Bulbul or Indian Nightingale, on a Sprig of the Custard Apple Tree
Artist: Forbes, James
Plate twelve from the first volume of James Forbes'"Oriental Memoirs", a work in the form of a series of letters richly illustrated, describing various aspects of nature, people and buildings he came across during his travels in India in the 1760s-70s. The bulbul, or Persian Nightingale has been called the 'bird of a thousand songs', notes Forbes(1749-1819). He drew a bulbul 'fluttering over a full-blown rose, as a vignette to a Persian ode, translated by Col. Woodburne,' who presented him with the copy repoduced here and which Forbes adds 'has not before appeared in print'.
He described the Bulbul as 'one of the most beautiful and melodious in the Indian Ornithology. They differ very much in plumage, some being almost black and others of a lighter brown than that delineated in this plate with the Custard-Apple; both of which were drawn from nature at Bombay, and are of the usual size and colour.'