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The Problems of Parenthood • 1998 • episode "S1E9" The Life of Birds

Category: Nature
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Raising children is no easier in the air as it is on the ground, as bird parents care for, defend, and even kill their young.

The Life of Birds • 1998 • 10 episodes •

To Fly or Not to Fly?

The series begins with an in-depth look at flightless birds around the world.

1998 • Nature

The Mastery of Flight

The focus turns to the mastery of flight, from the science of gravity to the ability of birds to cover extremely long distances.

1998 • Nature

The Insatiable Appetite

Discovering the role of beaks within various species of birds.

1998 • Nature

Meat Eaters

Birds eat more than berries; this episode takes a look at birds that eat meat.

1998 • Nature

Fishing for a Living

Cameras follow birds as they dive into fresh and salt waters for their meals.

1998 • Nature

Signals and Songs

The myth that birds only sing for pleasure is destroyed as birdsongs become known as ways of communication.

1998 • Nature

Finding Partners

Male birds show off in the exotic ritual of mating.

1998 • Nature

The Demands of the Egg

Laying eggs and keeping nests are two things that keep birds grounded.

1998 • Nature

The Problems of Parenthood

Raising children is no easier in the air as it is on the ground, as bird parents care for, defend, and even kill their young.

1998 • Nature

The Limits of Endurance

Left to their own devices, birds have reached almost all ends of the Earth - still, humans can do many things to help their feathered friends.

1998 • Nature

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Intelligence

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Underwater

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Mammals

Mammals dominate the planet. They do it through having warm blood and by the care they lavish on their young. Weeks of filming in the bitter Antarctic winter reveal how a mother Weddell seal wears her teeth down keeping open a hole in the ice so she can catch fish for her pup. A powered hot air balloon produces stunning images of millions of migrating bats as they converge on fruiting trees in Zambia, and slow-motion cameras reveal how a mother rufous sengi exhausts a chasing lizard. A gyroscopically stabilised camera moves alongside migrating caribou, and a diving team swim among the planet's biggest fight as male humpback whales battle for a female.

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On Thin ice

David Attenborough journeys to both Polar Regions to investigate what rising temperatures will mean for the people and wildlife that live there and for the rest of the planet. David starts out at the North Pole, standing on sea ice several metres thick, but which scientists predict could be Open Ocean within the next few decades. The Arctic has been warming at twice the global average, so David heads out with a Norwegian team to see what this means for polar bears. He comes face-to-face with a tranquilised female, and discovers that mothers and cubs are going hungry as the sea ice on which they hunt disappears. In Canada, Inuit hunters have seen with their own eyes what scientists have seen from space; the Arctic Ocean has lost 30% of its summer ice cover over the last 30 years. For some, the melting sea ice will allow access to trillions of dollars worth of oil, gas and minerals. For the rest of us, it means the planet will get warmer, as sea ice is important to reflect back the sun's energy. Next David travels to see what's happening to the ice on land: in Greenland, we follow intrepid ice scientists as they study giant waterfalls of meltwater, which are accelerating iceberg calving events, and ultimately leading to a rise in global sea level. Temperatures have also risen in the Antarctic - David returns to glaciers photographed by the Shackleton expedition and reveals a dramatic retreat over the past century. It's not just the ice that is changing - ice-loving adelie penguins are disappearing, and more temperate gentoo penguins are moving in. Finally, we see the first ever images of the largest recent natural event on our planet - the break up of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, an ice sheet the size of Jamaica, which shattered into hundreds of icebergs in 2009.

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Arriving

An examination of the diverse techniques employed by animals to disperse and protect offspring.

1/12Trials of Life • 1990 • Nature