Audubon Mural Project

Northern Saw-whet Owl by Summer McClinton

Location: 3740 Broadway, New York, NY 10032

Painted: April 1, 2017

About the Bird: Pint-size yet very vocal—the bird was named for a call reminiscent of a whetstone sharpening a saw—the Northern Saw-whet Owl is fairly widespread now. With 3 degrees Celsius of warming, however, Audubon’s models show it will lose more than 70 percent of its current summer range and be pushed out of all but small remnants of the United States. It nests mostly in tree cavities in forests but the bird’s new potential range will be in the Arctic tundra. Keeping warming to 1.5 degrees could preserve much of its habitat in the western U.S. and Canadian boreal.

About the Artist: Summer McClinton is an award-winning comic book artist and painter living and working in Harlem. Her work is characterized by an eclectic sensibility—a perpetual mix of existing artistic styles and streetscape vernacular. The common thread within all of her work is an abiding interest in life as a philosophically humorous subject. “The Saw-whet Owl chose me,” she says of her subject. “A few days after painting it I found out my mother had recently drawn (and sold) a Saw-whet Owl at an art exhibition in North Carolina. This was confirmation to me that this owl has a strong desire to be noticed and protected.”

Photo: Mike Fernandez/Audubon

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