H Is for Hawk: A New Chapter by Mike BirkheadHelen Macdonald's bestseller H Is for Hawk told the story of a grieving daughter who found healing in training a goshawk. The goshawk is one of Mother Nature's own fighter jets, capable of finding and killing its prey with the speed of a lightning bolt. Now Macdonald digs deeper into the world of these raptors by following a family in the wild while raising and training a new goshawk of her own.
Call Number: DVD QL696.F3 H2 2017
Publication Date: 2017
Hummingbirds: Magic in the air by Ann PrumHummingbirds are the tiniest of birds, yet they are some of the toughest creatures on the planet. Using cameras able to capture over 500 images a second, the hummingbirds' magical world can finally be seen and appreciated. Nature reveals their stunning abilities as they have never been seen before. Narrated by F. Murray Abraham.
Call Number: DVD QL696.A558N38 2010
Publication Date: 2010
Jungle Eagle by Fergus BeeleyHarpy eagles are the most powerful birds of prey in the world. Standing three feet tall, with a six-foot wingspan and razor-sharp talons the size of bear claws, these birds are the heavyweight hunters of the South American rainforest. But scientists know very little about harpy eagles because their numbers are few, their habitat is large, they never soar above the trees, and they rarely come to the ground. Nature enters their secret world with wildlife filmmaker Fergus Beeley.
Call Number: DVD QL696.F32N38 2011
Publication Date: 2011
The Life of Birds by David Attenborough
Call Number: DVD QL698.3.L54 2002 (3 discs)
Publication Date: 2002
A Murder of Crows by Susan FlemingNew research has shown that crows are among the most intelligent animals in the world, able to use tools as only elephants and chimpanzees do, able to recognize each other's voices and 250 distinct calls. Crow experts from around the world sing their praises, and present us with captivating new footage of crows as we have never seen them before.
Call Number: DVD QL696.P2367N38 2011
Publication Date: 2010
An Original DuckumentaryDucks are true originals. There are more than 120 different species of ducks in all, a fantastical group of complex characters. Ducks have a talent for survival, and life stories filled with personality and charm. Each bird is more fun than the last, and will leave you wanting more.
Call Number: DVD QL696.A52N38 2012
Publication Date: 2012
Seeking Refuge by Bruce ReichertExploration of six national refuges in Idaho : Deer Flat, Kootenai, Minidoka, Bear Lake, Grays Lake, and Camas.
Hosted by Bruce Reichert.
Call Number: DVD QL84.22.I2O88 2009
Publication Date: 2009
Super Hummingbirds by Ann Johnson PrumWith high speed camerawork and breakthrough new science, we enter the fast-paced world of hummingbirds as never before. Speed is their middle name. Their lives are moving faster than the eye can see.
Call Number: DVD QL696.A558 S87 2016
Publication Date: 2016
Winged Migration by Jacques PerrinFollows bird migrations flying over the seven continents: from one pole to the other, from the seas to snowcapped mountains, from the canopy of heaven to mangroves and swamps.
Audubon's Birds of AmericaThe name John James Audubon has become synonymous with bird conservation science thanks to Birds of America, his extensive series of paintings sold as life-size prints between 1827 and 1838. Only 120 complete double elephant folio sets of Audubon's masterpiece are thought to exist, the pages of which were printed on "the largest paper sheets available at the time" and hand-colored. The University of Pittsburgh acquired one of these rare complete sets as part of the Darlington Collection (featured in the 5-10-2013 Scout Report). This collection also includes Audubon's Ornithological Biography, written as a companion piece to Birds of America, and the University of Pittsburgh Library has carefully preserved and digitized both works. Here, readers can search and explore all 435 of Audubon's paintings from Birds of America. When browsing the collection by plate name, each plate is paired with a link to the relevant pages from Ornithological Biography, which features Audubon's "lively narratives that describe each bird and includes additional information, such as their habitat." For those interested, the Audubon at Pitt section contains background information about Audubon's work and the library's preservation and digitization project.
Aves: A Survey of the Literature of Neotropical OrnithologyFor bird lovers, The E.A. McIlhenny Natural History Museum at Louisiana State University offers this online exhibit dedicated to neotropical ornithology. The exhibit's title comes from 2011 exhibition catalog authored by Tom Taylor and Michael L. Taylor. This online exhibit is an online adaptation of that catalog, offering extensive information about neotropical birds and the history of the study of such birds. In this exhibit, visitors can learn more about dozens of naturalists, museum collectors, individual collectors (including Charles Darwin), and others who studied birds of South and Central America. Visitors can browse these short biographies by category, including traveling naturalists, opening scientific exploration, and modern fieldwork. These biographies are accompanied by a number of fascinating primary documents in addition to gorgeous bird illustrations.
AviBase World Bird DatabaseDenis Lepage of Bird Studies Canada (part of Bird Life International) manages AviBase, which is an, "extensive database information system about all birds of the world, containing over 19 million records about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution information, taxonomy, synonyms in several languages, and more." Visitors can explore this list by conducting a text search (available via the search tab) and restrict searches by year, language, species, etc. In addition, visitors have the option of setting up a MyAvibase account, which is a tool designed to help one manage their own bird observation data. While these features may especially appeal to ornithology instructors and researchers, AviBase may also appeal to casual bird-watchers. For example, the "Bird of the day" offers a delightful way to learn about birds around the world.
Bird Count IndiaLong-time readers may remember eBird, the birding database featured in the 10-07-2005 Scout Report. Bird Count India manages eBird-India, an extension of the eBird project focused on "the needs of birders in India." Bird Count India also provides several platforms and sub-projects "for people interested in birds at any level, [making it] possible for you to have fun birding while at the same time pooling your efforts with those of thousands of others so that the combined information is available for research and conservation." In addition to the eBird India platform, readers will find birding guides (under the Birding dropdown menu), activities and workshops (under the Events dropdown menu), bird atlases (under the Projects tab), and much more. Experienced birders may enjoy the Challenges page, where they can sign up for monthly or yearly competitions. The Species and Analysis pages lead to relevant articles, and upcoming events are highlighted on the right-hand panel of the site. Bird Count India is supported by the Duleep Matthai Nature Conservation Trust, Nature Conservation Foundation, and Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies.
BirdCastMuch of the northern hemisphere may still be tight in winter's grasp, but the spring bird migrations will be starting before too long! For readers interested in keeping an eye on upcoming migrations in the contiguous United States, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's BirdCast Project is a great resource. Initially launched in 2012 and substantially updated in 2018, this project uses "many years of research and developments in machine learning, cloud-based computing, and big data analytics ... [to] feature migration forecasts that predict how many birds will be aloft over the continental US and live migration maps that report how many birds actually took flight." During seasonal migration events, visitors to BirdCast are greeted by colorful maps showing that day's migration forecast as well as the forecast for each of the next three days. Readers may also like to check out the Live Migration Maps for near real-time migration traffic. Between migrations, BirdCast still has a lot to offer, including informative scientific discussions on the insights this tool has provided during weather events such as hurricanes Michael, Rosa, and Florence in 2018. BirdCast's machine learning techniques were created in collaboration with Oregon State University and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Birds-of-Paradise ProjectThe birds-of-paradise have enthralled Western science for centuries, ever since Ferdinand Magellan's crew encountered them in the sixteenth century. Yet, as the Birds-of-Paradise Project reveals, new discoveries are continually being made about the habitat and behavior of these spectacular birds. Their brilliant colors and extravagant courtship displays provide amazing examples of two evolutionary forces at work: sexual selection through female choice and geographic isolation. With funding from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Geographic Expeditions Council, and Conservation International, Evolutionary Biologist Ed Scholes and Wildlife Photojournalist Tim Laman have spent years capturing images and videos that shed light on this species of bird found only in New Guinea, some nearby islands, and parts of eastern Australia. From analyzing the dance steps of the Parotias to documenting their quest to film and photograph all 39 species of bird-of-paradise, this site features numerous engaging visual resources and tools. Readers may also be happy to note that the Project's sound and video recordings have all been scientifically archived and can be found within the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay Library.
CondorKidsNorth America's largest bird, the California condor, came perilously close to extinction in the early 1980s when their total population numbered only 22 individuals. Since that time, scientists have conducted an ambitious conservation program in which they captured all 22 birds and bred them in captivity, then gradually released individuals into the wild. Although the species is not fully out of danger yet, today there are more than 500 California condors, and more than half of them live in the wild. Elementary educators interested in bringing the condors' story into their classrooms may want to check out CondorKids, which features a fully-developed, standards-aligned curriculum package containing a total of 27 lesson plans in biology, geography, history, and conservation. Designed with active learning in mind, this curriculum is intended for third-grade students, and an enrichment curriculum for ninth-grade students is planned. Visitors can download the entire curriculum for free as a single PDF, and a variety of supplementary resources, such as photos, videos, and assessment worksheets are also available. CondorKids was created by the Santa Barbara Zoo and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and in 2016, it received the Superintendent's Award for Excellence in Education.
The Future of Birds in Our National ParksReaders who enjoy birding and national parks may want to check out this resource from the National Audubon Society. This site summarizes the findings of a scientific study in which researchers "explor[ed] the potential impacts of climate change on 513 [North American] bird species across 274 national park management units." This study was led by the Audubon Society and the National Park Service and published in the journal PLOS ONE in March 2018. Here, readers will find approachable explanations of the study's findings and data visualizations showing how many new species are likely to colonize (move into) a given park or region by 2050, as well as how many species are likely to become extirpated (locally extinct) due to climate change. Readers curious about further details on a specific location can also access park-specific explanations via the interactive maps, and each park has a downloadable brief as well. For those interested in reading the scientific paper that forms the basis of this resource, an open-access link to the full peer-reviewed study is also provided. This study builds on the Audubon Society's (2015) Birds and Climate Change Report, which is also available from this resource.
The Great Backyard Bird CountThe Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual citizen science event arranged by the Cornell Ornithology Lab and the National Audubon Society. This year, the GBBC will take place from February 15 - February 18, 2019. During the GBBC, bird lovers from around the world are invited to create a free account on eBird (available online and as an Android or iOS app) and report on the birds they observe in their backyards or communities. In doing so, participants provide valuable information about global bird populations and migratory patterns. Those interested in participating this year may want to start by checking out the GBBC instructions, available in the GBBC toolkit section of the website. Here, visitors will also find a helpful bird list, along with a collection of online guides and "tricky bird IDs."
Institute for Bird PopulationsFounded in 1989 by ornithologist David F. DeSante, the Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) is a nonprofit organization that "studies the abundance, vital rates, and ecology of bird populations to enable scientifically sound conservation of birds and their habitats." IBP focuses primarily on bird studies in North America, the Neotropical region, and the Pacific Islands. Visitors to their website will find a wealth of information about IBP's numerous programs, such as their flagship Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program, which monitors bird demographics throughout the U.S. and Canada via a collaborative network of more than 1,200 stations run by public agencies, NGOs, and volunteers. Other notable IBP programs include the Sierra Nevada Bird Observatory in California and the Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal (MoSI) Program, which studies "the winter habitat needs of migrant and resident birds in the Neotropics." Readers may also be interested in the IBP publications database, where they will find hundreds of peer-reviewed publications (searchable by program and author) written by IBP staff and collaborators, the majority of which are downloadable as free PDFs.
Internet Bird CollectionFor readers enamored with birds all around the world, the Internet Bird Collection (IBC) is an excellent place to spend some time. This nonprofit project describes itself as "an online audiovisual library of videos, photos and sound recordings of the world's birds" created "with the ultimate goal of disseminating knowledge about the world's avifauna." Visitors to the IBC can explore multimedia materials and recordings of thousands of bird species crowdsourced by birdwatchers around the world, with their species identifications cross-checked by trained ornithologists. This vast collection can be searched and filtered by family name (common or scientific), country, keyword, date, and more, and each media entry includes a location map and shows other media recorded nearby. The IBC also has several quizzes for those who enjoy testing their ornithology skills. Begun in 2002, the IBC was created by Lynx Edicons, the publishing house behind the 17-volume Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, whose staff were inspired by their conversations with other birdwatchers to create a collective repository for multimedia collected by avid birders worldwide. Those interested can contribute their own bird photos, videos, and sound recordings to the IBC by creating a free account.
New Zealand Birds OnlineNew Zealand Birds Online offers interested readers a comprehensive resource where they can learn "about all 467 species of New Zealand birds, including all living, extinct, fossil, vagrant and introduced bird species." Visitors who have a particular species in mind can look it up by name on the main page, while those who wish to learn what bird species they saw can try the identify that bird tab, which provides user-friendly identification in three simple steps. Readers can also look up birds by group (using either their common name or scientific), and they may also browse New Zealand's birds by location or conservation status. Individual species pages contain concise yet thorough overviews on their characteristics and ecology, accompanied by numerous images, sound clips, and links to further information. New Zealand Birds Online is managed and edited by Colin Miskelly, an ornithologist and curator of vertebrates at Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum. In addition to Te Papa, this project's partners are the Ornithological Society of New Zealand and New Zealand's Department of Conservation.
PeliTrackThe American White Pelican is a large, distinctive waterbird with a huge pouched bill, black primary wing feathers, and a wingspan of 8-10 feet. The Great Salt Lake in Utah is an important breeding habitat for these migratory birds and to help track and study their movements, beginning in 2014 the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) outfitted several dozen pelicans with solar-powered GPS transmitters. Interested readers can see the results of this effort at PeliTrack, a web-based map the Utah DWR created to visualize the pelicans' location data. This map updates automatically every few days, and viewers can filter the data to see the tracks of specific pelicans by banding year, sex, name (the pelicans all have names like "Elmer" and "Tabitha"), and date range. Upon initially accessing the map (and also after clicking "Info" in the bottom right), visitors are also presented with a link to a DWR blog post explaining how wildlife biologists attached the transmitters to the pelicans. PeliTrack provides data to "help biologists conserve Utah's pelican population and better understand their interactions with humans, fish, and other wildlife."
Project FeederwatchProject FeederWatch, a citizen science program operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada, is "a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America" whose data "helps scientists track broad-scale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance." While participation in this program requires a small fee, visitors to the Project FeederWatch website will find a wealth of free resources. For example, on the Feeding Birds page found under the learn menu, readers can read about different types of bird feeders and food types, ways to make backyard feeders a safe place for birds, and tips for bird-friendly landscaping. Under the explore menu, visitors can (for example) view maps created using FeederWatch data, see regional population trend graphs of their favorite bird species, and download year-end reports dating back to 2005. The community section of FeederWatch offers photos taken by program participants, tips on bird feeding from participants, and the Project FeederWatch blog. For readers who love their backyard birds, the Project FeederWatch website is well worth exploring.
Royal Society for the Protection of BirdsOrnithologists and birders may enjoy the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). The origins of the RSPB trace back to Emily Williamson, who founded the group from her Manchester home in 1889. Since then, the mission and work of the organization continue to expand to promote "species recovery" and conservation efforts. The site is packed full of useful learning tools and resources to explore. Users may want to begin by navigating to the About RSPB page, where they can learn the history and mission of the organization. From there, explore the Our Work page, which features News and Blog sections detailing the state of birds and biodiversity in the United Kingdom. Under the Birds & Wildlife page, users can explore interactive features such as "Identify a bird," a tool that asks questions about the location and look of a bird to attempt to identify its species. On the Get Involved and Reserves & Events pages, users can learn more about activities hosted by the RSPB. Finally, under Fun & Learning teachers and other users will find games, activities, and other resources to bring birding to life in their classrooms or homes.
Tracking Cuckoos to Africa...and Back AgainTracking Cuckoos to Africa... and Back Again is a project by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) dedicated to tracking the migration patterns of cuckoos with the aid of satellite tags. Phil Atkinson, head of International Research at the BTO, notes that the cuckoo population of the United Kingdom has been cut in half over the past twenty-five years. In order to gain more information about why the cuckoo population has declined, the BTO recognized that it needed to better understand these birds' annual migration patterns. On this website, visitors can learn more about the fourteen cuckoos that are currently being tracked as part of this project and view the migration routes of all the cuckoos that have been tracked since 2011. To the initial surprise of the research team, tracked cuckoos have taken dispersed routes to their winter destination, the Congo Basin. Visitors interested in following this project may want to start by watching a short introductory video, which is available via the "Read more about the project" link on the homepage.
Utilizing Tree Swallows as Indicators for Contaminants in the Great Lakes AreaThe value of studying birds extends beyond the field of ornithology. Some species can be also used as indicators for ecological health and environmental monitoring. In this interactive story map created by the US Geological Survey (USGS), readers can explore how tree swallows are being used to help assess and monitor specific locations for the presence of legacy contaminants, such as pesticides and dioxins, that may have been released as far back as the 1950s. As the story map explains, tree swallows will nest in "highly industrial and urban locations where other species are often rare" and feed on insects that spend part of their lives in lake sediments, where contaminants tend to collect. Here, readers can learn about the different study sites, which include 27 areas of concern as well as 10 reference locations, and also view maps and summaries of the study's findings for each category of contaminants. The principal investigators of this study are Thomas Custer and Christine Custer, research wildlife biologists with the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center. This project is part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an ongoing multi-agency effort launched in 2010 to protect and restore North America's Great Lakes.
American Birding PodcastThe American Birding Podcast "brings together staff and friends of the American Birding Association as [they] talk about birds, birding, travel and conservation in North America and beyond." This podcast was launched by the nonprofit American Birding Association in late 2016, and continues to provide entertainment for bird and nature lovers alike. Host Nate Swick leads informative conversations featuring a diverse range of guests and birding-related topics. Examples of topics from 2019 include: a discussion of female birdsong with ornithologist Lauryn Benedict, a chat with the host and director of the video series Birds of North America (see the 5-24-2019 Scout Report), and explorations of two bird-themed games, a board game named Wingspan and a web-based Fantasy Birding game. Each episode also includes a brief news update from the birding world, such as how various threatened avian species are doing. New episodes released every two weeks and most episodes are approximately 30 minutes long. The podcast's full archives can be streamed and downloaded online at the link above. Those interested can also subscribe via apps such as Stitcher, Podbean, Apple Podcasts, or other platforms.
Kakapo FilesThe charming kakapo, found only in New Zealand, is a large, flightless parrot with many unique characteristics, such as its nocturnal nature and its slow reproductive rate. The kakapo is also critically endangered, with its current adult population at fewer than 150 birds, but scientists working towards the species recovery are hopeful that 2019 will be a record breeding year. Those interested in keeping up with the latest news about these charismatic birds should check out Kakapo Files, a podcast from Radio New Zealand. Launched in December 2018, this podcast documents the kakapos 2019 breeding season, which, thus far, has featured high points like 42 of this years chicks graduating to become juveniles as well as low points like the outbreak of a respiratory fungal infection that has claimed the lives of several birds. Kakapo Files is hosted and produced by natural history writer and zoologist Alison Ballance, and it frequently features guest appearances by conservationists who work directly with the kakapo. Those interested may stream and download episodes of Kakapo Files at the link above, where they will also find many photographs. Listeners are able to subscribe via podcast platforms such as Spotify, Stitcher, and RadioPublic.
Planet PuffinCoined "Summer 2019's hottest puffin podcast," Planet Puffin promises listeners an experience that is "silly, serious, scientific, cultural," and (above all else) "all things puffin." The podcast is produced by BBC Radio and follows journalists Emily Knight and Becky Ripley as they venture off the east coast of Scotland to an island that is home to "tens of thousands of seabirds." The pair spends their summer chronicling the adventures of the island's Scottish puffin colony, searching for answers to questions ranging from "What is the secret to their [the puffins] long and happy marriages?" to "How are they coping with climate change?" The series is divided into a dozen episodes, which are short and sweet â€“ usually between ten and twenty minutes. On the site, readers will find all of the episodes, as well as additional resources such as "Thirteen proper puffin facts" and "The ultimate puffin quiz." Episodes are available at the link above and on popular streaming services such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Attenborough's Birds of ParadiseOur fascination with birds of paradise has lasted 500 years. In this film, David Attenborough offers his own personal take on the mystery and discovery, obsession and scientific revelation surrounding these elusive birds. He himself has spent a lifetime filming their displays—many for the first time—and researching these birds both in their remote forest homes and in the museums and collections of Europe. He reveals the passion that birds of paradise have brought about in so many human hearts, from collectors and painters to wildlife cameramen. He uncovers the true science behind their extraordinary lives, revealing that, far from being icons of religious virtuosity, the evolution of their beauty has in fact been driven by sex. And in a final modern twist, David travels to the desert of Qatar, to a state of the art facility which houses the largest breeding group of these birds in the world—a Qatari Sheikh's very own private collection. A BBC Production.
Attenborough's Wonder Of EggsDavid Attenborough has a passion for birds' eggs. These remarkable structures nurture new life, protecting it from the outside world at the same time as allowing it to breathe. They are strong enough to withstand the full weight of an incubating parent and weak enough to allow a chick to break free. But how is an egg made? Why are they the shape they are? And perhaps most importantly, why lay an egg at all? Piece by piece, from creation to hatching, David reveals the wonder behind these miracles of nature. A BBC Production.
Bird BrainJoin NOVA to witness the brainpower of birds. Long mocked as empty-headed, our feathered friends hide surprisingly acute intelligence. But how smart are they? Watch as scientists test avian aptitude and challenge our basic notions of intelligence. Distributed by PBS Distribution.
Genius Bird (National Geographic)When it comes to intelligence, we humans are clearly the most gifted animals around. But what make us so special? Is it our ability to make and use tools? To solve complex problems? Or plan for the future? It might seem that way, but today, researchers are discovering other creatures with impressive brains that have mastered all those skills. Surprisingly, many are bird brains. Crows bend and shape sticks to create custom-made spears for hunting grubs, and they are just one among a growing list of bird species whose impressive problem-solving abilities are shocking scientists and revolutionizing our understanding of animal intelligence. At the head of the class, we meet animals like Muppet, a cockatoo with a talent for picking locks; 007, a wild crow on a mission to solve an eight-step puzzle for the first time ever; and Bran, a tame raven who can solve a puzzle box so quickly that his performance has to be captured with high-speed photography. But are these skills really evidence of high intelligence, or just parlor tricks, the result of training and instinct? To find out, NOVA tests the limits of some of the planet's brainiest animals, searching for the secrets of a problem-solving mind. Distributed by PBS Distribution.
Birding in North America (National Geographic)Bird-watching is an excellent way to get outside and appreciate nature's biodiversity, even if you live in an urban area. For those who need convincing, the video series Birds of North America offers an engaging introduction into this exciting pastime. This series was launched in March 2019 and is hosted by Jason Ward, a Bronx, New York native who now lives in Atlanta. Ward brings a contagious enthusiasm to the series, which starts off spotting warblers in New York's Central Park, where it later returns for a fun episode featuring Ward's younger brother and competitive birding opponent Jeffrey. Other episodes take viewers behind the scenes of the American Natural History Museum's avian collections and to Cape May, New Jersey, where Ward and other birders he interviews observe peregrine falcons (which Ward likes to call "sky Lamborghinis" due to their speed) and elusive yellow-billed cuckoos. Birding novices should also check out the series' second episode, "How to Use Binoculars." Birds of North America is produced by Topic Media, part of First Look Media. Each video is less than eight minutes long with twelve episodes in the series' first season and a second season in the works.
Birds of PreyChris Packham explores what enables birds of prey to rule the aerial roost. Their ability to dominate their fellow birds in terms of strength, maneuverability and phenomenal speed is down to a combination of anatomical and physiological adaptations. Chris explains the internal workings of the bald eagle's ratchet talons and how sharp eyes and a gyroscopic head enable the goshawk to keep its sight firmly fixed on both its prey and its surroundings as it tears through the undergrowth. New research reveals how pop-up feathers on the peregrine falcon's back act like pits on a golf ball to reduce drag—allowing it to reach 220 mph. A BBC Production.
Eagle PowerWhat makes eagles so remarkable? Researchers study one special bird, revealing her exceptional strength, eyesight, and flying skills. And, in-the-nest footage of a new bald eagle family captures the drama of chicks struggling to survive. Distributed by PBS Distribution.
Free FlightFree Flight is a documentary on the Miskito people of Honduras and their attempt to save their natural resources, especially the scarlet macaw, from land-grabbers and poachers intent on destroying them. The Miskitos believe that every animal and tree in the forest is an individual whom they must take pains not to offend. They are the beneficiaries of a United Nations grant, but what effect will this have on their worldview? Can they preserve their culture, their language, and their macaws, who play an important role in the ecosystem and also symbolize freedom for them? Shot on location at the Miskito Coast where both the birds and the native inhabitants are fighting imminent extinction.
Life in the Air (3 parts)Enter the skyworld and experience the lives of jumping, gliding and flying creatures like never before, thanks to this groundbreaking wildlife strand from the BBC’s renowned Natural History Unit. Flight is the ultimate superpower, an extraordinary ability most of us can only dream of. Yet an astonishing number of animals have mastered the skies. From squirrels to spiders, frogs to fish, and birds to bats – with exceptional skills and breathtaking design, these animals hunt, travel, sleep, live and die in the air. This world has always been a mystery, a place we humans could not enter or understand. But now we have the cutting-edge filming technology to follow these animals into the skies, and reveal their hidden world. This wondrous series allows us to ‘fly’ alongside the animals and see the world from their unique point of view as it captures extraordinary animal behaviour and reveals the amazing science of flight.
PenguinsAt first sight, penguins seem ill-suited to their environment—rotund abdomens, stubby little legs and stiff wings appear to make the going tough. But in fact it is these very traits that enable this bird to thrive. Chris Packham explores details of the penguin's anatomy, using new scientific research to reveal how its legs, wings and body shape allowed it to conquer an extraordinary range of habitats, from deep forests to tropical waters, bustling cities and even the toughest place on the planet—Antarctica. A BBC Production.