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Bird Brain

       Nature
In the past few decades, scientists have learned that the basis of everything they thought they knew about bird brains—that they were largely comprised of the most primitive and instinctual of brain structures—was wrong. Fully 75 percent of the brains of parrots and thousands of other species of birds is actually made up of a sophisticated information processing system that works much the same way as the locus of human higher-mindedness, the cerebral cortex.
The film shows scientists putting birds to the test. Can they solve problems? Can they cooperate? Do they feel emotion? New research demonstrates just how clever they can be.

Meat-Eaters

   1998    Nature
This episode examines those birds whose sustenance comes from flesh and their methods of hunting. In New Zealand, Sir Attenborough observes Keas, parrots that do not eat meat exclusively, raiding a shearwater's burrow for a chick. However, it is the dedicated birds of prey, such as owls, buzzards, eagles, falcons and vultures, to which much of the programme is devoted. In order to spot and pursue their victims, senses of sight and hearing are very acute. Vultures are the exception, in that they eat what others have left, and once a carcass is found, so many birds descend on it that the carrion seems submerged beneath them. The Turkey Vulture is an anomaly within its group, as it also has a keen sense of smell. Eagles defend their territory vigorously, and a pair of sea eagles are shown engaging in an aerial battle. The Galápagos Hawk hunts Marine Iguanas, but can only do so when its quarry is vulnerable, during the breeding season. The African Harrier Hawk has adapted to extracting burrowing animals by virtue of an especially long, double-jointed pair of legs. By contrast, a shrike is not equipped with the requisite sharp beak and talons needed for butchery, and so dismembers its kill by impaling it on the thorns of acacias. The Lammergeier eats bones, and will drop them on to rocks from a great height in order to break them down to a digestible size. Also featured are the Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Goshawk and Peregrine Falcon.
Series: The Life of Birds

Wings 1of2

       Nature
Narrated by David Tennant, Wings 3D is the breath-taking aerial adventure that takes goose bumps to new heights. Director John Downer uses breakthrough filming techniques and technology to bring you high-flying sights that will simply amaze you - because you won't believe what our feathered friends are doing up there.
Remarkable 3D footage captures majestic bald eagles scanning over the Grand Canyon, resplendent parrots on the wing, manta rays soaring skyward from the sea, barn swallows dive-bombing for a drink, cranes high over Venice waterways and so much more. Your historic flight is ready for departure.
Series: Wings
Frozen Planet

Frozen Planet

2011  Nature
Engineering the Future

Engineering the Future

2022  Technology
Triumph of Life

Triumph of Life

2006  Nature
Prehistoric Planet

Prehistoric Planet

2022  Science
Black Hole Apocalypse

Black Hole Apocalypse

2018  Science