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Top 10 Bird Movies – Family Favorites & Documentaries

Bird movies

Movies on birds are easy to come by these days. These little creatures have captivated us for centuries, so why not include them in movies?

In this list, there are movies for kids and adults, documentary lovers, and even some classics.

 

10. Hoot (2006)

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.

On YouTube | IMDb

 

9. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010)

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 | IMDb

 

8.  The Legend of Pale Male (2009)

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 | IMDb

 

7.  Rio (2011)

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.

 

List of Rio bird names:

  • Blue and Yellow Macaw
  • Golden Conure
  • Green-Honeycreeper
  • Keel-Billed Toucan
  • Red-and-Green Macaw
  • Red-Crested Cardinal
  • Roseate Spoonbill
  • Scarlet Ibis
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Spix’s Macaw
  • Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
  • Toco Toucan

Tailer on YouTube | IMDb

Read Next: Full Guide To Rio Movie Birds

 

6. The Life of Birds (1998)

This BBC documentary series was written and presented by the amazing David Attenborough. Beautiful imagery and a skillful narrator combine to produce a show that any bird lover will enjoy.

Available on YouTube | Prime Video | IMDb

 

5. Angry Birds (2016)

Who hasn’t seen at least one of the so-called angry birds? Based on the notorious game, the Angry Birds movie is heartwarming, and although made for kids, it has something to offer for adults too.

The main character, Red, happens to be a Northern Cardinal, and that’s not it. There are several characters in the movie portraying real-life birds, such as Common Loons, Eastern Bluebirds, Bald Eagles, and even Red-tailed Hawks.

IMDb

 

4. Winged Migration (2001)

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 | IMDb

 

3. Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1973)

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

Trailer on Youtube | IMDb

 

2. The Birds (1963)

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 | IMDb

 

1. Ladyhawke (1985)

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 becoming a wolf during the night, and the Lady Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer), who transforms into a hawk during the day.

IMDb

 

Bonus Movie: For the Birds (2000)

A short (3 minute) animated video produced by Pixar. It has been viewed over millions of times on YouTube

IMDb

 

Missing something? Suggest it in the comments, and we’ll include it!

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of Birdzilla.com. He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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