Ghost Bird

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Ghost Bird
DVD Review
January 5, 2011

Ghost Bird
Features: A documentary which will certainly delight anyone interested about how a government system designed to protect an extinct species, is being used to protect itself from common sense.
MSRP: $19.99
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When Ghost Bird came across my desk, I was rather intrigued by the title. Being an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast over over the last year (and getting crazier everyday), I observe my environment, take it in, appreciate, and make mental notes. When hiking over familiar paths, the littlest changes are observed. Different colors of the trees, ground, and foliage. Any new animals in the area. New and different sounds, and so forth. So, when I started watching Ghost Bird, I was really interested on how such a bird managed to escape the eyes of so many other outdoor enthusiasts...but yet its existence was sworn by the testimony of a handful of believers.

Scott Crocker does an amazing job at producing this documentary. It does start out at a lower-paced style, but Crocker is building up to the conclusion which is based on common sense of the provided facts and testimony of eye witnesses. For anyone who appreciates the outdoors and has questions about extinct wildlife, Ghost Bird is going to make you think. It's going to make you think about the reality of tax dollars and its influence on job security in today's economy.

Ghost Bird is 84mins long, and has a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.


  • Voices sound full but crisp--perfect for a documentary
  • Video is fantastic for a DVD
  • Documentary starts out a paced style, but gradually builds momentum and mystery, and keeps you watching until the end.
  • Very interesting interviews with key witnesses
  • An all-points documentary, covering many angles of what the director is conveying
Cons / Disadvantages
  • None observed



    Ghost Bird's audio sounded just fine for a DVD. Being this is a documentary, I'm not too concerned with having audiophile scrutiny here. But regardless, the audio track sounded great, and vocals (which are most important in a documentary because you need to hear and interpret what people are saying accurately) were properly leveled. I didn't notice any dropouts or voices which were loud one minute and then completely low the next (a common problem with documentaries).

    Ghost Bird actually surprised me on its video quality. For a DVD, this sucker looked amazing on my 50" Panasonic Plasma. Several times I was wondering if I was watching it in HD. We're talking 1.78:1 here, taking up my entire screen.

    This documentary has a lot of content. So, take time watching this and grab a few more bags of popcorn. In fact, I found I watched this twice, just to get all the information on the same night. I'll watch it again this coming weekend, come to think of it. Ghost Bird starts out at a really mysterious lower-pace than many documentaries I've seen, and this is done intentionally. Scott Crocker has a gifted ability to make you watch and listen, and then doing a double-take to yourself, "Hey, wait a minute. What did I just hear? No way!" And then you are forced to go back and listen and view it again.
The Extras

    The extras on Ghost Bird contain quite a bit of extra footage, and offer some truly power-packed clips which were not in the documentary. Nine extra clips (about 33mins or so total) contain some really powerful statements and comments. The documentary would have been way too long for common consumption if left uncut. But if you're wanting to go even deeper into this, watch the extras. Well worth it.

Ghost Bird is a documentary which raises a lot of questions about how the US Government deals with an extinct species--and how it operates in general. Scott Crocker shows us the underbelly of how a protected species can sometimes be completely taken to an extreme where logic has no place in the same room.


Considering this is a DVD, the score above might not exactly seem proper when compared to current Hi-Def (Blu-ray) titles. On the other hand, I wasn't going to downgrade the DVD to simply make the HD reviews titles appear superior, because DVDs are still in their own frame of reference, and until there is a Blu-ray version, I'm not going to worry too much about comparisons. Maybe we'll see a Blu-ray version in the near future, but I have to say, the DVD version does quite well, and the production of it is to be appreciated. Would Ghost Bird benefit from a Blu-ray release? I certainly think it would. A lot of the footage would look absolutely fantastic. Many documentaries I've seen haven't been properly prepared, but Crocker makes sure his presentation is at its best.

First tinged with honest hope but eventually with desperation, Scott Crocker's Ghost Bird reveals what happens when a few believers have a massive bureaucracy behind them. Ghost Bird is certainly being added to my collection, and my "Watch Frequently" list.

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