Nov 22: The Lost Bird Project at CMNH

Film screening, book-signing, question and answer session

The Lost Bird Project is a film about a hopeful response to the tragedy of modern extinction. The hour-long documentary charts the efforts of artist Todd McGrain to immortalize five North American birds that are no longer part of our landscape’s living fabric; the Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, Labrador Duck, Great Auk, and Heath Hen.  “These birds are not commonly known,” McGrain says, “and they ought to be, because forgetting is another kind of extinction.” 

The film follows the road-trip taken by McGrain and his brother-in-law Andy Stern, as they search for the locations where each species was last seen in the wild and negotiate for permission to install McGrain’s large bronze sculpture of the now-extinct bird there.  The book, of the same title, was published in September.

The Lost Bird Project pays homage to author Christopher Cokinos for his book, Hope Is the Thing with Feathers, and in choosing that title the author honors Emily Dickinson by borrowing the opening line from her Poem 254.

1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  Free with museum admission.  For more information, contact Patrick McShea.

The Lost Bird Project is currently being shown twice a week in the Earth Theater at Carnegie Museum of Natural History - beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, and beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturdays.  These film screenings are among several Pittsburgh-area events and exhibitions marking the centenary of the Passenger Pigeon’s extinction. Please see for a complete listing of related programs.

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