Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Wild Excellence Films Releases New Documentary: Golden Eagles: Witnesses To A Changing West

On April 20, Pittsburgh-based
Wild Excellence Films announced they released their newest documentary “Golden Eagles: Witnesses to a Changing West,” an hour-long film to be broadcast on PBS stations in several states this spring, including New Mexico, California, Colorado, Wyoming, and Florida, and have other airings throughout the year.

The film tells the story of the stunning golden eagle, a raptor with a seven-foot wingspan and powerful talons that isn’t immune to the challenges of the rapidly changing American West. 

From climate change to sprawl, invasive species to disease, lead poisoning to energy development, the magnificent birds are under threat from many directions and are a species of serious conservation concern. 

“Golden Eagles: Witnesses to a Changing West” takes viewers into the field with leading researcher Dr. Charles Preston and his team in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming as they rappel down cliffs into eagle nests to place leg bands on the birds.

“Filming in this wild, underappreciated landscape was a challenge,” said producer and cinematographer David Rohm. “But our footage of golden eagles and the people who dedicate their time to save them makes a strong case for conservation. It’s an honor to be able to tell this story.” 

Never-before-seen footage of charismatic eaglets is paired with compelling narration to further the conservation message. 

Gorgeous aerials of the sagebrush-steppe ecosystem; footage of grizzly bears, sage-grouse, and other animals; and dramatic landscapes show the diversity of this habitat. 

Narrated by renowned naturalist and author Kenn Kaufman, this beautiful documentary makes the viewer feel like they’re in the field with Dr. Preston for an intimate view of these birds and the science that can help save them. 

Viewers will go behind the scenes at wildlife rehabilitation centers where eagles are treated for lead poisoning, and hear stories of Indigenous peoples’ connections to the golden eagle, told by a member of the Crow Nation, Dr. Shane Doyle.

“We were excited to be filming these magnificent birds and to be working with such a great, passionate team,” said cinematographer Melissa Rohm. “One of our focuses was filming the banding of golden eagle nestlings. We captured some unique, never-before-seen moments, and we’re looking forward to sharing the eagles’ story with a wide audience. Many people aren’t familiar with golden eagles, but we hope the film will inspire conservation of this magnificent species.”

Wild Excellence Films worked closely with Wyoming PBS; the Draper Natural History Museum; Kristin Combs of Wyoming Wildlife Advocates; Dr. Shayne Doyle of the Crow Nation; Teton Raptor Center; Jill King from Styling the New West; Susan Ahalt from Ironside Bird Rescue; and naturalist, artist, and author Kenn Kaufman. 

Funders for the film include the Nancy-Carroll Draper Charitable Foundation; Wyoming Cultural Trust; Wyoming Community Foundation; Community Foundation of Jackson Hole; Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund; Rocky Mountain Power Foundation; and Wyoming Humanities Council.

For more information and to review other Pennsylvania-based documentaries, visit the Wild Excellence Films website.

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Related Articles This Week:

-- Hawk Mountain Sanctuary's Benefit For Birds In-Person Gala, Online Auction May 12

-- Hawk Mountain Sanctuary To Host In-Person Spring Document Series 3 Saturdays Starting April 23

[Posted: April 20, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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