National Geographic : 1977 Feb
SHAMMING an attack, two chuck-will's-widows hiss at a coral snake (facing page). Thinking the snake to be "quite harmless," Audubon wrote that "Children are fond of catching it," an amusement that could have killed them; this snake's venom is highly toxic. Given the immensity of Audubon's work, it is remarkable that he made so few errors. Rare giant, the California condor (left) was drawn from skins. The largest birds posed problems of composition, since Audubon drew each for reproduction at life-size. To the last whisker, every detail of a Canada lynx (below) conveys the coiled energy of a predator with prey in sight. On completion of his birds, Audubon undertook paintings of the quadrupeds of North America, a project completed by his sons. NEW-YORKHISTORICALSOCIETY(LEFTANDTOP); AMERICANMUSEUMOF NATURALHISTORY Audubon "On the Wing"