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Top 10 Movies Featuring Birds

Our Top 10 for March highlights ten of your favorite movies that feature birds.  They range from documentaries to major motion pictures.

10. Hoot
This film from 2006 was a popular family comedy, based on a Carl Hiaasen's novel.
Hoot features live burrowing owls and music by Jimmy Buffett, who also played the role of Mr. Ryan, a science teacher in the movie.
Tailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgT_xT587MY

Burrowing owl from the side
Burrowing Owl.  Photograph © Greg Lavaty

9.Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
This is a 2010 American-Australian computer-animated epic fantasy-adventure film based on the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky. It was set in Pre-Aboriginal Australia and starred Soren, a young Barn Owl
Tailer on YouTube.

8.  The Legend of Pale Male
This 2009 documentary tells the story of Pale Male, a red-tailed hawk nesting near Central Park in New York City. The popular bird was followed by hundreds of birds nested for several years, on the same building in which Mary Tyler More resided.
Trailer on YouTube.


red-tailed-hawk in flight from back
Adult Red-tailed Hawk. Photograph © Greg Lavaty

7.  Rio
Released in 2011,  Rio is a computer-animated musical adventure-comedy and story of love between two macaws and their friends. The title refers to the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, where the film is set. Featured in the film are the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, and Jake T. Austin.  The film was well received and grossed over $140 million. The sequel did not do so well.
Tailer on YouTube.


6.The Life of Birds
This BBC documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough. Beautiful imagery and a skillful narrator combine to produce a show that any bird lover will enjoy.
Available on YouTube.

5. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
This 2003 documentary was directed, produced, and edited by Judy Irving. It follows the relationship between Mark Bittner, living in a cabin in Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, California, and a flock of feral parrots that he feeds and follows:
Available on YouTube.

4. Winged Migration
The movie was shot over the course of four years on all seven continents. It was shot using in-flight cameras, most of the footage is aerial, and the viewer appears to be flying alongside birds of successive species, especially Canada geese.
The full movie is available on YouTube.

3. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
This is a favorite film from 1973. The film tells the story of a young seabird who, after being outcast by his stern flock, goes on an odyssey to discover how to break the limits of his own flying speed. Based on a popular novel by Richard Bach.  There have been recordings of the book and related videos.

This site has 59 quotes from the book, including:

"We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

2. The Birds
The Birds is a 1963 suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.  Released in 1963, it starred Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette, Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor. It was reported that the gulls seen in the movie were feed wheat soaked in whisky to keep them from flying around too much.  Many clips from the movie are available on YouTube.

Clips available on YouTube.

1. Ladyhawke
Ladyhawk is a 1985 fantasy film directed by Richard Donner.  It starred a young Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

After escaping from the dungeon at Aquila, a young thief named Phillipe Gastone (Matthew Broderick) befriends two fellow fugitives hiding from a evil Bishop. Sucked into a dangerous, magical battle, Gaston aids Captain Navarre (Rutger Hauer), who was cursed into become a wolf during the night, and the Lady Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer), who transforms into a hawk during the day.

Bonus Movie:  For the Birds - a short (3 minute) animated video produced by Pixar. It has been viewed over 31 million ties on YouTube