Audience-led informal live discussion and debate. Martin Hughes-Games chairs as Kate Humble, Chris Packham and Liz Bonnin answer audience questions.
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We're having a party! Throw out the tables and chairs. Join the party.
Maybe not. We'll have more of that later. Welcome to Unsprung.
Nice one. Come on, Chris - Stevie Wonder. Diplomatic - no comment.
Right. Welcome tow Unsprung. Remember, this is your programme.
It's about your photographs, your questions. We'll try to answer
those, a few things thrown in. Who is here? It's a fairly motley crew.
They are. Good dancing, though - nice. They have been practicing
that for weeks. Have they? Then we've got level-headed Jo. Hello,
APPLAUSE She's waiting for all your comments,
all your questions. Get them in to her. First, we ought to do that
quiz again, that really, really difficult quiz. Sorry. Actually,
nobody on Twitter has got it right yet. I am not surprised. Shall we
hear the quiz once again, please. We'll hear these sounds.
( Moaning sound) OK. Next one -
# Wee-ee - (Squealing) The third one, the hard one -
(Deep thumping noise) They're absolutely fascinating.
We're going to reveal all. The man who actually recorded those songs
is going to be with us later on. Is Liz there? Hello. Did you dance,
Liz? Hello. Was she dancing? Very sensible. Right. Shall we get
straight on with the question? think we should. Sorry. Here we go.
Karren's four-year-old daughter - she wants to know, if bees poo, and
if they do, are we eating it in our honey? A great question. What's her
name? The four-year-old daughter? It doesn't say here, but... Karren.
The mum, I guess. Do bees poo, and if so, are we eating it in the
honey? You'll be delighted to know that bees do poo, but they don't
poo in your honey. To produce your honey, you're actually eating sick,
you'll be delighted to know, so yeah, that's the short answer. I
could tell you how they produce honey, but basically it's bee sick.
They do poo. They poo out of their hives because otherwise it wouldn't
make them very well. They actually go down to the entrance of the hole,
having pseudocopulated, I'll - they hang with their bag legs trailing,
abdomens down, and they poo out the nest to keep it clean. You get a
small pile underneath the nest. they leave the hive to poo - that's
even cleaner. That's going away to poo. That's long distance pooing.
Bees are domesticated, and wasps are wild. Let's move on. Quickly,
before there is trouble. Wild With Plants and Cheeky Monkey - sorry -
they want to know what stops nestlings from dehydrating. We have
seen our owl chicks there. Do they get water? Why don't they
dehydrate? They do get water and get most from their food, of course.
Bearing in mind most nestlings are fed on invertebrates, thinking
about living things here, up to 60% of that is water, so they recover
all the water they need from their food essentially without drinking,
then what they do is conserve that water. I know we're always looking
at baby birds producing faecal sacks. It's very concentrated, so
they reduce the amount of water they waste to urinate and produce
faeces. That's another reason they keep them in these sax, so they can
be taken away. Pigeons produce milk for their chicks. Full of fat. The
fat gets them to grow. The only other birds that do that are
flamingos and puffins, a little known fact there. Wow. One more
thing, the most extreme version of that is the sand grouse. We have
some footage of the sand grouse. It lives right in the desert. It dunks
its feathers in the water, flies back to the nest with wet feathers
- you're not going to believe that - there are the chicks drinking the
water. I can't help noticing when you were gesticulating, you have
that green watch on, I have actually grown to like it, and I
thought I might get one of my own. Why can't that be mine? Look. It
goes with my clothing much better. Rather pleased with that - I've got
my own green watch. Right, Liz, are you there? We have a question for
you. Let me just find it. I am. Hello. She's got a lovely voice,
hasn't she? Whoa! Liz, Steve Gunnard wants to know, "How is it
that animals such as foxes and gulls can scavenge food from a
landfill that would make us humans ill or possibly even kill us? How
do they do it?" She's thinking. very good question. Scavengers tend
to have a naturally higher amount of stomach acid that helps break
down all the nasty stuff and certainly kill a lot of the bugs,
so they've evolved to be able to deal with the bugs better. They
also have a naturally higher amount of immunity. If the animal is a
mammal it's going to get that from its mother in the womb, but as the
youngsters are being fed little tidbits, they're beginning to build
up even more and more immunity to the stuff. They're basically
tougher than us humans. Good answer, very good. Here's a quick review,
Chris, on the back of that... you, Liz. Have birds got taste
buds? Let's do a little check. Who thinks that birds can taste? Have
More yes's, I would say. Have they got taste buds, Chris? You know, I
don't know the definitive answer to this in my book of bird physiology,
page 232 - I sipped it, to be honest with you. I can imagine they
must have taste buds because they would have to learn what to eat, so
when they hatch, they peck at everything - as we have seen our
herons doing, as we have seen our wrens doing and these sorts of
things. Surely if they peck at the wrong thing, it's not just the
texture and the density of it, it would be the taste of it. Surely
they must have taste buds unless they rely on their sense of smell
which can be keen in many species. What about their sight? A lot of
bugs try to make themselves look unpalatable. What about weighing
birds? They have to discern what they really want to eat. Go on.
Tell us. I haven't got a clue, except everything comes from
chickens in the end. What about your chickens and ducks? Do they
like things and not other things? They're not that discerning.
They're just out-and-out greedy. With Ping, the duckling, she's
called Ping, she's very, very sweet. She sort of lives in the kitchen,
and my dog has fallen in love with her - that's just an aside. What is
really interesting is her starting to learn how to feed, pecking at
bits of straw which she can eat and toast crumbs which she really likes.
They are discerning? Yeah. Mine won't eat citrus, but everything
else. Puffin news. Last week, I have to confess, I made a mistake.
We showed the wrong video down the puffin-cam. No! Let us have a look
at the proper puffin-cam. Remember, that's mum and dad.
( Rrr) Ooh, more curry! That's the puffins
swapping over. Remember, this is a camera down a puffin hole in
Schettlan. That egg hasn't hatched out yet, but it's due to hatch out
today or tomorrow. Will she phone us and let us know?
She will, but it will take three days to come out of the egg. It
pips first of all. We have the link on our website. You can actually go
and watch that puffin-cam, and it will hatch out this weekend
hopefully. Lots of puffins are coming in and around that nest, so
others are hatching as well. I have done my bit. Right. Now, somebody
who recorded those sounds that we just heard there - "Rrr" is
actually with us tonight. Here he is. Can you come here? He's the
legendary - the edgend that is - PROBLEM WITH SOUND
Right. Now, Chris also set that quiz and recorded those sounds.
He's now going to reveal all to us. OK. Let's just see. Everyone on
Twitter was wrong. Really? Tom on the blog thinks the last one is
someone in the bath, not doing very well. It's a right medium... Yes!
Kirsty on Facebook thinks it's owl, fox and frog - no, Kirsty. Anyone
at all level headed? No-one has it completely right at all. One person
is getting the last one. The last one is foxing. It was tricky. You
asked me to make it difficult. Thanks, Chris.
Shall we hear them in order? Let's hear the first one again, please.
(Moaning, whining sound) There is no point in asking them -
(Woo-ooh!) It actually sounds like people after a really big party.
Perfect Springwatch party music - the wild music of nature. OK. Wait
a minute. OK, Chris, tell us, please, what is that? They are the
hauntingly beautiful siren songs of female grey seals hauled out on
some rocks. Fantastic. Although having seen a grey seal in the
estuary early in the week, put their voices in. So weird, like the
mermaid song, haunting... Hauntingly beautiful. Second one,
may we hear the second sound, please?
(Whee-eee - squeaking) People who don't know in here -
because you do. Have a guess. Gene, what do you think? Putting you on
the spot. What do you reckon? No. Anyone else? Anymore ideas?
Come on, Caroline? Crows? No. on, Patrick. Have a guess. That
might be cheating. Give us the answer. Shall I give you the
answer? Give us the answer. It's an orca.
APPLAUSE No, it's several Orca. Come on.
Close, but not good enough. So you recorded that. That's - I don't
have favourite animals, but I have the greatest respect for that
animal. It's the top marine predator. We get them in British
waters. Gordon Buchanan got us some wonderful stuff last year. And they
have a voice that carries many kilometres through the oceans. I
just love this idea of this social group of animals and this
incredible vocabulary and communication that they have, and
perhaps even this idea of culture, which is being currently
investigated with the voices. Here's the last one, the really
tricky one. Here we go. ( Deep bumping noise)
We've got the theme. They're all underwater. This is the weirdest.
Chris, what is it? That is the territorial call of the male cod
fish. I thought I had heard that before! Chris, yeah. How on earth
did you make that sound? That was recorded just the other side of the
North Sea in some Norwegian water where they have a marine reserve,
where they had been - they had stopped boats with engines coming
in during the boating season, which is February-March to listen for
these sounds because they are incredibly quiet. That's what I
think of fish - they don't sound like... Well, more and more -
that's why I love this idea of fishing for sound under waters.
Every day more and more is being discovered in this environment, the
largest habitat on earth, the most rich, sound habitat on earth - we
say we live on planet earth - it's planet ocean. 70% of our world are
the oceans, and they're full of sound. Very quickly, you went out,
didn't you, Chris, to the water there. You put your hydrophones in
the water, and can we hear what he managed to record just out there?
(Cricket-type noises) Fantastic. We can actually see what
was - it was a bit of a mystery because you didn't know what it was.
No, I didn't. (Crr-rr)
(Clicking) Not making a noise, but a sound. I think that is a str idu
lating water boatman. The whole audience share your view! I like a
grasshopper in air - stridulating is a song. Unless you dip your
equipment into the water, you won't hear that sound. I think this is a
series highlight. I am not joking, seriously, because this is a whole
spectrum of experience that we just don't normally experience, and out
there there is so much of it, so much to learn. If you were a young
scientist, this might be a direction to go in. You can make
hydrophones for coppers, and listening to places like... I don't
Thank you very much, Chris! A legend!
Straight on to prune now. Those were difficult questions. We had to
go for a tough one. Terry Phillips, we have to have this. He told us
that he lives in an old mill and has discovered lots of the spoof of
the attic. Can you identify it? -- lots of this poo. It is too big for
a fox. We're looking at an intermediate animal, perhaps a
stoat. Where does he live? In Devon. I guess we're looking at a ferret
or restored, will stops do not going to the loft. I used to live
in the attic of my house and I used to hear rats. I got a trap. Why am
I telling us on television?! In the night, I heard the trap close and I
thought, I have got you! In the morning, when I went up, there was
a stoat. And you love them! They do come into houses and the hunt mice.
Along with fishing for sound, that might be a chapter in your
autobiography. Let us have a look at some extraordinary footage of a
stoat hunting. I think they are extraordinary. Look at the size
difference between this stork and the rabbits. He has got it!
Absolutely extraordinary! I did not believe it was possible that they
did that before. And we can very quickly, Adrian has sent us some
some fast that -- some fantastic photographs. That is incredible.
is a whole sequence that he filmed. This boat went down to the water to
This boat went down to the water to A quick question for less. How is
it that sea gulls, of which you have millions down there, how do
they always seem to find plumbing tractors? How do they get to them?
The same way as all sea gulls find the food sources that they do. They
use their side first. They are always on the lookout for birds
that are swirling over anything. Once they find that, they tend to
approach the area. If it is a tractor or a landfill site, they
get their share, and then they might come back at the same time.
Then they start to learn what time of day the tractor is working and
then it becomes a habit. That is how they get their regular food
sources. Very clever birds. Shall we have a quick look at her
gallery? Yes. Let's have a look of a here. We have to say a huge
thank-you to all the people who sent us end these fantastic photos
and pictures. Thank you for replacing my pie charts. Thank you
very much. Look at this, some of them are in 3-D. Just absolutely
them are in 3-D. Just absolutely glorious pictures. This was sent in
by Ben, who is four. Look at that - poodles! I particularly like the
happy beaver. We're going to sit down because we're about to have a
Earlier today, Kate Humble went out and had a close encounter with a
very special guest. Have a quick look at this. What is the cold?
is called Bran. I have a soft spot for ravens. I read a book when I
was little about a little girl with one. I have always wanted one. I
have got the next best thing, which is Lloyd. Cumin, Lloyd. -- come in,
Lloyd. This is a really privileged view of a fantastic bar. We have
seen a lot of court bids of the last few days -- corbids. They are
incredibly intelligent. How does that manifest itself? They are
always studying and looking for opportunities. He is scanning round
now to see if there is any food. You have a lovely social bond with
them. They are very time-consuming, a massive commitment. They can live
up to 40 years. The look incredibly fear some. Come and see me, good
boy. They have that extraordinary bill. We saw how agile he is in a
bit of film, do the use that to hunt or do the pecking the ground
like rooks? What do they feed on in the wild? Pretty much anything.
They are pretty opportunistic. They are one of the few birds that does
acrobatics. We're now go into have a demonstration of just how how
smart he is. He just wants to show us how clever he is. This is a
problem that very few animals, let alone birds, can work out. Can he
do it? I have made the string thinner today, which is more tough
for him. Is he going to do it? on! I want to go and help them. --
help him. Yes! Brilliant! Did you have to train him to do that or is
it something that you realised he could do because he is naturally
inquisitive and clever? Did the work it out himself? I never
trained him to do anything. He worked it out. The first time I
showed him that, when he was the Mike Mansell, he went down to the
ground, got back up on a perch, let go of the strength and then thought,
that is not working. He had mastered it in ten minutes. They
must be quite difficult birds to keep because they must need an
awful lot of stimulation and very special care. Yes, we have put a
lot of time into him. He goes out for a fly or a walk every day. They
have a very songs Roth at -- strong social bond with you. If you are
ever thinking about it you must realise it is a massive commitment.
He said that, even if you try and change anything in his aviary, he
makes a bit of a farce. He notices the smallest thing -- a bit of a
Thank you very much indeed for bringing an end. Absolutely
delightful. A fantastic bar. Thank you.
Let's carry on with a few more questions quickly. Susan Penman
send us this strange footage. Have a look and try and see what is
going on. It is a bit wobbly, Chris, but what is happening? It looks
like a carrion crow. It looks like it is smoking itself. We have seen
this in other species. The thought is that it is using the small to
get rid of an infection, in terms of lice or something in its
feathers. I have seen that before. It will smoke itself to get rid of
exactly that - if it is infested with fleas and so forth. The crow
family are very good at doing this sort of thing. Shall we go to our
beautiful montage? I do not know how many photos we have had on the
website. Around 50,000. Take a look Nice highlights on that last one.
We have had a letter from Bethany. She said, I made a comment in the
Radio Times that there were not enough children out in the
countryside. She says, I get out there every day. I am so lucky in
my garden, I am surrounded by wild life. It is the best thing. Here
she is with a young Matt pie, which she later released. -- magpie. Get
out and enjoy the countryside. have you got one as well? Yes. This
came in. It came in From Our Sound man's daughter, Rose. She said, I
have grass snakes in my garden, are the good? -- are the good? I would
say they are pretty sensational. Very quickly, Margaret has sent us
this photograph. It is this St Peter's Green Village fun day. They
Springwatch Unsprung continues with more audience-led informal discussion and debate.
Martin Hughes-Games chairs as Kate Humble, Chris Packham and Liz Bonnin answer audience questions and give in-depth analysis on what the season's wildlife is up to.