On front signed: DRE
Frame: 29 in x 35 in
Image: 19 7/8 in x 24 1/4 in
Don Richard Eckelberry (1921-2001), a prolific illustrator who was one of the country's foremost bird painters, died Jan. 14 in Bay Shore, N.Y. He was 79 and lived in Babylon, N.Y.
Al Gilbert, past president of the Society of Animal Artists, said, "Don was probably in stature comparable to Roger Tory Peterson in the field of wildlife art and bird painting."
As illustrator of Richard Pough's Audubon Bird Guide in 1946, Mr. Eckelberry portrayed virtually all the birds of North America north of Mexico in all significant plumages, in 1,250 color pictures.
Dr. Durbin Rowland of the University of Chicago wrote of the first volume: Each bird seems to have sat or rather perched for a portrait rich in distinguished traits, right in stance, in coloring and even in feathered personality. Audubon, the professor said, would have been thrilled.
Mr. Eckelberry's drawings and paintings are found in 14 books, including An Introduction to Nature by John Kieran, A Field Guide to the Birds of the West Indies, A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago," "Our Amazing Birds" by Robert S. Lemmon, and the Audubon Western Bird Guide. He was a staff artist with the National Audubon Society in the 1940's but worked after that as a freelance illustrator.