Chris Powell, an environmental steward who chaired the local conservation commission through its first 26 years of existence, is inviting neighbors to flock to the North Road library to view his photography display.
“The Beauty of Wings & Feathers,” which is an offshoot of his 2020 exhibit at the Audubon Society center in Bristol, will be on display through December. Powell’s display features a collection of his photographs ranging from the tropical rainforest of the Brazilian Amazon to the towering Andes of Ecuador. Birds featured in the exhibit also were photographed on the Galapagos Islands, Panama, Iceland, Florida and Rhode Island. There is a photograph from New York City of the male mandarin duck that mysteriously appeared in Central Park in 2018. The bird vanished from the pond in March 2019, but Powell was able to capture an image before its departure, and ultimately it was used as the cover image for an avian veterinary journal.
“I spent a couple hours taking pictures of it,” he said. “It really exemplifies the beauty of wings and feathers because of the coloration.”
Powell, who has lived in Jamestown since 1978, was a marine biologist for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for 33 years. In 2003, he co-founded the Conanicut Island Raptor Project to study and preserve the local population of ospreys. He started photographing birds in the 1970s while attending George Mason University in Virginia, and that passion grew as he worked summers as a park naturalist for the Fairfax County Park Authority for five years.
Powell said he likes to share his photos to encouraging viewers to “become active stewards for our fragile planet and its avian wonders.”