John James Audubon, by Unknown, c. 1845, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Portrait of John James Audubon (1785-1851), ornithologist, naturalist and artist, French-American ornithologist, is known for his studies, illustrations and documentation of all types of American birds. Audubon's most famous work, The Birds of America (1827-1839), is still renowned today. He identified 25 new species of birds and conducted the first known bird-banding experiment in America in the early 1800s..