The Lost Bird Project

Extinct Bird Bronzes Land on Galveston Island

Eskimo Curlew is Newest Sculpture in Project

A six-foot permanent sculpture of the elegant Eskimo Curlew, commissioned by Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council, and a special exhibit of five extinct birds, all part of The Lost Bird Project by Todd McGrain, recently were installed in Galveston Island State Park and the gardens of The Bryan Museum.

The bronze Eskimo Curlew is the sixth sculpture of The Lost Bird Project. The five large statues at the museum are representative of the other permanent Lost Bird Project sculptures located throughout North America. Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council, Houston Audubon, and The Bryan Museum have partnered to bring the exhibit to the island with generous support from John P. McGovern Foundation, Bromberg Charitable Trust Fund, Trull Foundation, and West Galveston Island Property Owners Association.



Each Lost Bird Project memorial is permanently installed near the last sighting of the bird. The last fully documented North American sighting of the Eskimo Curlew was in west Galveston in 1962, according to the Texas Bird Records Committee of the Texas Ornithological Society.

Other permanent sculptures of the Lost Bird Project are the Great Auk in Newfoundland, the Passenger Pigeon in Ohio, the Labrador Duck in New York, the Carolina Parakeet in Florida, and the Heath Hen in Martha’s Vineyard.

The Labrador Duck Sculpture
on display at The Bryan Museum

“Forgetting that these birds ever existed is another kind of extinction,” McGrain said. “It takes real work to preserve habitat, raise awareness and mitigate the factors that adversely affect bird populations.”

Original bronzes of each sculpture are on view in The Bryan Museum gardens through the end of 2021. There is no charge to view the exhibit and learn about these once-thriving birds. The thought-provoking memorial links art with natural history and highlights humans’ impact on biodiversity.

The Lost Bird Project has been exhibited at 14 museums across the country, including the Smithsonian. It is the subject of a feature length documentary.

Thanks for helping us bring our Eskimo Curlew home!

Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council thanks each and every donor listed below
for their enthusiasm for this project and their commitment to conservation.

Lead Donors Joe & Lynne Hudson • Steve Abbey • Charlotte & Richard Alexander • Ann Anderson • Elizabeth Anderson • Marisol Arteaga • Cindy & John Bartos • Andrew Becker • Suzanne & Rick Becker • Christy Benson • Sara & Mark Bettencourt • Susan & Paul Bettencourt • Diane & Steve Biegel • Vicki Blythe, in memory of Doletta Blythe • Chris Boodley • Gayle Bowlin • Bromberg Charitable Trust Fund • Angela & Craig Brown • Anne Brown • Brad Brown • Julie Ann Brown & Denice Franke • Sue & Fred Bushell • Caroline Callery • Katherine Carlson • Kolandia & Jeff Casey, in memory of Rev. Floyd R. Whatley • Claire Caudill • Patricia Chen & Sanjay Mani • Kathy Adams & Gary Clark • Catherine Cosby • Karen Caperton Cowgill • Chris Crabb • Peggy & Don d’Hemecourt • Brenda Dawson • Donna Dees & Tim Tobin • Sharon Duray & Don Wilkerson • Sarah Flournoy • Galveston Bookshop • Galveston Daily News • Elizabeth Garney • Bailey Glover • Mary Hannigan • Sarah Harano • Jeffrey Heitkamp, in memory of Emily J. Heitkamp • Janet & Ben Hock • Donna Holt • Bernice Hotman • Houston Audubon • Ellen & Harry Hufft • Ellen & Harry Hufft, in memory of Rev. Floyd R. Whatley • Cynthia & Daniel Hughes • Ben & Mary Gwen Hulsey • Ippolito Charitable Foundation • Patricia Jakobi • Elizabeth & Drew Kanaly, in honor of Sara Bettencourt • Tom & Ann Kelsey • Harris & Eliza Kempner Fund • Sarah Lacquiere •  Susan Lewis • Sheridan Lorenz, in memory of Renee Adame • Jaclyn Low • Robert & Susan Lynch • John P. McGovern Foundation • Joanne & Patrick McMahon • Mary Mack • Michael Mahaffa • Stennie Sterling Meadours • Matthew Menger • Olivia & Walter Meyer • Marlynn Miller •  Winkie & Jerry Mohn • Moody Gardens • Lisa Morello • Debbie & Chuck Morris • Alice Anne O’Donell • Diane & Pete Olsen • Sally Pachulski • Richard Peake, in honor of Rigdon Currie • Bernard Pieper, in honor of Adele Pieper • Barbara & Jeff Rabek • Sue & Keith Reed • Sue & Keith Reed, in memory of Rev. Floyd R. Whatley • Anne & Lee Riley • Trish & Jim Ringelstetter • Robin Roberts • Charli & Jim Rohack • Fredell & Lewis Rosen • Norma & Sandy Rubin  • Nancy & Clive Runnells Foundation • Allison & Dan Ryder • Allison & Dan Ryder, in memory of Clinton F. Morse • Sand ‘N Sea Properties • Chana & Peter Santschi • Barbara & Dominick Sasser • Ruth Sathre • Joyce Schultz • Stephanie & Robert Shipp • Michelle & Vic Sierpina • Dean Silvers • Molly Slack • Lynn & Stan Smith • Robert Smither • Pam Smolen • Sam Steph • Martha Suiter, in honor of Coleta & Ken Suiter • Marilyn Swanson • Dale & Heber Taylor • Barbara Thompson • Tom’s Galveston Real Estate • Trull Foundation • Peggy Tsue • Patti Valiante • Brenda & Mort Voller, in memory of Brendan Voller • West Galveston Island Property Owners Association • Heather Westendarp • Bonnie White & Doug Little • Rene & Ben Wiley • Jim & Betsy Winn • Diane & Michael Wonio • Bekra Yorke