The Life of Birds Go back to Programmes
This 10-part series from the BBC Natural History Unit, Life of Birds, is the definitive programme about the most colourful and perfectly adapted creatures on earth. Presented by Sir David Attenborough, it covers 42 countries and examines over 300 species, looking at the birds amazing strategies for finding food, mating and raising their young.
There are over 9000 species of these feathered mammals that span the globe, and wing their way from the Atlantic to the Antarctic, and through deserts and jungles. This series examines the secrets of the bird’s success in their daily flight and fight for life. From long-distance migration, to high-speed aerial hunting, this is the definitive series on birds.
Programme 1: To Fly or Not to Fly
A look at the ability of birds to fly, and how they have adapted their talents to complete precision depending on the environment they live in, from effortless flight to complete flightlessness.
Programme 2: The Mastery of Flight
This programme looks at the art of flying, with birds that can reach speeds of 200mph, and have also perfected the art of precision hovering. Sir David Attenborough studies the flight patterns of golden eagles, through to the tiny but perfectly formed hummingbird.
Programme 3: The Insatiable Appetite
This programme looks at the power of the bird’s beak, the perfect lightweight tool to allow flight and to source plenty of food.
Programme 4: Meat Eaters
Sir David Attenborough focuses on birds that survive purely on meat, including the extraordinary power of a turkey vulture which has an amazing sense of smell.
Programme 5: Fishing for a Living
This programme focuses on the excellent fishing skills of birds. From expert diving, to feeding in dangerous rock pools, and clever techniques for sourcing food from the sea.
Programme 6: Signals and Songs
A focus on the huge range of communication the bird population uses. From the call of the fieldfare bird that sounds like an air-raid siren, to the house sparrows call to rank.
Programme 7: Finding Partners
This programme focuses on the lengths the male bird will reach to attract a partner, from the bright and beautiful plumage of an Asian tragopan, to the nightingale, who has 300 different songs to woo his partner.
Programme 8: The Demands of the Egg
This fascinating programme looks at the techniques used by the bird when laying an egg. From preparing a nest, to choosing a location safely tucked away from predators.
Programme 9: The Problems of Parenthood
Sir David Attenborough looks at the parenting techniques of a variety of birds. From the nurturing parents who feed their young feathers to aid digestion, to those who identify their weakest young and kill them.
Programme 10: The Limits of Endurance
The last programme in the series looks at how birds have successfully colonised every corner of the earth. These include oilbirds happily living in a pitch-dark cave in Venezuela, to black vultures in Brazil, who have adapted to life nesting on the edge of a skyscraper.