Amy
ABOUT ME - My name is Amy and I'm a birder living in central Florida. On this blog I post book and birding product reviews as well as birder gift ideas and announcements related to my birder gift shop on this site. I also have a personal birding blog called Powered By Birds.

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Unless otherwise stated, all books and other products reviewed on this blog were purchased or independently acquired by the reviewer. Readers who make a purchase by clicking on links in product reviews or featured t-shirt posts (T-Shirt Tuesday) may result in the blogger receiving a commission or referral fee.
Archive: October, 2011

Movie Review: The Big Year

Posted on October 14th, 2011 in Movie, Movie Review

I’ll cut to the chase: I enjoyed this movie a lot, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. I laughed a lot! Like a lot of other birders, I was apprehensive about how our hobby might be depicted. But birders – at least some of them – are actually quite normal (ha!) throughout the picture and do some very cool things in beautiful places. Win!

Now some random thoughts which include mild spoilers.

* Arthur and I were alone in our midnight screening. While I was disappointed there weren’t others in the theater, it was kind of nice to be able to talk with each other during some parts of the movie. I hope next time I see it, the theater will be packed. And I can imagine seeing this at birding festivals with a room full of birders.

* There were more great moments than cringe-worthy moments. I loved seeing the Bald Eagle courtship ritual and wished there were more fantastic wild bird shots incorporated into the movie.

* The Attu scenes were fantastic!

* I would love to see “Bostick!” become a birder’s curse and will get to work on sparking a trend among my peers. Dipped on a mega? BOSTICK!

* I thought Jack Black especially did a great job as an enthusiastic youngish birder. I loved how he shared the story of his favorite bird, the American Golden Plover, with his dad.

* I guess it helps make a movie successful to have a good versus bad dynamic, but having one of the birders in the movie be a rotten villain made me sad.

* The soundtrack is full of bird-themed songs. I really liked the use of the instrumental Blackbird during Stu’s “awakening” after the birth of his first grandchild.

* Big congrats to blogger The Two-fisted Birdwatcher for getting a product placement in the movie! A blog-branded mug appears on Brad’s nightstand towards the end of the movie. I tried unsuccessfully to get merch in the film and so did 10,000 Birds, apparently.

* I’ll leave the bird-type nitpicking to others. But there was one error in the credits that jumped out at me. Towards the end, thanks is given to Lange Elliot – should be Lang.

* I mentioned this in my previous post, but birders can help elevate the movie at least in the archives of the internets by contributing trivia and posting reviews (even short ones) on popular movie websites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb.

I give The Big Year 5 Goldfinches out of 5.

2 quick notes to birders re: The Big Year

Posted on October 14th, 2011 in Movie

I saw The Big Year last night at a midnight screening in Orlando. I’ll try to get my review up soon but my in-laws are visiting from Europe this week so it might be tough. Meanwhile I wanted to mention a couple of things very quickly regarding The Big Year.

First, bird bloggers and non-bloggers alike can add reviews (or an abridged review) to the popular film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. This site seems to be a go-to for a lot of potential audience members, so each positive review helps elevate The Big Year on the tomato scale.

Second, don’t spend too much time nitpicking details in the movie. But if you can’t help yourself (and you’re not alone there!), you can contribute to the page for The Big Year on IMDb (the Internet Movie Database). This is another huge website devoted to movies and details like trivia, quotes and goofs are archived. Each movie has a big yellow “edit page” button, so if you’ve got nits to pick with The Big Year, this is the place to do it. As of this posting, the goofs page for The Big Year is EMPTY. That cannot stand for long, I’m sure!!

Audubon Google Doodle gifts

Posted on October 7th, 2011 in Products

Birders were excited when John James Audubon’s 226th Birthday was commemorated with a Google Doodle on April 26, 2011.

Hundreds of Google Doodles are now available on t-shirts, mugs, and other gifts, on Zazzle.com, the Audubon doodle included! It isn’t available on the complete Zazzle product assortment, which is too bad, because I think it would be suited for things like Zazzle’s custom binders, rectangle stickers, and iPhone cases, but it’s still available on some cool things.

The design has a white background, but you can use Zazzle’s customization tools to make the white parts of the image transparent on the canvas print, so you can make a plain white background a bit more interesting. I added a light yellow wash to the example below.

Unfortunately the customization has been turned off on the apparel and other products, but they have picked out suitable shirts for this design.

Coincidentally, I’ve just added a bunch of vintage Audubon print work to the MagnificentFrigatebird shop. They are in the Historic Bird Illustrations section. Everything here is totally customizable, so feel free to play around with backgrounds, changing product styles, and adding your own text or images!

Bird blog & online contests for October 2011

Posted on October 3rd, 2011 in Contest, Giveaway

Here’s a list of current (as of October 3rd) blog & online contests by birders, for birders, and/or offering bird- or birder-themed prizes. Click on the links to learn more, check eligibility, and enter to win! If you are running a contest or know of something that should be added to this list, let me know by leaving a comment or sending me an email. This is a monthly post appearing on the first Monday of every month. I will add any updates I find during the month as a comment on this post. If you’d like to stay updated, you can subscribe to the comment RSS feed for this post.

CONTESTS WITH DEADLINES near and far

Wingscapes has a caption contest running through October 10, 2011. The winner will receive a fabulous prize; see the contest page for details.

Two-Fisted Birdwatcher is giving away a blog-branded hoodie. Find this month’s hidden bird (America’s biggest) to be eligible for the drawing. This regular giveaway usually ends by the end of the month, so submit your answer before October is over! See the contest page for details.

Bird Watcher’s Digest is giving away a BirdCam 2.0 by Wingscapes. Enter before December 1, 2011; see contest page for details.

ONGOING CONTESTS of interest to birders

BirdWatching Magazine runs a Photo of the Week Contest. Check out the Photo of the Week page to find out how to enter. Prizes include a BirdWatching magazine subscription.

Duncraft hosts a caption contest on Facebook every week. Become a fan of Duncraft to see each contest posting. Enter to win a $10.00 Duncraft Gift Coupon. New caption contests start each Monday.

Each month the Birds & Blooms website runs the Where’s Webster? contest. Find Webster the duck on the website and enter to win. Prizes vary and the contest runs month to month.

The Eagle Optics Email Contest is ongoing for anyone subscribed to their newsletter. A new winner is chosen every month and prizes vary. Click here for details.