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Extraordinary Birds

Extraordinary Birds 

Explore selections from the book, Natural Histories: Extraordinary Birds, Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library, by Paul Sweet, Collections Manager of the Ornithology Department in the Division of Vertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History. The second volume in the Natural Histories series, this volume highlights a selection of the magnificent art work contained in the Museum's renowned Rare Book Collection in the field of ornithology.

The colorful illustrations capture the birds with a view of their natural habitat, often complete with nests, tree branches, and flowers. In addition to studying the history of ornithology through this artwork, one can also examine print-making techniques, which are further discussed in Extraordinary Birds with three essays by the Museum Library’s Conservator, Barbara Rhodes. The artwork in the featured volumes, says Sweet “…are not only important historical documents, but also serve as the basis of bird taxonomy, or the discipline of naming and classifying birds." 

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Knobbed Hornbill, Aceros cassidix, Nouveau recuil de planches coloriees d'oiseaux
Great Egret, Ardea Alba, from Sloane's A voyage to the islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and Jamaica
Greater Koa Finch, Rhodacanthis palmeri, The artifuana of Laysan and the neighboring islands
Maui Parrotbill, Pseudonstor xanthophrys, from Rothschild's The artifauna of Laysan and the neighboring islands
Maui Nukupuu, Hemingnathus lucindus affinis, from Rothschild's The artifauna of Laysan and the neighboring islands
Kauai Akialoa, Hemingnathus ellisianus stejnegeri, from Rothschild's The artifuana of Laysan and the neighboring islands
Crested Honeycreeper or Akohekohe, Palmeria dolei, from Rothschild's The artifauna of Laysan and the neighboring islands
The Oahu O-o, Moho apicalis, from Rothschild's The artifauna of Laysan and the neighboring islands
Guinian Cock-of-the-rock, Rupicola rupicola, from Levaillant's Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis et des rolliers, suivie de celles des toucans et des barbus
Black-bellied Bustard, Lissotis melanogaster from Osgood's Album of Abyssinian birds and mammals
Bearded ManakinI Pepra Manacus
Various birds from Nozeman's Nederlandsche vogelen
Choiseul Pigeon, Microgoura meeki, from Rothschild's Novitates zoologicae, vol. XI
Japanese Night Heron, Gorsachius goisagi, from Siebold, Schlegel, and Temminck's Fauna japonica
Didus cucullatus from Rothschild's Extinct birds
Red-capped parrot, Purpureicephalus spurius, Illustrations of the family of Psittacidae, or parrots
Title page from Linnaeus' Systema naturae, 1758
Blue-winged Leafbird, Cholorpsis cochinchinensis, Catalogue of the birds in the British Museum
Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper, Drymornis bridgesii, Argentine ornithology
Royal Flycatcher, Onychorynchus coronatus, Biologia centrali-americana
Cloven-feathered Dove, Drepanoptila Holosericea, from Knip's Les pigeons
Parus caeruleus
Gyrfalcon, falco rusticolus, from Schlegel and Wulverhorst's Traite de fauconnerie
Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Merops Philippinus, from Leclerc's Histoire naturelle des oiseaux
Greater Roadrunner, Gococcyx californianus, The genera of birds
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Critical/Foundational support for this service is provided by the Leon Levy Foundation as part of the Shelby White & Leon Levy Archive Initiative at the American Museum of Natural History Library 

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