LOADING: A guide to John Audubon, a brief history of his journey in the Florida Keys, Indian Key. Sandy Key, the Duck Keys, Bahia-honda, Key West and the Dry Tortugas with descriptions, observations and paintings from Birds in America and Audubon's Ornithological Biography.  


 

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A Guide to John Audubon's visit to the Florida Keys 

 

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Hotels and motels
Florida Keys
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AUDUBON IN THE FLORIDA KEYS


 

 

INDEX

  
AUDUBON

AUDUBON
AUTO-
BIOGRAPHY


INDIAN KEY
1832


CORMORANT


ROSEATE
TERN


GRAY
KINGBIRD


REDDISH
EGRET


LOUISIANA
HERON


SANDY KEY


WHITE IBIS


WILLET

 
ZENAIDA
DOVE


WHITE
CROWNED
PIGEON


THE AUDUBON HOUSE IN
KEY WEST


AUDUBON'S
KEY WEST


KEY WEST AFTER
AUDUBON


ROSEATE
SPOONBILL


GREAT
WHITE
HERON


GREAT
BLUE
HERON


KEY WEST
DOVE


FLAMINGOS


BLUE-
HEADED
QUAIL DOVE


FRIGATE BIRD


BROWN
PELICAN


MANGROVE
CUCKOO


TORTUGAS


SOOTY
TERN


BLACK
HEADED GULL


BROWN
NODDY


CAYENNE
TERN


BROWN
BOOBY


SANDWICH
TERN


NIGHT
HERON


GREENSHANK


GREAT
MARBLED
GODWIT


MANGO
HUMMING-
BIRD


TROPIC
BIRD




BIRDING

LODGING


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STORE

 
BOOK
ORDERS


AUDUBON
PRINTS




NATURALIST
PHOTOS

 

 



FLORIDA KEYS
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KIDS IN THE
KEYS LINKS


FAMILIES IN
THE FLORIDA
KEYS


COMPANION SITE -
DUCK KEY
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BIRD
LINKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

image of John Audubon map showing Key Largo, Islamorada, Duck Key and Key West

 

 

 

 

Audubon's Travels in the Florida Keys and Key West

A guide to John Audubon's journey in the Florida Keys with descriptions and observations from Audubon's Ornithological Biography and paintings from Audubon's Birds in America.

 

 Introduction

This website focuses on Audubon's journey in the Florida Keys and Key West in 1832 and observations he made at the time. Thirty bird portraits in Audubon' s Birds of America series are examined within this website as it traces Audubon's journey in the Keys. His wonderful detailed descriptions and written accounts of his journey have contributed greatly to an historic appreciation of the Florida Keys.

Audubon's journey throughout the Florida Keys is portrayed for the most part on these web pages in his own words. Pictures and descriptions of the birds he drew together with observations about the Keys are taken from his various volumes of his Ornithological Biography and from his Birds of America series.

Audubon's complete Ornithological Biography consisted of five Volumes published between 1832 and 1839 and contain over 3000 pages. The Biography contains detailed accounts of all birds pictured in Birds of America together with each bird's history, habits and habitat and technical descriptions of the bird. Many people believe that Audubon's Birds of America is the greatest illustrated bird book ever produced.

To travel throughout the United States and record in natural size every native bird then known was the realization of Audubon's dream. Audubon made drawings; then did each painting in watercolor and oil. These paintings were used to make etchings on copper plates to produce prints that were hand colored.

Audubon's method of portraying birds utilized a wire frame or armiture to hold the bird specimens in a lifelike position. The posed bird was placed against a background sheet of paper which had been sectioned off into measured squares. Audubon then sketched each bird onto his drawing paper which had also been marked off into similar squares. Using this method he was able to portrtay birds in flight, feeding, at play, in all manner of lifelike poses, and represent each species in

". . . their most constant and natural associations."

The 435 double-elephant folio sized plates in Birds of America printed by the Havells of London depict some 1,065 different species. The majority were drawn from specimens captured by Audubon himself. The original edition was printed on handmade rag paper. In New York in the year 2000, a complete copy of Birds of America sold for $8,802,500. Individual plates from the original Havell edition generally sell for between $5,000 and $175,000 depending on the image.

 Ornithological Biography

Audubon's Ornithological Biography is comprised of five volumes that run almost 3000 pages in length. It contains scientific descriptions of each bird species as well as which served as an informative supplement to the subscribers of the plates in Audubon's Birds of America.

 Navigation

The navigation bar on the left of this page provides all the links that you will need to navigate this website. The links to birds and places visited are organized from top to bottom in the general order of Audubon's observations and manner of travel, but the exact order for all of of Audubon sketches is unknown.

The Navigation bar also includes links to vendors and sponsors who support this site through affilations. You will find links to affilates that supply Audubon prints and books, a link to this website's Online Store for birding that supplies more
than 6,000 items relating to birds and nature,

and links to birding guides and accommodations in the Florida Keys. A link to a list of nature photographers who have bird photos for sale is also included.

 A Brief Audubon Biography - 1785 to 1832

 At birth in 1785 , John James Audubon, was given the name Jean Rabine. He was the illegitimate son of Jean Audubon and Jeanne Rabine. The father, Jean, a sea captain and adventurous sort with the ladies had met Jeanne Rabine, while traveling to a plantation he owned on the island of Santo Domingo. Jeane Rabine had committed to work as a service girl elsewhere, but instead became a guest on the Audubon's plantation.

John James Audubon was born in Les Cayes, Haiti on 26 April 1785. Jeanne Rabine died before Audubon was a year old, and therefore young "Audubon" was tended to by a quadroon named Catherine Bouffard, who was the plantation housekeeper and also mistress to the father. Audubon's father left Santo Domingo and returned to France and his French wife, Anne Moynet Audubon, because of unrest and rebellion on the island. He had Audubon brought to France where he was raised by Anne Moynet, his stepmother. Audubon was legally adopted and given the name, John James Audubon.

Audubon lived in France from 1788 to 1803. In 1803 he was sent to the United States to manage an estate that his father had bought in Pennsylvania, and to avoid being drafted into Napoleon army. Audubon came back to France in 1805, but returned to the United States in May 1806, and married Lucy Bakewell in 1808. Over the next 12 years in the United States, Audubon moved from career to career without success.

As a young man Audubon had interests in drawing and the outdoors. His stepmother encouraged these pursuits The family saw to it that he was educated among the well-to-do. At age 15 Audubon was drawing French birds, and by age 17 was studying drawing in Paris with Jacques Louis David. Thus Audubon developed the skills necessary for creating his masterpiece, the Birds of America which he began In 1820. From that point onward, John James Audubon spent most of his lifetime painting birds.

By 1832 Audubon had achieve wide recognition. The first pictures of his series of Birds of America had already been published. His exploration of the Florida Keys was made easier by an order of the Secretary of Navy to make the Revenue Cutter Marion available to Audubon.

 

Audubon on Audubon - "Audubon's Story of his Youth"

For an Autobiography by John Audubon written when he was older and found accidentally in an old calfskin-bound volume where for many years they had been hidden go to Audubon Autobiography

 

Audubon's Journey in the Florida Keys

CLICK HERE for a map of Audubon's journey together with his general itinerary along with a list of this website's page links to the the birds Audubon observed and painted in the Florida Keys.

 


LODGING - ACCOMMODATIONS - ATTRACTIONS - ACTIVITIES

 

. Discounted Lodging and Premier Accommodations in Key West and the Greater Florida Keys area.

To go directly to an accommodation and lodging page for Key West and Greater Florida Keys click on the Tropical Adventure Florida Keys Best image below

 

Internet rates most often represent a savings over rates generally made available to the public by Hotels and Resorts. With affordable online hotel deals, you can book a room near the historical sites Audubon visited, follow the observations he made in the Keys as well experience the discoveries he left for future visitors.

Internet rates usually offer the best value to customers, as they offer the best discounts. You'll be provided with information and prices on Key West hotels motels, inns, resorts, bed and breakfast accommodations, guest houses and spas together with links to lodging information for destinations in the Greater Florida Keys area: Key Largo, Tavernier, Islamorada, Duck Key, Marathon and Key West.

 

map showing Key Largo, Islamorada, Duck Key and Key West

 

 
 

Attractions and Activities in the Florida Keys and Key West

   

 
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