Calling this a bird image or illustration is in some ways diminishing the skill it took to print him. This guy was drawn and then carved out of wood, in reverse, before being printed on the pages of this 220+ year old book. Back then, they didn’t pick up the nearest pencil and pen, photocopier or graphics program. Adding illustrations to anything was a long process that required great skill.
Part of what makes this heron print so special to me is the fine lines the artist, carver and printer were able to achieve. Another part of me likes this bird image so much because of my fondness for these big stately birds. There’s something almost magical about watching a heron stalk along a shoreline looking for his supper. They strike with lightening speed and can catch frogs and fish.
This vintage image is clearly in the public domain. Please use it on your creative projects and not as part of a curated site that relies upon my text for content.
It is the work of John Bewick from 1795 and was used to illustrate the book The Blossoms of Morality.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.