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Retirement for Artists 

Bayla Arietta

Window Strike
Northern Cardinal

In the Fall of 2020, I began collecting migratory bird data and specimens for the Yale Peabody Museum ornithology collections, along with Evolutionary Ecologist Andis Arietta and the Yale Law School Executive Director of the Law, Ethics & Animals Program, Viveca Morris. The goal of this project is to gather data about bird mortality due to collisions, to identify buildings that are killing birds frequently, and to use this data to advocate for mitigation action to prevent future deaths. At the Yale School of Management alone, a 225,000-square-foot almost entirely glass building, more than 250 dead birds of over 50 species were found in just two years. Collecting dead birds every day is heartbreaking, but it inspired me to make sketches and paintings of the birds in hopes of spreading awareness. It is estimated that over one billion birds in the U.S. die each year due to collisions with windows, but many cities are starting to require that new buildings follow bird-safe design. The City of New Haven is in fact now considering bird-friendly design legislation efforts thanks to the data we collected.

This painting features a Northern Cardinal found dead outside the Yale School of Management. A pair of rubber gloves and ziplock bag rest in a bowl to the right, tools used for collecting specimens during surveys. 

Copyright © 2024, Bayla Arietta


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