Birds flyin’ high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me.
~ Nina Simone
ATM. Williamson’s Sapsucker for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
192 species of birds are seen in Central Park regularly, says the NYC Audubon Society, thanks to “New York City’s position along the Atlantic ‘flyway,’ a major avian migration route, and its variety of habitat types, the metropolitan area is rich in bird diversity,” says the Museum of Natural History.
ATM. Red-face Warbler for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Since 2014 the streets of New York have also become home to many painted birds as well. In the Upper West Side neighborhood in Manhattan where founder and artist John James Audubon lived in the 1840s after publishing his major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), there is a growing series of paintings on roll down gates by Street Artists, graffiti artists, studio artists, and muralists depicting bird species that are in danger thanks climate change and to us humans.
ATM. Townsend’s Warbler for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Audubon Mural Project combines the efforts of art gallerist Avi Gitler of Gitler &_____ Gallery and The Audubon Society and 50+ artists over the last 2 years or so and gradually this area is becoming a bird sanctuary. The birds are painted mostly along Broadway but many more painted birds can be found from 135th Street to 165th Street on the Upper West Side. Many of the birds are painted on gates so when the shops are open, the gates are up and bird sighting is off…so go early in the morning or when the shops close.
Mary Lacy. Pinyon Jay for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hitnes. Fish Crow for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
LNY. Swallow-tailed Kite (and others) for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
James Alicea. American Redstart for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
To learn more about The Audubon Mural Project click HERE
Here is a recent story from PBS about the project. Unfortunately, many artists names are not mentioned in the story, a typical unfortunate oversight by the press for artists whose work is on the streets and not inside galleries or museums. Nonetheless, the story gives valuable information and context.