Buzzards Bay Coalition remembers Onset naturalist with free documentary showings

Mar 1, 2019

Free screenings of Onset resident Richard Wheeler’s documentary, “The Haunted Cry of a Long Gone Bird,” will be hosted by the Buzzards Bay Coalition throughout the month of March. Wheeler passed away in January at the age of 88.

Wheeler was an environmental advocate, a lifelong educator and a longtime Coalition supporter. He dedicated his life to advancing understanding of the marine environment, the interconnectedness of all life and people’s responsibility to nature.

Driven by a concern for diminishing fish populations in the western Atlantic, Wheeler undertook a 130-day kayak journey in 1991 to follow the migratory path of the extinct great auk. NOVA filmed the endeavor for a documentary, “The Haunted Cry of a Long Gone Bird,” which aired on PBS and garnered international acclaim. 

Time Magazine named Wheeler “Hero for the Planet” in 1998.

The Coalition will show “The Haunted Cry of a Long Gone Bird” hourly on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for the entire month of March at the Richard C. Wheeler Bay Learning Center, 114 Front St., New Bedford.

The documentary will also be shown during AHA! Night on Thursday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Attendees are welcome to visit the learning center to watch the documentary, view Wheeler’s kayak and learn more about the man himself.

To learn more about Wheeler and the Coalition, visit