Birds Watching

  • Lynne Warren, Art By Jenny Kendler
  • PhotoZone
  • Mar 31, 2023

"WHEN WE LOOK AT NATURE, nature looks back,” says Chicago-based artist Jenny Kendler. Inspired by research on the likely impacts of climate change on avian habitats—and by a birding trip where she was “transfixed by the eyes of other beings”—Kendler created this 40-foot-long sculpture for an exhibition at the Storm King Art Center in New York’s Hudson Valley titled “Indicators: Artists on Climate Change.” Paintings mounted on metal supports represent the eyes of 100 different bird species, including the snowy owl (large golden eye at center), which stands to lose more than half its habitat at only 1.5 degrees C of warming, which we could reach in 10 years.

An artist-in-residence for the Natural Resources Defense Council since 2014, Kendler says the beauty of nature “reaches people in a place that’s very emotional, then draws them into important conversations” about conservation. “Our empathy for other beings, or lack thereof, has itself become an ecological force.”

More from National Wildlife magazine and the National Wildlife Federation:

Burning Up »
Blog: An Urgent Message for All People Who Love Birds »
See Last Issue's Footprint » 

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