"Trumpeter Blues"




Creating a wonderfully sensitive nature documentary, poetically scripted narration and atmospheric music backs magnificently crystalline views of the trumpeter swan, a graceful, white-hued bird with an amazing eight-foot wing span. Picture postcard Yellowstone Park vistas of snowcapped mountains rising against azure skies set the mood for the shoothing narrator’s finely tuned delivery that subtly inspires appreciation and awe for thsi endangered species. Wilderness neighbors, such as playful otter, pesky geese, and lurking coyotes, act as minor characters in this first-rate nature program tracking one year in the swan’s sometimes threatened life. An unqualified winner from the producers of Song Dog, this will entice students as well as nature-group and public library viewers. -- American Library Association

The already small trumpeter swan population, protected in the United States an ∑d Canada, is once again declining, and no one seems to know why. This outstanding film reviews why the original population of thousands was reduced to the present 600 birds distributed in two flocks. Habitat ecology is well covered in a description of their survival are only briefly mentioned. Transplantation experiments are shown not to have worked well, and only one possible cause of their decline - the ingestion of lead shot - is mentioned. The program unfortunately leaves viewers wondering if anyone is investigating other causes, such as the impact of inbreeding on this small population. The physical aspects of this film are impeccable. The photography is exceptional, the sound and narration are excellent, and the organization is orderly and coherent. In short, this is a top-caliber natural-history film suitable for anyone old enough to appreciate natural history. -- Larry M. Stearns, Cental Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC