This Blue-Winged Teal was harvested from Maryland’s eastern shore and was preserved by local taxidermy artist Earl Fox. The Teal will remain on display at the Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library through April 1, 2024.
A tandem display of waterfowl engravings by John James Audubon will accompany the Teal. Taxidermy played an important role in the creation of the Birds of America copperplate engravings by Audubon. The set was produced in the late 1820s and 1830s, before the popularization of daguerreotype photography. Thus, avian samples were harvested by Audubon’s team of assistants and were preserved in taxidermy. The birds were wired to branches similar to those where they were found. Audubon created detailed paintings of the birds, which later were reproduced as copperplate engravings and tinted in watercolors. The taxidermy birds joined museum collections in the eastern United States.