Tomorrow is International Migratory Bird Day. This year’s theme is “Why Birds Matter.”
The artwork created for this year’s poster showcases how humans and nature benefit from birds. It features nine birds that provide important ecological or cultural services.
Red-tailed Hawk (at top of the tree, or 12 o’clock) controls rodents, Yellow Warbler (at one o’clock) and Barn Swallow (four o’clock) keep insects in check, American Robin (10 o’clock) disperses seeds, while Turkey Vulture (five o’clock) cleans up.
Broad-tailed (eight o’clock) and Ruby-throated (center) Hummingbirds are pollinators, Peregrine Falcon (nine o’clock) is an indicator of environmental change, and Great Egret (three o’clock) inspires the arts.
Haitian metal artist Elias St. Louis created the art from a 55-gallon steel drum. To create the IMBD 2014 piece, he shaped the metal, sculpted the birds, and added detail to the tree using a hammer and a chisel. The traditional art of converting oil drums into amazing wall sculptures began in the 1940s and is a mark of Haitian imagination and resourcefulness, supporting families and providing a source of income.
A version of this story appeared in the June 2014 issue of BirdWatching magazine. Subscribe.