Like the albatross glimpsed in the beginning of this 10-part series The Life of Birds
quickly takes flight. Sir David Attenborough hosts this unprecedented and extraordinary global look at the magnificent and often curious winged species with which we share our planet. Like the best wildlife shows, The Life of Birds
offers a fresh and accessible view of creatures we may take for granted (didn't Alfred Hitchcock warn us about that?). The focus of this series is not on the different bird species, but on bird behaviour. Remarkable and awe-inspiring footage preserves the wide range of tools and techniques with which birds fly, hunt for food, attract a mate, hatch their chicks and defend themselves against predators. Attenborough pops up in the most remote, most exotic locales, with occasional comic effect: at one point, night-vision cameras capture the rare sight of the nocturnal kiwi as it forages for food on a New Zealand beach; the camera pans to reveal scant paces away our guide shining a flashlight on the nonplussed bird. --Donald Liebenson
David Attenborough presents this series detailing the many and varied breeds of bird to be found around the world. In 'To Fly or Not to Fly', David traces the evolution of the bird back millions of years to the time of the dinosaurs. 'The Mastery of Flight' reveals the secrets behind birds' aeronautical skills. In 'The Insatiable Appetite', David looks at the tools birds use to help them forage for and consume food. 'Meat-Eaters' details the strategies and skills used by meat-eating scavengers. In 'Fishing for a Living', David looks at the birds who feed on the sea, from filter feeders to fish eagles. 'Signals and Songs' details the ways in which birds communicate, from song to colour patterns. In 'Finding Partners', David looks at the mating rituals and patterns and the part they play in a bird's life. In 'The Demands of the Egg', David looks at the dangers inherent in the natural urge to reproduce. 'The Problems of Parenthood' investigates the demands made on the parents of insatiably hungry young birds, while in 'The Limits of Endurance', David looks at the challenges birds must face in order to survive their constantly changing environment.
There are more than 9000 species of birds, spanning the globe from Arctic to Antarctic, from deserts to jungles, and from mountain tops to sea shores. In this book David Attenborough presents the results of recent research into aspects of bird behaviour, such as their remarkable strategies for finding food, their complex social systems, and their ingenious and often bizarre ways of mating and breeding.
From the Back Cover
This magnificent series celebrates the incredible variety of the world's best-loved creatures and provides fresh insight into their fascinating way of life.
To Fly or Not To Fly - When the dinosaurs disappeared, some birds abandoned flight and made a bid to take over the earth. And some are still doing so today.
The Mastery of Flight - Speed, endurance, and unrivalled agility are the hallmarks of the aces of the skies.
The Insatiable Appetite - A diversity of bill shapes and sizes have evolved to cope with all the most difficult-to-find foods, but some birds still need tools.
Meat Eaters - Both hunters and scavengers need incredible strategies and skills to compete for their elusive prey.
The Demands of the Egg - The drive to reproduce is fraught with danger.
The Problems of Parenthood - Bringing up a baby is a full-time job that requires some ver special skills.
The Limits of Endurance - Changes and disasters wrought by both nature and man can create new challenges.
Fishing for a Living - The earth's vast areas of fresh and salt water provide dinner for millions of birds.
Signals and Songs - Communication makes everything possible.
Finding Partners - Extraordinary displays and bizarre mating rituals.