Prideaux John Selby
15.5 x 21.5 inches
An imposing copper plate etching with original hand colour, by P. J. Selby after the drawing by R. Mitford, dated 1821 and published as a part of his collective work The Illustrations of British Ornithology, in London in 1834.
The Jer Falcon (or Gyrfalcon as it is commonly known) is a very splendid bird, the largest of the falcons with the adult male wingspan reaching over 50 inches. Selby's research covered all manner of British birds including all the common garden birds and the more pedestrian species of seagull so the inclusion of something like this would have been a real showstopper. Then, as now, sightings were limited to Scotland where it was seasonal visitor from the Arctic coasts.