Birds descend from dinosaurs who developed feathers. Those allow most of them to fly, which few other vertebrates can. Some birds gave up flying, like penguins, who specialize in diving and ... Read allBirds descend from dinosaurs who developed feathers. Those allow most of them to fly, which few other vertebrates can. Some birds gave up flying, like penguins, who specialize in diving and prove feather's fabulous insulating efficiency. Feathers are also key to courting, almost ... Read allBirds descend from dinosaurs who developed feathers. Those allow most of them to fly, which few other vertebrates can. Some birds gave up flying, like penguins, who specialize in diving and prove feather's fabulous insulating efficiency. Feathers are also key to courting, almost as varied as bird physiognomy and ways of solitary or social life almost all over the glob... Read all
Am a great fan of a lot of Attenborough's work and BBC's nature documentaries with his involvement are among their best work in years. Have been watching the BBC less over time, but there are always exceptions, unexpected gems and expected treasures that come our way every now and again and their nature documentaries are the perfect examples of expected treasures. 'Life' is a crowning achievement for a documentary series and actually, like the best documentary shows, feels much more than that. As far as Attenborough's work goes too, 'Life' to me is one of his biggest achievements.
"Birds" flies and soars as high as the species it depicts, showing exactly why 'Life' is the consistently brilliant and crowning achievement that it is deservedly lauded as. It may explore the challenges of survival for animals, but for the viewer watching it's an awe-inspiring delight from start to finish.
First and foremost, "Birds" is exceptionally well-made. Hardly surprising, one comes to expect that from Attenborough's work. In fact saying that doesn't do the production values justice. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate (a great way of connecting even more with the animals), way and never looking static. In fact much of it is remarkably cinematic. The editing is always succinct and smooth and the scenery and various habitats are remarkably diverse and look speechlessly spectacular.
On a documentary level, "Birds" continually fascinates and illuminates, while there are some familiar facts here a lot of it was very much new. By the end of the series for me more was gotten out of it, and educated me much more than, anything taught when studying Geography and Science in secondary school.
Attenborough's narration helps quite significantly too, he clearly knows his stuff and knows what to say and how to say it. He delivers it with his usual richness, soft-spoken enthusiasm and sincerity, never talking down to the viewer and keeping them riveted and wanting to know more.
The wildlife and life-forms are both adorable and dangerous, the wide-ranging diversity in personality and ability of what was included was staggering and it was lovely to see a mix of the familiar and the not-so-familiar. How they adapt to their environments, why they behave the way they do, how nature works and how what the wildlife and life-forms do affects their environments were all touched upon and made their points subtly, not hammering it home too much (a potential danger with documentaries).
So many beautiful images and memorable moments here. The humming birds are a highlight.
Not once does "Birds" feel like an episodic stringing of scenes like it easily could have been. Instead it feels like its own story and journey, with real, complex emotions and conflicts and animal characters developed in a way a human character would in a film but does it better than several. One really cares for what they're told and the wildlife.
To conclude, a wonder as to be expected. 10/10 Bethany Cox
- Jan 6, 2018