PBS' Nature takes viewers on a journey through the Arctic to discover the life of the Snowy Owl and to the edge of the earth to look for the reclusive Siberian Tiger.
Siberian Tiger Quest
Siberian Tiger Quest is a documentary that is as much about the search for the Siberian Tiger as it is about Sooyong Park, a Korean filmmaker who spent the better part of five years in seclusion to film these magnificent animals. In the remote eastern part of Russia, Chris Morgan, ecologist and filmmaker, shows viewers how incredible Park's experience was and introduces the PBS audience to Park and the illusive Siberian Tiger.
The region is isolated and quiet. Park explains that at times he wanted to give up and go home. His "hide" was a small, and I do mean small, cavern in which he stayed for weeks and months at a time, all by himself, waiting for a glimpse of a Siberian Tiger. Over the years he followed three generations of a tiger family and documented their behavior and lifestyles.
This is true nature in all its wonder and yes, there are some disturbing scenes, so if you have children or even adults who are upset by animal deaths, be warned. I can advise you to close your eyes during these scenes, but do not refrain from watching this film. It is an amazing account of Park and the tigers, and serves as a reminder that humans are responsible for the endangerment of the Siberian Tigers.
Although there are some disturbing scenes, the film leaves viewers with a newfound respect for these amazing animals, and in awe of the tenacity and curiosity of Sooyong Park.
Siberian Tiger Quest premiers Wednesday, October 10, 2012 on PBS.
Magic of the Snowy Owl
Snowy Owls are beautiful animals. They stand nearly two feet high and their wingspan is about five feet wide. Watching them in this documentary is fascinating. They are spectacular and the film, Magic of the Snowy Owl, reveals some previously unknown behavior of these gorgeous owls.
The males are almost completely white, to blend in with the frozen arctic when they're hunting. The females have more brown barring on their wings and bodies to blend in with the tundra while they are protecting their owlets from the cold, wind, and predators. And the owlets are covered with dark gray down that turns white as they grow. In this documentary, the filmmakers follow one owl family as they make it through their first summer together in the frigid arctic and try to stay alive with the absence plentiful food.
When the filmmakers first spot this Snowy Owl family, they are amazed that they are the only ones in the region. As they say, it's not a good sign. Why aren't other Snowy Owls around? Soon they get their answer. There is a lack of food and the father has to fly several miles to catch enough food for the five owlets and the parents.
As the days go by, the family faces challenges and the filmmakers discover things about the owls that have never before been recorded. This is a fascinating documentary, highlighted by the love and devotion the parents show their owlets. It is, at times, sad, but for the most part this is a great film for everyone. Just looking at these beautiful animals is a treat and after watching the film viewers will have a better understanding of them and the challenges they face.
If you live in the lower part of the USA, you probably have never seen a Snowy Owl. They do travel to the northern part of the continental US, but that's as far south as they go. So, this is your opportunity to see them and learn about these magical creatures.
Magic of the Snowy Owl premiers Wednesday, October 24, 2012 on PBS.