Birders: The Central Park Effect

Birders: The Central Park Effect (2012)

Today I watched the movie “Birders: The Central Park Effect (2012)”. Displayed below is a link to the film, local birders and some of my favorite quotes.

Jonathan Rosen
Lloyd Spitalnik
David Speiser
Dick Gershon
Harry Maas
Chris Cooper
Catherine Hamilton
Starr Saphir
Anya Auerbach
Dr. John Fitzpatrick (Director Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
Marie Winn (author Red Tails in love)
Joe DiCostanzo (American museum of natural history)
Regina Alvarex (CPC)
Chuck McAlexander (makes feeders)
John Flicker (president, Audubon Society)

In his “Seven Pleasures of Birding,” Chris Cooper explains how these small creatures enhance the lives of the people who come to Central Park to watch, listen and learn from their avian neighbors. We find:

  1. The beauty of the birds.
  2. The joy of being in a natural setting.
  3. The joys of scientific discovery.
  4. The joy of hunting, without the bloodshed.
  5. The joy of puzzle-solving (identifying the birds).
  6. The joy of collecting (listing each sighting).
  7. “The Unicorn Effect” (finding a bird that you know only from the field guide).

“After you’ve been birding for a little while, you become familiar with a bird from seeing it in the field guide, but you’ve never seen it in real life. It takes on a mythological status. Then, one day, there it is in real life, almost like a unicorn walking out of the forest.”

“There is a wonderful word the EO Wilson the great biologist uses, biophilia, that we have this innate love of the natural world. Love is almost the wrong word, we grew up inside of it and so we need it around us to feel more like ourselves. Birding is just the great mediating activity between what’s urban and what’s wild and what’s earth and what’s sky and I love having both simultaneously.”

“I think that sense, when you’re not birding, that you’re missing out on something, not just intellectually, but almost in a bodily way, as if you’re a part of the flock, as if you need to be out there with these animals, speaks to some deep human impulse.”

“If buffalo migrated throughout the park, I would go and watch them, but birds are all that’s left, birds are all that’s left of the wild world that we can see almost anywhere in the Country and so I think one of the reasons birdwatching is so popular now is this awareness of how fleeting things are. Everyone is hungry to touch something and hold something that we feel slipping away.”

If interested, linked here is my ‘Birding Central Park’ photo album on Facebook and displayed below is a sampling of the images you will find in the album.

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