American Goldfinch and Chipping Sparrow by Gloria Adams

Location: 323 Edgecombe Community Garden, New York, NY 10031
Photo: Mike Fernandez/Audubon

Painted: 10/25/2023

Sponsored: In honor of Marty and Dan Boone

About the Birds: During the summer, the male American Goldfinch dons his most eye-catching colors—bright yellow body plumage with a sharp black cap. The female bird, whose priority is to blend in, wears a subtler golden wash. Both the Goldfinch and the Chipping Sparrow, a perky little songbird with a rusty crown, can be seen foraging for seeds among flowering plants like purple coneflowers, asters, and black-eyed susans. Planting native species, like the neighbors in this NYC Parks GreenThumb community garden did, is a great way to support them. 

Although widespread in North America now, the American Goldfinch and Chipping Sparrow also need action to slow the effects of climate change. Audubon’s climate models show both stand to lose significant habitat during the crucial breeding season if global warming continues apace—65 percent and 40 percent of their ranges respectively. Their young are also especially vulnerable to the heavy rains and spring heat waves that are becoming more common in a climate changed future.

About the Artist: Gloria Adams grew up in western Pennsylvania with parents who were working-class, self-taught artists and environmentalists—her father a draftsman and carpenter, and her mother a gifted artist, gardener, and herbalist—and she spent her childhood learning about the natural world. Gloria went on to earn a degree in Studio Art and Sociology from Oberlin College and a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work has since developed through her study of social and political intersectionality and by her use of plant and animal symbolism to explore topics that range from the global climate crisis to race and class in the United States. 

Gloria has participated in artist residencies around the world and has received honors for her work including awards, grants and scholarships. Although most often an oil painter, Gloria also has a passion for making wooden furniture and various types of puppets. She teaches painting, drawing, and freshman seminars in puppetry and environmental art/earthworks at City College of New York, CUNY. She has also been a New York City public school teacher in Washington Heights since 2007. Gloria has even taught one other Audubon Muralists: Wildriana Paulino and she hopes that more of her former students will become part of conservation efforts through the Audubon Mural Project.