Birders: The Central Park Effect, a documentary now airing on HBO, features controversial double-crested cormorant

by Emily on July 20, 2012

The double-crested cormorant, which many people—particularly in the Great Lakes region—would say takes the top slot on the list of the most hated birds in America, has landed at the top of the credits list at the end of “Birders: The Central Park Effect,” a documentary currently showing on HBO. According to the New York Times, the birds featured in “Birders” are listed in the credits in the order in which they appear.

On their website, HBO says the film “Reveals the extraordinary array of wild birds who grace Manhattan’s celebrated patch of green and the equally colorful New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the rhythms of migration.” Apparently some double-crested cormorants live year-round in Central Park, which is probably a smart choice for the divisive bird; commercial and sport fishers and fish farmers throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi Delta regions despise the fish-loving cormorant, which they see as competition, and efforts to cull cormorant numbers to “acceptable” levels are ongoing in some areas. To learn more about the bird and how it rebounded from near-extinction due to DDT and other contaminants from the 1940s through the early 70s to expand to a population in the millions—and land in direct conflict with humans—check out The Double-Crested Cormorant: Symbol of Ecological Conflict by Dennis Wild. “Birders: The Central Park Effect” first aired on July 16 and is currently replaying on HBO.

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