The Flight of the Frigate Bird

Stream at: PBS, YouTube, or Amazon Prime

About the Film

Dauphin Island is a beautiful barrier island off the coast of Alabama. Known as the sunset capital of the state, visitors journey from across the country to experience the laid back atmosphere, world-class birding, to enjoy the white sands and miles of beach.

As large storms and rising seas threaten the future of the island, this documentary takes a look at how generations of Islanders have adapted to the ever changing landscape of barrier island life. From experience, they knew to protect the dunes, forests, and marshes because those were their greatest protection from hurricanes and storm-surge. They avoided building right on the beach because it was too vulnerable to storms and erosion.

As development boomed after a bridge was built in the 1950s, many of the tenets of the islanders were ignored. Now the community is faced with daunting decisions about how to best adapt to an eroding shoreline, rising seas, and larger storms.

Oral History

While we spend a significant amount of time in the film with the Islanders reminiscing about how the island was before the bridge, we just didn't have time to include all of our favorite stories. So we put together a short video with some of those stories.