Natural history

Image 13 of 508
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"Axillary Falcon", native name "Geo-ga-rack"

Artist: Port Jackson Painter
Created: [between 1788 and 1797]
Dimensions: 26.2 x 18.1 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. 100


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Bird with white head and breast with black marking above the eye, dark grey beak and yellow legs. The back and wings are grey, with black markings on the wing. The bird is facing to the right and perched on a tree stump with some foliage at the base but set against an otherwise plain background. There is a pencil border around the top and sides of the picture, and annotations in ink and pencil.


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  • Port Jackson Painter]
  • The drawing is annotated in ink at bottom "Native name Geo-ga-rack".
  • The drawing is unsigned and undated.
  • The drawing is annotated in ink in the top right corner with the number "6". This refers to the catalogue list compiled by John Latham c. 1801 which was acquired with the drawings, and is filed with them at the end of the Watling Drawings series.
  • The drawing is annotated in pencil at top left "axillary Falcon Syn Supp ii p 42". This has been copied in ink at bottom, "axillary Falcon Lathams Syn - Suppt 2 p 42 one third the Natural size.". The page reference is to Latham's Second Supplement to the General Synopsis of Birds (1802).
  • This bird was more recently identified as a Black-shouldered kite, Elanus notatus, or the Letter-winged Kite E. scriptus, ("but more likely the former which is relatively common in the Sydney area whereas the latter is only a very rare straggler") in Hindwood K. A., (1970).
  • The author of this catalogue record is Suzanne Stenning.
  • By permission of the trustees of the Natural History Museum (London)
  • Two sets of transparencies held in the Natural History Museum (London) Zoology Library and Picture Library: Picture Library reference number 12100
  • James Lee of Kensington : purchased ; 1902
  • Data sheet available
  • Latham, John. Supplement II to the General Synopsis of birds. London: Leigh, Sotheby, 1802.
  • Hindwood K. A. 'The "Watling" drawings with incidental notes on the "Lambert" and the "Latham" drawings', Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales for the years 1968-69 (1970).
  • This drawing is reproduced in Wheeler, A. and Smith, B, The Art of the First Fleet and other early Australian Drawings. New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1988. (Plate 191, p. 179.)