SongbirdSOS is an exciting new television documentary.
Premiering on CBC-TV’s The Nature Of Things, March 19, 2015 at 8 PM.
See CBC Preview here […]
The hour is a wide-ranging zoological whodunit that takes the viewer through a stunning variety of human-made perils that have afflicted songbird species from Swallows, to Warblers to Grosbeaks to Thrushes.
Narrated by David Suzuki and directed by Su Rynard, SongbirdSOS is an artfully-shot story about the the mass depletion of songbirds in the Americas. It depicts an alarming thinning of populations that has seen declines of many species since the 1960s. According to international birding expert Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, who is featured in the program, we may have lost almost half the songbirds that filled the skies fifty years ago.
Hazards affecting songbirds include: glass-enclosed high-rise buildings that account for up to a billion bird deaths annually, light pollution that disorients birds’ migratory flight paths, lost breeding and wintering habitats from rain forests to wetlands to boreal forests, oil pipelines and farm pesticides.
There’s unforgettable real-time frontline research in SongbirdSOS. Michael Mesure of the volunteer army FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program) Canada shows the toll on birds on a tour of particularly lethal Toronto buildings. In Saskatchewan avian eco-toxicologist Christy Morrissey discovers lethal neonicotinoids in the spring wetland water supply, ahead of its annual application by local farmers. In a revelatory sequence, Bridget Stutchbury equips northern Purple Martins with micro-chip backpacks that reveal the secrets of their oddly-non-linear migratory journeys to South America and back.
And there’s a glimpse of hope for the future, as Costa Rican coffee farmers learn from ornithologist Alejandra Martinez-Salinas about the benefits of pesticide-free shade-grown coffee.
Over the course of a year, following the seasons and the birds, Director Su Rynard and the team set out on a journey of discovery.
“We discovered that the causes of songbird declines are many, and the solutions are few,” states Rynard. “Yet everywhere we went, we met passionate people who are concerned and are working for change – as this is not just about the future of birds, it’s about the health of the planet too.”
Directed by Su Rynard.
Written by Su Rynard and Sally Blake
Produced by Joanne Jackson, Sally Blake and Martin de la Fouchardière, Diane Woods and Su Rynard
SongbirdSOS is an international treaty co-production between Canada and France, produced by SongbirdSOS Productions and Films à Cinq.