AFAR researchers bring songbird plight to CBC

Western researchers, in association with Canadian documentary filmmaker Su Rynard, are sounding the alarm about the mass depletion of songbirds in the Americas in a new film, debuting on CBC this week.

SongbirdSOS debuts at 8 p.m. Thursday on CBC-TV’s The Nature Of Things.

This wide-ranging zoological whodunit takes the viewer through a stunning variety of human-made perils that have afflicted species from warblers to orioles to grosbeaks to thrushes. On a hopeful note, it also shines a light on some ingenious approaches to the threat, and the on-the-ground heroes making them happen.

In collaboration with scientists at Western’s Advanced Facility for Avian Research, the film also shows songbirds in night flight using a super-slow-motion camera, resulting in spectacular images.

“We discovered that the causes of songbird declines are many, and the solutions are few,” Rynard said. “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.”