By Gregg McQueen
The white-tailed hawk is a large bird of prey typically found throughout the tropical and subtropical climes of the Americas.
These days, you can also spot it in Washington Heights, its broad wing span spread open on the corner of 164th Street and Broadway.
Graffiti artist Misael Rivas crafted the large mural in May in collaboration with the National Audubon Society. The piece features the white-tailed hawk surrounded by vibrant colors, with the message “Welcome to Washington Heights.”
“I want people to feel like they’re going to be OK, especially with what we’re going through with Covid,” said Rivas, who was born and raised in Washington Heights.
“I wanted to create something that would make people happy, that would splash the neighborhood with color and put a smile on their faces,” he said.
In addition to his art career, Rivas has worked at New York-Presbyterian Hospital – where he was born – for the past 14 years as a member of the blood marrow transport team.
During the pandemic, he served as a frontline worker as his neighborhood was besieged by Covid-19.
Read more: Resilience, writ large | Manhattan Times