‘Climate birds’ to roost on B’way Malls

Snowy Owl

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | The Broadway Malls will be “winging it” this spring.

Starting May 17, a dozen large wooden birds will be nestled in some of the planted medians between 64th and 166th Sts. along Broadway.

“Every day, thousands of people pass by the Broadway Malls, and these whimsical additions will make that experience a lot more fun,” said Mitchell J. Silver, the Department of Parks and Recreation commissioner.

“By bringing art out into our parks and public spaces, we are adding a little magic and joy into the lives of those who encounter it,” Silver added.

Larger-than-life birds made by artist Nicolas Holiber using found wood will line the Broadway Malls starting this spring. Among them will be an American Bittern, above, which will be installed at W. 79th St.
A double-crested cormorant will be making a stand on the median.

The project is part of the city’s 50-years-and-running Art in the Parks program.

The larger-than-life creations are meant not only to beautify the Upper West Side, but remind passersby of the cost of climate change.

The subjects chosen for the art installation are from a group of 145 birds — that either migrate or are native to New York — threatened by climate change. A total of 314 North American bird species are threatened. Sculptor Nicolas Holiber will build each bird out of reclaimed wood from the city.

The wood in the artworks intentionally will be left untreated. This will allow nature to make its mark on the pieces, which will drive home the point that climate change poses a serious threat to wildlife.

A gigantic Common Goldeneye will no common sight at W. 117th St.
Who? A snowy owl, that’s who, which will grace the Broadway Malls at W. 148th St.

A 2014 study by the National Audubon Society revealed that the range where about half of the 650 North American bird species can live and breed is expected to shrink by 50 percent by 2080 — and that as their ranges shrink, birds increasingly will be forced farther north. As many as 10 states could lose their state bird by that year, as well.

Each sculpture will include a plaque with information about that specific bird, the threat it faces and what what people can do to help.

According to a Parks Department representative, the installation will be up through January 2020.

The installation is being presented in partnership with Parks, the Broadway Mall Association, Gitler &____ Gallery, at 150th St. and Broadway, and the New York City Audubon society.

Ducks in the ’Hood. A Hooded Merganser is just one of the fine, feathered fowl featured in the ambitious art installation.