Catesby's Birds of Colonial America

Mark Catesby, Author, Alan Feduccia, Editor, Russell Peterson, Designed by University of North Carolina Press $29.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-8078-1661-5
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 Though his Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands was well known in its time, it was superseded by the works of Alexander Wilson and Audubon.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
Reviewed on: 10/01/1985
Release date: 10/01/1985
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