In the Loop
Student Stories : Apr 9, 2014

Heather Foster creates mural to protect life of birds

Alumna and current MFA candidate at University of Georgia Heather Foster has been working on a mural project with fellow artist Michael Ross. After finding two ruby-throated hummingbirds, a Tennessee warbler, a northern cardinal, an American goldfinch and awood thrush on the ground outside large windows where they work, the artists started Big Bird, Little Bird.

According to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, up to 100 million birds are killed annually by window collisions. Birds mistake large sheets of clean glass for the sky and the landscapes they reflect, and fly into these deadly illusions at full speed. One solution is to disrupt window reflectivity with screening, stickers or other materials. Another solution is to attach images of predatory birds to the windows, which scares smaller birds away from the actual danger of the glass.

Big Bird, Little Bird is a project to memorialize dead birds, prevent future bird strikes and produce an exhibit of artwork that considers birds, mortality, illusion, architecture and conservation.