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Exotic Bird Art Download Le Vaillant’s Prints

Explore and download 29 François Le Vaillant’s breathtaking exotic bird art prints. The collection features high-quality illustrations of birds of paradise, rollers, toucans, and barbets from the 18th century, perfect for educators, artists, and nature lovers.

François Le Vaillant’s Legacy

François Le Vaillant was a trailblazer in ornithology. He was well known for his innovative use of coloured illustrations to depict birds in his scientific works. Le Vaillant used a method of preparing bird specimens in lifelike poses using arsenic soap to preserve them. This allowed his illustrators to create realistic and dynamic portrayals of these animals in their natural settings.

His seminal publication, “Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis et des rollers, suivie de celle des toucans et des barbets,” showcases an array of exotic birds through beautifully detailed illustrations.

Born in 1753, Le Vaillant’s travels across Africa enabled him to study and document wildlife in unprecedented detail. He significantly contributed to the field and influenced future generations of naturalists.

Le Vaillant’s influence extended beyond his lifetime. He is believed to have influenced other naturalists, including John James Audubon.

Despite the groundbreaking nature of his work, later reviews, such as an 1857 analysis by Carl Sundevall, revealed some inaccuracies and mysteries in his collections. Sundevall found that some of the birds Le Vaillant claimed to have collected from the Cape region did not seem to originate there, and some specimens were even composites of multiple species.

Despite these controversies, François Le Vaillant remains a significant figure in the history of ornithology. His work enriched the scientific community and brought the colourful world of birds closer to people worldwide.

In this masterwork, Le Vaillant focuses on some of the most visually striking species: the ethereal birds of paradise, the vibrant rollers, and toucans and barbets known for their bold colours and distinctive patterns.

four exotic bird paintings by Le Vaillant for a pin image includes a toucan and bird of paradise

How To Download The Exotic Birds Paintings

The illustrations from Le Vaillant’s book are a valuable addition to our diverse collection of tropical and exotic bird prints, which already include detailed depictions of toucans, parrots, and cockatoos.

Available for free download, these prints are a significant resource for educators, students, artists, and decorators. Click on the title above the vintage bird print you want, and a high-resolution image will appear in a new tab. You can then print or save this image.

Tropical Toucans

Toucans are colourful tropical birds best known for their large, vibrant bills that help them reach and eat fruit from tricky spots. They live in the tropical forests of Central and South America and can be spotted by their striking black feathers with red, yellow, or white patches.

Toucans are quite social and enjoy the company of their flock, often playing games like bill-fencing to strengthen their bonds. They communicate using loud croaks and rattles and regulate their body temperature through their bills by adjusting blood flow. Regarding nesting, toucans share the responsibility, with both parents caring for the eggs and chicks in tree cavities.

Print 1: Le Toco

The toco toucan, the largest of its kind, is renowned for its oversized, colourful bill and striking black and white plumage. Native to South America’s tropical forests, this bird uses its lightweight bill to access fruits and berries, aid in mating displays, and defend itself.

Toco toucans are social, often found in small flocks, and their loud calls echo through the treetops.

The Toco Toucan, famous not only for its striking bill but also for popping up on Guinness ads! If you’re a Guinness drinker like me, you’ll recognize this colorful character as the cheeky bird that’s been charming us from our beer coasters and posters for years, proving that good taste isn’t just about the brew, but the bird on the bottle too!

Le Toco Male Toucan

Print 2: Le Tocan No.3

Tropical birds painting of a Red-beaked toucan.

Le tocan no.3

Print 3: The Yellow Collared Toucan

Yellow collared Toucan exotic bird art François  Le Vaillant

Exotic Bird Print 4: Large Orange Throated Toucan

François Le Vaillant’s exotic bird art orange throated toucan

Print 5: The Little Red-Bellied Toucan

François Le Vaillant’s little red bellied toucan exotic bird painting

Toucan Aracaris Exotic Bird Paintings

Aracaris are a distinctive group of small toucans known for their vibrant and colourful appearance. These birds sport strikingly patterned plumage. Like their larger toucan relatives, they feature prominently colourful bills, though they are notably slimmer and less cumbersome. Aracaris are more agile and acrobatic than the larger toucans. They are often seen darting through the treetops for fruits and berries.

These social birds typically travel in small, noisy flocks and are known for their playful nature.

Exotic Bird Print 6: The Red-Belt Aracari

Red belt aracari' exotic bird art by Francois Le Vaillant

Print 7: The Double Belt Aracari

the double belt aracari by Francios Le Vaillant exotic bird painting

Print 8: Aracari KOULIK male from Guyana

François Le Vaillant Bird Prints of an aracari toucan from Guyana

Barbet Exotic Bird Paintings

Barbets are vibrant birds notable for their stout bodies, colourful plumage, and distinctive bills lined with bristles. Found in tropical forests across Africa, Asia, and the Americas, these birds are masters of their environment, adept at foraging fruits and insects.

Barbets carve nests in tree trunks, where both parents care for their young. Their varied calls contribute to a lively forest soundscape. As key seed dispersers, barbets play an essential role in sustaining the health of their lush habitats, making them a vital, eye-catching part of the ecosystem.

Print 9: The Great Barbet

The Great Barbet, with its striking mix of green, blue, and red plumage, is the largest barbet species and a captivating sight in the forest canopies of Asia. This robust bird commands attention with loud, echoing calls that resonate through the hills and valleys, a familiar sound in its mountainous habitat.

Renowned for their vivid appearance and energetic behaviour, Great Barbets spend much time foraging for fruits and insects, often seen hopping from branch to branch in search of food. The bird’s strong bill is not just for show—it’s a crucial tool for excavating nesting cavities in trees, where it lays its eggs and nurtures its young.

great barbet Francios Le Vaillant exotic bird art

Print 10: Male Blue-Throated Barbet

The Blue-throated Barbet is a splash of colour in the forests of South Asia, with its bright green body, blue face, and redhead capturing the eyes of anyone lucky enough to spot it. This lively little bird chirps melodically as it hops energetically from tree to tree, feeding on fruits and insects.

Nesting in hollows chiselled out by their stout bills, these barbets are not just beautiful but are also skilled architects of the avian world.

Blue throated barbet by Francios Le Vaillant

Print 11: Guyana Male Barbet

Male Guyana Barbet Francios Le Vaillant

Print 12: Second Variety of Guyana Barbet

second Guyana Barbet exotic bird painting by Francois Le Vaillant

Exotic Print 13: Elegant Barbet

Exotic bird painting of an Elegant barbet by Francios Le Vaillant

Print 14: Red-Belt Barbet

Red belt barbet painting by Francois Le Vaillant

Birds Of Paradise Exotic Art Prints

Birds of Paradise are among nature’s most spectacular creations, famed for dazzling plumage and extraordinary courtship displays. Found primarily in the dense rainforests of New Guinea and surrounding islands, these birds exhibit vibrant colours and fantastical feather arrangements that defy imagination.

Males are renowned for their elaborate dance routines and striking poses, which they use to attract mates. With feathers that can shimmer with iridescent blues and greens or explode in fiery oranges and reds, each species boasts a unique pattern that makes them a visual feast for birdwatchers.

Print 15: The Emperor Bird of Paradise

The Emperor Bird of Paradise is truly a sight to behold, a dazzling diva of the bird world who knows how to put on a show. Residing in the lush forests of Papua New Guinea, this stunning bird flaunts a striking plumage of deep maroon and yellow with a set of white plumes that could rival any royal cape.

What steals the show, though, are its courtship performances, where the male transforms into a dancing ball of feathers, spinning and posing to impress the rather hard-to-please females. These elaborate dance routines and vivid colours make the Emperor Bird of Paradise not just another pretty bird but a mesmerizing spectacle of nature’s artistry.

Emperor Bird of Paradise exotic bird print by Francios LeVaillant

Print 16: The Little Emerald Bird of Paradise

Little Emeral bird of Paradise by Francios Le Vaillant

Print 17: Red Bird of Paradise

The Red Bird of Paradise is an absolute showstopper with its fiery red and jet-black plumage and flamboyant tail feathers that seem to have a life of their own. Native to the lush islands of Indonesia, this dazzling creature takes centre stage during its courtship rituals, where the males perform a breathtaking aerial ballet to woo their mates.

They flip, twirl, and sashay through the branches, showing off those spectacular tail feathers to any female watching. It’s a thrilling display of nature’s flair for the dramatic, making the Red Bird of Paradise not just a treat for the eyes but a captivating example of the lengths to which animals will go for love.

Red bird of Paradise by Francios LeVaillant

Print 18: Magnificent Bird of Paradise

The Magnificent Bird of Paradise is a real charmer of the avian world and lives up to its grand title with a flair for the dramatic. Sporting a vivid cloak of iridescent green and yellow feathers and a pair of curling tail wires, this little star knows how to put on a show.

The male dazzles with a courtship dance about glitz and glam. He meticulously clears a patch of forest floor, makes it his stage, and then performs with gusto—fluffing his feathers and hopping around to catch the eye of a discerning female.

Print 19: Bird of Paradise Feathers

Here, you’ll find more illustrations of feathers and plumage.

Vintage illustration of Birds of Paradise feathers and plumage

Print 20: Le Sifilet Bird of Paradise

Le Siflet bird of Paradise LeVaillant

Print 21: Le Pie De Paradise

Le Pie De Paradise exotic bird illustration

Exotic Birds: Rollers

Rollers are strikingly beautiful birds, named for their breathtaking aerial acrobatics during the mating season, which include rolls, dives, and loops. They are medium-sized birds found primarily in warmer climates across Europe, Africa, and Asia. Their plumage is typically bright and colourful, they inhabit open woodlands and savannahs, where they prey on insects, small reptiles, and amphibians.

Print 23: Long-Stranded African Roller

Exotic birds art Long stranded African roller by Francois Le Vaillant

Exotic Bird 24: African Variety of Roller

African variety of roller perched on a branch exotic bird painting by Francois LeVaillant

Print 25: European Roller

The European Roller is a spectacle with its stunning blue and orange plumage that lights up its surroundings. This charismatic bird is the only member of the roller family breeds in Europe, often spotted soaring gracefully across open woodlands and fields. A migratory bird, it spends its winters in Africa, returning each spring to delight onlookers across Europe with its vivid colours and acrobatics.

European Roller by Francois LeVaillant

Print 26: The Purple Roller

The purple roller on a perch by Le Vaillant

Exotic Birds: Jays

Jays are intelligent, adaptable members of the corvid family, including crows and ravens. Known for their complex social behaviour and problem-solving abilities, jays are found in a variety of habitats across the world, from forests to mountainous regions to urban areas.

They have a varied diet that includes seeds, nuts, and insects, and some species are known for their remarkable habit of caching food for later use. The plumage of jays can be quite diverse, ranging from the bright blue of the North American Blue Jay to the more subdued browns and greys of the Eurasian Jay.

Print 27: Black Jay With White Collar

Print 28: Blue Jay

Blue Jays are the show-offs of the bird world, with their striking blue, white, and black plumage and noisy calls. These clever birds are not just a treat for the eyes; they’re also incredibly intelligent, known for their complex social behaviours and ability to use tools.

Found primarily in the eastern and central United States, blue jays are often seen flitting about in forests, suburban gardens, and parks, where they’re not shy about making their presence known. Whether mimicking the calls of hawks to fool other birds or hoarding acorns for winter, Blue Jays bring a splash of colour and a dash of mischief wherever they go.

Another print of a blue jay is in this collection of American songbirds.

Blue Jay on a perch painted by Francois Le Vaillant

Exotic Bird 29: Cock-Of-The-Rock

The Cock-of-the-rock, known for its flamboyant appearance, really knows how to steal the spotlight in the dense rainforests of South America. Sporting a vivid orange or red plumage, this bird is almost theatrical in its looks, with a prominent fan-shaped crest and striking colour that makes it impossible to miss.

Found primarily in rocky outcrops within humid forest areas, the male is famous for his energetic and elaborate dance routines during mating displays, which are as colourful and dramatic as his appearance.

the cock of the rock adult male bird on perch by Francois LeVaillant

Conclusion and Other Related Posts

François Le Vaillant’s iconic book explores exotic birds and leaves us with a vivid tapestry of the avian world that continues to captivate and inspire. His meticulous illustrations bring to life the flamboyance of Birds of Paradise, the dynamic rollers, the colourful toucans, and the intriguing barbets with a detail that nearly leaps off the page.

These prints not only showcase Le Vaillant’s passion and dedication to ornithology but also offer us a timeless glimpse into the beauty and diversity of birds. Whether you’re a seasoned birder, an art lover, or just someone who appreciates the wonders of nature, Le Vaillant’s work is stunning.

Don’t forget to check out the site’s many other vintage bird illustrations.

These include many more colourful collections, such as hummingbird prints, tropical bird cigarette cards and Adolphe Millot’s bird posters.

If you want a unique way to display these colourful bird prints, check out this upcycled rainbow gallery wall. You can also display the birds in a cloche, like this parrot decor cloche.

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