Massive mural sends message about climate change's impact on birds – Spectrum News NY1

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On a recent 90-plus-degree day in Red Hook, Brooklyn, artist George Boorujy spent hours on the hot concrete, working on a 963-foot-long mural. It’s called "Migratory Pathways," located on a retaining wall on Bay Street near the Red Hook Ball Fields. 
The mural features birds that make their way through New York City during their thousands-miles-long travels. It depicts eight migratory birds that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
It’s part of the Audubon Mural Project, a public art initiative of the National Audubon Society and Gitler &_____ gallery, sponsored by the Red Hook Conservancy along with NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program. 
"I went back and forth to the site a few times and then kept thinking about, how do I actually depict something that makes sense with the physical structure? And that’s why I went to migration routes," said Boorujy, who knows the neighborhood well, since he has been swimming at the Red Hook Recreation Center across the street for more than two decades.

The mural will also include native plants, stressing their importance in sustaining birds on their long journeys.
"Definitely the goal is to educate people about the birds that are threatened, and also to inspire them to enjoy nature, to get the message across that this is also about nature and the importance of birds and other wildlife to our survival," said Marlene Pantin, founder and executive director of the Red Hook Conservancy, who also happens to work for Audubon as manager of the organization’s Plants For Birds program.
Since 2014, more than 100 murals have been painted, depicting more than 150 climate-threatened birds. Boorujy says this was not your typical spot for a mural, and during the painstaking work, he has had a chance to speak with folks in the neighborhood about it.
"It’s been a good opportunity to talk to them about what I am actually doing, and a lot of them have been saying, ‘Wow, that bird looks so cool. I love the colors you chose,’ and I was like, ‘That’s not me, that’s evolution, that’s what that bird actually looks like, and you can see this bird in Brooklyn,’" Boorujy said.
Pantin says there are 389 species of birds currently threatened by climate change, and the murals are a reminder of what’s at stake.