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Life of Birds 1 Season

Season 1
4.8 out of 5 stars (258) IMDb 9/10

David Attenborough looks to the skies for this series, watching 300 different species of birds as he uncovers the private lives of these clever, engaging conquerors of the air.

Starring:
David Attenborough

Available to watch on supported devices.

Buy Episode 1 SD $1.99
Buy Season 1 SD $18.99
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Season 1

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1. To Fly or Not to Fly

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

TV-G CC Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: October 21, 1998
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2. 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.

TV-G CC Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: October 28, 1998
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3. The Insatiable Appetites

Discovering the role of beaks within various species of birds.

TV-G CC Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: November 4, 1998
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4. Meat-Eaters

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

TV-G CC Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: November 11, 1998
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5. Fishing for a Living

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

TV-G CC Runtime: 48 minutes Release date: November 18, 1998
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6. The Eloquent Communicators

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

TV-G CC Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: November 25, 1998
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7. Finding Partners

Male birds show off in the exotic ritual of mating.

TV-G CC Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: December 2, 1998
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8. The Demands of the Egg

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

TV-G CC Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: December 9, 1998
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9. 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.

TV-G CC Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: December 16, 1998
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10. 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.

TV-G CC Runtime: 49 minutes Release date: December 23, 1998
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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Starring David Attenborough
Network BBC Earth
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Summersgill on July 9, 2004
Format: DVD
My wife and I bought The Life of Birds from Amazon without seeing a minute of it. We had seen The Life of Mammals and Blue Planet enough times that we both felt confident that we knew what we were getting. We were right. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is that I can't quite say it was as good as Blue Planet, which blew me away.
Based on our previous experience with The Life of Mammals and Blue Planet, what were we expecting, you might ask? Well, first of all, we knew we'd be getting an outstanding nature documentary series featuring a dizzying variety of animals. We were also expecting informative, yet not overly intrusive narration from David Attenborough. Last, we were expecting a series that our 2-year-old would be riveted to and want to watch over and over again, which is what happened with the first two series. As I said earlier, that's what we expected and that's what we got.
Don't get me wrong: I enjoyed Winged Migration. But as far as documentaries go, it really is a different bird (if you will). The Life of Birds is engaging in a way that Winged Migration is not - it strives to teach, not to create art. The footage may not inspire quite so many "How did they get that shot?" moments as Winged Migration, but there are plenty of scenes that make you wonder. Add to that the fact that there are so many bird species from all manner of habitat in this series that you'll lose count after the first installment.
The 3-disc set consists of 10 episodes:
TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY: Features computer animated sequences on the origins of flight and how birds evolved from pterasaurs - very similar to that in Walking With Dinosaurs. Also great footage of birds hunting insects, including a bee eaters, kiwis, and a hornbill.
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Format: VHS Tape
I'll start with these words: I was not a bird watcher. I was not into bird watching at all. My hobbies mainly involved computers. I graduated in Computer Engineering.
So why my 5-star rating on this piece of work? Well, it is simply the most enjoyable long running documentary I have ever seen.
Every scene in this set has been filmed as if each frame was a work of art. Seemingly impossible close-ups of birds in flight, as well as incredible film shots of different species of birds in their natural habitat, have been taken throughout the series. Also, remarkable computer animations were used to render some prehistoric aerial creatures, as well as to enhance some explanation about the bird's vocal chords and bone structures. One would wonder if such attention to photography would warrant a "Making of..." film.
But not only is the scenery stunning, Sir David Attenborough has a flair of teaching us the world of birds in ways that would grasp the attention of any viewer. He does not go into complex, arcane description of each bird, but takes the time to introduce us to each species in a very friendly way. No complex Latin description. No dry description of the birds' characteristics. Sir David Attenborough draws us in with his genuine fascination of each species. He doesn't rely much on some birds' cuteness to get our attention. He lures us with pure human curiosity.
A sparkle of humour here, a tiny amount of suspense there, and an engaging soundtrack all add to the narration, creating a documentary that should be known for its superb structure in teaching us the birds' way of living.
NOTE for DVD users: At the time of writing this review, there is currently a DVD version available through the BBS website.
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Format: DVD
It would take something spectacular for me to watch a DVD for 10 hours straight... and this is. I laughed, I cried, I held my breath as 2 fighting hawks grasped talons in midair and spiraled down... would they realize that the ground was fast approaching? (Buy it and find out!) Think of this series as an amalgamation of fascinating facts about different species' behavior as it relates to their commonalities, such as nesting. Although no species is explored in depth, the vignettes are satisfying. (Although, I do want to know what happens to eggs that get buried completely and abandoned by their parents!) David Attenborough is his usual quirky self, appearing a few feet away from his subjects, and sometimes interacting with them. His confrontation with a territorial Scottish grouse is priceless. The birds themselves, aided by spectacular photography, are truly wonders. The shots of Lady Gould Finch and Zebra Finch nestlings' mouths were astonishing, and I doubt that people who raise them as pets have seen this. There's not too much nasty stuff here, although I know more now than I want to about coot parents and brown pelican siblings, and what we humans do to Diksissels in South America is heartbreaking. Kiwis to Kakapos, plovers to peacocks, they're all here. If you are a bird lover, you will see a few familiar scenes (the million flamingos in the lake, the male emperor penguins incubating eggs on their feet), so you find yourself watching for favorites... will they show the amazing artistry of the Bowerbird? Willwe see the Palm Cockatoo beating a log with a stick to declare his territory? I expected to see California Condors as the final bit (the subject is conservation) but instead got a delightful scene with a human caretaker flying his ultralight plane with his flock of Whoopers and Sandhill Cranes. Give yourself (and your loved ones) a treat and buy this DVD!
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