I’ve read all of Hammett but only have a few paperbacks in the older Vintage editions. I grew up with the black cover depicting the bird. This cover, left, which debuted in the 1970s, retailed for $1.95.
In recent years, Vintage (aka Random House) has switched to a more lurid pulpy cover for the title.
The older cover credits the Atkins Museum in St Louis with the image of the black bird. The sculpture is actually a 2200-year-old Egyptian piece depicting the god Horus as a hawk. You can see the real thing at the museum’s website here. It delighted me to see that the museum (on another page) unofficially refers to the bird as the Maltese Falcon.
I’d love to visit that museum, walk in, and ask the guards to see the Maltese Falcon. I bet they’d know where to direct me.