Natural history

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"Axillary Falcon"

Artist: Port Jackson Painter
Created: [between 1788 and 1797]
Dimensions: 24.7 x 17.5 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. 101


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Bird perched on tree stump on a pale green mound, facing to the right, against a plain background. The bird has a white face and breast, grey back, and grey wings with black markings. The drawing is annotated in ink and pencil and framed by a pencil border.


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  • Port Jackson Painter]
  • The drawing is annotated in ink at lower left "one half the Natural size".
  • The drawing is unsigned and undated.
  • The drawing is annotated in ink at top right with the number "7.". 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 at top left in pencil "Axillary Falcon Sum Sup. ii 42". The page reference is to Latham's Second Supplement to the General Synopsis of Birds (1802).
  • This bird has more recently been 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). It is described as displaying "an immature plumage state".
  • 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 12101
  • 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).