bird

NATURE
Owl Power

 

Using camera technology, computer graphics, x-rays and ultra-microscopes, take a new look at owls in more detail than ever before. The real stories behind how they hunt, how their vision and hearing work, and how they fly so silently are influencing 21st-century technology and design, from high-tech aircraft and submarines to innovative hearing aids.

 

 

Audubon

 

John James Audubon, a self-taught painter and ornithologist, left a legacy of art and science that made him famous in his lifetime and that endures to this day. Filmed in locations that Audubon explored, the film brings to life his timeless paintings with stunning footage of the living birds he immortalized.

 

 

The Forgotten Coast
Return to Wild Florida

 

Following in the footsteps of a wandering Florida black bear, three friends leave civilization and enter a lost American wilderness on a rugged thousand-mile journey by foot, paddle and bike. Traversing Florida’s vast and seldom seen “Forgotten Coast,” the expedition encounters stunning and rare wildlife including black bears, manatees, alligators, ancient river fish and endangered woodpeckers.

 

 

NATURE
Natural Born Rebels: Survival

 

From a promiscuous prairie dog to a kleptomaniac crab and an alpha chimpanzee who reigns with an iron fist, this three-part miniseries explores the most rebellious animals in the natural world. But are these creatures really breaking bad? Across the world, new studies are uncovering an astonishing variety of insubordinate animal behaviors, and despite how it appears on the surface, researchers are discovering the complex and fascinating science behind why these animals behave the way they do. In fact, being a rebel could be the key to success in the wild.

 

Survival
Some animals will do whatever it takes to survive. Cockatoos turn to vandalism, boxer crabs hold anemones hostage, sloths become filthy, puff adders have an ‘invisibility cloak’ to hide themselves, and chimps use violence to stay in power.

 

 

A Front Row Seat to Myth-Busting

 

CEO Message

A Front Row Seat to Myth-Busting

 CEO Message: A Front Row Seat to Myth-Busting. Ornithologist Auguste von Bayern with a jackdaw
Ornithologist Auguste von Bayern, with a jackdaw, from the NOVA episode Bird Brain

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO“What a bird brain!” “You’re a Neanderthal!” Not so long ago, these were taunts. But, thanks to recent research by scientists and the fine documentaries on PBS, we know better.

 

And I’m just the person to be thrilled by these discoveries. When I was a kid, my no-nonsense grandmother called me a bird brain every time I forgot my rubber slippers on our neighbors’ porch, which was often. And just last month, a 23andme.com ancestry test turned up Neanderthal DNA in my family.

 

When you sit back and view Nature or NOVA on Wednesday nights on PBS Hawai‘i, you sometimes have a front row seat to myth-busting. In vibrant video, you see that some of the ideas and conclusions printed in our old textbooks have been blown away.

 

As depicted in the recent NOVA episode Bird Brain, birds are far from empty-headed. They make great use of their small neuron-packed brains. They turn pebbles and sticks into tools; they plan multiple steps to solve problems; and some even “read” human faces. Put birds to the test with puzzles – and they can figure out when to defer a reward in order to snag a bigger one later.

 

In NOVA’s Decoding Neanderthals, we learned that these hominoids were not the brutish, knuckle-dragging simpletons we’d conjured. They were powerfully built, yes, but they also had large brains. They were adept at tool-making, and in fact, may have developed the first synthetic product, a type of glue. It was a very tough life in the Ice Age, and it’s unlikely that most Neanderthals lived past age 30.

 

Within the last decade, it’s been confirmed that Neanderthals interbred with their close cousins, homo sapiens. Many of us of European or Asian ancestry carry snippets of Neanderthal DNA. That’s just what my brother’s genetic test showed. In fact, he has more than the average amount.

 

A prevailing theory holds that our homo sapiens ancestors vanquished the Neanderthals. With the recent genetic evidence, another theory merits consideration: Through mating, the Neanderthals – with their smaller populations – were simply absorbed into homo sapiens life. Look for a brand-new PBS program about Neanderthals this month, Neanderthals: Meet Your Ancestors on Wednesday, February 28 at 9:00 pm. [Note: Since publication, PBS has announced that the program has been postponed until further notice.] I suspect there’ll be further re-branding of my ancient forebears.

 

We want to thank Dr. Belinda A. Aquino for generously sponsoring the broadcasts of both Nature and NOVA on PBS Hawai‘i. A retired University of Hawai‘i political science professor, Dr. Aquino is an internationally recognized authority on contemporary Philippine affairs. She tells me that she savors these programs about natural phenomena because they inspire new ways to think about humanity and the world around us.

 

And I’d like to thank you, too, for your support of PBS Hawai‘i’s role of adding new perspectives and context to our collective understanding of history and current affairs. Myth-busting is a byproduct!

 

Aloha nui,

 

Leslie signature

INDIA – Nature’s Wonderland
Part 2 of 2

 

Join wildlife biologist Liz Bonnin, actress Freida Pinto and mountaineer Jon Gupta to explore India’s natural wonders.

 

Part 2 of 2
Meet a man who spent 30 years planting his own rainforest. On the way, encounter demoiselle cranes, tahr goats, one-horned rhinos, the tiny pika and lion-tailed macaques. Later, witness the mass hatching of olive ridley turtles.

 

NATURE
Magic of the Snowy Owl

 

Take an intimate look at the snowy owl, a bird made popular by Harry Potter’s faithful companion, Hedwig. “Snowies” stand out for their beauty, intelligence and charm. Go deep into the owl’s tundra home on the North Slope of Alaska to observe the daily struggles involved in raising a family of helpless owlets until they’re able to fly.

 

NATURE
Love in the Animal Kingdom

 

Animals dance, sing, flirt and compete with everything they’ve got to find and secure a mate. For many, the all-important bonds they share as a couple are what enable the next generation to survive. Can we call these bonds love‌? In this delightful, provocative look at the love life of animals, watch the feminine wiles of a young gorilla, the search for Mr. Right among a thousand flamingos, the open “marriages” of blue-footed boobies, the soap opera arrangements of gibbons and all the subtle, outrageous, romantic antics that go into finding a partner.

 

LIFE ON THE REEF
Part 3 of 3

 

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the richest and most complex natural ecosystems on earth – home to a stunning array of animals, from microscopic plankton to 100-ton whales. From the coral cays of the outer reef to the Islands of the Torres Strait, the reef’s human residents work to find that critical balance between our needs and those of an ever-diminishing natural world.

 

Part 3 of 3
See how humans and the animal residents of the reef prepare for a category five cyclone that brings destruction to the North Queensland coast. As cyclone season finally gives way to calm seas of the dry season, the reef begins to recover and thrive.

 

LIFE ON THE REEF
Part 2 of 3

 

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the richest and most complex natural ecosystems on earth – home to a stunning array of animals, from microscopic plankton to 100-ton whales. From the coral cays of the outer reef to the Islands of the Torres Strait, the reef’s human residents work to find that critical balance between our needs and those of an ever-diminishing natural world.

 

Part 2 of 3
Witness the explosion of life as the wet season approaches: corals spawn, sea birds nest and thousands of turtle hatchlings erupt over the beaches. Soon torrential rain and storms will bring change and upheaval to the delicate ecosystem.

 

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