‘Secret World of Sound’ — A Three-Part Special from the Nature of Things

Secret World of Sound
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Secret World of Sound
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Photo Credit: CBC / The Nature of Things

‘Secret World of Sound,’ a three-part nature documentary premiering next month on CBC’s The Nature of Things and CBC’s Gem.

Infield Fly Productions has announced the three-part nature documentary series, “Secret World of Sound,” a co-production with Humble Bee Films in association with Netflix and Sky TV. The series will premiere on CBC’s The Nature of Things and CBC Gem on February 15, 2024, at 9 PM.

Host Anthony Morgan takes a journey into a hidden world using state-of-the-art audio technology, exploring the extraordinary ways that animals use sound to hunt, mate, and survive. For the first time in over 40 years of nature filmmaking, sound will be placed at center stage using innovative technology, including acoustic cameras and vibrometers, to reveal new science and tell the previously unheard stories of animals worldwide.

The three episodes of “Secret World of Sound” include:

Hunters and Hunted — February 15

In the first episode, sound is the difference between finding a meal and becoming one. At night in the deserts of Arizona, the kangaroo rat uses hollow spaces in its skull to amplify the faintest sounds — including the rustle of its deadliest predator, the rattlesnake.

Meanwhile, in an English garden, a bumble bee employs its buzz to unlock a hidden treasure, while in the Bahamas, a pod of dolphins use echolocation with incredible precision to find their prey hidden beneath the ocean floor.

Love and Rivals — February 22

In episode two, sound is used to impress, find a mate, and fight off a rival. In the forests of eastern Australia, the male lyrebird, one of the greatest mimics of the natural world, attempts to wow a female with his complex song — including the sounds of other birds and a car alarm.

In the vast grasslands of Alberta, male sharp-tailed grouse gather to put on an elaborate dance routine to attract a mate — complete with shaking their tail feathers and popping their neck sacks. Meanwhile, on the west coast of Washington, a fish called the plainfin midshipman sings a love song to convince a female to lay her eggs in his nest.

Finding a Voice — February 29

In the third episode, baby animals rely on sound to survive the most vulnerable stage of their lives. In Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, a group of wolf pups howl to stave off danger and protect the pack.

In the swamps of South America, baby caiman communicate with each other while still inside the egg to increase their chances of survival by emerging simultaneously. In England, honeybees use special sounds imperceptible to the human ear to crown a new queen.

Each episode will also include a behind-the-scenes look at the technology and techniques used by filmmakers to capture the unique sounds and sights in this three-part special.

Directed by Rebecca Hart, Gemme Brandt, and Bridget Appleby, “Secret World of Sound” is written by Dugald Maudsley, with series producer Sharmila Choudhury, producer Gillian Main, co-producer Monika Delmos, and executive producers Stephen Dunleavy and Dugald Maudsley.