NATURE, one of the most watched documentary film series on public television, celebrates 40 years this month.
It’s a window to the beauty of the natural world with stories of conservation and perseverance. It’s also won more than 700 honors over the years and inspired countless viewers.
But with 40 seasons, where should you start when choosing a NATURE episode to stream?
Here are six episodes that represent the wide range of NATURE’s documentaries. They cover everything from endangered animals and national parks to never-before-seen research and the frontlines of a natural disaster.
NATURE has captured so many of the natural world’s challenges and triumphs over 40 years. Give now to support more inspiring episodes. And watch or stream the Season 40 premiere, "My Garden of a Thousand Bees," starting October 20 at 8pm.
Watch every available episode of NATURE now with WTIU Passport, an unlimited streaming benefit available to every WTIU member who contributes at least $5 a month or $60 annually.
Ready to get started? Click any of the links below to sign in and start watching or download the free PBS Video App on your Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, newer Samsung Smart TV or Android TV. You can also watch on your computer, phone or tablet to get lost in incredible documentaries, dramas, and more.
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P.S. NATURE recently shared how the series made an impact on viewers with stories of career choices, love for travel, and more. Some of those viewer comments are included with episodes below. More can be read here.
Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions
“Learning about America’s mustangs and their plight through the Cloud series created a passion that took me to the halls of the US Senate in an attempt to lobby congress to save these animals.” — Kate Cronenwett, viewer
Cloud is an extraordinary white stallion whose life has been recorded since his birth in the wild. Now in his prime, this episode returns viewers to the Arrowhead Mountains of Montana.
“I became a national park lover when I discovered the amazing landscapes this country (and Canada) has. Every vacation is planned around national parks. I have also had a love of wildlife since I was a kid.” — Chris George, viewer
Yosemite Valley is a land forged in wildfire and sculpted by water; the delicate balance of these two elements is essential to the creatures and trees that call this land home. But with climates changing and temperatures rising, the Sierras are under siege. Scientists, experts and adventurers head into Yosemite to see how these global changes are affecting one of America’s greatest wildernesses.
Animals with Cameras: Episode 3
“Thanks to the special cameras, we were able to answer some tough questions that scientists have always wondered about: why do devil rays migrate every summer? What personality of dog is most effective in protecting a herd of sheep from wolves? Why is there an overpopulation of brown bears in Turkey, when they are endangered elsewhere?” — Gordon Buchanan, NATURE cameraman
Deep-dive with Chilean devil rays in the Azores, track brown bears’ diets in Turkey, and follow dogs protecting flocks of sheep from gray wolves in Southern France. This series opened a new world of possibilities to scientists thanks to camera-wearing animals.
Santa's Wild Home
“Watching Nature and similar shows on PBS is the major reason I went out and saw a great many of those places as an adult...I saw the desert, the mountains, plains, tundra, glaciers, icebergs, I steamed fearfully into hurricanes, felt tornadoes and earthquakes, and much more. It gave me a reason to seek adventure.”
— Ken Tajchman, viewer
Get an intimate look at the wildlife of Lapland, a region in northern Finland, the fabled home of Santa Claus and actual home of reindeer, great gray owls, wolverines, eagles, wolves, musk oxen, brown bears and more. It’s a land of extremes where some animals stand still in order to survive, and others fly more than 1,000 miles.
Australian Bushfire Rescue
“With this documentary, we wanted to show the humanity that reveals itself through catastrophe. The people who dedicate themselves to saving and rehabilitating these injured and traumatized animals are incredibly inspiring. It demonstrates how important it is to never lose hope, even in the worst disasters.” – Fred Kaufman, NATURE executive producer
Meet the people rescuing and caring for the animal survivors of Australia’s devastating bushfires. Iconic species like koalas, kangaroos and wombats face a series of hurdles to recover from their trauma.
Octopus: Making Contact
“Octopuses followed a different evolutionary path, making them different from all other intelligent animals on this planet,” said David Scheel. “I am less intrigued by the differences and more interested in our similarities. What kind of a connection is possible with an animal that has three hearts and blue blood running through its veins? It’s been a privilege to have a relationship with such a strange and wonderful creature.” – David Scheel, scientist
The octopus is the closest we may get to meeting an alien. They evolved from a common cousin more than 500 million years ago, but are also intelligent creatures with proven problem-solving abilities. So what happens when you invite an eight-legged alien into your living room? This documentary follows marine biologist David Scheel as he tracks his evolving relationship with his own octopus.
All these – plus more! – are at pbs.org/video, or download the free PBS Video App on your Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, newer Samsung Smart TV or Android TV. You can also watch on your computer, phone or tablet.