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Natural World

  • 2016
  • Season 36
  • 8 episodes
  • Documentary and factual
  • Nature

Summary

The fight to save Puerto Rico's most endangered creatures; the giant armadillo, and how animals can use their bodies as weapons are just three of the subjects featured in series 36.

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Episode 7: H Is for Hawk: A New Chapter

Summary

Author Helen Macdonald returns to the world of the goshawk, a bird she first wrote about in her best-selling 2014 memoir H Is for Hawk, a book originally written to help get over the grief of losing her father. Here she trains a new bird and follows a wild goshawk family at the nest, and getting closer than ever before to these fiery-eyed birds of prey.

Review

Cambridge academic Helen Macdonald, overwhelmed with grief after the sudden death of her photojournalist father Alisdair, spent a year training a goshawk.

She later wrote about this cathartic time in a bestselling, award-winning book, H Is for Hawk. Her goshawk Mabel later died of a disease and in this lyrical, touching documentary, first shown in 2017, we follow Macdonald as she decides the time is right to choose and train another young goshawk.

Macdonald’s love for hawks wasn’t sudden or new. She adored them throughout her childhood, she even tried sleeping with her arms behind her back like wings, and she became an accomplished falconer. There’s something quietly beautiful about watching her absolute stillness and concentration as she meets her new bird for the first time. “I love her to bits, I’m really glad to share my life with her.”

Macdonald also joins experts in a Gloucestershire forest to look at a new nest of baby goshawks.

Details

Languages
English
Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

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PresenterHelen Macdonald

Crew

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DirectorMike Birkhead
DirectorBeth Jones
EditorNigel Buck
Series editorRoger Webb

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