nest

NATURE
The Sagebrush Sea

 

One of the most overlooked ecosystems on the continent consists of a massive sea of sagebrush that stretches across 11 states in the American West. This spartan yet spectacular landscape supports more than 170 species of hardscrabble birds and mammals. Among those that have adapted to survive here are birds found nowhere else: greater sage-grouse that lead remarkable lives mostly hidden in the sage. But once each year, males emerge for days on end to strut and display as prospective mates for discriminating females, which mate with only one or two of them. Females must then raise their chicks on their own, with little food, water or shelter to sustain them, while plenty of predators wait for their smallest mistake. Today, they must also contend with wells and pipelines tapping the resources buried deep below. The sagebrush and the grouse carry on, but they’re losing ground.

 

NATURE
Siberian Tiger Quest

 

Ecologist Chris Morgan has tracked large predators in some of the wildest and most remote places on earth. He now embarks on a challenge that will fulfill a lifelong dream – to find and film a Siberian tiger living wild and free in Russia’s far eastern forests. The film features the work of Korean cameraman Sooyong Park, the first individual ever to film Siberian tigers in the wild. Park spent years in the forest tracking and filming the world’s biggest cat.

 

NATURE
Animal Homes: Animal Cities

 

For some animals, living in the midst of huge colonies of their own kind is the most secure and rewarding housing arrangement. Icelandic puffins form nesting colonies of more than a million, providing shared information about food sources and reducing the odds of attacks on individual birds. But colonies are useful for predators, too. Social spiders in Ecuador work together to capture prey 20 times the size an individual might subdue on its own. For others, communal living provides multi-generational care-giving options or the opportunity to build enormous cities like the acre-wide multi-million-citizen colonies built by leaf cutter ants in Costa Rica, or Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, built entirely by tiny corals.

 

NATURE
Animal Homes: The Nest

Bird nests come in all shapes and sizes, crafted from a diversity of materials, including fur, grasses, leaves, mosses, sticks and twigs, bones, wool, mud and spider silk. Quite a few contain man-made materials – twine, bits of wire, even plastic bags. Each is a work of art, built with just a beak! All over the world, birds in the wild arrive at diverse nesting grounds to collect, compete for, reject, steal and begin to build with carefully selected materials, crafting homes for the task of protecting their eggs and raising their young.