Transcript: Climate Watch Shorts: The birder's view | Nov 12, 2016

Music plays as an animated logo with a globe forms against a cloudy sky. A title reads "TVO Climate Watch shorts."

Nam Kiwanuka stands near a lake on a sunny day. She's in her forties, with short curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a blue sleeveless shirt.

She says WELCOME TO CLIMATE
WATCH SHORTS WHERE WE EXAMINE
THE LOCAL IMPACT
OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
ONE THIRD OF NORTH
AMERICAN BIRD SPECIES
ARE ENDANGERED.
THE AUTOBAHN SOCIETY
SAYS THAT NEARLY HALF
OF THE SPECIES IN THE
UNITED STATES AND CANADA
ARE THREATENED BY
CLIMATE CHANGE.
ONTARIO'S BIRDWATCHERS
WILL BE THE FIRST
TO NOTICE ANY
CHANGES.
HERE'S WHAT
THEY'RE SEEING.

An alarm clock reads "6:08."

[alarm beeping]

(music plays)

Clips show the outside of a house and hummingbirds eating out of a feeder.

A male voice says
A DAY OUT BIRDING
WOULD START PRETTY EARLY.
AND THE MAGIC OF BIRDING
DURING THE MIGRATION SEASON,
SPRING AND FALL, IS
THAT YOU NEVER
REALLY KNOW WHAT
YOU'RE GOING TO SEE.

(music plays)
Clips show a man grabbing a binocular and leaving a house, and a book page that reads "Field checking list."

Another male voice says
BIRDERS ARE
AN INTERESTING LOT.
TRADITIONALLY, THEY'VE
BEEN OLD WHITE GUYS.
AND IN SOME WAYS
WERE COLLECTORS,
CHECKING THE
BIRDS THEY SAW.
PHOTOGRAPHY CHANGED IT,
AND DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
HAS TAKEN IT TO A
WHOLE NEW REALM.

Clips show migratory birds in flying formation, and men watching through binoculars.

The first man says
IT'S GOING TO
BE THE MEASURING STICK
WITH WHICH YOU LOOK AT
THE WORLD AROUND YOU.
AND RIGHT NOW, WE'RE SEEING
THERE'S ALL THESE GROUPS
OF BIRDS DECLINING AT
A PRETTY SOLID RATE.
YOU CAN GET A REAL PICTURE
OF WHAT'S GOING ON.

(music plays)
A caption reads "The birder's view. Signs of a changing climate."

The first man continues
IF YOU'RE IN A MARSHY
AREA ALONG THE LAKE
RIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE,
THE WORLD IS AWAKENING
AROUND YOU.
THE SOUNDS - IT'S ALMOST
SENSORY OVERLOAD.

Both men stand on a deck and watch birds on a lake. The first man is in his thirties, and the second man is in his sixties.

The first man says
THERE'S A HARRIER WAY
OUT THERE, PAUL.
THERE'S TWO OF THEM.
I'VE GOT SOME
REDWING BLACKBIRDS.
I'M ENTERING TWO
REDWING BLACKBIRDS.

He types into his smartphone.

A slate reads "Data collected by birders on applications like eBird underpins much of the academic research on climate change and bird migration."

The first man says
WHAT BIRDERS USED 100 YEARS
AGO WERE FIELD NOTES.
THEY'D RECORD ALL
THESE OBSERVATIONS
IN NOTEBOOKS.
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE OR PEOPLE
JUST GETTING INTO IT,
IT'S BEEN GREAT.
BECAUSE THEY CAN TAKE
PHOTOS OF THINGS
AND THEN LOOK IT UP.
WHOOPS.
WHAT'S THIS
SWALLOW DOING?

A caption reads "Jody Allair. Biologist, Bird Studies Canada."

Jody says eBIRD IS POWERFUL
ENOUGH THAT WE CAN TAKE
ALL THOSE OLD DATABASES,
SO NOW WE GET
EVERYTHING
TOGETHER AT ONCE.
CURRENT OBSERVATIONS,
HISTORICAL OBSERVATIONS
SO IT BROADENS
THE PICTURE
OF THE CHANGES OVER TIME.

(music plays)
A clip shows the Royal Ontario Museum. A man in his fifties walks into a room labeled "Bird collection."
Several stuffed birds stand on shelves.

A caption reads "Mark Peck. Ornithologist, Royal Ontario Museum."

Mark handles a folded sheet of paper and says THIS IS WHAT A BIRD
CHECKLIST USED TO LOOK LIKE.
SO THEY WERE A
LITTLE FOLDOUT CARD.
AND YOU'D RECORD THE
NUMBERS OF BIRDS
THAT YOU SAW EACH DAY.
BUT IT WAS YOUR
OWN PERSONAL WORK.

A close-up shows the checklist. It has two columns listing species such as the loon, scoter, green heron, and Caspian tern.
Then, Mark opens an old file drawer and checks some files.

Mark continues SO, WE'RE TAKING SEVERAL
THOUSANDS OF THESE,
FROM 1890 UP TO
ABOUT 1945,
AND WE'RE SLOWLY INPUTTING
THOSE INTO eBIRD.

He works on a computer. Then, clips show the stuffed birds in the room.

Mark continues BIRDS REALLY ARE A GOOD
CANARY IN THE COAL MINE.
LET'S FACE IT, IT'S NOT
GONNA STOP ON BIRDS.
IT'S GONNA CONTINUE
ALL THE WAY UP TO HUMANS.
THIS WILL GIVE
US INFORMATION
TO HELP PROTECT US AS
WELL AS THE POPULATIONS
AND THE WORLD
WE LIVE IN.

Now in daytime, outdoors, Jody and Paul get out of a red car.

A caption reads "Long point provincial park – Lake Erie."
A wooden sign reads "Long Point Bird Observatory."

[birds chirping]

Jody says ACROSS
CANADA THERE ARE A FEW
FOCAL POINTS FOR
BIRDING CULTURE.
THE LONG POINT
BIRD OBSERVATORY
OLD CUT FIELD
STATION PARKING LOT
IS ONE OF THOSE
PLACES WHERE YOU SEE
PEOPLE FROM ALL
OVER THE WORLD
ARE COMING HERE
KNOWING THAT THIS IS
ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO
SEE BIRDS ON MIGRATION
AND EVERYONE IS
TALKING BIRDS.

A sign reads "Old Cut Research Station."

Jody sits with about five other people at a wooden table outdoors.

A woman in her twenties says
BIRDS ARE LITERALLY CONNECTED
TO EVERYTHING ON EARTH.
AND YOU CAN MONITOR
OCEANS AND LAKES
AND RIVERS WITH BIRDS.

A man in his fifties says JUST MAKES THE
WORLD SEEM SMALLER.

Jody says THE CHANGE IN DAYLIGHT
TRIGGERS BIRDS
TO MIGRATE SOUTH AND
THEN SUBSEQUENTLY
THE CHANGE IN DAYLIGHT
IN THE TROPICS
TRIGGERS THEM TO
MIGRATE BACK.
THEY DON'T KNOW IF
SPRING HAS COME EARLY.
AND EVERY SUMMER SEEMS TO
BE THE HOTTEST SUMMER.
THEY'VE EVOLVED TO TIME
THEIR ARRIVAL HERE
SO THAT THERE'S
LOTS OF FOOD.
THEY NEED THAT
PEAK INSECT HATCH.
SO WE'RE SEEING THESE
DECLINING TRENDS
MOST STRONGLY
WITH THE BIRDS
THAT ARE MIGRATING
THE FURTHEST.

Now a man in his sixties with a long white beard says WITH THE ADVENT
OF INTERNET,
ANY BIRDER IN
THE WORLD,
THIS IS WHERE
THEY COME.
I KNOW IT'S AN
ADVENT FOR ME.

[laughing]

A clip shows Jody working on a laptop.

He says OUR GOAL AS A
CONSERVATION ORGANIZATION
IS TO COLLECT THE DATA
SO WE CAN MEASURE
HOW THESE CHANGES ARE
AFFECTING BIRD POPULATIONS.
IT'S A GAME CHANGER IN
TERMS OF COLLECTING DATA
ON THE DISTRIBUTION AND
ABUNDANCE OF BIRDS
YEAR ROUND BY
CITIZEN SCIENTISTS.

Mark says IF WE CAN SHOW
THAT THESE DECLINES
ARE REAL, THEN
GOVERNMENTS WILL LISTEN.
AND I THINK IT'S OUR
JOB TO KEEP TRYING.

Jody says BIRDS
ARE SURVIVORS,
BUT THAT BEING SAID, WE
ARE REALLY PUTTING THEM
THROUGH THEIR PACES.
WE DO NEED TO LOOK
OUT FOR THEM, THOUGH.
WE DO NEED TO
DO OUR PART.
WE'VE MADE IT KINDA
DIFFICULT FOR THEM.

(music plays)

A final clip shows a small bird on a tree.

A caption reads "Music by Stefan Banjevic and Skydome Hotel."

The end slate reads "tvo.org/climatewatch"

Watch: Climate Watch Shorts: The birder's view