Birds Welcomed Back To Harlem In The Audubon Mural Project

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Photos by Audubon Mural Project

Those ubiquitous metal security gates that roll down over New York City businesses at night are looking way cooler thanks to a collaborative street art initiative by the National Audubon Society and Avi Gitner, the owner of a local gallery. The project in John James Audubon's old upper Manhattan neighborhood aims eventually to depict in all their sometimes garish splendor the 314 bird species - almost half the birds in the U.S.A. - identified by the Audubon Report as either threatened or endangered by climate change. The Mural Project spreads through Harlem's Washington and Hamilton Heights neighborhoods, a few blocks south of where Audubon - who in the early 1800s recognized environmental threats to birds and their habitats - lived the final years of his life. Gitner initially commissioned about a dozen murals from street artists working in a wild array of styles from spray-paint to more traditional portraits -though considerably less traditional than Audubon's famed watercolors. The goal is to portray all the marvels of nature we've  come close to destroying in hopes we'll notice, and help save, them.

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