The Big Year

“For many people, The Big Year reveals a new and exciting side of birding, one of America’s
fastest growing pastimes,” says Mark Welther, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Bird Alliance
Society. “There are 48 million birders in the United States, and fall is a great time to get outside,
join other birders and appreciate the variety of birds all around you!”

In The Big Year, the three stars undertake a whirlwind competition to see who can identify the
most species of birds in North American within one calendar year. The movie also stars Anjelica
Huston, who portrays real-life Bay Area boat operator Debra Shearwater – a field trip leader for
Golden Gate Bird Alliance. Says Shearwater, “On a personal level, I am more than thrilled that
Anjelica Huston plays me in the movie (though I have never pulled a knife on anyone!) She
shows the world that seabirds exist – these nutty birders have to get on a boat and venture out to
sea to tick the albatrosses and shearwaters on their lists. Most folks, including many birders,
never do this. Yet, much more of the Earth is covered by seas than by land. Few people,
including birders, are aware of the issues facing the world’s seabirds. These magnificent birds
need all the coverage they can get. Bring it on, I say!”

Welther adds, “Moviegoers may be surprised to know that several Golden Gate Bird Alliance
members in the Bay Area have completed a ‘big year,’ including two people who completed it
by bicycle.” One San Francisco big year bicycle participant, Josiah Clark, will appear at Golden
Gate Audubon’s October 20th Speaker Series event, a presentation on “The Private Lives of
Sandhill Cranes” by Paul Tebbel. The event will be at 7 pm at the First Unitarian Universalist
Church, 1187 Franklin Street at Geary, San Francisco, CA 94109.

The Golden Gate Bird Alliance sponsors free birding field trips throughout the year. For
details, see: