The BEST Episodes of Nature
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Sep 26, 2020
Nature is a wildlife documentary program that has been airing on PBS since 1982. Its longevity is explained partly by its quality; Nature has won numerous Emmy awards. Documentaries have explored a multitude of different animals, plants, and other aspects of the natural world.
#1 - The Queen of Trees
Season 24 - Episode 11 - Aired Apr 9, 2006
Patricia Clarkson narrates this look at the relationship between the sycamore fig tree and the tiny fig wasp, which is so small it could fly through the eye of a needle. The trees, which flourish in Kenya, produce fruit that provides nourishment to more wildlife than any other tree in Africa, but without the pollination the wasp provides, that might not occur. The documentary also examines other creatures that make the trees their homes, including gray hornbills (one of Africa's largest birds).
#2 - The Flight of the Condor: Down the Amazon (3)
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 24, 1982
The third part of the series is a spectacular visual trip down the fabled river. From the snow-clad summit of the volcano Cotopaxi and others comes the greatest river in the world as melting ice creates a torrent that drops three miles in its first short distance. The river is fed by magnificent waterfalls and is channeled through gorges out into the tropical rain forest where there are more species of birds than anywhere.
#3 - My Life as a Turkey
Season 30 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 16, 2011
After a local farmer left a bowl of eggs on Joe Hutto's front porch, his life was forever changed. Hutto, possessing a broad background in the natural sciences and an interest in imprinting young animals, incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. As the chicks emerged from their shells, they locked eyes with an unusual but dedicated mother. Deep in the wilds of Florida's Flatlands, Hutto spent each day living as a turkey mother, taking on the full-time job of raising sixteen turkey chicks. Hutto dutifully cared for his family around the clock, roosting with them, taking them foraging, and immersing himself in their world. In the process, they revealed their charming curiosity and surprising intellect. There was little he could teach them that they did not already know, but he showed them the lay of the land and protected them from the dangers of the forest as best he could. In return, they taught him how to see the world through their eyes. Based on his true story, My Life as a Turkey chronicles Hutto's remarkable and moving experience of raising a group of wild turkey hatchlings to adulthood.
#4 - The Cheetah Orphans
Season 26 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 11, 2007
Documentarian Simon King raises two orphaned cheetah cubs in Kenya's Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. He's seen bottle-feeding them and---to prepare them for the wild--- teaching the pair to hunt. King narrates.
#5 - The Flight of the Condor: Ice, Wind, and Fire (1)
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 10, 1982
Following the path of the condor, whose ten-foot wingspan enables it to soar effortlessly over the peaks of the Andes mountains, this film starts at the storm beaten rocks of Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America and journeys north to the highest peak in the Americas - Aconcagua. Along the way, we see exotic animals and birds such as the penguin, hummingbird, sea otter, guanaco, ostrich-like rhea, and puma.
#6 - The Secret World of Sharks and Rays
Season 17 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 18, 1998
NATURE lifts part of the veil of mystery shrouding some fascinating — and often fearsome — creatures in The Secret World of Sharks and Rays. Sharks and their biological cousins, the rays, are among the highest-profile denizens of the deep, thanks to the popularity of books and films that have cast them in leading roles — as antagonist, not protagonist.
#7 - A Murder of Crows
Season 29 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 24, 2010
Although cultures around the world may regard the crow as a scavenger, bad omen, or simply a nuisance, this bad reputation might overshadow what could be regarded as the crow’s most striking characteristic – its intelligence. New research indicates that crows are among the brightest animals in the world. NATURE’s A Murder of Crows brings you these so-called feathered apes, as you have never seen them before.
#8 - Elsa's Legacy: The Born Free Story
Season 29 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 9, 2011
2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Born Free” – a book and then a film that changed forever the way we think about wildlife. What has happened to lions since this story? What has happened to the people featured in the film? And what has “Born Free” taught us?
#9 - Attenborough's Life Stories: Part One - Life on Camera
Season 31 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 23, 2013
Attenborough revisits key places and events in his career and shows how a succession of technical innovations in filmmaking led to remarkable revelations about our planet and the creatures that inhabit it.
#10 - Legendary White Stallions
Season 31 - Episode 11 - Aired May 1, 2013
The striking white Lipizzaner stallions of the famed Spanish Riding School in Vienna have been thrilling audiences for centuries. During the winter public performance season, the horses execute breathtaking displays of carefully choreographed and synchronized movements known as high classical dressage. The riding school’s success relies on the strong bonds the animals establish with their riders during years of training; Lipizzaner stallions go through a minimum of six years of practice and preparation before performing publicly. Legendary White Stallions explores how Lipizzaners have developed from horses bred for war in the rugged Atlas Mountains of North Africa into living works of art capturing the hearts of millions in a world-famous court of kings.
#11 - Fabulous Frogs
Season 32 - Episode 13 - Aired Jun 25, 2014
Sir David Attenborough hosts an exploration of the weird and wonderful world of frogs. Firsthand stories, the latest science and cutting-edge technology are used to demonstrate the wide variety of frog anatomy, appearance and behavior.
#12 - The Funkiest Monkeys
Season 32 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 29, 2014
There is an unusual looking monkey called the crested black macaque that is endemic to rainforests in Indonesia, which includes the island of Sulawesi. These striking black primates, sporting punk hairstyles and copper-colored eyes, first caught the attention and won the heart of wildlife cameraman and biologist Colin Stafford-Johnson 25 years ago. But since then, their numbers have dropped by almost 90 percent, so the filmmaker returns to the island to discover why and how he could help.
#13 - Christmas in Yellowstone
Season 25 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 19, 2006
NATURE presents a breathtaking look at wintertime deep within Yellowstone, America's first national park.
#14 - River of No Return
Season 30 - Episode 11 - Aired Apr 18, 2012
Central Idaho's Frank Church--River of No Return Wilderness is the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48 States. Endless rugged mountains, wild rivers, forests and deep canyons define this land--home to numerous species of wildlife, including wolves, who have just returned after 50 years of near absence. A young couple, Isaac and Bjornen Babcock, chose this wilderness for their year-long honeymoon. But what begins as a romantic adventure becomes something much greater for the couple--and a tale of hope and celebration for every life trying to make it in the unforgiving heart of the wilderness.
#15 - Equus: Story of the Horse: Chasing the Wind (2)
Season 37 - Episode 9 - Aired Jan 23, 2019
The relationship between man and his noble steed is almost as old as civilization itself, allowing our species to explore, conquer and flourish side by side with the horse. Nature traces this revolutionizing partnership with anthropologist Niobe Thompson, who treks around the world in search of the moment when man first climbed into the saddle and explains how the relationship between humans and horses has evolved in today’s modern world. Discover the habits of these majestic animals and their unique biological makeup, which made them a perfect fit for our ancestors. Ride along with the world’s last nomadic tribes, who view the horse not just as an animal, but a means of survival. Witness the return of horses to the wild as mankind preserves the hardest-working animal partners we’ve ever had. Locations in this two-part series include Mongolia, Montana, Kentucky, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Siberia, and Sable Island, Nova Scotia.
#16 - Clash: Encounters of Bears and Wolves
Season 28 - Episode 6 - Aired Jan 17, 2010
The wilds of Yellowstone National Park are a world of predators, scavengers and opportunists. In this vast and complex kingdom, two dominant predators reign supreme: the grizzly bear and the wolf. Size and power square off against speed and teamwork, as mighty grizzly bears contend with powerful packs of wolves for control of the food supply. Though these two fearsome hunters would normally rule their ranges uncontested, in Yellowstone they must share resources, or face starvation.
#17 - Invasion of the Giant Pythons
Season 28 - Episode 8 - Aired Jan 19, 2010
The Everglades’ watery oasis has been invaded by giants. As part of an ever popular international pet trade market, and incidentally along paths of human travel, many exotic animals have been removed from their native lands and landed where they are not necessarily welcome arrivals. Among these invasive species are a growing number of Burmese pythons, which have taken up residence in the wetlands of Florida, courtesy of overwhelmed pet owners and hurricane-hit animal warehouses.
#18 - Natural Born Hustlers: The Hunger Hustle
Season 34 - Episode 8 - Aired Jan 20, 2016
Animals adapt their bodies or behavior to secure their next meal.
#19 - Yosemite
Season 35 - Episode 12 - Aired Mar 29, 2017
Yosemite Valley is a land forged in wildfire and sculpted by water; the delicate balance of these two elements is essential to the creatures and trees that call this land home. But with climates changing and temperatures rising, the Sierras are under siege. Scientists, experts and adventurers head into Yosemite to see how these global changes are affecting one of America’s greatest wildernesses.
#20 - Animal Reunions
Season 34 - Episode 13 - Aired Mar 30, 2016
Reunions between wild animals and their caregivers reveal whether interspecies bonds can stand the test of time.
#21 - An Original DUCKumentary
Season 31 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 14, 2012
Ducks are ancient creatures. True originals, ducks practice habitual lifestyles that have been essential to their evolutionary success for millions of years. There are more than 120 different species of ducks—many with delightful names like “Buffleheads,” “Shovelers,” and “Woodies” that embody their charming personalities and curious mannerisms. Despite the glorious display of their iridescent feathers, these webbed-footed waterfowl maintain a reputation for being clumsy and awkward. But in reality they are surprisingly athletic birds; some have been clocked flying almost 100 mph, allowing them to outpace eagles and hawks. Ducks have an uncanny knack for survival, and their exuberant behavior never ceases to entertain. Take to the skies with a flock of green-winged Teal. Watch Wood ducks raise a family. Learn why Goldeneyes head north in the winter. Each bird is unique, full of surprises, and will leave you eager to learn more.
#22 - Snow Chick
Season 34 - Episode 12 - Aired Feb 24, 2016
The journey of an emperor penguin chick, from its emergence from the egg to its independence.
#23 - Pets: Wild At Heart: Secretive Creatures
Season 34 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 28, 2015
Moving x-rays, ultraviolet light and doggycams show how pets experience their world through hidden channels of communication.
#24 - Nature's Miniature Miracles
Season 36 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 22, 2017
Uncover nature's biggest little secrets from mini nocturnal monkeys to sand-sculpting puffer fish.
#25 - Meet the Coywolf
Season 32 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 22, 2014
The coywolf, a mixture of western coyote and eastern wolf, is a remarkable new hybrid carnivore that is taking over territories once roamed by wolves and slipping unnoticed into our cities. Its appearance is very recent — within the last 90 years — in evolutionary terms, a blip in time. Beginning in Canada but by no means ending there, the story of how it came to be is an extraordinary tale of how quickly adaptation and evolution can occur, especially when humans interfere. Tag along as scientists study this new top predator, tracking it from the wilderness of Ontario’s Algonquin Park, through parking lots, alleys and backyards in Toronto all the way to the streets of New York City.