The BEST Episodes of The Life of Birds

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Network: BBC One

David Attenborough's epic series uncovers new research into the behaviour of these popular, perfectly adapted, skillul conquerors of the air. In this series, the secrets of birds' great successes comes to light - their remarkable strategies for finding food, their complex social systems, and their ingenious and often bizarre ways of mating and breeding. From high speed aerial hunters and long distance migrants to brilliantly coloured nectar-grazers, the comical and the bizarre, this is the definitive series on birds.

The Limits of Endurance

#1 - The Limits of Endurance

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 23, 1998

A look at how birds deal with hostile environments and with people. The episode ranges from crows in Japan that use traffic to crack nuts to penguins who never see a person but make long treks through frigid wastes.

star 8.50
8 votes
The Demands of the Egg

#2 - The Demands of the Egg

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Dec 9, 1998

A look at eggs and what birds go through to produce and protect them. This episode ranges from the mating flights to fledging of their offspring. Species examined include frigate birds and toucans as well as weaver birds and cuckoos.

star 8.38
8 votes
The Problems of Parenthood

#3 - The Problems of Parenthood

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 16, 1998

This episode looks at the problems birds face in raising their young. It ranges from parrots who are very active parents to cuckoos who are famous for foisting the job off on others.

star 8.29
7 votes
Fishing for a Living

#4 - Fishing for a Living

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Nov 18, 1998

A look at those birds that look to fishing as their main food source. From gulls and ducks to cormorants and cranes.

star 8.13
8 votes
The Insatiable Appetite

#5 - The Insatiable Appetite

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 4, 1998

A look at the constant need to feed necessitated by the demands of flight in species from sap suckers and crows, to robins and geese.

star 8.09
11 votes
Signals and Songs

#6 - Signals and Songs

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 25, 1998

A look at the way birds communicate. The program shows us how calls of warning can unite a community of birds against a larger predator and how other calls may be used to attract mates.

star 8.00
11 votes
The Mastery of Flight

#7 - The Mastery of Flight

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 28, 1998

The second programme deals with the mechanics of flight. Getting into the air is by far the most exhausting of a bird's activities, and Attenborough observes shearwaters in Japan that have taken to climbing trees to give them a good jumping-off point.

star 7.44
41 votes
To Fly or Not to Fly

#8 - To Fly or Not to Fly

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 21, 1998

The first episode looks at how birds first took to the skies in the wake of the insects. It begins in Mexico, where Attenborough observes bats being outmaneuvered by a red-tailed hawk.

star 7.42
45 votes

#9 - Meat-Eaters

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 11, 1998

This episode looks at those birds that have become strict meat eaters, from eagles and hawks to owls and vultures.

star 7.30
43 votes
Finding Partners

#10 - Finding Partners

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Dec 2, 1998

A look at how birds attract and select mates. The survey ranges from common birds such as the sparrow to the more exotic frigate birds, and Jamaican hummingbirds. Other segments concentrate on the dancing associated with the courtship of grebes and the artistic collections of bower birds.

star 7.25
36 votes