Extraordinary Birds

About

Intrepid avian creatures attain new heights in NATURE’s Extraordinary Birds.

The gift of flight would seem reason enough for humanity’s fascination with birds. But there’s even more to it than that. Birds are remarkable for a wide range of exceptional physical abilities, for their indications of intelligence, and — for some species — their surprising level of rapport with humans.

In the small Indian village of Kundha Kulam, for example, birds’ arrival are a sign to the townspeople that rain will follow and that their crops would soon thrive. While falconry — the art of training hawks, falcons and other birds of prey to hunt — exemplifies the partnership men and birds can develop.

Humans have also relied on the more prosaic pigeon. Although city dwellers may dismiss them as flying rats, no bird can top the pigeon for courage and service to humankind. Since pigeons have the ability to find their way “home,” many were used in dangerous, top-secret missions in World War I and II, delivering important messages to Allied troops behind enemy lines.

Discover more amazing birds — from hummingbirds and peregrine falcons to parrots and barn owls — on NATURE’s Extraordinary Birds.

Online content for Extraordinary Birds was orginally posted November 2000.

Production Credits Print

Television Credits

Produced by Working Dog Productions, Inc. and Thirteen/WNET New York

This program was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, which is solely responsible for its content.

 

Web Credits

Producer
MARY HOPE GARCIA

Art Director
SABINA DALEY

Designers
KAREN MATTSON
RADIK SHVARTS

Pagebuilding
BRIAN SANTALONE

Writer
DAVID MALAKOFF

Production Artist
RUIYAN XU

Technical Director
BRIAN LEE

About the Writer

David Malakoff is a journalist covering research discoveries and the politics of science for SCIENCE MAGAZINE in Washington, D.C. His writing has appeared in a wide range of venues, including THE ECONOMIST, THE WASHINGTON POST, and ABCNews.com. He lives with his wife and three children -- NATURE lovers all -- in Alexandria, Virginia.

Thirteen Online is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York's Kravis Multimedia Education Center in New York City. Anthony Chapman, Director of Interactive & Broadband. Bob Adleman, Business Manager. Carmen DiRienzo, Vice President and Managing Director, Corporate Affairs.