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The Bird House, A Conservation Documentary

The Bird Documentary Long Point Bird Observatory

The Bird House, A Conservation Documentary

I am thrilled to announce the premiere of my new nature documentary, The Bird House.

The Bird House – A Swansong at The Tip of Long Point Ontario is a conservation documentary film about the Long Point Bird Observatory and one of the most remote bird banding stations on Earth.

Filmed over two different seasons spanning three years, a simple filming excursion later evolved to a documentary project due to the impacts of weather, storms and high water on the isolated bird banding and research station. Since 1960, Long Point Bird Observatory has been operating a research station at the extreme eastern tip of Long Point, Ontario where scientists study bird migration.

When I was in that house in 2019 and again on the day before it was demolished, I could sense that the house held dear to so many and contained so many stories. I wanted to film every little detail like the door handle, bottle opener, house rules sheet, etc. I feel fortunate that I got to experience early morning coffee with a group of bird banders living in that house. There’s a vibe about life and work out there that is unforgettable.

Filming and producing The Bird House documentary became a labour of love over the past few years.

The tip itself is the longest (about 40 km) freshwater sand spit in the world and is the last remaining wilderness in southern Ontario. Long Point is also designated as a Globally Important Bird Area (395 species). Because of its remote location in the middle of Lake Erie, weather and waves are constantly shaping and reshaping this landscape.

The new documentary, The Bird House – A Swansong at the Tip of Long Point, tells the story of the demise of a historic rustic wood house located at the tip that once housed the families of lighthouse keepers, and later housed biologists and volunteers working at the tip for LPBO.

The LPBO research station at the tip was the first in the Western Hemisphere. It began consistently collecting data and banding birds in 1960 and it led to the foundation of Birds Canada, a globally relevant non-profit charitable organization championing understanding, appreciation and conservation of birds. In 2022, about 10,000 birds were banded at the tip, representing between 70 and 80 species. LPBO also operates two other research stations, the Old Cut station located near Long Point Provincial Park, and the Breakwater station located on private property owned by the Long Point Company. The site is strictly off-limits to the public. LPBO is the founding program of Birds Canada, which operates research, education, and training programs focused on ornithology, conservation, and other aspects of natural history at Long Point, Ontario, Canada.

Long Point Bird Observatory is a member of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network and advances sound and ethical banding principles and techniques promoted by the North American Banding Council.

About the filmmaker

Founded in 2010, WorkCabin Creative is Ontario, Canada’s Conservation Media House. Cinematographer Gregg McLachlan specializes in conservation filmmaking and creates and produces highly immersive visual storytelling for the natural world that changes minds and inspires actions. Filmmaker & Producer Gregg McLachlan Inquiries: gregg@workcabincreative.ca

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Gregg McLachlan
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