Discover 'The Lost Bird Project,' learn conservation efforts in Centre Region

Project memorializes five extinct North American species, with events running through May
Passenger Pigeon statue

The passenger pigeon — once considered the most abundant bird on earth — can be seen at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center.

Credit: Jack Meyer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Centre Region can discover "The Lost Bird Project," which memorializes five extinct North American species, and learn about conservation efforts now and in the future during a series of public programs slated to take place throughout the spring.

The Lost Bird Project recognizes the tragedy of modern extinction by immortalizing five North American birds in sculpture. The first of the five species — the great auk, which mostly called the North Atlantic Ocean home — went extinct in 1844. All five of the species had disappeared by 1932.

The special programs and artistic and educational installations showcase the value of birds and their power to connect people to the natural world. Events will be held at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center in Huntingdon County, the Penn State University Park campus, and Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in State College.

Visit The Lost Bird Project website for a complete list of events through May and to check registration info.

Notable events through the spring include:

  • The Lost Bird Project Presentation (Feb. 6 at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center): Join Jason Beale, Lost Bird Project coordinator at Shaver's Creek, to learn about the project and empowering examples of conservation success to ensure there are no more "Lost Birds."
  • Lost and Found: Ecological Mourning and Making Amends (Feb. 12 at Shaver’s Creek): Join special guests Joshua Trey Barnett, Talley V. Kayser and Ian Marshall as they present their work around the topic of ecological mourning, followed by an opportunity to engage in a discussion about our ecological state.
  • “The Lost Bird Project” movie screening (March 16 at Penn State University Park): “The Lost Bird Project” is a film about public art, extinction and memory. It is an elegy to five extinct North American birds and a thoughtful, moving, sometimes humorous look at the artist and his mission. The screening will be held at the Forest Resources Building on the Penn State University Park campus.
  • Waterfowl Migration (March 19 at Shaver’s Creek): Join Jon Kauffman as he shares identifying characteristics of certain waterfowl species and helpful tips, including when and where to observe them. Participants will have the opportunity to walk nearby trails bordering Lake Perez to scan open water for any spring migrants.

Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and area partners brought the sculptures to their locations in Centre, Blair and Huntingdon counties, including at Shaver’s Creek, locations on the Penn State University Park and Altoona campuses, and the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.

The five sculptures, which were brought to central Pennsylvania following a two-year fundraising effort, will remain at their locations until August 2022.

Visit Shaver’s Creek’s The Lost Bird Project webpage for more information and an updated list of programs and exhibitions. Shaver’s Creek is a Penn State Outreach service.