John James Audubon’s Study of Birds Honored by Today’s ‘Google Doodle’
Today’s Google Doodle is in honor of French-American ornithologist John James Audubon. As is commonly the practice with the Google Doodle, the subject of the artwork (Audubon’s study of birds) has been arranged to look like the word “Google.” Today is Audubon’s 226th birthday.
The Google Doodle artwork includes a series of songbirds, birds of prey and an owl, all homage to Audubon’s life-long dedication to birds and nature. Audubon’s name is most commonly recognized now as the inspiration for the National Audubon Society, whose mission is “to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.”
However, during his life, Audubon was most widely known as the author of “The Birds of America,” first published in 1827. This book by Audubon contained a broad series of illustrations of birds in the United States. The book, which consisted of hand-colored, life-size prints, was a tremendous success in Great Britain, and the impact on science is still felt today.
Audubon changed the history of ornithology, and had wide ranging impacts on the natural science. Charles Darwin, in “On the Origin of Species” and his other works, quoted Audubon three times.