Birds on migration bring us news from the south, tales of warm winters and songs of lust for the future. In fall they bear tales from the Arctic, dance their success in launching new life. What birds also speak of is how we have destroyed their habitats, that our windows are too clean or our cars move too fast. Some birds are lucky to tell happier stories in places like Ucross where a decent meal and a roost for the night are easy to come by on the vast acres of the ranch. Here in the big empty of sagebrush it is safe to breed, recoup, expand. Good stories or less fortunate, the birds are messengers, like Christina Baal’s Red-tailed Hawk streaking through the sky. They tell us we have to pay attention. Five years ago Christina Baal saw her first Yellow Warbler perched in a shad- bush along the Tivoli South Bay in New York’s Hudson Valley. Like a spark she took off, the journey both geographic and artistic as she embarked on what will be a lifelong conversation with birds. Binoculars strapped to her chest, camera in hand, Baal bounds across fields, bicycles down roads, hitchhikes up coastlines to greet the birds. In this way, she follows in the footsteps of other indefatigable bird chasers from the early 19th century like the Scotsman Alexander Wilson or that dandy Frenchman, John James Audubon. Like her bird loving predecessors, she observes, delights, and returns home to capture them on paper. On large and small canvases, Baal creates three-dimensional life, to be sure—we know we are looking at a Kingfisher in his blazing blue coat. But within her work, there rests a fourth dimension that reveals the spirit, moods, and desires of the birds. Through meticulous lines and dazzling colors, Baal shows her love for birds. BIRDS SPEAK, CHRISTINA BAAL LISTENS. Susan Fox Rogers