John James Audubon Birthday Celebrated by Google Doodle

John James Audubon Google Birthday Doodle

Google is celebrating the 226th birthday of John James Audubon, the French-American ornithologist, artist, and naturalist with a special logo. Fitting that Google is honoring Audubon, considering that in his day Audubon had a Google-like mission to paint every bird species in North America (Google's mission today is, obviously, much larger: to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful).

Just as Audubon had a love of nature, Google also has been showing its "green" side, with massive investments in solar and wind energy. Google this year, as has been tradition for the past 10 years, also tried to raise awareness of the environment with a special Earth Day logo April 22.

Audubon made a major contribution to our knowledge of birds and is very worthy of this honor. The simple logo appears to be influenced by his bird paintings.

220px-John_James_Audubon_1826.jpgAudubon, born on April 26, 1785, was also well known for his paintings of 435 varieties of birds in "Birds of America." A complete copy of the first edition of "Birds of America" was sold in London, setting a record auction price -- £7,321,250 ($11.5 million) -- for a printed book on Dec. 6, 2010.

His life was dedicated to the painting, classifying, and descriptions of the birds of the world. Gathering information from as many sources as he could find, Audubon mapped the habitats of American birds.

This quote, attributed to Audubon, sums it up best: "I know that I am not a scholar, but meantime I am aware that no man living knows better than I do the habits of our birds."

The impact of his work can best be seen in the references to him in the works of Charles Darwin.

Apart from being the inspiration for The Audubon Society established in 1905, there are numerous towns, parks, and bridges throughout the U.S. bearing his name, including John James Audubon State Park in Kentucky.

Wonder if Twitter will also opt to also celebrate this milestone, given their bird association?