Seeking interesting videos about birds and pirates for sickbed viewing
April 23, 2014 12:31 AM   Subscribe

My stepdad is ill and has some non-fun things coming up (surgery and chemo). I'd like to send him light, interesting videos or picture-heavy articles about his interests, mostly exotic birds and pirates. Can you suggest some?

He's interested in and very knowledgable about exotic birds -- he used to run a pet shop, breeds budgies and other birds, and the best times I've had with him have been walking around zoos, where he knows something about seemingly every species. He likes watching history and "How is it made?"-type programmes as well, and his other big interest is pirates: he built this and has an extravagant pirate outfit of his own. He also loves a bit of controversy or argument!

I'm hoping to send him a stream of fun, interesting things to take his mind off things, but he's much more a video person and I'm more of a words person, so I need your help, hivemind. Pictures and picture-rich articles are OK too. He's all set for Facebook communities and moderates several.

Thanks in advance!
posted by daisyk to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
David Attenborough's Life of Birds? If he's in the UK he's probably seen it but it might be nice to get the dvd for his soothing voice, let alone the fascinating content.

If he's an Attenborough fan (and who wouldn't be?!) then maybe more of his documentaries?
posted by humph at 1:11 AM on April 23, 2014

The Hornblower movie series wonderful period ship scenes and there's pirates at some point. Really exciting TV to watch and lots of detailed shots of the ships and sailors.
posted by viggorlijah at 2:37 AM on April 23, 2014

I'm biased towards animation, but has he seen Rio? Wall to wall exotic birds. And maybe Porco Rosso or Laputa? Both have really fun pirates and few things are more deeply cheering than Miyazaki.
posted by Erasmouse at 3:28 AM on April 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Has he seen The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill? It's a documentary about the relationship between a former street musician and a flock of wild parrots in San Francisco.
posted by gudrun at 5:33 AM on April 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Would audiobooks fit the bill? I recently started listening to a novel involving pirates called Cinnamon and Gunpowder and it's very enjoyable so far.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:50 AM on April 23, 2014

I also love films about birds, and I can heartily second The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. Straight up parrotlover pandering from beginning to end.

Cornell Ornithology Lab had an interesting documentary about birds of paradise in production-- not sure if it's out yet, but might be worth tracking down. (Is this it, maybe?)

Oh, and a possible long shot depending on your stepdad's taste, but I've always found Hitchcock's The Birds pretty fun and funny to watch from a bird person's perspective-- they seem to have used a lot of food incentives to get the birds to stay in position, so it's shot after shot of crows with Yay! Happy! Chillin' with some snacks! body-language, juxtaposed with people screaming in feigned terror.
posted by Bardolph at 6:17 AM on April 23, 2014

Given his wonderful Pirate Pub, he might enjoy seeing some of the design for the original Pirates of the Caribbean ride- drawings, some background and pics of models, history and more drawings.
posted by Erasmouse at 6:22 AM on April 23, 2014

The Muppet Treasure Island? Is there a grandchild he can watch it with? BTW, I just finished rereading Treasure Island, and it holds up very well.
posted by SemiSalt at 12:18 PM on April 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not exotic birds, but Winged Migration is an amazing documentary.
posted by bullitt 5 at 10:14 PM on April 24, 2014

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