Natural history

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"Red-tailed Tropic-bird"

Artist: Port Jackson Painter
Created: [between 1788 and 1797]
Dimensions: 18 x 30.4 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. 360


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  • Port Jackson Painter]
  • The drawing has been annotated in ink at lower left, above the water, "This Bird is from the tip of the Bill to the Rump 18 Inches and from the Rump to the end of the Feathers 18 Do.".
  • The drawing is unsigned and undated.
  • The drawing is annotated in ink at top right with the number "295.". 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 "Red tailed Tropic Bird Syn. vi. 614. pl. 105". This has been copied in ink at lower right "Red Tailed Tropic Bird Latham Syn. 6. p. 614. pl 105.". The page reference is to Latham's General Synopsis of Birds (1781-85).
  • This bird was more recently identified as the Red-tailed Tropic-Bird, Phaethon rubricauda (adult) 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 12360
  • James Lee of Kensington : purchased ; 1902
  • Data sheet available.
  • Latham, John. General Synopsis of Birds. London : Benjamin White, 1781-1785.
  • 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 207, p. 194).