Painted: May 22, 2015
Sponsored in honor of: Andrew Philipsborn and Jane Bilger
About the Bird: The popularity of feathers in fashion proved almost fatal for Roseate Spoonbills and other large wading birds, which were driven close to extinction by “plume hunters” in the 1890s. Legal protection for these birds was an early success of the Audubon movement. Spoonbills now thrive in shallow wetlands from Texas to Florida, and as temperatures warm the flashy pink birds have begun to shift and expand their range into new territories to the north. Climate change has also taken away habitat, however. Scientists at Audubon's Everglades Science Center have documented the birds abandoning their longtime nesting grounds as sea levels rise along the coast. To learn what lessons Roseate Spoonbills may hold for a changing world, read this feature in Audubon magazine.
About the Artist: Brooklyn-born painter Danielle Mastrion often combines realism and street feel in her art, which ranges from bright and bold portraits to gritty street scenes. Mastrion initially painted a Roseate Spoonbill at 156th Street and Broadway, and she considered the location when deciding how to approach the concept. “156th and Broadway is such a lively, active part of the neighborhood. It's a meeting place, a hang out, an office, and a news station all on one corner," she says. "I wanted to make sure the whole corner got love, hence the wraparound painting.”