John James Audubon (April 26, 1785 ? January 2, 1851) was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, hunter, and painter. He painted, catalogued, and described the birds of North America in a form far superior to what had gone before. His Birds of America is the most valuable book in the world. There are only about 120 copies of the first edition, and a copy in good condition is worth 8 million dollars. Gyrfalcon. A digitally altered copy of an original print. Drawn from nature by John James Audubon, c.