A  Birders  Guide To  Everything

California Film Institute San Rafael, CA


Mark Dettling

Avian ecologist, Point Blue Conservation Science

A Birder's Guide to Everything— Avian ecology: A conversation

A conversation with bird ecologist Mark Dettling.

California Film Institute San Rafael, CA

Film Synopsis

Teenaged birding fanatic David Portnoy takes an epic road trip with his best friends to solidify their place in birding history.

Teenaged birding fanatic David Portnoy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) thinks he's made the discovery of a lifetime. On the eve of his widower father's second wedding, David spots what may just be the extinct Labrador duck. After consulting with a famous local ornithologist, Lawrence Konrad (Ben Kingsley), he and the two other stalwart members of the local Young Birders Society (Michael Chen, Alex Wolff), joined by their headstrong photographer classmate Ellen (Katie Chang), take off on a rollicking, interstate road trip in search of a rare bird and elusive answers to teenage questions large and small.

About the Speaker

Mark Dettling’s work with Point Blue involves researching birds in the riparian ecosystems of coastal California and training young field biologists at the Palomarin Field Station in the Point Reyes National Seashore. His passion for birds began in his home state of Michigan, where he graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, before earning a master’s degree in Natural Resources at Cornell University. He has worked for Point Blue in various locations around California since 2006.