"...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."
Did the interviews come first or the footage of the birds?
Because I didn’t want to make a film about people telling us how great nature in Central Park is, and how much birds mean to them then have very few pictures of birds, I shot a lot of the bird footage first.
What do you think the birds can teach us?
They can certainly teach us resiliency. Here are birds that have managed to figure out how to survive in the middle of this megopolis that we’ve created. There’s also something kind of purposeful about the way they go about their business. Even though there’s airplanes overhead and taxi cabs zooming by, they’re going about their business. They’re not letting that ruffle them too much.
What do you hope audiences take away from the film?
“The Central Park effect” is a ornithological term, referring to what happens when you put an urban park in the middle of an urban landscape. It will have the effect, as a magnet, of funneling birds into it. And it does refer to our Central Park, of course, but it’s true for other cities. And what I really hope people take away is 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. And I think that’s becoming more important as the acreage of wilderness areas diminish. Every little piece of green, especially along these migratory flyways, these little urban parks are a haven for wildlife.