Grebe ID Mix-up on Life

On Sunday Discovery Channel “premiered” the documentary Life; or rather the American edition of it which is narrated by Oprah Winfrey. I had already watched the version narrated by David Attenborough, which Discover Channel Canada aired in November of last year, but I enjoyed the series so much that I wanted a second look at it. Much to my surprise I noticed that they had incorrectly identified two Clark’s Grebes as Western Grebes in the series first episode.

Here is a clip from the version narrated by David Attenborough showing the courtship display of two Clark’s Grebes. Note that they are correctly identified as Clark’s Grebe.

I was unable to find a video from the American version showing this scene but it is pretty much the same footage, just edited differently. Does anyone happen to have a link to this version’s scene of the Grebes?

I did, however, notice that on Discovery Channel Canada’s website for the show they also incorrectly mention Western Grebes as being featured in the documentary.

It’s a bit disappointing to see this in a show with footage of such high quality, and seeing as how the original script had the correct ID I don’t know how this could have been messed up. It kinda throws into doubt all of the information in the narration; if they messed one thing up could there be anymore errors?

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3 Responses to “Grebe ID Mix-up on Life”


  1. 1 Rick Wright March 23, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I’m unable to take this quite so seriously. To the target audience of shows like this, it matters not a whit; the best one can hope for is that a month from now most people remember that there was “some cool bird” dancing on their screen.
    🙂

  2. 2 Marc March 24, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Perhaps I am being a little overly critical; but then I’m one of those guys that cringe every time I hear a bird on TV that’s in a place it shouldn’t be 😉

    I suppose with the depiction of all sharks on Discovery Channel’s shark week as being violent man eating killers I shouldn’t have expected them to clue into the somewhat subtle differences between Western and Clark’s Grebes.

  3. 3 Bruce April 5, 2010 at 3:05 am

    I happen to agree with the original post. This was an unnecessary error that should have been easily caught. Regardless the awareness of the target audience, use of the proper identifier is a simple matter. Simply calling them “grebes” would have been more accurate.


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