Watch Wildlife Specials: The Spy Collection

The series Wildlife Specials: The Spy Collection tracks penguins as they migrate for nesting reasons. The camera are hidden and the penguins have no idea the world is watching how they live, how they mate, and how they find food.

BBC
1 Season, 12 Episodes
February 11, 2013
Documentary & Biography
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Wildlife Specials: The Spy Collection Full Episode Guide

  • Extraordinary photography reveals the incredible collective intelligence behind these invasions. All unite as one and act like a giant organism controlled by a single brain. Fire ants invade and destroy computer equipment and, when their nest is flooded, create living rafts with their bodies. One swarm is even helping to save the planet from the Greenhouse Effect.

  • This program reveals the awe-inspiring world of animal swarms. Using the latest camera techniques, we go to the heart of the swarm, and footage from camcorders and mobile phones captures the amazing impact they can have on our lives. One man has learned to control the ultimate swarm, becoming their "╦ťqueen bee' and learning to control what most people fear.

  • The migration reaches Kenya's Masai Mara where, for the calf, the river presents his greatest challenge yet. Croccam, Skullcam, Tortoisecam and Hippocam are just some of the spycams following the calf as he crosses the raging torrents. They film, up close and personal, as crocodiles pick-off stragglers, hippos become carnivorous and the river's sheer walls become death-traps. Even if the calf survives he still has to face the highest concentration of land predators in Africa.

  • The epic story of the greatest animal trek on earth. Dungcam and Bouldercam are joined by Croccam, Skullcam, Tortoisecam and other 'spycams' to film, up-close and personal, a wildebeest calf making this spectacular year-long journey. Over one million wildebeest and their young make the arduous trip across Tanzania's Serengeti and Kenya's Masai Mara. The calf is on the hit list of lions, cheetahs, hyenas and crocodiles and has to overcome some of nature's most grueling physical challenges. The spycams have adventures too - Tortoisecam meets a real tortoise and Dragonflycam comes to an untimely end. Three years in the making and distilled from 500 hours of recorded behavior, the remote spycams capture all the exciting action.

  • Now young adults, the tigers are starting to become independent. As they learn to be King of the Jungle, the other jungle animals have to learn to survive their early attempts at hunting.

  • The cubs are now half grown, still playful and enchanting. But this is also a time for learning the hunting and fighting skills they will need as adults. We also see how some of the other jungle creatures, born at the same time, are progressing.

  • For the first time, our cameras film tiger cubs just a few days old. As they grow into engaging, playful young cubs, many other jungle creatures are revealed. At this vulnerable young age they are prey for almost anything but this is also when life is at its most idyllic.

  • The story continues as the spy cameras follow both sets of polar bear families. The mother with two cubs is in polar bear heaven, surrounded by ice and seals. That is, until an ocean swell makes ice travel difficult for the cubs. The other mother and cub family find it difficult to survive on Svalbard, as food is scarce. They must be clever and find emergency sources of food to stay alive. Elsewhere, a group of young, playful male polar bears play a rousing game of soccer with Snowballcam.

  • Filmed in the Arctic islands of Svalbard, Norway this beautiful program gets closer than ever before to the world's greatest land predator with the help of Icebergcam, Blizzardcam and Snowballcam. These cameras are just a breath away when two sets of cubs emerge from winter maternity dens. They also capture the moment when the sea-ice breaks away from the island in the spring. As this program captures its intimate portrait of polar bears' lives, it reveals how their intelligence and curiosity help them cope in a world of shrinking ice.

  • The chicks are growing up fast and becoming increasingly independent. Emperor and Rockhopper chicks are placed in a creche as their parents go fishing and the Humboldts are left in their burrows as the adults enjoy a soft landing of feathers by a beach swarming with cormorants. From egg to adolescent, spycams have been with the young penguins through their tough early months. Now they are with them as they leave.

  • Chicks are hatching all over! Male emperors form an identity parade before handing over their newborns to the returning females. On the Falklands, Rockhopper chicks meet some unruly neighbors - king cormorants, and Caracara birds grab an eggcam and film the aerial shots of the colony! In Peru, Humboldt chicks emerge into the desert and the adults leave their burrow plastered in mud and needing a bath.

  • Emperor penguins cross a treacherous frozen sea to reach their breeding grounds. They must lay their eggs without touching the ice. Rockhoppers brave the world's stormiest seas, only to come ashore and face a daunting 300-foot cliff. Humboldts are strange tropical penguins that have rarely been filmed. The hard work for all the penguins finally pays off when their tiny, vulnerable chicks begin to hatch.

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