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Birds of Prey

Episode 12 of 12

Chris Packham explores what makes animal groups successful. What enables birds of prey, from peregrine falcons to bald eagles, to rule the aerial roost?

Chris Packham explores what enables birds of prey to rule the aerial roost. Their ability to dominate their fellow birds in terms of strength, manoeuvrability and phenomenal speed is down to a combination of anatomical and physiological adaptations.

Chris explains the internal workings of the bald eagle's ratchet talons and how sharp eyes and a gyroscopic head enable the goshawk to keep its sight firmly fixed on both its prey and its surroundings as it tears through the undergrowth. New research reveals how pop-up feathers on the peregrine falcon's back act like pits on a golf ball to reduce drag - allowing it to reach 220mph.

30 minutes

Last on

Fri 22 Feb 2019 14:45

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:00

    London Grammar

    Wasting My Young Years

  • 00:03

    Paloma Faith

    Streets Of Glory

  • 00:23

    Four Tet



Role Contributor
Presenter Chris Packham
Executive Producer Jonny Keeling
Producer Emily Taylor
Series Producer Aaron Paul


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Wonder facts: The animals

Wonder facts: The animals

Fact files on the animals featured in the series.