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Flying Colours

Production year: 2007 | 1x24' | Genres: Nature
Flying Colours
Origin country: Norway
Production company: Pegon Film Gunnar Olav Nilsen
Original title: Ut i Naturen
Original language: English
Formats: HD | M&E

Birds are among the most exquisite and beautiful creatures on earth. Even the most accomplished designer would find it hard to match their brightly coloured legs, eyes and bills and their delicately shaded and patterned plumage. But how has this riot of colour come about? How has nature managed to create such a wealth of beauty unaided?

The opening sequence of Flying Colours features a humble House sparrow hopping to and fro in a gutter, chirping lustily away in the hope of finding a mate - which he eventually does. But how can he, drably clad as he is in greys and duns, succeed when other species find it necessary to don the brightest of colours, put on elaborate courtship displays and, in some cases, fight almost to the death? The explanation is that two entirely different processes are at work. One results in different species developing different colours; the other in the sexes doing likewise - with the males generally being the more brightly clad. But how did it all begin? The film provides the answer. It also shows that the life of a cock sparrow may not be so simple after all.

The film is produced by Gunnar O. Nilsen and Tor Bollingmo.

Picture captions:

Duck

The Steller's eider is one of the world's most beautiful water birds. This smaller relation of the common Eider breeds on the icy shores of Siberia and winters in the Varanger fjord in northern Norway. The male, whose plumage differs greatly in appearance from the modest brown of the female, employs his subtle combination of colours to convice eligible females he will make the best and most handsome father for their offspring.

Photo: Gunnar O. Nilsen, SeeWood Film

Hawk's eye

The vision of birds is beyond our comprehension. Not only is it more acute than ours, it is also far more advanced in terms of colour. In addition to the colours we ourselves can see, birds can perceive colours in the ultraviolet spectrum, though how they register them we do not know. Whatever the answer, the fact remains that to their own kind handsome males appear even more colourful than they do to us. Little wonder, then, that female birds take their time before choosing one of a host of colourful suitors.

Photo: Gunnar O. Nilsen, SeeWood Film

Still images

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