This stunning window depicts some of Tiffany’s favorite birds, Carolina parakeets (Conuropsis carolinensis
), the only parrot species native to the United States, which was extinct by the 1920s. The representation of these exotic colorful birds is executed with a masterful selection of opalescent glass. In the bird on the right, the change in color from green body to crimson head is achieved in a single piece of strikingly beautiful Tiffany glass. The glass in the other bird resembles velvet, evoking the texture of small iridescent feathers. The eye of each bird is artfully created using a small piece of “confetti” glass with a tiny speck of dark glass suspended within clear glass. The birds here feast on cherries, with their rich red variegated glass suggesting their full-bodied ripeness. The varying subtle tones of green glass imitates dappled sun on the foliage. Remarkably, no paint was necessary. The shading, texture of the feathers, and, most importantly, the chromatic shift in the birds is beautifully rendered through glass selection alone. The depiction of leaves, fruit, and sky is similarly handled with bravura Tiffany glass.
Tiffany created at least three other windows featuring these exotic birds, the most famous being "Parakeets and Gold Fish Bowl" (1893), exhibited at the Columbian Exposition and now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. They also appear with a peacock and a cockatoo in the magnificent pair of windows made for Joseph Delamar’s New York house (1913). A small window, similar in size to this one, called "Hibiscus and Parrots" (1910-20), is in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, with blue-bodied birds, perhaps a variant called the Louisiana parakeet.
—Julie L. Sloan, Stained-Glass Consultant, North Adams, MA