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John James Audubon: The man behind today's Google doodle

Google celebrates John James Audubon, the man behind those iconic bird drawings and Audubon Societies everywhere.

By / April 26, 2011

Today's Google logo is for the birds. The style is a faithful salute to John James Audubon.

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Google sent happy-birthday wishes to John James Audubon. The French-American ornithologist would have turned 226 today.

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The avian enthusiast spent years documenting North American birds and drawing precise portraits of countless species. He's perhaps best known for his book "Birds of America," which compiles images of more than 700 varieties of birds. Audubon's passion and masterful style have inspired naturalists and conservationists for the past two centuries.

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In fact, the eco-defending National Audubon Society and numerous bird-watching clubs across the country are named in his honor. According to Time, the Audubon Society's "website went down today as fans across the country remembered the famous naturalist." The site was still sluggish as of this report.

Google's artists have had a lot of leeway when it comes to the company's novelty doodles. The special banners can stylize Google's name, such as the amazing Jules Verne doodle. They can even completely obscure the G-O-O-G-L-E, but stick to the same color palette, such as the interactive salute to Robert Bunsen. But today's Audubon logo is particularly inscrutable. The artist was very faithful to Audubon's distinctive style – so faithful that it is near impossible to see the Google through the trees.

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