitney, Crystal , Rachael & me on. 🙃
Sounds like a plan 🤔
Until that day I’ll just have to look at my print & dream. #thereshopeyet 😁