Perhaps that write-up isn't too far off the mark...
John James Audubon, in part to learn to draw birds, did a lot of drawings of dead birds, in fact. He hung them from strings, or fastened them to branches. Then he drew them just as they hung, dead.
I can't find many examples on the web, but first photo down on the right here:
shows one example, complete with the (dead) bird hanging from a string.