This is one of a sequence of sculptures of birds Meadows made in the 1950s. Startled Bird stands upright with its wings outstretched and neck extended. Its pose reveals its own fear while, at the same time, it threatens any predators. Meadows was not interested in depicting animals for their own sake, but rather as vehicles relating to the human figure, and through them an expression of emotion. They carry an emotional charge that is immediately translatable into human terms.