For centuries, owls have been fascinating hallmarks of children’s stories and folk tales the world over. What actually makes owls so special? Using the camera technology, computer graphics, x-rays and ultra-microscopes available in the modern world, take a new look at owls in more detail than ever before. The real stories behind how they hunt, how their vision and hearing work, and how they fly so silently are influencing 21st-century technology and design, from high-tech aircraft and submarines to innovative hearing aids.
This inspiring series celebrates the human-animal bond by telling positive stories. Each story shows how people’s lives are improved when shelter pets are given a second chance.
Aimee Sadler’s program is based on the simple concept that dogs love to play. Many shelters keep dogs isolated in their kennels. Aimee shows the shelters how to get groups of dogs in a yard to play and learn from each other. These play groups turn shelters into joyful adoption centers and completely change how shelter dogs are perceived and adopted.
In this program filled with innovative photography and scientific revelation, we investigate how our favorite pets get in touch with their wild side through play. From talkative budgies, marathon-running hamsters, wall-climbing cats and diving dogs, discover how our pets’ playful games are just a whisker away from the wild.
The animals of the world may increasingly need our help with big issues like preserving habitat or species conservation. But sometimes individual animals need our help as well. Left disabled without fins, flippers, beaks or tails because of disease, accidents or even human cruelty, these unfortunate creatures need what amounts to a miracle if they are to survive. Amazing prosthetics made possible by the latest engineering and technology can provide just what they need, and scientists are finding that innovations created in the process are benefitting both animals and humans. Meet these inspiring animals and the remarkable individuals whose work has helped them live their lives again.
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For some animals, living in the midst of huge colonies of their own kind is the most secure and rewarding housing arrangement. Icelandic puffins form nesting colonies of more than a million, providing shared information about food sources and reducing the odds of attacks on individual birds. But colonies are useful for predators, too. Social spiders in Ecuador work together to capture prey 20 times the size an individual might subdue on its own. For others, communal living provides multi-generational care-giving options or the opportunity to build enormous cities like the acre-wide multi-million-citizen colonies built by leaf cutter ants in Costa Rica, or Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, built entirely by tiny corals.
Bird nests come in all shapes and sizes, crafted from a diversity of materials, including fur, grasses, leaves, mosses, sticks and twigs, bones, wool, mud and spider silk. Quite a few contain man-made materials – twine, bits of wire, even plastic bags. Each is a work of art, built with just a beak! All over the world, birds in the wild arrive at diverse nesting grounds to collect, compete for, reject, steal and begin to build with carefully selected materials, crafting homes for the task of protecting their eggs and raising their young.
Watch a compilation of the most compelling, emotional and even humorous stories about bird behavior, intelligence and flight from the NATURE archives. This special presentation draws from 16 notable episodes, including the Emmy-award winning “My Life as a Turkey” and “An Original DUCKumentary.” Also represented are sequences from “Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air,” “Birds of the Gods,” “Raptor Force,” “Moment of Impact,” “A Murder of Crows,” “Love in the Animal Kingdom, ” “Deep Jungle” and others.
Based on the true story of writer and naturalist Joe Hutto (portrayed here by wildlife photographer Jeff Palmer), this film chronicles his remarkable experience of imprinting wild turkey eggs and raising the hatchlings to adulthood. Deep in the wilds of Florida, Hutto spent each day out and about as a “wild turkey” with his family of chicks – until the day came when he had to let his children grow up and go off on their own. As it turned out, this was harder than he ever imagined. Hutto’s story also became a book, Illumination in the Flatlands.
As the ice shrinks in the Arctic, polar bears are struggling to survive in a fast melting world. Although classified a marine mammal, the polar bear is not adapted to hunting in the water. And it is certainly no match for the world’s greatest aquatic hunter – the killer whale. In the last few years, scientists have noted an ever-growing number of killer whales in Arctic waters in the summer months. More and more have been attracted to these hunting grounds by the growing expanse of open water. They attack the same prey as the polar bears: seals, narwhals, belugas and bowhead whales.