Life in the Air

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Crowded Skies

Series 1 - Episode 3 Crowded Skies



Some of the creatures in this series are easy on the eye – the implausibly flash spatula-tailed hummingbird we meet tonight, for instance, which has tail-feathers Elton John might consider a bit much.

But it’s often at the other end of the scale that we find the fascinating stuff – unglamorous creatures like the kingbirds. They look ordinary, neither big nor colourful, but are brilliantly aggressive. We see one laying into a raven many times his size to chase the latter from his nest and you have to admire the kingbird’s spirit. Even less prepossessing is the tiny phorid fly: she lays her eggs in fire ants so the larva can eat its host from the inside.


The final episode of the series features footage shot from within a giant flock of birds, revealing how half a million of them can fly in a group without colliding with each other. The programme also showcases the world's fastest airborne courtship display, a bird that savagely defends its territory, and conflict between moths and bats in the South American jungle. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Suranne Jones
Series Producer James Brickell