This series of ornithological maps on a single sheet, by A.K. Johnston, engraved by W. & A.K. Johnston and published by William Blackwood & Sons in Edinburgh & London in 1857, systematically presents the distribution of avian species across various geographical provinces. Spanning regions from the northern frigid zone of America to the temperate areas of Europe and warm locales of Asia and Africa, the map provides an ordered representation of six primary bird orders, detailing the number of species within each order.
The 1850s marked a period of heightened scientific inquiry into avian distribution and classification. Johnston's map responds to this trend, offering a structured account of bird distribution based on established research of the period. The map employs color-coding techniques to clearly differentiate between zoological provinces, making it a resource for those engaged in ornithological studies.
Illustrations, separated into depictions of birds from the Old World and the New World, provide visual references for readers. Additionally, the representation of Monte Rosa and Mt St Gothard underscores the altitudinal distribution of certain bird species, indicating how specific avian populations adapt to distinct elevations.
The integration of ornithological data with geographical mapping in Johnston's work showcases the intersection of these disciplines during the mid-19th century, reflecting the era's commitment to detailed scientific classification.