Yellow Billed Cuckoo

Technique: Giclée quality print
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Finishing (pick one!)

More about this artwork

This painting by John James Audubon, titled "Yellow Billed Cuckoo" (Coccyzus americanus), depicts two yellow-billed cuckoos dynamically positioned amidst a verdant array of leaves and twigs. Audubon, celebrated for his detailed and dramatic portrayals of birds in their natural habitats, shows these birds in active poses which capture the energy of living creatures interacting with their environment.The image is characterized by intricate detailing of the birds' feathers, beaks, and eyes, rendering them with a lifelike fidelity. One cuckoo is captured in the middle of what appears to be a flight motion, suggesting movement, while the other cocks its head in a more observant, static pose, perhaps indicating attentiveness or alertness. Surrounding the birds are leafy branches and fruits, possibly pawpaws, adding to the naturalistic setting which is typical of Audubon’s work.The background is minimal, directing the viewer's focus mainly on the vivid subjects and the foreground detailed with the spotted butterfly, which serves to further accentuate the biodiversity and ecological accuracy Audubon strived for.


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John James Audubon (April 26, 1785 – January 27, 1851), born Jean-Jacques Audubon, was an American ornithologistnaturalist, and painter. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon identified 25 new species.