BACK TO LIST OF PRINTS
BACK TO HISTORY BROKER HOMEPAGE
TRUMPETER SWAN PLATE FROM STUDERS BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA
This is an original old colored plate from the famous book on North American birds by Jacob Henry Studer (1840-1904). BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA, New York: Published under the auspices of the Natural Science Association of America, 1903. There were over 100 full-color plates in the imperial quarto volume of which this is PLATE LIV – Trumpeter Swan.
This beautiful chromolithographed print measures 11 5/8” x about 14 ˝”. There is a tear (repaired with tape on the reverse side) running down from the top into the head of the swan (see scan). The print is a little ragged along the left edge where it was detached from the volume, and there are a few small tears along the right edge. Ready for framing & display. This print also pictures the Herring Gull, Least Tern, and other birds.
The information that appeared in Studer’s book with this plate is as follows:
Trumpeter Swan. (Cygnus tuccinator.) Fig. 1.
The range of this magnificent bird is chiefly from the Mississippi valley, extending northward as far as the Pacific. According to Dr. Newbury: " The Trumpeter Swan visits California, with its congeners, the Ducks and Geese, in their annual migrations; but, compared with the myriads of other water-birds which congregate at that season in the bays and rivers of the West, it is always rare. Before we left the Columbia, early in November, the Swans had begun to arrive from the North, and frequently, while at Fort Vancouver, their trumpeting drew our attention to the long converging lines of these magnificent birds, so large and so snowy white, as they came from their northern resting places, and, screaming their delight at the appearance of the broad expanse of water, perhaps their winter home, descended into the Columbia." It is found in Canada, at Hudson's Bay, and occasionally on the Atlantic coast. It breeds from Iowa and Dakota north. Audubon found them in great numbers in the waters of the Ohio, about the last of October. They remain in the waters near their breeding places until the ice forms, when they migrate south, winteting in the waters south of the Gulf. They fly principally at night, and take their names from the trumpet tones with which they call to each other. One can hardly imagine anything more startling than a succession of their loud, long, raucous calls dropping out of the depths of a starless night. Hearne says: " I have heard them, in serene evenings, after sunset, make a noise not very unlike that of a French horn, but entirely divested of every note that constituted melody, and have often been sorry that it did not forebode their death."
Their flight is powerful, protracted, and made with seeming ease, the neck stretched forward, the foot folded back, and the wings propelling with steady, sweeping strokes. Their food consists of a variety of aquatic vegetables, roots, leaves, water-insects, snails, small quadrupeds and reptiles.
Herring Gull. (Larns argentalus.) Fig. 2.
The Herring Gull is common along the coasts from Cuba to Labrador, breeding from New England northward. It is also found in the interior, and occasionally on the coasts of the Pacific. Its northern range is along the shores of Labrador, where it spends its summers in great numbers, and breeds abundantly. It builds its nest without much regard to place, sometimes using the ground, at other times resorting to trees. The nests are large and bulky,
composed of moss, lichens, and dry grasses, scraped together in a heap, with a small indenture made in the center, in which are laid three eggs. These eggs are variously colored, some bluish, greenish, or brownish-olive, and blotched over with a great variety of markings. They are by no means dainty in their diet, partaking of anything which comes within their reach-fish, vegetable, and animal refuse thrown up by the ocean, shell fish, or carrion,
for which they contend with Turkey-buzzards and Fish-crows. They migrate south from September to October, and during the winter rarely indulge in their vocal powers, but when spring approaches, they make the air resound with their loud harsh cries.
Bonaparte's Gull. (Larus jphiladelpida.) Fig. 3.
This is one of our most widely dispersed sea-birds, inhabiting the Atlantic coast from Labrador to the Gulf, and along the shores of our great inland lakes. Notwithstanding its great geographical range, but little is known regarding its habits, and it has not been
definitely determined whether it breeds within the United States. They spend their winters on the shores of the Southern States, leaving for their northern breeding places some time in May, and returning early in September.
Cones says: " No one of our species is more widely dispersed than this. Go where we may in North America, the pretty bird may be seen at one or another season, if we are not too far from any considerable body of water. The Gull holds its own from the Labrador crags, against which the waves of an angered ocean ceaselessly beat, to the low, sandy shores of the Gulf, caressed by…the two coasts with wonderful pertinacity, making excursions up every bay and estuary, and threads the course of all our three great rivers, while performing its remarkably extensive migrations. Considering in what high latitudes it breeds, it is astonishing how early toward the fall it again appears among us after its brief absence.
The last birds have not all left the United States in May; some time in August the young come straggling back, though they are not numerous until the autumn has fairly set in."
Gray or Wilson's Phalarope. (Phalaropzus wilsoxii.) Fig. 4.
This bird is one of the largest and most elegant of all tne Phalaropes. It is a rare bird throughout the Eastern States, but is found in abundance in the Western, where it breeds in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, to the north and northwest as far as the fur countries, and is exceedingly plentiful in the Mississippi valley. Its nest is an exceedingly crude affair, usually laying their eggs in the grass, selecting the borders of small ponds and reedy pools. The eggs vary in ground color from a clay to a brownish drab, overlaid with many spots and blotches of a brownish drab. Dr. Elliott Coues, in his "Birds of the Northwest," gives the following anecdote regarding them. He says: I" Three Phalaropes came in great concern and alighted on the water where a dead Avocet was floating, swimming back and forth, and almost caressing it with their bill. The Avocet's mate himself, who was not long in reaching the spot, showed no greater agitation than his little friends and neighbors the phalaropes did; and though it was
only birds 'of a low order of beings,' who thus exhibited sympathy and grief, who could look on such a scene unmoved?'
Least Tern. (Sterna sufierciliaris.) Fig. 5.
Audubon calls this beautiful little bird the Humming-bird of the water-fowls, and indulges in a perfect ecstasy of enthusiasm in describing it. It is a common bird along the Atlantic coasts of the United States, on the larger inland waters, up the Pacific coast to California, and south into the Antilles and in Middle America generally. Their nests are various, sometimes masses of moss, cunningly interwoven, bits of sea-grass gathered in a pile, or if these are not convenient, laying their eggs on the bare shingle. The eggs are from one to three, colored so nearly like their surroundings as to be barely discernible, varying from a pale greenish-white to a dull drab, marked with small spots and splashes of brown. They are fearless in the defense of their young. Their common notes resemble those of the Barn Swallow, and like them they eat upon the wing, though they frequently devour small fish upon the beach.
Buyer pays $5.00 postage & handling in US, plus USPS insurance.
VA residents add 5% sales tax to selling price.
BACK TO LIST OF PRINTS
BACK TO HISTORY BROKER HOMEPAGE