Cornell University

Artist's 'Lost Bird Project' reanimates extinct species

Artist's 'Lost Bird Project' reanimates extinct species

When sculptor Todd McGrain began driving cross-country to research extinct North American birds 15 years ago, he didn't have to travel far. In Elmira, N.Y., just 45 minutes from his hometown, McGrain discovered the last-known whereabouts of the Labrador duck, an Atlantic Coast sea bird that perished in 1878 after a boy hunting for wild game shot the last one.

"I had no idea the Labrador had a connection to my home," says McGrain, who memorialized the Labrador by creating a 6-foot-tall bronze sculpture of the vanished bird. So began "The Lost Bird Project," five sleek, black sculptures of a Labrador duck, a Carolina parakeet, a heath hen, a great auk and a...

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