This majestic and sumptuously shot 6-part
documentary series takes viewers on a journey spanning the continents –
a journey quite literally taken on the wing of a bird.
Incorporating state of the art equipment
and shooting techniques (‘spycams, microlights, hang-gliders and
wirecams’ are just some of the ‘aerial filming arsenal,’ according to
one official release), this cutting edge series gives a heretofore
unseen glimpse into to the daily lives and migratory patterns of some of
the planet’s most spectacular birds, including condors, cranes, geese,
flamingos, ravens, macaws and the humble sparrow.
We watch as an estimated 5 million snow
geese prepare to fly the 3000 miles journey from the Gulf of Mexico to
their Arctic breeding grounds, fly literally alongside a flock of
pelicans as they circle above Alcatraz, admire African eagles and soar
9000 metres above the sands of the Sahara, only to wind up once more in
New York, downtown Shanghai or hovering over the Great Wall of China.
Each episode focuses on a different
continent, and is a masterpiece of colour and vibrancy. The series is
frequently heartwarming, as when it is revealed that Japanese cranes,
which live for 50 or 60 years, mate for life – in my ignorance I was
unaware that birds frequently stay partnered for decades longer than
many humans – and very often breathtaking. As the Times box
cover commentary rightly notes, pretty soon you simply run out of
superlatives for this peerless series.
An extensive picture gallery contained on
Disc 1. There are also English subtitles available.