Birds, Birds, Birds! DVD
Birds, Birds, Birds! [An
Indoor Birdwatching Field Trip] by John Feith author of Birdsong Ear Training Guide DVD Video Guide ISBN 0975443410
http://www.caculo.com Buy this DVD online for $24.95 send payment to: John Feith, 1225 East Mifflin Street, Madison WI 53703. Orders
will be shipped December 14th First Class (1-3 day). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a rush order. Profits will go to the
Wisconsin Society for Ornithology & the Nature Conservancy.
There is nothing wrong with the sounds, song and images of the birds on this DVD. There are selections of both giving a visual feast of still photographs in various plumages and video clips of singing or flying birds etc. accompanied by the fine wine of bird songs and calls. The narration is, for the most part clear too but would benefit greatly from the addition of written phrases on screen to reflect the mnemonics given in the narration. I have already forgotten most from one viewing and I would surely have retained more if the way the songs are described were there in script as well as said – moreover, once or twice the phrase was said quickly and just once so I wasn`t sure what the phrase was.
However, this is not the
major problem of the product. There are in fact two problems.
Firstly the instructions for navigating the disc are written on the disc and not repeated anywhere on the cover or by way of insert. There is no index either except on screen at the beginning if you care to access it. Now I`m a pretty clever fellow, ask anyone, but even I can`t read instructions off a disc that is already in the DVD playing slot! Pretty fundamental eh guys?
The second problem for me is that there seems no rhyme or reason for the order in which the birds appear – please tell me if I`m missing something here. I know that there is controversy about the exact order of the phylogenetic tree but having passerines mixed up with non-passerines and in no particular order makes the product seem messy and amateurish. What is more there is no intuitive navigation – scooting through to look for corvids and assuming that they would be after waders was a mistake.
So, from my point of view
this is a good idea spoilt by a couple of howlers that could easily have been avoided.
Having said that I could have done with seeing the DVD before my recent trip to Texas and Mexico – any help on song ID would have stopped me assuming that distant Brewer`s Blackbirds were Common Grackles and Bluebirds glimpsed briefly were Indigo Buntings. It would have saved this European birder from a little embarrassment. And, ss the proceeds go to good causes; I wish them luck with the sales.
Created: 20th Dec 2004