White Falcon, White Wolf
Sunday, January 3 at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
On Canada’s remote Ellesmere Island, where June is spring, July is summer and August is already autumn, the race is on for two remarkable species to raise their families. The white gyrfalcon is enormous, the largest and most powerful falcon in the world. Yet last summer, the nesting falcon pair on the island failed to raise any young. The rare Arctic wolves rely on every member of the pack to chase and bring down the prey that keep them alive. Last year was good for them and they raised three cubs. But for the wolves and the falcons, as well for as the snowy owls, musk oxen, lemmings, Arctic foxes and hares who share this fragile ecosystem with them, fortunes are always precarious. What will happen this year?
Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air
Sunday, January 10 at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
Hummingbirds represent one of nature’s most interesting paradoxes — they are the tiniest of birds, yet they qualify as some of the toughest and most energetic creatures on the planet. Knowledge gained from scientists currently making great breakthroughs in hummingbird biology makes this a perfect time to focus on these shimmering, flashing jewels of the natural world. Beautiful high-definition, high-speed footage of hummingbirds in the wild, combined with high-tech presentations of their remarkable abilities, help viewers to understand the world of hummingbirds as never before.
Clash: Encounters of Bears and Wolves
Sunday, January 17 at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
What happens when two great predators come face to face in Yellowstone? The grizzly and the wolf — they couldn’t be more different. The bear is a loner, ranging far and wide in search of a rich variety of resources. The wolf hunts to survive and finds its strength in speed and teamwork. Their strategies have taken them to the very top of Yellowstone, and it’s no simple matter when they meet. In every encounter, the opposition must be measured, strengths must be tested and risks must be carefully weighed. Each time, one of them will have a tactical advantage — but which one, and when?
Sunday, January 24 at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
Everything about them is big. Their wings can span eight feet. Their nests weigh up to a ton. They can fly with a deer fawn in their talons. Unique to North America, the bald eagle is the continent’s most recognizable aerial predator, with a shocking white head, electric yellow beak and penetrating eyes. Photographed by Emmy-winning cinematographer Neil Rettig, NATURE “American Eagle” will tell the story of a year in the lives of these majestic raptors on a breathtaking stretch of the Mississippi. The latest in camera technologies will give viewers unprecedented high-definition access into the nests – and into the skies – with these majestic birds.
Sunday, January 31 at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
Thick forests, vast wetlands, deep chasms — this is a wild, inaccessible place that belongs more to myth than reality. The landscape looks as if it was taken straight from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. But here, there are neither orcs nor elves; rather, bears and wolves. This is not Middle Earth; rather it is middle Europe — the Balkans. Through the centuries, this land has burned its way into the soul and spirit of its people. The jagged contours have thrown long, dark shadows over the history of the peninsula, always in the middle, between forces of the East and the West. It’s as if the bloody history of the Balkans conspired to conceal its natural wonders. The landscape is still untouched, and in it are wild animals that have all but vanished from the rest of Europe.
Visit the website at www.pbs.org/wnet/nature.