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Citation. McKinney, F. 1995. Review of: The downy waterfowl of North America by Colleen Helgeson Nelson. The Auk 112:525. [1657 CC]
Introduction. This long awaited monograph had its inception in 1962 as an artistic project. Colleen Nelson was encouraged by H. Albert Hockbaum to compile a set of paintings of day-old waterfowl using live birds from the hatchery at the Delta Waterfowl Research Station as models. The resulting watercolor paintings were widely acclaimed for their accuracy and charm, and Colleen was encouraged to publish them. Originally, she planned an elegant folio with a color plate for each species, but this proved to be impractical. A compromise in the form of a monograph began to take shape as she painted additional species, added text, and reviewed the literature on downy waterfowl. After 30 years the project has been completed, and we have the first book ever devoted solely to downy waterfowl.