During the final two years of production of The Birds of America, Audubon accelerated his schedule by combining species in certain plates. A case in point is this watercolor model with five warblers—one named after William MacGillivray, editor of Audubon’s Ornithological Biography and his good friend. He also frequently painted western species from specimens obtained from Townsend and Nuttall. Completing the watercolor in Charleston, Audubon instructed Havell to divide the birds between plates 399 (Figure 1) and 414 (Figure 2). Even though he included a number of species in the same vignette he arranged them in such a manner as to convince us that they were interacting and at any moment could fly off the page to perch in some other branch.

John James Audubon (1785–1851)<br /><em>Black-throated Green Warbler (</em>Dendroica virens<em>), Blackburnian Warbler (</em>Dendroica fusca<em>), MacGillivray’s Warbler (</em>Oporornis tolmiei<em>), Cape May Warbler (</em>Dendroica tigrina<em>), and Golden-winged Warbler (</em>Vermivora chrysoptera<em>)</em> NEAR THREATENED<em>, Study for Havell pls. 399 and 414</em>, ca. 1836–37

John James Audubon (1785–1851)
Black-throated Green Warbler (Dendroica virens), Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca), MacGillivray’s Warbler (Oporornis tolmiei), Cape May Warbler (Dendroica tigrina), and Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) NEAR THREATENED, Study for Havell pls. 399 and 414, ca. 1836–37
Watercolor, graphite, pastel, black chalk, black ink, and gouache with selective glazing on paper, laid on card
Purchased for the Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.399
[with Maria Martin and John Woodhouse Audubon]

Figure 1. Robert Havell Jr. after John James Audubon, Plate 399, <em>The Birds of America</em><br />(1827–38), N-YHS, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections

Figure 1. Robert Havell Jr. after John James Audubon, Plate 399, The Birds of America
(1827–38), N-YHS, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections

Figure 2. Robert Havell Jr. after John James Audubon, Plate 414, <em>The Birds of America</em><br />(1827–38), N-YHS, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections

Figure 2. Robert Havell Jr. after John James Audubon, Plate 414, The Birds of America
(1827–38), N-YHS, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections

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