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Report upon The Ornithological Collections made in portions of Nevada, Utah, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona,
During the Years 1871, 1872, 1873, and 1874
by H.W. Henshaw

(also known as Birds of the Wheeler Survey)

WASHINGTON: GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, 1875
plates drawn principally by R. Ridgway
lithography by T. Sinclair & Son of Philadelphia

Original Antique color lithographs (chromolithographs) with some hand finishing • Titles mostly Latin
Sheet size: approximately 8.75 x 11.75 inches (22.5 x 30 cm)

Scope and Content

The geographical surveys west of the 100th meridian of the United States operated under a general plan issued by the Chief of Engineers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and were under the supervision of First Lieutenant (later Captain) George M. Wheeler. The first expedition took place in 1869; the last in 1879. According to the general plan, Wheeler's main objective was to survey the parts of the U.S. territory lying south of the Central Pacific Railroad in order to obtain correct topographical knowledge and prepare maps of the region. In addition he was to ascertain everything related to the physical features of the region; discover the numbers, habits, and disposition of Indians in the section; select sites for future military installations; determine facilities available for making rail or common roads; and note mineral resources, climate, geology, vegetation, water sources, and agricultural potential.

USPRR Plates: In the 1850s the United States Army conducted extensive surveys to ascertain the best route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast. The final reports consist of 13 quarto volumes with hundreds of full page lithographs and numerous maps. The itineraries of the field parties, together with the illustrations, gave Americans their first comprehensive descriptions of the West. Spencer Fullerton Baird, Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, arranged for naturalists to accompany the field parties. A wealth of biological material was obtained and the greater portion of the reports is devoted to descriptions of the plants and animals (mainly vertebrates) found in this vast region. Below are some of the birds.

Please click on the thumbnail images below for a better look at each print.

The digital watermark on images deters image theft and does not appear on the actual antique print.

Bewick's White-bellied Wren, Western Yellow-winged Sparrow
Plate I

Thyrothorus Bewicki
(Bewick's White-bellied Wren)

Coturniculus Passerinus
(Western Yellow-winged Sparrow)

$65

Cooper's Tanager
Plate II

Pyranga Aestiva var. Cooperi (male)
(Cooper's Tanager)

Cooper's Tanager
Plate III

Pyranga Aestiva var. Cooperi (female)
(Cooper's Tanager)


$65

Arizona Goldfinch
Plate IV

Chrysomitris Psaltria var. Arizonae (male)
(Arizona Goldfinch)

Chrysomitris Psaltria (female)


$85

Brown-capped rosy finch male
Plate V

Leucosticte Australis
(Allen's Brown-capped Rosy Finch, male)


$65

Allen's Brown-capped Rosy Finch
Plate VI

Leucosticte Australis
(Allen's Brown-capped Rosy Finch, female)


$50

Ridgway's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow
Plate VII

Zonotrichia Leucophrys, var. Cambeli, Ad.
(Ridgway's Sparrow)

Zonotrichia Leucophrys, var. Intermedia, Ad.
(White-crowned Sparrow)


$85

Pink-sided Snowbird
Plate VIII

Junco Cinereus, var. Annectens
(Pink-sided Snowbird)


$65

(very faint image transference from opposing plate)

Mexican Snowbird
Plate IX

Junco Cinereus, var. Dorsalis, male
(Mexican Snowbird)


$75

(very faint image transference from opposing plate)

Mexican Snowbird
Plate X

Junco Cinereus
(Mexican Snowbird)


$75

(very faint image transference from opposing plate)

Sagebrush Sparrow
Plate XI

Poospiza Belli, var. Nevadensis
(Artemesia or Sagebrush Sparrow)


$75

Arizona jay
Plate XII

Cyanocitta Ultramarina, var. Arizonae
(Arizona Jay)

$85

Rocky Mountain Gray Jay
Plate XIII

Perisoreus Canadensis, var. Capitalis
(Rocky Mountain Gray Jay)

$85

Plate XIV 

Myiodynastes Luteiventris, male
(Yellow-bellied Flycatcher)
Plate XIV

Myiodynastes Luteiventris, male
(Yellow-bellied Flycatcher)

$85

Plate XIV 

Myiodynastes Luteiventris, male
(Yellow-bellied Flycatcher)
Plate XV

Asturina Nitida, var. Plagiata
(Mexican Hawk)

$115

(minor foxing at top edge of paper)

The plates below are from Reports of Explorations and Surveys, To Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River To The Pacific Ocean [known more commonly as the U.S.P.R.R.] published by the U.S. Government circa 1859

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Original 150-plus-year-old color lithographs
Sheet size: approximately 8 1/2 x 11 3/8 inches

XXI crow detail
USPRR
Plate XXI

38th, 39th, 41st Parallels
(unidentified Crow/Blackbird with detail of wings and foot)


$45

XXIII crow
USPRR
Plate XXIII

47th Parallel
(unidentified Crow/Blackbird with detail of wings and foot)


XXIV crow
USPRR
Plate XXIV

47th Parallel
(unidentified Crow/Blackbird with detail of wings and foot)


$45

XXV crow
USPRR
Plate XXV

38th, 39th, 41st Parallels
(unidentified Crow/Blackbird with detail of wings and foot)


$45

Cal/Or crow
USPRR
Plate XXVI

California & Oregon
(unidentified Crow/Blackbird with detail of wings and foot)


$45

Williamson's Sapsucker
USPRR
Plate XXXIV

32th Parallel (East)

no title
(Williamson's Sapsucker) [woodpecker]


$90

Florida Crow, Fish Crow
USPRR
Plate LXVII

Birds of North America

Corvus Floridanus
(Florida Crow)

Corvus Ossifragus
(Fish Crow)


$65

XXV crow
USPRR
Plate LVIII

United States & Mexican Boundary

Quiscalus Macrourus
(Long-tailed Grackle?)

note: damp staining around edges


$30

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