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Audubon de Mexico Nature Matters–Nature Cinema

By April Gaydos

On Tuesday, February 2, Audubon de Mexico will be showing Birders: The Central Park Effect at the El Nigromante–Bellas Artes at 1:30pm. This exceptional documentary takes you inside one of the world’s most famous urban green spaces, New York City’s Central Park, to reveal the amazing variety and numbers of birds and birders that are drawn to the park, especially during the spring and fall migrations. Devoting equal time and affection to the birds and the New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the seasonal rhythms of migration, the film tells a story of humanity, nature, and the precarious balance between the two.

Audubon Nature Matters Film Presentation
Birders: The Central Park Effect
Tue, Feb 2, 1:30pm
Bellas Artes
Auditorio M. Malo
Hernández Macías 75
Donation 60 pesos (Audubon members free)

Scientists call the concentration of birds funneling into an oasis of nature within a developed environment “the Central Park effect.” But, at least within this film, the term equally applies to the effect that wild birds have upon urban dwellers who crave a connection with nature. Authors Jonathan Franzen and Jonathan Rosen and the “matriarch” of Central Park bird watching, Starr Sapphire, are among the large cast of colorful characters who express the pleasure they receive from birds in ways that are both infectious and moving.

It’s a difficult task filming birds as they flit high in the trees and scuffle in the underbrush. In this instance it took over four years, experimenting with a variety of cameras, lenses, and maneuvers, to capture the glorious patterns, hues, and personalities of these elusive subjects—117 bird species in all—who each receive their own credit in the film, in order of appearance.

According to Jeffrey Kimball, the film’s director and nature cinematographer, “As the film developed, what became more of a focus for me was the idea of how urban wildlife survives … even in the middle of one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the United States, there’s this thriving piece of nature.”

Kimball hopes that people will take away from the film the message that a vacant lot, or a backyard, or a strip of road—anything can be thought of as habitat and should be preserved and treated as habitat and not abused because it very well may be supporting a little pocket of nature. As our wilderness areas diminish, every little piece of green, especially along these migratory flyways, is a haven for wildlife.

As an expression of Audubon’s work in encouraging habitat for wildlife along our arroyos and in our parks, schools, patios, and open spaces, we couldn’t have found a more beautiful or inspirational film to share with birders and non-birders alike.


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