The Life of Birds
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Product Description

This popular & definitive series on the most colorful popular & perfectly adapted creatures on earth. Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 02/22/2005 Run time: 540 minutes Rating: Nr

Like the albatross glimpsed in the beginning of this 10-part, 5-volume series, The Life of Birds quickly takes flight. Sir David Attenborough hosts this unprecedented and extraordinary global look at the magnificent and often curious winged species with which we share our planet. Like the best wildlife shows, The Life of Birds offers a fresh and accessible view of creatures we may take for granted (didn't Alfred Hitchcock warn us about that?). The focus of this series is not on the different bird species, but on bird behavior. Remarkable and awe-inspiring footage preserves the wide range of tools and techniques with which birds fly, hunt for food, attract a mate, hatch their chicks, and defend themselves against predators.

Each volume contains two episodes. Series titles include: "To Fly or Not to Fly?," "The Mastery of Flight," "The Insatiable Appetite," "Meat Eaters," "Fishing for a Living," Signals and Songs," "Finding Partners" (the inevitable mating episode), "The Demands of the Egg," "The Problems of Parenthood," and "The Limits of Endurance." One comedic diversion while watching this series is the Pythonesque (as in Monty) way in which Attenborough pops up in the most remote, most exotic locales. At one point, night-vision cameras capture the rare sight of the nocturnal kiwi as it forages for food on a New Zealand beach. The camera pans to reveal scant paces away our guide shining a flashlight on the nonplussed bird. Attenborough is also the creator of the classic natural-science series The Trials of Life, The Living Planet, and Life on Earth, all of which are also available on video. --Donald Liebenson

Customer Reviews:

  • The Life of Birds
    This is an excellent example of David Attenborough's work. His descriptions of many well known and exotic birds is not only interesting but truly amazing. He takes us into a world that we didn't know. I found The Life of Birds to be a unique look into nature as only David Attenborough can do....more info
  • The Life of Birds DVD
    It is the best nature documentary I have ever seen. I have never before witnessed such amazing animal behavior and I was raised on public telivision....more info
  • If you could only buy one Nature DVD...
    It would take something spectacular for me to watch a DVD for 10 hours straight... and this is. I laughed, I cried, I held my breath as 2 fighting hawks grasped talons in midair and spiraled down... would they realize that the ground was fast approaching? (Buy it and find out!) Think of this series as an amalgamation of fascinating facts about different species' behavior as it relates to their commonalities, such as nesting. Although no species is explored in depth, the vignettes are satisfying. (Although, I do want to know what happens to eggs that get buried completely and abandoned by their parents!) David Attenborough is his usual quirky self, appearing a few feet away from his subjects, and sometimes interacting with them. His confrontation with a territorial Scottish grouse is priceless. The birds themselves, aided by spectacular photography, are truly wonders. The shots of Lady Gould Finch and Zebra Finch nestlings' mouths were astonishing, and I doubt that people who raise them as pets have seen this. There's not too much nasty stuff here, although I know more now than I want to about coot parents and brown pelican siblings, and what we humans do to Diksissels in South America is heartbreaking. Kiwis to Kakapos, plovers to peacocks, they're all here. If you are a bird lover, you will see a few familiar scenes (the million flamingos in the lake, the male emperor penguins incubating eggs on their feet), so you find yourself watching for favorites... will they show the amazing artistry of the Bowerbird? Willwe see the Palm Cockatoo beating a log with a stick to declare his territory? I expected to see California Condors as the final bit (the subject is conservation) but instead got a delightful scene with a human caretaker flying his ultralight plane with his flock of Whoopers and Sandhill Cranes. Give yourself (and your loved ones) a treat and buy this DVD!...more info
  • Birds/Attenborough
    Well, this is one of the BEST of all, retrospectives .. IMHO. Attenborough and his camera-team have explored many aspects of the aviary world .. and the results are VERY-exceptional. THIS is a first-class type ... of examples of info/documentations .. of any sort....more info
  • Fun and educational for kids and parents
    My wife and I really enjoyed this series - it's visually stunning and well narrated. The surprise is that our kids (7,6,4) found it to be just as entertaining -- and educational. Perfect family entertainment....more info
  • Watch the DVD, and then get the book...
    I first watched this incredible documentary on PBS, video recorder running every single time. Eventually I decided to get the book that accompanies the series. What an understatement!--the book is a definite stand-alone for those of you who prefer to read. So here is what I recommend to anybody who is even remotely interested in nature documentaries: Buy and watch the DVD, and then, if you're as hooked as I was, do yourself a favor and buy the book. Sir David Attenborough's voice literally jumps off the pages with every single word, which makes for a very entertaining read. But I found that there was a lot of information that I had missed when I watched the series. Upon reading the book, I was amazed at how much I had learned without even realizing it. Little tidbits such as: what purpose do egg shapes serve, how does a mother bird know which squawker to feed next, etc., etc. Marvelous info, incredible photography, a must see/read for any bird enthusiast, and a treat for the rest of you who don't know as of yet that you may well become one... It doesn't matter that our garden bird varieties aren't mentioned in particular, because watching and reading about birds will open your eyes and ears to the birds around you and make you appreciate them for the biological wonders they truly are. -- Oh, and yes, I upgraded to the DVD and gave the tapes to a good friend....more info
  • funny, interesting, mesmerizing
    I'm not even a particular fan of bird, not a bird-watcher, if you will, but I loved this. The birds represented in this educational and entertaining video are true characters. Some are incredibly funny to watch. Others take my breath away with their beauty and grace. I am amazed and I am now a bird fan and watcher, and I have ordered several bird books to begin my new hobby. Also plan to pick up my camera again to try to get some shots. This has been both fun and inspirational....more info
  • Excellent Service
    Product as described. Original, not a copy. Well packaged. Arrrived promptly. Would use seller again....more info
  • One word GREAT
    The whole package is what I expect from the BBC... great, much research and fabulous photography......more info
  • One of the best bird documentaries!
    We have had this dvd for over a year now and it is a staple in our house for our 17 month old son. We were impressed with the overall documentation and narrating of the not only is it enjoyed by us, adults, our toddler is captivated by it as well! Birds have captivated him since he was born and when we can't figure out a way to soothe him (sick, teething, or who knows) - Life of Birds does! David Attenborough is a great narrator to both the story and footage. We have also enjoyed Winged Migration. ...more info
  • Life of BIrds
    I saw this amazing series on TV a few years ago. Because I am a teacher who is also an avid back yard birder,I felt this video set was absolutely neccessary for the teaching of birding skills.I was not disappointed. They loved it!Thanks for making it available at such a reasonable price....more info
  • The Life of Birds
    This is one of the most informative and beautiful DVD, every Man, women and child should see it

    Barbara...more info
  • Exciting movie on birds
    I use this movie at work. The three disc set has really interesting information on birds. My favorite is disc two when they talk about bird songs. Great clip of a Lyre bird!! I also bought this DVD set as a Christmas gift for a relative. She really loves birds. ...more info
  • If you love birds, you'll love this.
    First off, if I could give it 10 stars, I would. It was all I had hoped for and more. David Attenborough's ability to get "hands on" experience with most of the birds in the series will make even the most seasoned birder jealous. ;)

    The camera angles were awesome.

    Now, my only bad remark about the series. The DVD video quality. It is VHS at best, and looks like a Divx hack of some movie... not that I would know what one would look like.

    I guess Planet Earth ruined me on really good DVD quality. If this series was to be re-released in real DVD quality or even hi-def I would buy it again. ;)

    ...more info
  • The Life of Birds
    Once again David Attenbourough, in conjunction with the BBC, has produced an excellent nature series. The series is very informative, as well as interesting and entertaining. The photography is up to the BBC's usual superlative standard, and the commentary is well written and witty per Mr. Attenbouroughs' style. I highly recommended series!...more info
  • If you LOVE BIRDS, you'll LOVE this 3 Disc Collection!
    My hubby & I enjoyed watching this three disc dvd collection about the life of birds, which is narrated by David Attenborough.

    There are ten, roughly fifty-five minute segments, dedicated to specific topics regarding the life of birds around the world..... Some of the topics include finding a mate, building nests and rearing young, to various bird calls/sounds, and the challenges birds face living in extreme environments are just some of the topics discussed.

    What is captured on film for us to view about the various birds around the world is quite amazing and fun to watch. I enjoyed learning a lot of new and interesting things about birds I never knew before....more info
  • Great watching
    This is very worth the investment. We'll watch it many times as the years roll by.
    ...more info
  • Bird Lovers - Watch This!
    If you want to see the reality, beauty, and mysteries of birds this is the defining documentary. Sir David has, once again, outdone himself! A truely 'must see'....more info
  • Spectacular
    This collection of videos is truly amazing. Educational and photography is beautiful. WELL WORTH THE PRICE/GET IT!...more info
  • Three Discs contain all 10 Episodes
    After much confusion and advice from Amazon that this was only volume 1 in a series (resulting in unsuccessful attempts to cancel my order), the set arrived & to my delight I found 3 discs containing the whole series. This documentary series is amazing, & well worth the price!!...more info
  • wonderful as most of the other BBC series
    Needless to say, this is another fascinating and wonderful production. Most previous reviewers have already rated this DVD as it deserves, with 5 stars!. Get it, you won't be dissapointed! It is well worth the price!!...more info
  • Exactly what we expected from Attenborough!
    My wife and I bought The Life of Birds from Amazon without seeing a minute of it. We had seen The Life of Mammals and Blue Planet enough times that we both felt confident that we knew what we were getting. We were right. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is that I can't quite say it was as good as Blue Planet, which blew me away.

    Based on our previous experience with The Life of Mammals and Blue Planet, what were we expecting, you might ask? Well, first of all, we knew we'd be getting an outstanding nature documentary series featuring a dizzying variety of animals. We were also expecting informative, yet not overly intrusive narration from David Attenborough. Last, we were expecting a series that our 2-year-old would be riveted to and want to watch over and over again, which is what happened with the first two series. As I said earlier, that's what we expected and that's what we got.

    Don't get me wrong: I enjoyed Winged Migration. But as far as documentaries go, it really is a different bird (if you will). The Life of Birds is engaging in a way that Winged Migration is not - it strives to teach, not to create art. The footage may not inspire quite so many "How did they get that shot?" moments as Winged Migration, but there are plenty of scenes that make you wonder. Add to that the fact that there are so many bird species from all manner of habitat in this series that you'll lose count after the first installment.

    The 3-disc set consists of 10 episodes:

    TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY: Features computer animated sequences on the origins of flight and how birds evolved from pterasaurs - very similar to that in Walking With Dinosaurs. Also great footage of birds hunting insects, including a bee eaters, kiwis, and a hornbill.

    THE MASTERY OF FLIGHT: An in-depth look at the anatomy of flight featuring albatrosses, pelicans, hummingbirds, snow geese and various birds of prey. There's a great scene where an osprey nabs a trout, picks it up and turns it head first in mid-flight to reduce drag.

    THE INSATIABLE APPETITE: Deals with the constant search for food, largely as a result of flying being so energy-intensive. Features woodpeckers, sap suckers, geese, lorikeets, hornbills, crows, robins and macaws.

    MEAT EATERS: Deals almost exclusively with birds of prey, such as owls, eagles, kestrels, shrikes, and hawks, as well as a few that you wouldn't expect (vultures and flamingos). Amazing flight footage in this episode, and very much feels the same as those documentaries of lions eating zebras in Africa.

    FISHING FOR A LIVING: Pretty self-explanatory title, featuring dippers, ducks, skimmers, kingfishers, gulls, cormorants, herons, cranes, albatrosses and assorted shore birds.

    SIGNALS AND SONGS: A detailed analysis of the reasons and ways that birds communicate. Features robins, blackbirds, finches, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, bell birds, toucans and a whole bunch of birds whose names I'd be sure to misspell if I tried.

    FINDING PARTNERS: You can't talk about mating birds without talking about peacocks, right? Well, they did. However, there are grebes, Jamaican streamer-tailed hummingbirds, red-headed weavers, an odd-looking pheasant, a Scottish grouse, the calf bird (which moos to attract a mate) and hedge sparrows.

    THE DEMANDS OF THE EGG: Looks at the hassles birds go through to protect their eggs, including a close look at nesting. Features terns, dippers, frigate birds, warblers, weaver birds, red-breasted toucan, cuckoos, and imperial pigeons.

    THE PROBLEMS OF PARENTHOOD: Deals with the non-stop effort of feeding some demanding kids that bird parents seem to go through. The young bird footage is great. Features Australian Rosella parrots, coots, cuckoos, Andean torrent ducks, red geese, Arabian babblers, and open billed storks.

    THE LIMITS OF ENDURANCE: Examines birds living in hostile environments, and co-existing with people. Also handles conservation efforts, as well as a brief recap of birds that have gone extinct in the last hundred years or so. Features penguins, sand grouse, crab plovers, Arctic gulls, vultures, crows in Japan (some amazing urban footage here), purple martens, and a host of endangered birds....more info

  • Our feathered friends
    This is the 6th entry in the David Attenborough Life series following The Private Lives of Plants. The groundbreaking first series Life on Earth was based on evolution and started with bacteria making its way up to modern humans over the course of 13 episodes. The Living Planet was 12 episodes long and dealt mainly with adaptation over a wide range of environments that also incorporated more Earth science along with the life science in terms of geology and environments. The Trials of Life was 12 episodes long and all about animal behaviour. Life in the freezer was 6 episodes long and specialized on the Antarctic. The Private life of Plants was another 6 episode series and focused entirely on botany.

    With Life in the Freezer and The Private Life of Plants Attenborough made a new move to specialize instead of following the 12-13 episode discipline that started with Clark's Civilisations and Bronowski's The Ascent of Man and birthed other great series like Sagan's Cosmos, Attenborough now decides to detach from the shorter episode format of Freezer and Plants (an such as was in previous non-life series such as The Tribal Eye, The First Eden and Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives) and goes for a higher number of 10 instead of 6 instalments on another expert theme. Attenborough concentrates on one animal kingdom, the birds, and it's a real wildlife bonanza with many moments to leave you speechless.

    While The Private Life of Plants was a somewhat still, though time-lapsed voyage, because they don't move very far very quickly, the Life of Birds is on the opposite end of the spectrum with birds darting around frequently to the point where slow motion is needed to see what just happened for the `blink and you miss it' moments. In this series Attenborough maybe visits more places and countries than all his series put together. Some of it though was covered before in Life on Earth, but you still want to see it again. Since birds do a lot of singing sound is of primary importance as much as the visuals, maybe even more so. This show literally turns your living room into a nature park with its superb audio. There are some sequences involving domesticated birds that have been imprinted and they can perform on cue, so you get some amazing shots, like birds flying with the camera. There is some CGI done for birds that are now extinct.

    Major themes include when to fly and when not to fly, the mechanisms of flying, finding food, meat eating birds, fishing, bird signalling, finding mates, egg laying, parental care and endurance.

    Overall it's an amazing production. Attenborough though is now 72 years of age and while he even appears swimming in some sequences, this is the series where his years are starting to show but its more than obvious that this isn't stopping him, not one little bit. The investigation and observations of birds is nothing short of stunning. This series also has one of Attenborough's greatest moments. The Lyrebird that can mimic cameras, a car alarm and a chain saw. The final episode includes human intervention including some conservation efforts that are nothing short of gobsmacking. Attenborough rounds off by making a final call for bird preservation. Ornithology has never been so well documented....more info
  • A must for your Kids Collection!
    If you enjoy animals...BBC, Discovery, or Animal Planet this is your cup of tea!! This collection is very educational and extremely interesting! My kids love it!...more info
  • The worst thing is the video transfer...
    ...or dvd compression, or whatever.

    Beyond the rather grainy/fuzzy look to a lot of the episodes, this is David Attenborough's opus to his favorite animals, the birds. Well, I can't be sure they are his favorite animals, but it would seem that way from his treatment of them in this and several of the other 'Life' series.

    OK, perhaps a second complaint might be that we've seen a little of this before with 'Trials of Life', but unlike 'Life of Mammals' that alternatively feels too recycled or stretching too hard to find the weirdest thing we've never seen (IE the Golden Mole), 'Birds' gets right down to its lessons in Ornithology.

    Not that it's anywhere near as brainy as Life on Earth--I'm pretty sure nature lovers of any age will dig it--but it doesn't go for flash the way 'Blue Planet' (admittedly only narrated by Attenborough) or 'Mammals' does. Common species do the job of telling the story Attenborough has for us just as well as the species from the 'wind-swept plains of patagonia'. With the stylistic flourish paired down, Attenborough's love and enthusiasm for avians shines through and we get something that all the special infra-red cameras and weird post-editing couldn't accomplish. Ultimately, 'Life of Birds' is both informative and enduring, while Attenborough's continued arguments for conservation and preservation of species will fall silent on only the most unfeeling viewers. If Attenborough's goal was to establish a sense of marvel toward a group of animals we often take for granted, he has accomplished this and perhaps a little more.

    A strong series that stands alone or works well in conjunction with many of Attenborough's other works. Recommended!...more info

  • Best of the Bird Videos
    Having watched several bird videos lately (the dramatic documentaries March of the Penguins, Winged Migration, and Pale Male, as well as the fictionalized Fly Away Home), and having recently become aware of the variety of birds in our neighborhood, I finally got around to watching David Attenborough's excellent Life of Birds. As entertaining as all the other videos were, Life of Birds is by far the best of the flock.

    As you begin to watch the series, it isn't long before you appreciate the amazing camera work, as well as the amount of patience involved in waiting for just the right shot. And with the amount of film that was shot, editing must have been a monumental chore as well. But what an incredible result. You get so close to the birds, and observe so intimately their behavior, that you may begin to grow pinfeathers.

    I had never seen David Attenborough before watching Life of the Birds, though I was aware of his reputation. For the first episode or two, I thought he was a bit quirky, bouncing around as he talked, wearing funny hats in cold weather, popping up in every corner of the earth to catch birds in their native habitats. His enthusiasm is infectious, and it's fun to see him occasionally interacting with the birds - in one scene he actually helps steady a bird who loses its footing while running up a tree. He lounges among huge flocks of birds and the birds walk up to him as if to say "No need to worry, it's only David Attenborough." But Attenborough would not approve of anthropomorphizing the birds. He knows his science, and by the end of the ten-part series, you will too.

    There are no extras on this three-disc set. However, in one of the later episodes there is a short section about the filming of the series. One cameraman spends all night in a precarious treehouse so that he can film his subjects at sunrise. There is a storm and lightning breaks off one of the brances of the tree the camerman is perched in, but fortunately not the critical branch. The shots he got in the morning were spectacular.

    ...more info
  • very realistic, though a bit political
    While this video has stunning photography, it also obviously tries to make a point regarding human interference with wild life habitat, and the devastating effects that can have. Some scenes simply were not suitable for my kids to watch (such as birds dying/drowning in oil sludge.) I would have appreciated some sort of warning ahead of time with that regard. While that is a part of life, I think it appropriate to wait until the kids are a bit older (9 or 10 or so) to view it. Otherwise, for teh most part, it was a beautiful video showing many kinds of birds....more info
  • There are not enough "STARS" that could be award to this remarkable DVD set.
    I once thought, "Birds" were for the Birds", THIS "Life of Birds" DVD set, is truly NOT for the "Birds", BUT it is for ANY humanbeing that loves and requires the best (almost unbelievable)VISUAL experience possible.

    The only suggestion I offer, is to make sure you view this on the best "State of the Art" TV that you can afford (or borrow) and you WILL experience a visual experience like none other.

    It is a 3 disk set and it is about 3 hours of viewing of each disk. If you become affected (mesmerized) as I had been, you would probably want to keep this particular DVD set in a "safedeposit box", so that you can add an amendment to your "Will", bequeathing this particular DVD set to those that loved you the most.

    They may forget about you, but they will never forget the visual experience you have left them.

    May you have an long life and as long as you live and re-play this DVD set,your life will only be embellished.

    J.Levin ...more info
  • Life with Birds
    David Attenborough is a wonderful biologist. He says it all in this DVD set. They are awesome to watch, and I can't speak more highly of his DVD's. The photography is gorgeous, and they are so educational. I am totally speechless. Other's have taken the words right out of my mouth, watch them and you won't be sorry....more info
  • Video Quality Very Poor
    The information in the video is very interesting and educational--but the video quality looks terrible on our HDTV! One of the reasons I purchased it was because I was expecting it to be similar in video quality to Planet Earth. It definitely isn't. I hope someday they will release a version that looks better than these DVDs.

    My rating system: 5 stars for educational quality. 1 star for video quality. It averages out to 3 stars. ...more info
  • Utterly outstanding!
    This is the BBC at its best. Further, it's Attenborough at his best too. The quality of the production shines through. It's luscious, rich, vibrant and makes this one of the best TV series of is type ever made.

    This magnificent series makes you gasp in wonder at the sheer splendour and variety of birds on our planet. The photography and editing are first-rate. Attenborough's style is, as always, enthusiastic, knowledgable and supremely confident.

    This, like many of the great BBC natural world series is the sort of programming that makes the rest of the world envy British TV viewers....more info

  • Not Attenborough's Best, Still A Cut Above The Rest
    David Attenborough simply makes the best nature documentaries available today. His style is thorough, witty, knowledgeable and avuncular; watching his work one feels as if one is being gently instructed by a kindly and brilliant long lost relative, eager to impart his understanding of and wonder with the world to those who will follow him.

    The Life of Birds is a truly excellent series, with extremely high production values, solid editing and a wide array of obscure trivia and arcana to interest the veteran avian enthusiast as much as the neophyte naturalist.

    I have never personally had any particular affinity to or affection for birds before viewing this series; I honestly picked it up to have more Attenborough to enjoy after burning through The Life of Mammals and The Blue Planet over the course of a few weeks. Despite my initial disinclination for the subject matter, I found the documentaries to be exceedingly engaging, so much so that within weeks I found myself and my somewhat surprised S.O. hiking around a nearby nature reserve searching for various indigenous species of marsh birds.

    However, the subject matter, however fascinating, is tested to it's limits of interest by the sheer size of the series. I hesitate to accuse Attenborough, but I feel that the subject matter could frankly have been handled in less episodes than are present in the series, or perhaps in shorter episodes. Upon reflection, however, I cannot think of any extraneous episodes or segments; rather, after the huge diversities of species covered in the tantalizing Life of Mammals and Blue Planet, I suspect the focus on the more subtly diverse avian kingdom was simply too narrow for my wandering and fickle tastes.

    In all, however, The Life of Birds is truly an excellent series, and I would recommend it unhesitatingly to anyone interested in increasing their own knowledge of the manifold wonders nature. While I have no real personal sense of what is or is not appropriate viewing for young children, one of my co-workers to whom I have lent several of the discs of the series tells me that his two pre-teen daughters enjoy the series very much.

    I would, however, suggest to those without experience of Attenborough's works that they begin with The Life of Mammals, probably my favorite of all his series....more info
  • The Life of Birds
    EXCELLENT!!!! We ordered it twice from Netflix, but it was too good not to own ourselves. So many INTERESTING facts....unbelievable information.
    ...more info
  • oh, to fly!
    Spectacular shots of soaring birds and Attenborough's typically excellent explanations -- thought provoking and informative but not over shadowing the images -- make up this series. I learned , and continue to learn, so much from it. And if I don't feel like listening, I gaze at the images that are almost spiritual in their depiction of the beauty of nature.....The scene of the large eagles battling in the air and getting their talons locked in a detah grip is astounding -- brutal and beautiful....more info
  • unexpectedly enjoyable
    When i started watching this, i did'nt expect to watch very much, but the series has turned out to be suprisingly entertaining, and informative! There are alot of amazing scenes throughout the series, as well as beautiful cinamatography. I personally am not an avid bird enthusiast, but watching this kind of makes me want to start!...more info
  • Poor picture quality
    This is undoubtedly a fantastic series, especially for any bird lovers. Please be aware though, that the picture quality is poor. The images are often grainy and the colour can seem washed out. Still worth owning, but it is a very noticable drawback....more info
  • The Life of Birds
    David Attenborough does a great job (as always) with this video series. He gives detailed and trustable information on all aspects of flight, feathers, internal biology and even habits and evolutionary adaptations. Truely the "apples to zebras" of birding videos. ...more info
  • Too much birds eating and being eaten
    This is just as good any documentary on single subjects and can give Blue Planet a run for its money.

    From the beginning, it is fascinating with both extraordinary graphics and amazing insight as to the life of birds. Even though it comes on multiple disks, you will be left wanting for more. Naturally, one of the mod important elements in this production is David Attenborough with his intriguing presentation stile and pacing.

    The only downside is that this documentary suffers from "yum yum eate'm up syndrome." The depiction of something being eaten is proportionally over emphasized; this distracts from the rest of the film.

    The Living Planet - A Portrait of the Earth...more info
  • Fabulous footage
    This DVD set has some absolutely incredible footage of birds, and David Attenborough's commentary is informative and entertaining. A must-have for bird-lovers and lovers of nature in general....more info
  • Superb
    Just casting my positive vote to yet another of David Attenborough's great documentaries.
    Highly recommended.
    ...more info
  • How did they film it???
    This 3 dvd set, comprising ten one hour programs on various aspects about birds (hunting, singing, mating, parenting, etc.) is utterly fascinating and informative. However, the most amazing thing about it is the incredible photography. A documentary should be made explaining how they filmed it! Here we see views looking up from the bottom of a lake as a kingfisher dives into the water and snags a fish - amazing! Birds in flight are filmed as thought you are flying along side them. There are also some rare species which were captured on film for the first time. A truly stunning documentary and very educational. I had only one minor complaint - there was very little information about common birds that you might find in your garden here in the U.S., but that is a minor detail that can be overlooked....more info
  • Spectacular!! We thought we knew a few things about birds...
    My wife and I have a long and strong interest in birds, with two pet sparrows, other close bird associations, and hundreds of hours soaring with raptors, ravens, swifts, gulls, and pelicans, on our hang gliders and paragliders. Birds have been the main focus of Naomi's artwork. So we expected to enjoy the series but maybe not find a lot of new or surprising information. Wrong! Most of the content so far has been new to us, either species we had never heard of or at least a different angle on the ones we did know something about. After renting and watching half of the first DVD, we ordered the whole set. This will be one of the few that we will watch, and show to friends, over and over.

    I can't speak directly for people who think they have no interest in birds, but that should be no deterrent. If you have any interest in the world around you, watch this video.

    The videography is breathtaking; narration is great; pacing, story interest, and organization are nearly flawless. Factual, technical, or editing errors are few and trivial. As someone with a long interest and a lot of knowledge in aviation and aerodynamics, I can say that this program gets it right and gets it across in ways that intelligent lay people will grasp in ways that will give them a whole new way of seeing the world around them. I can only assume that the same level of care has been given to less familiar sub-topics. Getting specialized knowledge across to lay audiences without dumbing it down or losing accuracy is a rare and precious art: The Life of Birds is a masterpiece. Attenborough is a charming guide, fun to watch and hear, and not too intrusive. Occasional computer graphics and animations serve a good purpose and are not overdone. There's little or no annoying overdramatization - who needs that when the material is so engrossing and compelling on its own?

    If video transfer quality on earlier DVDs or tapes was poor, that problem seems to have been solved. What we've seen is some of the most sparklingly clear video I can think of anywhere. About the only small gripe I have is that the menu navigation and links from one chapter to another are awkward and confusing. But that amounts to a minute or two of annoyance out of hours of pleasure.

    One reviewer mentioned missing topics such as bird respiration. Well, it would be nice to cover everything known about birds, but even in 10 hours of video it simply can't be done. And some topics are probably a better fit for books, such as The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior.

    We rented The Life of Birds with high expectations, and the program exceeded them in every imaginable way.
    ...more info
  • "The Life of Birds"!
    This is my first of many reviews of David Attenborough's fantastic wildlife documentaries. After checking out "The Living Planet" from the library I quickly found out more about his work, and this was the first I came across. Seeing as how, long before I watched this I already had an enormous interest in wildlife, I was very pleased to learn loads of new facts (a common occurrence in Attenborough's programs) and even find out about species I had never heard of before!

    Some examples of this (for me anyway) were the Takahe, Kakapo and the extinct Moa (recreated with CGI, which is used for some other scenes too). Even species I was very familiar with, such as the Toco Toucan would exhibit behavior that was completely new to me. In one scene two Toco Toucans rob eggs from a tube-like nest with their amazingly long beaks, and I had always thought they were strict fruit-eaters! This series is just jam-packed with fascinating scenes like that. And, of course, I am still familiar with much of what is being presented, but that does not take anything away from the viewing experience at all. (if it did, what would be the point of repeat viewings?)

    A plus to all this, is the presentation, the cinematography is incredible. (eagles flying towards the camera through trees, a king-fisher diving to catch a fish viewed from under-water) And of course David's narration and on-screen presenting is very engaging, he's very enthusiastic about the material he's delivering.

    On another note, the music is great and really fits well with the programs, and I often find myself whistling the theme after watching it.

    There really is only one small complaint, which is the same as many others, that being the video transfer. It's not as good as others in the "Life of" series but it is not too bad and you easily forget about it once you've started watching it. Most scenes still look very clear and sharp. Only occasionally does the picture get really fuzzy.

    This is definitely a great addition to anyone's video library, and I highly recommend it! ...more info
  • The Life of Birds
    We thought the content was beautiful but did not appreciate the cartoon preambles. ...more info
  • Five stars for content, two stars for video transfer quality
    This series is probably my favorite nature series ever made. The stunning close-up photography of so many exotic (and not so exotic) birds is fun and fascinating to watch as they go about their behaviors. Sir David's narration is, as in all his programs, charming and unintrusive. I reviewed the VHS release of this series a couple of years ago and was so happy when they annouced its release on DVD because of the usual improvements in transfer and audio quality. Whoever did the job should be ashamed of themselves because in some places the video is so grainy (check episode six) that it literally looks like some compressed MPEG or AVI file downloaded from the internet. In other areas it is less noticeable, but still no better than the VHS tapes. The audio sounds OK, but again it's not noticeably better. Other than the permanence of having it on DVD compared to VHS, I was very disappointed....more info
  • Discs are failed!!
    Be careful when you order this item. Some discs are failed, as the ones I bought. The problem: Image freezes every few seconds, which makes the documentary impossible to watch. This is very frustrating. I understand that -under Amazon's policy- you cannot return CDs once you open them. Buy the CDS rather from a physical store, where you can actually return any failed merchandise....more info
  • The Life Of Birds
    This is the most awsome DVD. The whole family will enjoy this, not just the avid bird lover. However nature is nature and survival can be upsetting to little children. The photography is amazing and if you ever wanted to know anything about birds this is the DVD for you. ...more info
  • At least 30 "Wows!!!"
    If you love birds, nature, or nature photography, this DVD series will do nothing less than overwhelm you with great narrative, truly consuming photography (not to mention the sound editing is awesome) and troves full of information. My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed Sir Attenborough's magnificent telling of the 'Life of Birds' and are actually looking forward to watching the entire series again and again. Even if you are an avid birder, you are sure to discover new species, new habitats, and new facts about bird behaviors that you weren't aware of before. One of the most rewarding things about these stories are that you may find yourself wondering out-loud, "How did they find out about that???" over-and-over, as we did, to find that they actually take the time to answer those questions at the end of the episode. I'm only here to give credit where it's due, in my humble opinion, and to order 2 more copies as gifts....more info
  • Spectular viewing
    For anyone and everyone who has ever watched God's great creations. The photography and the detail with which it is given to the viewer is breath taking. Wonderful vivid color, close ups so realistic you feel like you could reach out an touch these birds. I wouldn't have missed this DVD for anything. I am proud to own it and will watch it over and over and then share it with my Grandchildren. There will be many birds and their interactions with each other that my Grandchildren will never see except on this film. The narration is exceptional. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT !!!!!!...more info
  • the life of birds
    The Life of Birds is actually very good! Although we do not like the evolution aspect of it, it was very inlightening, with wonderful color and action. We will be watching it over and over again!...more info
  • Ten Fabulous Hours!
    When my husband purchased this three-DVD series, I asked him, "Are you really SURE you are THAT interested in birds to watch ten hours of programs about them ?" But from the first hour, I was hooked. Every single episode relates so many different, interesting facts. Some things I had wondered about for many years, and they were explained.

    For example, why is it that the birds start singing the very second the first ray of sun comes over the horizon, and they go on singing very noisily for about 30 minutes, at which point they quiet down again? (VERY annoying if you're trying to sleep.) Well, the answer is that each bird knows all of its neighbors, and calls to each neighbor periodically throughout the day to be sure it is still there and well, and to be sure that no foreign bird has invaded its neighbors' territories. Upon awaking each morning, each bird calls to it's own neighbors, particularly those of its own species, mainly to be sure that its neighbors are still alive and well. (Most birds are blind at night.) This exchange takes about half an hour, and is the birds' equivalent of our morning news. That's why it stops after half an hour, when each bird has finished talking to each of its neighbors. This is only one of the fascinating facts I remembered from this delightful series. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is the slightest bit interested in nature of any kind....more info

  • Great Photography & Well Narrated
    We found this video to be outstanding in quality, both audio and video, and covers a very interesting diversity of birds. Well organized....more info
  • Too much birds eating and being eaten
    This is just as good any documentary on single subjects and can give Blue Planet a run for its money.

    From the beginning, it is fascinating with both extraordinary graphics and amazing insight as to the life of birds. Even though it comes on multiple disks, you will be left wanting for more. Naturally, one of the mod important elements in this production is David Attenborough with his intriguing presentation stile and pacing.

    The only downside is that this documentary suffers from "yum yum eate'm up syndrome." The depiction of something being eaten is proportionally over emphasized; this distracts from the rest of the film.

    The Living Planet - A Portrait of the Earth...more info
  • subject matter: fascinating, video quality: dreadful
    I own everything David Attenborough has ever done -- I have the utmost respect for his work. Life of Birds is fascinating, well-composed, informative, etc.

    But the video quality (I have it on DVD) is absolutely dreadful. Grainy and washed out like very early digital video (I wonder if it was shot on digital video to make it easier to get some of the amazing footage he captured). By comparison, the look of Life of Mammals is breathtaking -- the composition of shots, color, lighting, and overall vividness is a hundred times better than Life of Birds.

    It's quite distracting, and disappointing....more info
  • A birders must have
    This is pure quality from someone you would expect. The BBC can't do anything wrong. Every birder, conservationist and environmentalist should have this package....more info
  • A Birds Life is Great!!!!!!!
    When I found out that BBC did a 10 hour special on birds, I flipped. When I got through only the first hour of material I can honestlt say that I did not expect such a thurough, involved, wonderful job to be done! WOW, go for it.The only thing is that not great is the case and packaging for it is not as good as "Life with Mammals." Too bad there isn't a six star rating. If you love birds you will learn a lot from this set.
    ...more info
  • Great program with INFERIOR picture quality
    I love BBC's programs, but the quality of these DVDs is disappointing, and frankly offensive when you consider its high price. Just compare this against PLANET EARTH or BLUE PLANET and you will see what I mean.
    I suspect the problem may be that this particular set was licensed to Warner Brothers for DVD production, and they obviously didn't put any effort into it. PLANET EARTH and BLUE PLANET, among others, are not. Why they gave this to Warner I do not know. Perhaps they are recording an all-new bird series to replace it.
    In short, buy this set because it's a good program, but get a good deal....more info
  • A masterpiece.
    I'm only halfway through the 3 DVDs, but I must say that this documentary is absolutely incredible. So many amazing facts, amazing footage, and all with the great hosting voice and skills of David Attenborough. This is one of my highest recommendations for anyone interested in birds, nature, or just seeing how many amazingly beautiful places one team can go just to provide an incredible take on the world's most beautiful creatures, birds.

    5 Stars, highly recommended.

    UPDATE: Finished all of the discs, and I still give this documentary 5 stars. Enjoy! :)...more info
  • Another wild life master piece by the King
    David Attenborough is one of my heroes in life. Like all of his great wild life documentaries this is another one of his timeless masterpieces. If you have ever tried to take a picture of a bird in the wild then you would really appreciate the amount of work that has gone into this documentary. The filming is absolutely brilliant. This is a must have for any wild life fan. You can see why they made David a Sir....more info
  • Best $ ever spent on a bird video
    The Life of BirdsThis 3 disc set is the most amazing video of birds my husband and I have ever watched. The video footage of everything from mating rituals to building nests, bird calls, finding food, well, the whole set of videos is worth every penny. Buy it and see things you never dreamed of seeing in the bird world. ...more info
  • Amazing!
    Anyone that loves birds as much as I do will love these videos. It literally goes thru the life birds, from birds then to birds now. This set is worth every penny, not to mention the filming is amazing....more info
  • Attenborough sparkles, as always!
    David Attenborough is the world's foremost and probably most well-known wildlife expert. He and his crew go to extraordinary lengths to capture footage of plants, birds, animals, insects, the earth never before seen, in each and every series they create. The resultant photography is always top-notch, the narration by Attenborough always succinct, appealing, and with a dash of under-stated English humor, and the documentaries extremely interesting.

    Life of Birds is no exception to the above. It is fantastic. The series captures all kinds of birds in live action, eating, mating, drilling, flying, hunting, defending - all with astonishing clarity and precision. You will be wonder-struck at numerous scenes. Attenborough's narration is on point as always. The material is fresh, informative and crisp. You will find yourself watching the films contained on this 3-DVD set again and again over the years. Very highly recommended....more info
  • Compelling...
    I have watched it over & over again, enthralled. I am not big on nature documentaries, but this has really reawakened my interest in the outdoors & living creatures. Life of Mammals is also excellent. The pacing is gentle yet interesting, the juxtaposition of the birds is stimulating. I have not gone birdwatching in about 10 years; after viewing this, I have not only resumed birdwatching, but I have a more intuitive way of looking at & appreciating the birds, which has helped me identify birds more quickly and accurately.

    David Attenborough seems to revere the wildlife with such a refreshing perspective--as if, despite all his expertise, he is still able to wonder at each action of each creature, and truly enjoy the small wonders of the world. His enthusiasm is inspiring & his presentation of the material is compelling....more info
  • Good series but not as good as Mammals and Blue Planet
    Very informative but like of enough actions like those in the Life of Mammals and The Blue Planet. Compare to the other two, this series seems boring. May be it's the nature of Birds....more info
  • Absolutely fascinating!
    I watched this DVD set when I checked it out from the library where I work as a librarian. I found it so fascinating that I bought the set, knowing that I will watch it many times. The set is so chock full of information that you can't possibly absorb it all at once. David Attenborough is an absolute master of this type of educational documentary. I highly recommend watching this set, even if you just borrow it from your local public library!...more info
  • Best nature documentary to date. Period.
    You can't go wrong with this triumphant masterpiece about our feathered friends. Heady, excellent camera work, superb and smart narration. There's really not much to add and nothing at all to criticize. Rent or buy it. Now. For your spirit will kick itself if it departs this world without watching this wonderful show. But the price is dear. So I recommend renting from net flicks or block bust....more info
  • Hooked even a non-birder
    I purchased this as a gift for my husband, a knowledgeable birder. I had not intended to watch, but from the beginning it was riveting, fascinating, and very thorough in its explanations and observations. The photography is stunning. I didn't expect to like, or even watch, this dvd, but I am very glad I did. I highly recommend it....more info
  • Excellent
    Excellent work! Excellent Narration! Excellent Picture Quality! Five Mega Stars!!!...more info
  • Spectacular, surprising, funny, thoughtful
    If you've never seen anything by Attenborough, you really have something wonderful to look forward to. Like with all his shows, you'll see things you've never seen before, things you've seen but have not understood before, and things you would never imagine existed in nature. Everyone alive should see these shows. And then go outside....more info
  • The Life of Birds.
    I am totally fasinated by these DVD's... David Attenborough is amazing!! I dont know how he does what he does... or how he gets the pieces... but the birds are beautiful... and I found all the information about them sooo interesting. This is truly something one could see over and over again....

    It is so very well done.
    Linn Blakeney...more info
  • Excellent!!!!!
    Breathtaking photography! I have used the DVDs in my classroom of 3rd graders, and my husband and I have enjoyed many hours of pure beauty and amazement of birds. Even a non-bird lover would be in "awe" of this awesome collection....more info
  • Life of Birds
    This is an extraordinary documentary that is both beautifully photographed and well narrated. We have enjoyed this immensely and will view it many times in the years to tome....more info
  • Amazing, Informative, Mesmerizing... wow.
    This is 580 minutes of spectacular footage and riveting narrative. Sir David Attenborough is the supreme nature narrator and the BBC filmmakers are simply brilliant. I couldn't pull myself away from the screen. To see, up close and in perfect imagery, both the usual and the unusual life of birds, to see the vast range of species, habitats and habits... priceless. Bird behaviour is fascinating, even more fascinating than you can imagine prior to viewing this series.

    What an amazing world we live in and what a superb job these folks have done to bring us so close to the avian part of God's creation. Don't miss it! You'll want to watch them over and over....more info

  • I'd still rate it a 5-star
    Even though there were some things I thought were missed, and even though there was something in every program that mildly annoyed me. With nothing really comparable, I still believe this is worth the top rating, simply because of the labor of love David Attenborough put into it.

    What were those things I didn't like? In "Life of Birds", with 5 minutes to go in every program, David would introduce the next program, but then would resume with the current program. This, to me, breaks the rhythm of the narrative and is not consistent with the style used in "Life of Mammals", where he would introduce the next program only at the very end of the current program. Maybe this difference in style also reflects the difference in time the two were created, "Life of Birds" seems to have been made much earlier, and it even shows in the inferior quality of some of the footage used. Each program in "Birds" also lasts 53 minutes, while those of "Mammals" last only 48. Those extra five minutes...

    I also think there was not enough attention given to other crucial parts of birds' anatomy, like the unique respiratory system that allows them to cope with the oxygen demands of flight. Even the differences in "white muscle" of quail and red muscle of doves, for example, were not touched, and these would have given insight to why some birds are natural strong flyers while some are limited to short burts and spend their time mostly on the ground. Differences in talons and beaks, differences in wing shapes, IMO could have been better illustrated.

    And in both "Birds" and "Mammals" I really can't understand why David Attenborough would go great lengths to show the rarest of species while ignoring the obvious: chickens, dogs, cats, cows and horses. Just because these animals are domesticated and common in the backyard doesn't mean they're not interesting.

    And yeah, house cats are among the most destructive of bird predators. Maybe that's one reason for not showing house cats....more info
  • Beautiful!!!
    Brilliant cinematography, excellent narration (all of David Attenbourgh's stuff is amazing) and a all around appealing documentary. LOVE IT!!!...more info