During the 1950s Meadows made a series of bird sculptures. Some were heavily abstracted, with contorted bodies and beaks wide open as though screaming with pain. However, this maquette is lifelike, showing a cockerel pecking the ground as if looking for food. Meadows was not particularly interested in sculpting animals themselves but instead saw them as a vehicle through which he could express his feelings about humanity in the post-war climate: “the crabs, and the birds, and the armed figures, the pointing figures, are all about fear…perhaps not fear, it’s vulnerability”. They also enabled Meadows to develop as a sculptor beyond the influence of Henry Moore (who was known for his sculpted figures) with whom he had a long-lasting friendship.