Photo: Mike Fernandez/Audubon
Photo: Mike Fernandez/Audubon

Audubon Mural Project

Eastern Whip-poor-will by Yumi Rodriguez, Candice Flewharty, & Melanie Sokolow

Location: 601 W. 161st St., New York, NY 10032

Painted: 8/10/2018

Climate Threat: A strictly nocturnal species, the Eastern Whip-poor-will comes out in the evening to forage and spends most of its downtime alone in low-hanging branches. By 2080, Audubon's climate model projects it will lose 78 percent of breeding range and 55 percent of non-breeding range. Eastern Whip-poor-will numbers are currently in decline, largely due to the loss of the forest understory they depend on.

About the Lead Artist: Yumarlin "Yumi" Rodriguez was born and raised in the small Dominican enclave that is Washington Heights. She has a deep love of exploring, animals, and the natural world. which she takes up after her grandfather, Odalis Alvarez. He believed that she could make a difference in the world using her talents. He fell ill shortly before she was admitted into The Cooper Union's School of Art in the fall of 2018, so she decided to paint a mural in his honor at the barbershop where he worked. When Rodriguez isn't trying to save the planet, she can be found bending her body every which way as a certified yoga instructor; caring for creatures as a licensed veterinary technician; proctoring exams at LaGuardia Community College's Natural Science's department; or at the American Museum of Natural History, where she interns as an illustrator for spider anatomy.

The Artist on the Mural: After painting a bird mural for her grandfather, Yumi decided to paint a mural for her grandmother as well. Her grandmother has not left her home since her grandfather fell ill. With the help of her friends Candice, Jeff, and Melanie, Yumi painted a garden full of favorite flowers and secretive animals that her grandmother could see from her kitchen window. The artist chose the female Rufous Hummingbird as a continuation of the previous mural.

"The amazing whip-poor-will chases a moth in the sky as another protects her chicks below. Like many of the murals of the Audubon Mural Project, she‘s nocturnal, awakening our spirits as we hear her call."

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