Team Birds

Some of you newer visitors to the city have asked about the 5 foot tall birds you’ve been seeing on buildings here. Don’t be alarmed: they’re just paintings! They’re part of the Audubon Mural Project, a public art project that was started by some bird-friendly humans: the National Audubon Society and Gitler &_____ Gallery. These humans are clearly on “Team Birds”, as we like to say.

Jennifer Bogo, from the National Audubon Society, was nice enough to chat with us about the murals:

Hi Jenny. We’re flattered that humans wanted to make big portraits of us everywhere. You make us blush! Can I ask: why did you highlight those particular birds?

We at Audubon love all birds! But with the Audubon Mural Project, we wanted to call special attention to birds that may be threatened with extinction from climate change. As I’m sure you know, there are lots of things that pose a risk to birds: cats(!), pollution, giant glass buildings. But our scientists have decided that climate change poses the biggest threat of all.

Could you give a quick explanation of what extinction is in a way that our bird brains can understand? 

Unfortunately, Robin, that means you may no longer be able to find the food and habitat you need to survive. Flowers and insects might not emerge when you need to eat. Or maybe it will become too hot for your babies. Or rising seas will wash away your lovely beachfront home. Maybe giant storms will flood your nest. Sorry! Extinction is very bad.

We love hearing about things humans are doing to help us birds. Can you name one or two small things that humans can do to help fight bird extinction?

There’s lots that humans can do, but the important thing is to start somewhere – and then build on that. In fact, we created a handy guide to help people take action on climate change in their homes, communities, and on even bigger scales. Please tell all your human friends to check it out at audubon.org/climate-action-guide. And good luck! We’re rooting for you.

 

Pigeon with a paintbrush in its beak in front of a painting
(Bertha Greyfeather has taken up painting after being inspired by the Audubon Mural Project).
Illustration: © Fiona Carswell, 2021.