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From the Stacks 

August 11, 2009

This is worth crowing about…

We’ve turned the page!

Drop by the Library Reading Room to see a new page of the Audubon Double Elephant Folio on display for your viewing pleasure.

This month’s choice is the American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos (Corvus americanus in Audubon).

“American Crow” by John James Audubon. Birds of America: From Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories (Octavo Ed. 1870). California Academy of Sciences Library, Rare Books QL674 .A9 1870.

We are showing off this particular plate to complement a recent post on the Academy’s Science in Action blog about our increasing understanding of the intelligence of crows and other corvids. Audubon wrote fondly of the crow, praising its intelligence, its bravery, and its devotion to its young.  He chastises those who poison or shoot crows in an effort to protect crops in the field, writing in the Ornithological Biography, “I cannot but wish that they would reflect a little, and become more indulgent toward our poor, humble, harmless, and even most serviceable bird, the Crow.”

The American Crow will be on display until September 8.  If you are visiting the Academy and would like to see it, email library@calacademy.org for an appointment.


Filed under: Audubon,Rare Books — Librarian @ 1:41 pm

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