Opposable Chums Competitive Bird Watching Documentary

We got a copy of a movie called Opposable Chums: Guts and Glory at The World Series of Birding. It's a documentary about the "famed" birding competition that happens in Cape May, NJ in the spring where teams of birders go out and compete to see who can see the most species of birds in a 24 hour period. There are different competitions from the all out listing to county listing to a big sit to photography. I was on a digiscoping team this past spring for Swarovski.

I made Non Birding Bill watch the dvd with me. I wanted to see if it would have appeal to both birders and non birders. I really enjoyed it, but I think part of that was because I know quite a few of the people in the film. "Oh hey, there's Gail."

The film follows some World Series teams from midnight to midnight as teams go along to tally their species and is interspersed with interviews of past participants like David Sibley and Kenn Kaufman. There are tales of war wounds and food poisoning and how birders go the extra mile to get as many on their list as they possibly can.

When it was finished, I looked at NBB and asked what he thought, fully expecting a non committal shrug as his review. He said, "That should be required viewing for anyone who is thinking of dating a bird watcher!"

I asked if he thought there were too many inside jokes for a non birder and he felt that the film really captures the nutty nature of birders and serves as a good primer to the uninitiated. We both especially enjoyed the part when participants were asked if the World Series of Birding was competitive: "yes, no, no, yes, yes, no, I WANT TO WIN!"

So, bottom line? Check out the movie and it's approprate viewing that will be enjoyed by both birders and non birders alike.