swallow-tailed kite

Eye Opener

Flocking Uptown

The Audubon Mural Project uses street art to highlight the plight of North American birds.

As migratory birds pass through New York City en route to warmer climes this fall, artists are busy curating a flock of permanent residents uptown—in the form of murals. The Audubon Mural Project, a collaboration between the National Audubon Society and Gitler &_____ art gallery, is creating eye-catching street art in John James Audubon’s former Manhattan neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Hamilton Heights. According to a 2014 Audubon report, climate change is seriously threatening 314 native North American avian species. The hope is that these painted specimens will help raise awareness for the real guys.

The above video by Mike Fernandez and Audubon captures the installation of the latest and greatest (size-wise, at least) addition to the project, painted at 3740 Broadway by artist Lunar New Year. The five-story mural depicts a swallow-tailed kite, which Audubon scientists predict will lose 70 percent of its summer habitat to climate change by the end of the century, along with 12 other threatened birds.

“I wanted to emphasize all these different birds, different species, coming together as one flock,” the artist told the New York Times. “As we must to save the planet.”

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