Green Turaco

Green Turaco


Green Turaco EDWARDS, George. Plate 7 from A Natural History of Birds, London, 1743-51. Hand-colored copperplate engraving. Sheet size: 11x 9 inches; image size: 9 V x 7 T inches. This bird resembles a creature from mythology, or from the fertile imagination of a medieval artist, or a teenage boy having a bad hair day. But the green turaco is a real bird, one of the distinctive species of West Africa. The only thing about this image that rings false is the exposed perch – the turaco is a retiring bird of the canopy, and one usually sees only his strange-looking head peering from behind a mass of green leaves. Since Edwards drew many of his birds from specimens in London, he would not have known of the turaco’s habits. Until Audubon, the standard pose for most birds was this one: erect on a perch. Framed


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