White Bird

I’m always on the lookout for vintage images that are unusual and might not be found on my competitor’s sites. While it is sad to contemplate an entire book dedicated to just those birds the author believes had become extinct by 1907, the wonderful colored plates that were included in Extinct birds. An attempt to unite in one volume a short account of those Birds which have become extinct in historical times—that is, within the last six or seven hundred years. To which are added a few which still exist, but are on the verge of extinction.

This bird was identified as necropsar rodericanus and is drawn only from a description of the bird and some bones that had been recovered from what was believed to be its native habitat. They were described as being a little larger than a blackbird and having a “wonderful warbling.” The author mentioned this mostly white bird appears to have disappeared around 1730.

The white bird drawing reminds me a bit of something of a cross between a mockingbird and a seagull – assuming two such different birds were to ever procreate. Most of the bird is white with the wings and tail being a dark gray to black color. The legs were described as being yellow but it looks like the artist made them more of an orange color to me.

There were a number of artists who contributed to this 1907 work. Based upon the signature, it looks like this colored bird drawing was the work of John Gerrard Keulemans (1842-1912).

white bird - necropsar rodericanus

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.