Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

MOVIE: The Big Year April 10, 2012

Since my backyard attracts so many birds, I’ve become completely enamored with my feathered friends over the past few years. Our yard is small so it affords my husband and me the opportunity to watch them up close and personal. We get to see their eating habits, courting rituals and nest building. Their antics are quite comical and it’s a lot of fun.

I finally had a chance to watch the birding movie, The Big Year, that came out last September. I tried to go see it when it was in our area theaters, but missed it. I guess birding is not a very popular movie subject; my local theaters kept it for just 2 weeks and only showed it a few times on weekdays. So I waited until it was available on Netflix.

If you are a birder or even just enjoy birds, this is a movie worth seeing. The main characters, Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin, provide a bit of competitive comic relief with the overall message about staying true to your passions/goals no matter what others think and no matter what distractions try to derail you from it. A good message indeed. They learn more about who they are and their life-sized priorities while participating in the “go big or go home” event.

The concept of a Big Year, is to count as many species as you can see or hear in 1 year’s time anywhere in the world. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a similar small-scale joint project of Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Bird Studies Canada and Audubon where you count birds for 4 days in mid-February and submit your findings online. My husband and I participated this year in the 15th annual event and counted 12 species in our area. A small number in comparison to the nearly 750 species that an extreme 365-day marathon of birdwatching can produce. Great fun!

Think you might want to watch the movie? Check out the trailer.

Watch The Big Year (2011) Movie Trailer on YouTube


3 Responses to “MOVIE: The Big Year”

  1. Oh, Paula, I forgot about this movie! I’m going to rent it this weekend! I tried my hand at taking bird pictures this week….it’s tuff…they move so quickly. It did make for just some nice quiet moments to take in everything around me. Did you have any damage from the freeze? I’m worried about my Staghorn Sumac–it had just begun to leaf out and even though I covered it–hate when that happens!

    • Paula B Says:

      Oh – what a weird winter and spring! I ran around covering everything I could, but can’t cover it all. Ug. Everything seemed to fair well. My backyard is small and courtyarded with a fence. I think that helped shelter the trees and shrubs. But next week could be another challenge….
      Hang in there with your birds. It does take patience and setting up feeders so you can “stage” the picture. The best part is sitting still seeing things you didn’t notice before. 😀 Have fun!

    • Paula B Says:

      Oh – hope you like the movie!

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