Australia is a land of parrots. They live across the country in a variety of climates and over 2 dozen of them by my count are shown in this excellent Australia Land of Parrots documentary narrated by famous actor Colin Friels, co-produced by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and PBS TV in the USA.
The aerial shots of giant flocks flying across the dusty red heart of Australia’s outback, descending onto the edge of water sources and wheeling across the deep blue sky were nothing less than brilliant. Since I’ve traveled through many parts of the Australian Outback I recognised the scenery around several areas featured such as Rainbow Valley, Chambers Pillar and the Macdonnell Ranges.
Australia Land of Parrots was filmed in high definition which means if you watch it on Bluray you’ll be able to see the parrots as the director intended with “exquisite detail and very saturated and beautiful colours”. Since ABC Shop charges the same amount for the DVD or Bluray if you have a Bluray player the optimal choice is obvious.
I love to take photos of birds (see example photos above/below) so watching the documentary made me wish I too could spend months traveling across Australia with a camera and long zoom lens to photograph them with.
According to the AFI:
“When Australia Land of the Parrots was broadcast on the ABC in May, it was a ratings winner. 1.2 million viewers tuned in to the wildlife documentary – a number that actually beat the Logies broadcast that Sunday night.”
This isn’t surprising when you consider that the raucous cries and striking plumage of parrots like Rainbow Lorikeets, Cockatoos, Corellas and Galahs are familiar and welcome sounds and sights to people living in Australian cities.
David Parer and Elizabeth Parer Cook who are credited as the documentary’s producers were also the principal cameraman and sound-recordist respectively. They’ve had their documentaries broadcast by the BBC, National Geographic and Discovery. In all their films have won over 120 Australian and international awards for program achievement, cinematography, sound and editing
On a sad note Australia: Land of Parrots is the last documentary to be made by the ABC’s in-house Natural History Unit, which was responsible for the ABC’s nature documentary output from the 1970’s until 2008. During this time it won many awards in Australia and Overseas.
“Well, the NHU was closed down in September 2008 and now the ABC is concentrating its documentary output on the independent filmmakers around Australia. Natural History programs are being bought from independent producers in Australia. So it’s a change of direction. There’s pressure – they’re trying to do a lot more with basically the same ABC budget. It’s part of that whole move to actually outsource a lot more of the TV production to the independent sector”
You can buy Australia Land of Parrots on DVD or Bluray from ABC Shops or any DVD/Bluray store. The Single disk includes the main 52min documentary which was shown on TV as well as 56min of Extra Features.