A Day for the Birds

Carey Center & Huyck Preserve Host

History, art, music and more: Raising awareness of animal extinction

RENSSELAERVILLE, NY – Five bronze sculptures of birds driven to extinction currently grace the lawns of the Carey Center for Global Good. Standing over six feet tall and weighing up to 700 pounds, the figures were created by artist Todd McGrain as a part of “The Lost Bird Project.” The birds and their stories will be brought to life during A Day for the Birds, Saturday, April 27, starting 11 a.m., at the Guggenheim Pavilion. The day will start with a screening of the film The Lost Bird Project, followed by a discussion and sculpture walk with the artist. A Day for the Birds continues with the EN Huyck Preserve’s Annual Bird Festival at the Eldridge Research Center in Rensselaerville. Both events are free. The evening will end with a live performance rom nationally recognized folk trio, “The Stray Birds.”

McGrain created The Lost Bird Project to raise awareness of the issues of habitat destruction and species extinction. The sculptures memorialize the Passenger Pigeon, the Carolina Parakeet, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk, and the Heath Hen and signify their absence. By reminding the public of animals that have disappeared forever, McGrain hopes to spur conservation on behalf of species that still exist.

“Animals are driven closer to extinction every day. We need to remind ourselves and learn from the mistakes we have made in not protecting these animals and their environment,” said Carol Ash, President of the Carey Center. “Todd has brought these beautiful statues to the Carey Center for Global Good, representing where some of these extinct birds once lived. In fact, the last reported siting of the Passenger Pigeon in the wild in New York State was by Edmund Niles Huyck at the Huyck Preserve.”

Following the film screening and sculpture walk is the Huyck Preserve’s Annual Bird Festival, featuring demonstrations and talks by wildlife rehabilitator Kelly Martin on bird of prey, Denise Hacknett-Stoner of Naturelogues on building a bird friendly garden, and the Huyck Preserve’s Director of Conservation Education and Research, Dawn O’Neal on mist netting. And, birding walks for all ages. Representatives from the Audubon Capital Region and The Lost Bird Project will be present to answer questions. Lunch items are available for purchase. The event is free and runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Eldridge Research Center, 284 Pond Hill Road in Rensselaerville.

The theme continues into the evening with a live acoustic performance by nationally-recognized folk trio, “The Stray Birds,” 7 p.m. in the Carey Center’s Guggenheim Auditorium. The performance includes a cash bar. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by phone at 518.797.5100 or at ccgg.eventbrite.org.

For more information on all the events happening on April 27, visit the Carey Center for Global Good’s website at www.careyconferencecenter.org or call 518.797.5100 to plan your day in Rensselaerville.