Wonders of Southern Illinois: John James Audubon

May 28, 2014

Welcome to this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders!  More than 200 years ago French-American naturalist and painter John James Audubon traveled through our region and left us a detailed journal of his journey through the wilds that once were the wonders of southern Illinois.  

Naturalist and storyteller Brian "Fox" Ellis portrays John James Audubon
Credit www.foxtaleint.com

Audubon was the first to draw every bird in North America in life size.   He painted the now extinct Carolina Parrot near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers at Grafton and painted the elusive Ivory Billed Woodpecker in the Cache River Bottoms.

In the winter of 1810 he floated down the Ohio to the Cairo area where he camped with the Shawnee.   Audubon, himself, tells the story as portrayed by Brian “Fox” Ellis.

Portrait of French-American naturalist John James Audubon

Brian "Fox" Ellis is an Illinois based author, historian, story-teller, and naturalist. You can learn more about Ellis’ and his portrayal of John James Audubon on his website www.foxtalesint.com   

Southern Illinois Wonders is produced in collaboration with the Illinois Humanities Council, a non profit organization that fosters cultural vitality in communities throughout the state.  More information on line at www.prairie.org.

Drawing of Ivory Billed Woodpecker by John James Audubon

Theme music for Southern Illinois Wonders is provided by Robert Bowlin.