Natural Wonders

Ducklings’ death-defying drop

When it's time for young paradise ducks to leave the nest, they do it in breathtaking style

Our Big Blue Backyard is one of New Zealand's most celebrated and discussed TV series, produced by the world-renowned NHNZ - formerly Natural History New Zealand - based in Dunedin.

Newsroom is featuring some of the top moments from this incredible show, including behind-the-scenes interviews with underwater cinematographer Kina Scollay, and NHNZ executive producer Judith Curran.

“I’d read about how some of these paradise ducks make their nests high in trees (quite unusual for ducks), and then once the eggs hatch the parents have to encourage the ducklings to jump all the way to the ground as they can’t yet fly. This would be such a great story, but how do you find a nest and make sure you are there when they jump? Somehow we pulled it off. My cameraman Alex Hubert called me at 7.30pm one November evening. He’d used a camera attached to a pole to confirm that the ducklings were hatching. I told him to go home and come back at first light as I was sure the mother wouldn’t allow her ducklings to jump in the dark. Sure enough, Alex was back in the morning and just had time to rig three cameras when, one by one, all the babies started to jump!”
Judith Curran
Executive producer

Our Big Blue Backyard was made for TVNZ 1 with the help of NZ On Air.

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