Pigeon Plate Reference #177
I saw them as they approached the shore, Audubon wrote, skimming along
the surface of the water: flying with great rapidity, much in the manner of
the common house species, but not near each other like the Passenger Pigeon.
On nearing the land, they rose to the height of about a hundred yards,
surveyed the country in large circles, then with less velocity gradually
descended, and alighted in the thickest parts of the mangroves ad other low
trees. None of them could easily be seen in those dark retreats, and we were
obliged to force them out, in order to shoot them, which we did at this time
on the wing. Audubon painted these pigeons at the Indian Key, Florida, in
April 1832, just after the birds arrived from Cuba. His assistant George
Lehman painted the flowering limb of the geiger-tree, a West Indian shrub
found in the Florida Keys.