Where was Discovery's North America filmed?

Producer Huw Cordey has worked on nature shows for 20 years, including Planet Earth, Life of Mammals and South Pacific. He reveals exclusively where to go to see the wildlife from the show up close...

Where was Discovery's North America filmed?
Written By
Jade Bremner

Shows like this don’t just happen over night. The North America (9pm, May 23 on Discovery Channel) team filmed over three years, had more than 200 shoots and 2,800 days in the field. The result? A thrilling glimpse into wild North America like you’ve never seen it before – including wolves chasing bison, bobcats hunting, killer whales stealing calves and a hammerhead shark catching a spinner shark. Believe us, this is the nature show to watch.

“North America may sound like a familiar continent but there are plenty of surprises in store,” explains producer Huw Cordey. “There are also plenty of lighthearted and humourous moments; manakins [North America’s birds of paradise] displaying for females, chipmunks squabbling over nuts, courting jumping spiders.”

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As we’ve seen recently, with the Oklahoma tragedy, the region's weather can be fiercely dramatic. Wildlife in this region has tornadoes, hurricanes, monsoon rains, blizzards, lightning storms and huge forest fires to contend with. In 2011, the show's crew found themselves right in the middle of Hurricane Irene. Episodes Nowhere to Hide, Outlaws and Skeletons show exactly how extreme weather impacts North America’s natural world.

But the weather wasn’t the only danger, reveals Cordey. “An alligator also attacked one of our cameramen while he was filming manatees in a fresh water river in Florida”. Meanwhile, in the Aleutian Islands, a grizzly bear charged at the camera team. “[The Bear] was only stopped in its tracks when the cameraman threw a rock at its head, the bear was unharmed but thought it better not to attack!”

North America certaintly offers a new slant on a bog standard natural history programme – it has guitar riffs galore, and Bon Jovi’s Army of One as a backing track. If you like what you see, take it one step further and get up close to the species from the show…

1. Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica, for olive ridley sea turtles and jaguars

2. Glacier National Park, Montana, for mountain goats and big horn sheep

3. Badlands National Park, South Dakota, for prairie dogs

4. Bracken Cave, Texas, for Mexican free-tailed bats

5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, for bison, red fox, coyote, black bears

6. Squaw Creek Reserve, Missouri, for snow geese 

North America begins at 9pm, May 23 on Discovery Channel (Sky 520 and Virgin 211)

Go on a nature spotting trip with Radio Times Travel, see here for more info

Images courtesy of Discovery Channel, CrunchySkies, Alamy and Wiki Commons

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