The Big Year? Birder discombobulated in bog

The Big Year (2011)

The Big Year (2011) follows three birders on a quest for immortality and purpose. It is nominally a comedy.

In the 2011 film “The Big Year,” Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and Jack Black star as birders (!) trying to break the record for most birds seen in one year. I’ve talked about this film before because it mentions the Sax-Zim Bog a few times, known internationally as a major bird-watching mecca. As I mentioned yesterday, I was raised in the Sax-Zim bog, though mostly unaware of the birds on account of the various MPCA violations I presume may have occurred on the family-owned salvage yard where we lived.

Anyway, “The Big Year” is a charming movie, though more heartfelt than funny. It stood out to me mostly as the only cinematic depiction of Zim ever set to film (a key scene late in the movie when Owen Wilson’s character takes a photo of a Snowy Owl on New Year’s Eve).

On Saturday, a 52-year-old photographer got lost in the bog before being rescued by St. Louis County emergency services. He’s fine, but Search and Rescue put out a press release yesterday stressing safety when hiking alone in the woods. I suppose this could go down as an amusing contrast to the story of Jason Zabokrtsky’s 90-mile bushwhack of untouched wilderness near Ely over the past two weeks. The good news is that everyone is OK.

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