435 bird illustrations by John James Audubon available for free

Birds are as enchanting as they are diverse. Thanks to wildlife artist John James Audubon, greater awareness and appreciation has been given to the beauty and fragility of birds. So much so that he dedicated his talents to painting and describing all of the bird species of America. Now, you have an opportunity to download 435 free high-resolution images of bird illustrations.

Illustrations of owls

The National Audubon Society has recently made John James Audubon’s Birds of America available to the public; a collection of 435 life-size prints based off of his own illustrations are now in a downloadable digital library. Birds of America was printed between 1827 and 1838 and was filled with prints created from hand-engraved plates based on the artist’s original watercolour paintings. In addition to the prints, each bird’s page also includes a recording of the animal’s call, as well as extensive written texts from the period of the book’s printing.

John James Audubon illustrations
Birds of America

Painted outdoors, John Audubon’s bird prints have long been coveted for their exactness as well as their outstanding beauty. All 435 reproductions are available in alphabetical order with original accompanying text. Among the extensive library are favourites like the snowy owl, the Columbian hummingbird, and the Louisiana heron, as well as bird species that are no longer found today, like the passenger pigeon.

Bird illustrations
John James Audubon's Birds of America

All you need is to sign up for their email list and have a printer and paper to start curating your own collection of John James Audubon bird illustrations for around the home. Click here to explore Birds of America.