Big Sky Film Series
A series of short documentaries about birds and birding.
Dru Carr, 10 minutes
A celebration of one of Montana’s ultimate birding locations, Freezeout Lake, near the spectacular Rocky Mountain Front.
SAVED BY THE BIRDS
Damon Ristau, 7 minutes
On May 5, 1967, Helen Carlson was severely depressed and ready to end her life. She walked to the shoreline of a Montana river, and instead of committing suicide, her life was transformed. A bird swam in front of her and caught her attention, piquing her curiosity and snapping her out of her depression. Since that day 45 years ago, she has dedicated her life to birding and holds the record for the number of bird species seen in Montana. She is 90 years old.
Marryanne Christodoulou, 2009, 8 minutes
A short documentary about the bizarre subculture of pigeon-flying. Pigeon men follows a group of men in Sydney’s Western suburbs, as they travel from backyard to backyard showcasing their birds in monthly flies. Ismail, a fast talking bodybuilder and former national champion judges these competitions.
Tony Gault, Elizabeth Henry, 2010, 7 minutes
One stormy night, Kevin finds a baby crow on the street. His backyard provides the rich setting for a story about his conflicted relationship to nature.
THE ART OF FLYING
Jan van IJken, 2015, 6 minutes
A short film about “murmurations:” the mysterious flights of the Common Starling. It is still unknown how the thousands of birds are able to fly in such dense swarms without colliding. Every night the starlings gather at dusk to perform their stunning air show.
Lou Quill, 2015, 3 minutes
Zoe is a 12-year-old girl who lives in Tasmania with her family and a flock of chickens who were rescued from factory farms. Rescuing the chickens was one thing, but Zoe has her sights set on something bigger: abolishing caged eggs altogether.
BLUE BIRD MAN
Neil Paprocki, 28 minutes
Bluebird Man is a half hour documentary film about bluebird conservation and citizen science. The film focuses on the efforts of 91-year-old Alfred Larson, who has been monitoring and maintaining over 300 nestboxes for bluebirds in Idaho for 35 years.
BIRDSONGS: YOSEMITE NATURE NOTES
Steven Bumgardner, 2015, 6 minutes
Throughout the park, unique soundscapes can be found within the beautiful landscapes. Open your eyes and ears to the birdsongs of Yosemite.
GOLDEN EAGLES AND THE IMPACTS OF LEAD AMMO
Kenneth Furrow, 5 minutes, 2016
Lead has long been documented as a serious environmental health hazard to humans. Similarly, lead exposure from ingestion of bullet fragments has also been shown to have serious detrimental effects on eagles and other predatory and scavenging species. Due to widespread, well-documented lead poisoning in Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles and numerous waterfowl species, the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting was banned nationwide on federal and state lands in 1991. Mounting evidence suggests that the problem persists. The source of the contamination is believed to mostly originate from gut (offal) piles left behind by unknowing hunters who use lead-based ammunition.
Raptor View Research Institute (RVRI) and its collaborators have analyzed blood from 178 fall migrating Golden Eagles, and found over half of sampled eagles had elevated blood-lead levels. RVRI is dedicated to raising public awareness about the serious health effects of lead.