Black Vultures by Marthalicia Matarrita

Location: 3627 Broadway, New York, NY 10031

Painted: 11/22/2014

About the Bird: A scavenger that feeds mostly on carrion, the Black Vulture stands to retain all of its current range in a warming climate. In fact, the bird’s range has been expanding for decades, a trend that’s only expected to continue. Farmers in the Midwest have recently noted a new or heavier presence in multiple states. No species studied in Audubon’s analysis will escape the negative effects of climate change, however, and both increased spring heat waves and urbanization could cause the Black Vulture setbacks.

About the Artist: Born and raised in Harlem, Marthalicia Matarrita studied fine art at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Matarrita is well known in the New York City street art scene, painting murals around the city and participating in many live art performances. She feels the Black Vulture is an underappreciated species. “I found that this particular bird gets many negative reactions from people,” she says. “Not many people understand that its natural survival methods are not predatory—they’re scavengers. They are ones that have the leftovers. Every animal has a role to play and the vulture plays an intricate role in the cycle of life.”

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