Washington DC: Washington DC, A.O.P. Nicholson, Printer, 1853-59. First printing. Single sheet matted in Neutral Rag Board & backing. A Near Fine original hand-colored lithograph. Large Octavo (8.5 x 10.75 inches).
Produced for the famed mid-nineteenth century Pacific Railroad Surveys: Reports of Explorations and Surveys to Ascertain the Most Practicable & Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.
Funded by the US government, these reports were produced to determine possible routes for transcontinental travel and contained the greatest wealth of topographical and natural history discovery of the Western United States during the nineteenth century.
For the reports a natural history team of botanists, ornithologists and zoologists lead by Lt. WP Trowbridge with Dr. E. Sterling, Dr. JS Newberry, Mr. CD Anderson travelled westward to gather, preserve and document the heretofore undocumented flora, fauna and avifauna of the American West. These illustrations (hand-painted lithographs) of the discoveries were executed under the direct supervision of Smithsonian Curator Spencer F. Baird (1823-1887) and ornithologist John Cassin (Penn. 1813-69) are classified as fine Western Americana. Near Fine with original hand-coloring. Light offset. Item #5293
USPRR Exp & Surveys Birds of California
Pl. II Red-bellied Hawk
Buteo Elegans, Cassin
I will here mention a hawk which I saw October 25 at the town of Santa Clara: I have lately seen a hawk which looks and flies like an owl, but has the loud scream and high-sailing habit of the winter hawk at midday.. it has begun to be shy at the approach of man, whose murderous intentions most of the hawks on that coast had apparently not yet learned.