Washington DC: Washington DC, A.O.P. Nicholson, Printer, 1853-59. First printing. Single sheet matted in Neutral Rag Board & backing. A 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. Fine with original hand-coloring. Item #5297
USPRR Exp & Surveys Birds of California & Oregon
Pl .XXVI The Yellow-billed Magpie
The beautiful bird inhabits the valleys of California in great numbers but never extends its range northward as far as the Oregon line. The flocks seen in California are very large, containing hundreds of individuals. Their habits and manners betray distinctly their affinity to the brows as well as the jays...all vociferous, petulant, mischievous, social, omnivorous.