Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.
Are you someone who loves to be outdoors, watching wild animals in nature? Do you love to draw? If so, you have a lot in common with John James Audubon. John always liked art and wildlife and he would eventually become one of the most well-known wildlife artists in America. Let's find out more about this famous outdoorsman.
John was not actually born in America, but in Haiti in 1785. He moved to France to be raised by his stepmother and as he grew up, he showed a fondness for music, drawing, and nature.
When he was 18 years old, John moved to America and lived on a vast estate owned by his family. Surrounded by forests and wildlife, he became even more fascinated with nature. Around this time he became the first known person to conduct successful bird banding. This is where a small identification band is placed on a bird's leg. In doing this, John learned that many birds would return every year to the same spot to breed.
Not So Successful
After he married and had children, John tried to earn a living as a traveling salesman. He eventually owned his own store, but it was not successful. In fact, he was put in jail for a short amount of time because he went bankrupt, meaning he lost all of his money. He knew he needed to do something different, and his desire to be in the wilderness was calling.
Out In The Wilderness
With not much to lose, John headed out into the wild. He took with him some art materials, his gun, and an assistant that traveled with him. While heading up and down the Mississippi River, he drew many sketches and watercolors of the wildlife that he saw. Over time, these pieces began to grow in number and soon John had quite a collection of artwork.
Audubon Finds Success
John decided to head to England where he collaborated with an ornithologist, which is a person who studies birds. This partnership helped him to perfect his artwork and eventually, his pieces were published in a collection called Birds of America. John had finally become successful! And although he is probably most well-known for his pictures of birds, he also created many drawings of other animals in the wild, including a collection of mammals.
Audubon returned to America and eventually settled in New York City. He had more works published and traveled a bit more before his death in 1851. Today, Audubon is recognized not only as a talented artist, but one of the early environmentalists as well. He wanted to preserve the environment and make sure that bird habitats were kept safe so that these wild creatures could continue to thrive in the wild.
John James Audubon was interested in nature and art from an early age and after moving to America, he was the first known person to conduct successful bird banding. He spent years in the wilderness drawing pictures of wildlife before collaborating with an ornithologist and having his works published. After achieving success as an artist and writer, he became known as an environmentalist by encouraging bird habitats to be preserved.
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