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Haunted Cry of a Long Gone Bird

Program Overview

This NOVA episode joins amateur naturalist Richard Wheeler as he paddles his kayak from Newfoundland to Cape Cod.

Kayak Route Map
Newfoundland to Cape Cod Kayak Route Map

His route follows the migration route of the great auk, a sea bird that became extinct in 1844. This route is significant to Wheeler because the great auk was destroyed through excessive hunting by humans. In conversations with fishermen, scientists, and local people along his trip, Wheeler draws parallels between the destruction of the great auk and the current trends in over-fishing. A camera mounted on the kayak provides a first-hand view of huge trawlers, independent fishing vessels, and communities that depend on North Atlantic fish. By retracing the 1,500 mile migration route of the great auk, Wheeler hopes to raise awareness of the fragile ecosystems of the North Atlantic coast.

Teacher's Guide
Haunted Cry of a Long Gone Bird