Life - Episode 5: Birds

David Attenborough looks at the extraordinary ends to which animals and plants go in order to survive. Featuring epic spectacles, amazing TV firsts and examples of new wildlife behaviour.

"Birds"
Birds, whose feathers have made them extremely adaptable and enabled them to fly, are the subject of programme five. The courtship flight of the marvellous spatuletail hummingbird is shot at high speed to slow down its rapid wing beats. The male must rest every few seconds due to the energy needed to display his elongated tail feathers. Lammergeiers, by contrast, soar on mountain thermals with a minimum of effort. 


 

He will be 90 in May, but Sir David Frederick Attenborough has no intention of retiring – his latest film, about the world’s biggest dinosaurs, is broadcast this weekend, and his excitement and concern about the natural world remain undimmed.

He is best known for writing and presenting the nine Life series, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, which collectively form a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on the planet. He is also a former senior manager at the BBC, having served as controller of BBC Two and director of programming for BBC Television in the 1960s and 1970s. He is the only person to have won BAFTAs for programmes in each of black and white, colour, HD, and 3D.