The Secret Life of Birds (DVD) BBCApril 2012150 Minutes (3 Discs)  RRP £17.99p

Publisher’s View: Take flight into an enchanting world.

Travelling from wild coastlines to urban habitats, this fascinating natural history series from the BBC explores the behaviour of birds, revealing all aspects of their lives, from surviving harsh winters and avoiding predators to living alongside us in towns and cities.

Host and wildlife expert Iolo Williams discovers how birds have adapted to changing landscapes, studying their ability to fly and how their unique design, colour and camouflage enables them to live in many habitats, as well as uncovering their courtship and nesting rituals and finding out how and why they communicate. Offering a visual treat of stunning landscapes and captivating wildlife behaviour, The Secret Life of Birds provides perfect family entertainment – educating and enthralling in equal measure.

Fatbirder View: I admit to not having taken, in the past, to Iolo’s presentation but either I have warmed to him or the relaxed way in which he presents this series filmed on his home turf has changed. In this series not only his depth of knowledge comes through but the love and fascination he shares with all birders for the way of feathered things.

I managed to miss the series when it was shown on BBC2 and I now regret it but have very much enjoyed watching it on video. Yes it is family entertainment not aimed at seasoned birders yet there is plenty here to enjoy and not a little to learn. As I read recently and wholeheartedly endorse, every birder, however experienced and expert can always learn. I’ve never been lucky enough to hear the sound of a displaying male snipe despite countless hours spent at marshes and wetlands at home and abroad. Doubtless, I’ve been there when it happened but a mix of inattentiveness and poor hearing have robbed me of the experience, so to hear it on turf I’ve trodden myself was a delight. Indeed, there is much to delight in this entertaining series and, if you missed it airing, this is a great way to share it, and if you saw it first time around then why not enjoy it all over again?


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