To find the ExtraOrdinary Birds installation, start at Linwood Street and walk west towards Arlington Center about .2 miles until you cross over the Pond Lane underpass. You will see Plexiglas boxes filled with cards mounted on the chain link fence edging the Bikeway crossover.
Arlington Public Art commissioned painter Resa Blatman to create a series of vivid portraits of local birds -- the extraordinary ordinary birds that you will find along the Minuteman Bikeway and in your own back yard. The portraits appear on free postcards designed by Resa; the text was developed by environmental educator and local bird champion Ellen Reed.
We hope these engaging portraits and pithy facts will spark bird watching and encourage stewardship. Local birds are the “canary in the coal mine.” Even those that seem abundant are under threat from loss of food and habitat to development, the effects of climate change, and pesticides and other toxins in our environment. This project pays tribute to ordinary birds – tiny spirits of nature – and raises awareness of the need to take steps to protect them.
Please take as many cards as you like and pass them on to friends. Seven birds represent a mix of migratory and resident, seed-eaters and fish-eaters, nocturnal and diurnal. All bring the joy of their presence into our lives, contributing their lovely song or distinctive calls, the pleasure of color and movement or the tricks of camouflage, and their sociable or mysterious natures.
Collect them all! Black Capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal,
Yellow Rumped Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Belted Kingfisher,
Eastern Screech Owl, and the endangered Grasshopper Sparrow – our mascot representing New England species already under severe threat.