Segments in this Video

Heavy Flyer (05:24)


Hooper Swans are one of the largest flying animals, requiring special techniques to become airborne. They drive themselves up and forward through water with webbed feet, beating aerofoil shaped wings simultaneously until creating lift.

Aerial Attack Masters (06:14)

Several adaptations and specialized techniques make peregrine falcons some of the fastest animals, attacking prey with fatal forces. They must speedily and constantly hunt to keep up with their offspring's nutritional needs, also using flying skills to defend them against predators.

High Speed Maneuverability (04:37)

Sparrowhawks hunt small birds in limited spaces, using cover and stealth to remain unseen; if detected, prey alert each other, thwarting attack. They successfully strike within four seconds, enabled by explosive acceleration and agility provided by specialized legs, wings, and tail adaptations.

Bulky Flyer (03:59)

Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle males must fly to locate mates; their cumbersome weight and design require special technique to stay airborne. Twisting wings allow it to gain thrust on both down and up strokes, while armor casings force air down, creating additional lift.

Precision Flyer (05:24)

Booted racket-tail hummingbirds hover to obtain flower nectar, enabled by rotating wings that create thrust on down and up strokes; agile bodies support exact flying, and enable multi-directional flight. Rapid movements require vast energy; the species has highest metabolism of warm blooded animals.

Dynamic Soaring (06:35)

Royal Albatross nests on wind breaking cliffs to take advantage of lift. They fly long distances to hunt for offspring, beating wings little, riding contrasting air flows above the ocean until finding food. Specialized nostrils detect changes in air speeds, enabling efficient flying.

Sharing Work (05:51)

European Cranes migrate 3,000 kilometers annually; they must fly efficiently to conserve power, critical to surviving journeys. They fly in V formation, enabling trailing individuals to recycle energy; lead flyers work hardest and rotate during long flights.

Versatile Flyer (07:59)

To avoid hawks awaiting their emergence from and return to caves, Brazilian free-tail bats utilize specialized skills, changing flight speeds and directions without colliding. Unique wings allow three dimensional shape shifts, supporting control. Synchronized flying confuses predators, overwhelmed by numbers, acceleration, and maneuverability.

Credits: Masters of the Sky (00:26)

Credits: Masters of the Sky

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Life In The Air: Masters Of The Sky

Part of the Series : Life In The Air
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



We are up and away with the world of powered flight—revealing why peregrine falcons can top 200 miles an hour and how a hummingbird is a slave to its own rather manic lifestyle. Then there are heavyweight beetles breaking the rules to find love, a devious sparrowhawk who uses agility to execute a lightning fast raid on his prey, and half a million mother bats who dominate the sky above—and below the ground—with a dazzling display of aerial prowess.

Length: 49 minutes

Item#: BVL187676

ISBN: 978-1-64867-179-1

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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