A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids will learn about bird migration.
Animals know no borders. No matter how small, every animal has a reason for being on this planet.
Positive Role Models
People on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border volunteer to help maintain habitats that support migratory birds.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Birders is a 37-minute documentary about mostly migratory birds and the people who watch them and try to protect them. The nature photography is beautiful, and the colorful birds and habitats photographed at the Texas-Mexican border are lush, which might make this a nice introduction to birdwatching for younger kids. The movie notes that birds know no borders, a seeming jab at the politics behind building a border wall to keep human refugees out of America, but no further point is made. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This documentary is peculiarly content-free, but kids will love the gorgeous visuals. With no narration, no narrative arc, no tension, no real warnings, or prescriptions for how to save birds or their habitats, Birders meanders. Different people say the same things over and over. At one point we find ourselves in a National Weather Service office looking at clouds of migrating birds on a weather map. No real point is made about this. Among the repeated messages: a wall wouldn't be good for migratory birds, that animals know no borders, that the migratory corridor along the south U.S.-Mexico border hosts millions of birds going both ways as they travel to good weather and sustaining food sources at different times of the year.
The nature photography is lovely -- closeups of owls hooting and long shots of hawks seeking prey. The music of birdsong is far more riveting than anything said by any of the humans in this movie.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.