The Andy Griffith Show: Season 4, Episode 1

Opie the Birdman (30 Sep. 1963)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Family
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 106 users  
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After Opie kills a mother bird with his new slingshot, he takes on the job of raising her babies himself. He grows very attached to them, but then has to set them free when they get big.


(as Dick Crenna)


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Title: Opie the Birdman (30 Sep 1963)

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Episode cast overview:
Opie Taylor (as Ronny Howard)


Opie is having a grand old time with his new slingshot. His father had warned him to be careful with it but when he inadvertently kills a bird, he is genuinely heart broken. He finally breaks down and tells his father what he has done but the real problem is that there are three newborns in the nest. Opie decides that he is going to raise them and he meticulously cares for them. He eventually comes to the realization however that he will also have to let them go free. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family





Release Date:

30 September 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ron Howard and Andy Griffith personally claimed that this was their very favorite episode during their eight seasons of acting together. See more »


References Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

Quite touching...
21 October 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I've mentioned this in several of my other reviews, but "The Andy Griffith" show was highly unusual because although it was a comedy, not all the episodes were particularly funny. That's because the community and the characters were what was important on the show--and sometimes their stories were not meant to be funny but meant to teach moral lessons or deal with life's difficulties. This particular episode is one of the best examples of this, as this is in no way meant to be funny--and the show is actually pretty emotional and sweet.

The film begins with Opie running about with a slingshot. He is warned to be careful but ends up killing a mother bird. He feels terrible about this, but even worse later when he hears her chicks in the nest crying for food. As Opie is a very good boy at heart, he can't stand this and decides to become the foster-mother for the baby birds. The task takes a lot of work but is highly rewarding. But, after becoming very attached to the birds, the inevitable day arrives when the birds must be set free. All in all, the show is filled with many touching moments from start to finish and the integrity of the characters is solidified throughout. Well worth seeing.

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