May 7, 2020

PBS Science Series, NOVA, Presents Eagle Power

Boston, MA Eagles dominate the skies. They are capable of tackling enormous prey, spotting food at vast distances and soaring for miles on the wind. What’s the secret to their remarkable predatory powers? On Wednesday, May 20, the award-winning science series, NOVA, produced for PBS by WGBH Boston, will debut Eagle Power, a one-hour special that explores the extraordinary abilities and resilience of these truly inspirational creatures. The special premieres at 9 p.m. ET/8c on PBS and will be available for streaming online and on the PBS Video app. Watch the trailer here.

Eagle Power explores the lives of these spectacular birds to unlock the secrets—and the science—behind their incredible skills. NOVA gives viewers a stunning, up-close look inside the nest of a new bald eagle family. Their dramatic story begins during a snowy breeding season in Iowa, as the adult female incubates her eggs through freezing temperatures until they hatch. NOVA follows as the eaglets struggle to stay alive—facing everything from sibling rivalries to blood-sucking black flies to precarious ventures outside the nest—until they finally learn the skills they’ll need to survive on their own.

The special goes far beyond Iowa; eagles reside in a huge range of habitats across the planet—from the harpy eagle in the rainforests of South America, to Steller’s sea eagles in the icy North Pacific, to fish eagles in the great lakes of Africa. Bald eagles are one of about 70 eagle species around the world, all characterized by a blend of power and beauty. They top the food chain in many places, but to dominate their world they must master three feats: They need to cover hundreds of miles on the wing, spot their prey at vast distances, and tackle the largest prey of any bird species.

To reveal how they achieve this, viewers meet a remarkable bird, called Tilly. She is a golden eagle, but what is so special about her is the relationship she has with her lifelong partner, Lloyd Buck. Ever since he was a boy, Lloyd has been obsessed with birds and has kept many different species, but Tilly stands out among the rest. Lloyd and Tilly have been working together for 20 years, and Lloyd has shown incredible dedication to her training. Tilly acts just like a wild bird, but is comfortable around people and scientific equipment, providing a unique opportunity for researchers to learn more about these remarkable predators. Using cutting-edge filming  technology, NOVA follows Lloyd and Tilly as they take on a series of remarkable experiments to reveal the science behind her exceptional strength, eyesight, hunting techniques, and flight maneuvers.

“In this special, we reveal the science behind the greatest abilities of America’s favorite bird—from their unrivalled vision, to the powerful talons used to overpower their prey, to the unique wing shape that allows them to soar efficiently,” says NOVA Co-Executive Producer Julia Cort. “We’re thrilled to be able to give audiences such an intimate window into the lives and challenges of these magnificent animals, whose combination of agility, skill, and strength has long captured our imagination.”

“Eagles have this mesmerizing blend of power and beauty that is intoxicating, but their life at the top of the food chain is not as easy as you might expect. In this film, we wanted to reveal what it takes to be the most powerful bird in the sky. What we captured was a surprise to us all,” says Producer and Director Simon Baxter. “Spending time with an eagle is unlike any other wildlife encounter I’ve had before. They’re elegant and gorgeous, but when they stare into your eyes it feels like they’re making a calculated character assessment. It’s chilling and enlightening at the same time.”

Eagle Power also sheds light on the historic resilience of eagles during times of hardship. Globally, about a third of eagle species are considered endangered or vulnerable. In the United States, with the help of some extreme conservation efforts, bald eagles have been able to make a truly remarkable comeback from the historic effects of DDT on wildlife. Now, to date, there are over 140,000 bald eagles in the U.S. The bald eagle is a North American legend, with a deep connection to Native American cultures and emblematic status that helped it make a remarkable journey back from the brink of extinction.

Follow the stories of experts throughout the film including, Lloyd Buck, bird specialist; Michael Jones, avian veterinarian; Misti Sporer, environmental scientist; William Voelker, member of the Native American Comanche tribe in Oklahoma; and more, as they explore what it takes to be the most powerful bird in the sky. To take the story even further, visit the eagle’s nest featured in the film, which streams LIVE 24/7 at the Raptor Resource Project.

NOVA Eagle Power premieres Wednesday, May 20 at 9 p.m. ET/8c on PBS and will be available for streaming online and on the PBS Video App.

Eagle Power is a BBC Studios Production for NOVA/WGBH Boston and BBC. Produced and directed by Simon Baxter. Co-Executive Producers for NOVA are Julia Cort and Chris Schmidt. NOVA is a production of WGBH Boston.

National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the NOVA Science Trust, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.

Photo Caption: Golden eagle close up with natural background

Photo Credit: © Simon Baxter/BBC

About NOVA

NOVA is the most popular primetime science series on American television, demystifying the scientific and technological concepts that shape and define our lives, our planet, and our universe. The PBS series is also one of the most widely distributed science programs around the world, and is a multimedia, multiplatform brand reaching more than 55 million Americans every year on TV and online. NOVA’s important and inspiring stories of human ingenuity, exploration, and the quest for knowledge are regularly recognized with the industry’s most prestigious awards. As part of its mission to make the scientific enterprise accessible to all, NOVA is committed to diversity and inclusiveness in all its work, from the production process to the range of stories we tell and voices we feature. In addition, science educators across the country rely on NOVA for resources used in the classroom as well as in museums, libraries, and after-school programs. NOVA is a production of WGBH Boston; more information can be found at, or by following NOVA on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

About PBS

PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a new 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the web, including Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Curious George and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a major supplier of programming for public radio, and oversees Public Radio International (PRI). As a leader in educational multimedia for the classroom, WGBH supplies content to PBS LearningMedia, a national broadband service for teachers and students. WGBH also is a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to those with hearing or visual impairments. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors. More info at

Press Contact:

Rebecca Weintraub
DKC Public Relations