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.
Almost a century ago, paleontologists found the first tantalizing hints of a monster even bigger than Tyrannosaurus rex, perhaps the largest predator ever to walk the Earth: spectacular fossil bones from a dinosaur dubbed Spinosaurus. But the fossils were completely destroyed during a World War II Allied bombing raid, leaving only drawings, lots of questions, and a mystery: What was Spinosaurus? Now, the discovery of new bones in a Moroccan cliff face is reopening the investigation into this epic beast. What did it feed on and how? Why did it grow so big?
We follow the paleontologists who are reconstructing this terrifying carnivore piece by piece, revealing a 53-foot-long behemoth with a huge dorsal sail, enormous, scimitar-like claws and massive superjaws, tapered toward the front like a crocodile, hosting an army of teeth. Bringing together experts in paleontology, geology, climatology and paleobotany, this NOVA/National Geographic special brings to life the lost world over which Spinosaurus reigned more than 65 million years ago.
Crows do not have the best of reputations. They are generally dismissed as spooky — Hitchcock used them quite successfully to frighten moviegoers — or as a general nuisance; scarecrows were, after all, invented to scare crows away from crops. But the crows’ image is taking a turn. New research has shown that they 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. They are social, mate for life and raise their young for as long as five years. They’re able to recognize individual humans and pick them out of a crowd up to two years later. Crow experts from around the world sing their praises and present the viewer with captivating new footage of crows as they’ve never been seen before.
For nearly a year, 50 animatronic cameras disguised as realistic life-size penguins, eggs and rocks infiltrated penguin colonies to record the tough challenges penguins face from the moment they emerge from the sea to raise their chicks until they finally return to the water. This series reveals the intimate, emotional and sometimes amusing behavior of nature’s most devoted parents bringing up their young against the most extraordinary odds.
As their chicks become increasingly independent, emperor and rockhopper parents place them in a crèche and go fishing. Humboldt chicks are left in their burrows as the adults head for the beach. Emperor chicks go skating while rockhopper chicks practice jumping skills. Eventually all the chicks leave for the sea, tackling the same hazards as their parents before them, from sea lions to predatory birds, high cliffs to glaciers.
For nearly a year, 50 animatronic cameras disguised as realistic life-size penguins, eggs and rocks infiltrated penguin colonies to record the tough challenges penguins face from the moment they emerge from the sea to raise their chicks and finally return to the water. This series reveals the intimate, emotional, and sometimes amusing behavior of nature’s most devoted parents bringing up their young against the most extraordinary odds.
Watched by spycams, newborn emperor penguins in Antarctica are caught walking on their mothers’ feet and taking their own first unsteady steps. On the Falklands, rockhopper chicks meet their unruly and predatory neighbors, while “eggcams” provide unique views of the colony. In Peru, Humboldt chicks take on fur seals and take aim at gulls.
The centenary of this recent extinction offers an opportunity for this film to sharply focus new attention on habitat conservation and species survival ― and help us avoid the fate of the passenger pigeon for future species. With cutting-edge CGI animation techniques, this film recreates the glory of passenger pigeons in flight as well as the ways in which 19th century humans destroyed them all ― with ruthless, no-limits shooting. The film highlights the important lessons of the past to offer solutions to the immediate challenges species face.
For nearly a year, 50 animatronic cameras disguised as realistic life-size penguins, eggs and rocks infiltrate penguin colonies to record the tough challenges penguins face from the moment they emerge from the sea to raise their chicks and finally return to the water, revealing the intimate, emotional, and sometimes amusing behavior of nature’s most devoted parents bringing up their young against the most extraordinary odds.
Watch as Emperor penguins cross a treacherous frozen sea to reach their breeding grounds. Rockhoppers brave the world’s stormiest seas only to come ashore and face a daunting assault up a 300-foot cliff, hopping most of the way up. Tropical Humboldt penguins negotiate predatory sea lions and vampire bats to reach their desert nests. The hard work for all the penguins finally pays off when their tiny, vulnerable chicks begin to hatch.