Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri) and Trudeau's Tern (Sterna trudeaui), Havell plate no. 409

Object Number: 
1863.17.409
Date: 
1821; 1838
Medium: 
Watercolor, graphite, black ink, pastel, and gouache with selective glazing on two sheets of paper, laid on card
Dimensions: 
Paper: 14 3/4 x 21 7/16 in. (37.5 x 54.5 cm) Mat: 23 x 29 in. (58.4 x 73.7 cm)
Inscriptions: 
Inscribed at lower left in graphite: "Sterna Phillipsi 1."; at lower center: "Sterna Trudeaui 2. --"; above right: "[cut]… in the Eddy -- / New Orleans in the Winter of 20-21 when thousands of / the same Species were gambolling over the River - I then / Drew it - but have no Skins of it; and through fear of / Confusing myself I dare not publish it -- / I have notwithstanding named it -- "Black billed Tern" / & Sterna Ludoviciana - / J.J.A. ---"
Description: 
Forster's tern, winter plumage, above; Trudeau's tern, below; Audubon originally named one of these birds "Havell's Tern", after his engraver Robert Havell Jr.
Gallery Label: 
Trudeau's tern is a South American species which has not been found in the U.S. since Audubon's time
Credit Line: 
Purchased for the Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group