Audubon’s expedition included Dr. Benjamin Strobel, who assisted him during his time In Key West. They arrived on that island May 4, 1832, and sailed to the Dry Tortugas May 10, remaining there until May 16. During his stay he drew many species of birds, including the sooty tern, the brown noddy, and the brown booby. On Bird Key Audubon and his group encountered a crew of eggers from Havana, who gathered the eggs from nests on the Tortugas and sailed with them to the Cuban capital, where they sold them. According to Audubon the eggs “offered excellent eating, and our sailors seldom failed to collect bucketfuls of them daily during our stay at the Tortugas.”
Returning to Key West May 16, Audubon and his party remained there until May 22, when they left the Keys, stopping briefly at Indian Key before sailing on to Charleston.