A Birder's Guide to Everything: With Kenn Kaufman and Rob Meyer



  • April 16, 2014
  • This event has passed.
  • Offering Format: Public Event
  • Recommended for grade 12 and adults
  • Coolidge Corner Theatre
  • Members, students, and seniors: $9; general admission: $11
  • Associated Persons

    With naturalist Kenn Kaufman and director Rob Meyer


In this alternately funny and poignant coming-of-age tale directed and co-written by Newton native Rob Meyer, 15-year-old David Portnoy spots what just may be the extinct Labrador duck on the eve of his widowed father's second wedding. Now he and the two other stalwart members of the local Young Birders Society, together with their headstrong photographer classmate Ellen, take off on a rollicking, interstate road trip in search of that elusive duck and answers to teenage questions large and small.

With marvelous supporting performances by Academy Award-winner Ben Kingsley and James LeGros, A Birder's Guide to Everything is both a thoughtful window into the world of birding and a tenderhearted look at the moments and relationships that can change even the most intensely focused lives.

Birding legend and naturalist Kenn Kaufman, who served as a consultant for the film, discusses some of the mysteries surrounding extinct birds before the film and joins director Rob Meyer for a Q&A after the screening.

With Science on Screen, the Coolidge Corner Theatre creatively pairs a feature film or documentary with lively presentations by notable figures from the world of science, medicine, and technology. The Science on Screen series is co-presented by the Museum of Science, Boston and supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, with additional support from Gesmer, Updegrove LLP, and Richard Anders.

Photo © Tom Richmond

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About the Speakers

Kenn Kaufman is widely regarded as one of the world's leading experts on wild birds. He has written more than a dozen books on birds and natural history, including such standard references as Lives of North American Birds and Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America, and he has spoken on bird behavior and migration across North America and Europe. Travels to study birds have taken him to all 50 states and to all seven continents. His memoir, Kingbird Highway, is considered the birding equivalent of On the Road. He is a Fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union, a field editor for Audubon Magazine, and the only person to have received the American Birding Association's lifetime achievement award twice.

Rob Meyer grew up in Newton, Massachusetts with dreams of being a field scientist or wildlife filmmaker. His first feature, A Birder’s Guide to Everything, co-written with Academy Award-winner Luke Matheny, is based on his short film Aquarium, which played at more than sixty film festivals and won over twenty awards, including an Honorable Mention at Sundance. Rob is based in New York City and received his MFA from NYU's graduate film school. Prior to NYU, Meyer worked at PBS's NOVA, HBO Documentary Films, and National Geographic, helping to produce Peabody- and Emmy-award winning documentaries around the world.