By Andrea K. Hammer
As many start to break free from the last year’s restricted movement, they are like birds taking flight. Here are three remarkable documentaries about these extraordinary creatures returning to our gardens this spring:
With stunning close-ups of bird migrations through 40 countries and each of the seven continents, this documentary is a jaw dropper. Teams of more than 450 people, 17 pilots and 14 cinematographers rig up planes, gliders, helicopters and balloons to capture mind-boggling images alongside, above, below and in front of these magnificent creatures. Despite a few disturbing scenes, Winged Migration is largely one of extraordinary beauty.
Filled with fascinating evidence, this NOVA production reveals bird’s intelligence. Riveting experiments in Bird Brain show parrots planning for the future, jackdaws “reading” human faces and crows solving multi-step puzzles with tools including pebbles, sticks and hooks. To prove that these abilities don’t result from human handlers’ cues, intriguing tests and comparisons to 3- or 4-year-old children demonstrate birds’ mastery of empathy and delayed gratification.
Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air
Originally viewed on PBS many years ago, this episode of the award-winning NATURE series still astonishes viewers during a second screening. With cameras capturing more than 500 images a second, filmmaker Ann Johnson Prum has created a visual work of art. In Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air, the wings of the smallest warm-blooded creatures on the planet beat up to 200 times, perform athletic G-force nose dives and engage in memorable dances. Bird watchers will consider this work an award-winning documentary.
Tips From Bird Watchers
Can you suggest an award-winning documentary or other favorites for bird watchers? What images or videos are you catching as birds return to your garden this spring? At Artsphoria, we are celebrating this season and hoping that fellow nature lovers revel in this time of renewal and safe flight.