As a companion to The Owl and the Woodpecker exhibit featuring photographs by Paul Bannick, the McClung Museum has assembled a collection of sixty-two prints by a variety of artists featuring these two bird groups, as well as two other groups often associated with them: nightjars and kingfishers.
Although owls and nightjars are not closely related in terms of evolutionary history, they are widely associated by their nocturnal habits. In fact, here in the United States, many conservation organizations monitor these two groups together.
Historically, woodpeckers and kingfishers were considered closely related. Both groups are cavity nesters and have specially adapted bills that are used in many aspects of their life history. New advances in the science of genetic analysis are shedding light on their taxonomic relationship.
The artists represented are Eleazar Albin (1713–1759), Mark Catesby (1682–1749), Alexander Wilson (1766–1813), John James Audubon (1785–1851), Prideaux John Selby (1788–1867), John Gould (1804–1881), George Robert Gray (1808–1872), Henry Eeles Dresser (1838–1915), and Rex Brasher (1869–1960). All prints are hand-colored and comprise engravings, lithographs, and, in the case of Brasher, photogravure.