October 29, 2012

The Couch Birder - what to watch

Late fall can bring that particular kind of spirit dampening darkness, spritzed with 40 degree rain, coupled with a "I finished the whole bag of peanut-butter cups that I bought for the trick-or-treaters" hangover. On such a day sometimes the couch and some television is the only cure. New Hampshire public television recently released their documentary, "Saving Songbirds" and from the clips I've seen so far it looks excellent. 

"Saving Songbirds" focuses on the major conservation efforts happening to protect passerines, and more importantly frames this work globally. This global perspective is an important one not only for conservationists but for all of us. It highlights the fact that the tiny, colorful, musical birds that fill New England in the spring are only visitors to our stone fenced world or as Stevie Wonder might call it, "part time lovers." The warblers, flycatchers, thrush, and vireos are transnational travelers of the first degree. Whether Yankee expats living in Jamaica or a Jamaican emigrants to New Hampshire, you can decide but the important take away is that the biosphere in which these birds live is a changing, amorphous layer of life that covers our earth like a thin smear of glory. Our actions have reactions, our movements have counter movements and what we see out our window is but a single still frame from a long movie reel - only part of the story. 

New Hampshire residents check your local listings, for those who "don't live free or die" watch clips online at NHPTV.org or purchase a copy on DVD. Happy couch birding. 

Watch Saving Songbirds | Preview Trailer on PBS. See more from WENH.

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is an educator, bird watcher, and writer fascinated by the intersections of place, people, nature, and culture. He works for Mass Audubon and lives in the heart of Massachusetts. For questions or comments please contact: alexanderjosephdunn@gmail.com

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