Audubon Mural Project

Nineteenth-century naturalist, ornithologist, and artist John James Audubon lived the later years of his life in northern Manhattan, in what is now the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Harlem. Audubon is most known for his comprehensive book, The Birds of America, which was accompanied by beautiful, detailed illustrations of many of the birds. Today, visitors to Hamilton Heights will discover a series of amazing bird-themed murals that honor Audubon while bringing attention to the effects of climate change on North America’s bird populations. Known as the Audubon Mural Project, the murals are a collaborative effort of the National Audubon Society and Gitler &____ Gallery (yes, that’s the gallery’s actual name – there is an underlined blank space).

Here are some of my favorite murals from the Audubon Mural Project. (I’m not including too many photos – I don’t want to spoil things for those who want to explore the murals on their own!) This first mural, nestled into a window frame on the side of a building, is titled “John James Audubon contemplating the Cerulean Warbler.” The artist is Tom Sanford.


Other window spaces nearby frame these two murals by Jason Covert, the “Brown Pelicans.”



There is this striking Bald Eagle mural, painted on a metal gate, by Peter Daverington.


And there is this thought-provoking mural of a wild turkey, painted by artist N. Soala. Soala’s painting was inspired by author Roald Dahl’s short story, “The Magic Finger,” and its theme about humans’ effect on our planet.


This brightly colored mural is another favorite – a Tundra Swan painted by street artist Boy Kong.


There are also some much larger murals. My favorite is this incredible mural by an artist known as Lunar New Year. The main focus of the mural is a swallow-tailed kite, but there are 12 additional birds as well. (The National Audubon Society’s website states that these are the additional birds in the mural: “Scarlet Tanager, American Kestrel, Black-and-white Warbler, Tree Swallow, Northern Harrier, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,  Golden Eagle, White-throated Sparrow, Ring-billed Gull, Common Raven, and Baltimore Oriole.”)


How do you get to the murals? The National Audubon Society’s website has an excellent map showing the location of each mural, and the murals’ proximity to various subway stations. Depending on where (and when) you start your explorations, you can take the A, C, or 1 trains to the vicinity. The website also serves as an excellent guide for a tour of the murals, as it gives much more information about each one, including an explanation of how the birds are being affected by climate change and some remarks by each artist about their art.

18 thoughts on “Audubon Mural Project

    1. I saw some of them on Frankie Beane’s page too – there are also some interesting community murals with a Harlem Renaissance theme nearby (for example, Duke Ellington).

  1. Love the top mural it’s quite amusing. I like the idea of a series murals that are artists promoting and launching off another artists works. Looking forward to exploring more of your posts. I have never been to the States but if do go one day New York the art galleries will be high priority on my list. I love art and did teach secondary school art for a short while until life took me in another direction. One thing for sure you will never run out of posts such an amazing city with so much happening.

    1. You are so right! It’s impossible to run out of things to do here! The art museums in the city are amazing, as are the many galleries. And there is so much public art as well. I know you would enjoy a visit if you come!

  2. I am discovering your blog and find it so very interesting. I like this post about Audubon inspired murals. I know Audubon and his “oeuvre”, but to reuvenate it and make it accessible to allby modern murals is clever – and beautiful.

  3. Pingback: Harlem’s Community Murals – Finding NYC

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! There are several new murals that have been added since I wrote this post, but I think they have done a good job of updating the website each time a new one is completed. There really are some beautiful murals, in numerous different styles.

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