Often all you see of a passing bird is its silhouette. Expert birders will tell you that shape is more important than color in identifying birds in the field. That’s why the original Peterson’s Field Guide featured endpapers adorned with simple black silhouettes of common birds. It’s also why artist James Prosek focused on silhouettes in his mural for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s visitor center. In this artwork, Prosek asks us to contemplate the incredible diversity of bird shapes and appreciate each unique form. Hear the artist’s thoughts on the power of observation in art and science and see how he harnessed this perspective to create a gigantic visual ode to birds and biodiversity.

Discussion