117 of 314 Bird Species, As Urban Murals


Photo: Mike Fernandez/Audubon

A couple years ago we linked to a story about urban murals and now, progress:

Where Birds Meet Art . . . After Dark

Greater Sage-Grouse by George Boorujy

Greater Sage-Grouse by George Boorujy
Location: 3920 Broadway, New York, NY 10032

The Audubon Mural Project is a collaboration between the National Audubon Society and Gitler &_____ Gallery to create murals of climate-threatened birds throughout John James Audubon’s old Harlem‐based neighborhood in New York City.

Pinyon Jay by Mary Lacy

Pinyon Jay by Mary Lacy
Location: 3668 Broadway, New York, NY 10032

The project is inspired by the legacy of the great American bird artist and pioneering ornithologist and is energized by Audubon’s groundbreaking report “Survival By Degrees.” Audubon’s scientists have found that climate change will threaten at least half of all North American birds with extinction, and that no bird will escape the impacts of climate-change-related hazards like increased wildfire and sea-level rise. The project commissions artists to paint murals to call attention to this problem, and it has been widely covered in the media, including The New York Times.

On the website where Audubon features these murals you can click through to see the individual stories of each, including lots of interesting species information:


Clockwise from top left: Black-and-white Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, John James Audubon, depiction of Russell Lee’s 1941 photo of Chicago, Magnolia Warbler, James Lancaster’s hand, and Tree Swallow. Photo: Mike Fernandez/Audubon

Endangered Harlem by Gaia

Location: 1883, 1885, and 1887 Amsterdam, New York, NY 10032

Painted: Mural was completed 10/29/2015.

About the Bird: Passerines, more commonly known as songbirds, comprise the majority of the climate-threated species in Audubon’s “Survival By Degrees” report. The spunky, yellow-and-black Magnolia Warbler likes to hang low so can be more frequently seen, but at the current rate or warming will likely disappear from the majority of its North American breeding range. The brilliantly red Scarlet Tanager nests across the eastern half of the United States but as the planet warms may be pushed almost entirely into Canada. The Tree Swallow is currently widespread and common, but as it pushes north will become a far rarer sight across the United States. The Black-and-white Warbler may expand its summer range into Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri and across the East Coast but would lose just as much in the northern United States and southern Canada.

About the Artist: Gaia was raised in New York City­ and graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. His studio work, installations, and gallery projects have since been exhibited throughout the world—notably, at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Rice Gallery, and Palazzo Collicola Arti Visive. His street work has been documented and featured in several books on urban art, including Beyond the Street: The 100 Leading Figures in Urban Art. Gaia’s mural includes four species of migratory birds: the Black-and-white Warbler, the Magnolia Warbler, the Scarlet Tanager, and the Tree Swallow. In the top right corner he painted a portrait of John James Audubon as a young man; in the bottom right, a photo by Russell Lee taken in the South Side of Chicago in 1941 during the swell of the second great migration; in the bottom left, the hand of James Lancaster, who led the East India Company’s first fleet in 1600, resting on a globe. “I’m grateful to be able to be a part of the Audubon Mural Project and to have had the opportunity to push this photoshop method of arranging history visually,” he says. “These three patterns of migration run parallel to one another. But the greatest irony of it all is raising ecological awareness whilst the people of Harlem are endangered of significant gentrification.”