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The Insatiable Appetite

   1998    Nature
The next instalment focuses on dietary needs and how different species have evolved beaks to suit their individual requirements. The latter come in a multitude of forms. Blue tits and goldfinches have beaks akin to tweezers, with which to extract seeds, while the hawfinch's razor-like bill can deal with a cherry-stone. However, the crossbill is the only finch that can twist its mandibles in opposite directions. Jays store acorns for winter by burying them in the ground, whereas woodpeckers can keep up to 60,000 of them in one tree trunk. Sap is also desirable, and there are a variety of methods used to obtain it. The hoatzin is the only specialised leaf-eater, and accordingly has a digestive system more akin to that of cattle. Plants recruit birds to aid pollination, and offer nectar as a reward. Hummingbirds eat little else, and the sword-bill's beak is the longest of any bird in relation to its body. Insects are also highly prized, and Galapagos finches are shown to possess some ingenuity as they not only strip bark, but also use 'tools' to reach their prey. Crows are hailed as being among the most intelligent birds, and one is shown using a twig to spear a grub within a fallen log. The robin is an opportunist, and Sir Attenborough observes one seizing morsels as he digs a patch of earth. In South America, a cattle tyrant sits atop an obliging capybara and uses its vantage point to spot passing food that may be dislodged by its grazing partner.
Series: The Life of Birds

Triumph

   2015    Science
David Attenborough concludes his epic history of the evolution of flight with an exploration of the highly advanced fliers that dominate our skies today – the extraordinarily diverse skills of the birds, and the sonar-guided precision of the bats. He encounters some of our planet’s most remarkable fliers – from peregrine falcons dive-bombing starlings over Rome, to hummingbirds hovering in the cloud forests of Ecuador. In a spectacular finale, he visits Gomantong cave in Borneo to witness the mass exodus of a million bats.
Series: Conquest of the Skies

Alaska: Last American Frontier

   2021    Nature
In Southeast Alaska, there's an ice-bound Eden that harbors possibly the richest temperate rainforests of all. Where the coastal mountains meet the Pacific, lays the Alexander Archipelago, a remote island chain running for almost 300 miles along the Alaskan Panhandle. This frozen frontier is one of the last great wildernesses of North America. And a stronghold for the country's highest diversity of megafauna, feasting on the abundance of fleeting summers to make it through relentless winters.
Series: Eden: Untamed Planet
The Last Czars

The Last Czars

2019  History
Earth at Night in Color

Earth at Night in Color

2020  Nature
Galapagos

Galapagos

2006  Nature
Order and Disorder

Order and Disorder

2012  Science
Bible's Buried Secrets

Bible's Buried Secrets

2011  Culture
In Search of

In Search of

2018  Technology