Heinz Sielmann: Who is the filmmaker and why did he earn the nickname ‘Mr Woodpecker’? - New Gersy

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Heinz Sielmann: Who is the filmmaker and why did he earn the nickname ‘Mr Woodpecker’?



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A Google Doodle pays tribute to the notable scientist and film maker Henry John Heinz Sielmann, on what would are his a hundred and first birthday.




Despite making a good vary of life documentaries over his life, Sielmann gained the nickname “Mr Woodpecker” when the discharge of 1 of his most best-loved films, Carpenters of the Forest, in 1954.

Detailing the lifetime of the bird, it featured then-groundbreaking footage from within its nests and have become massively in style in UK when it absolutely was broadcast on the BBC.

That the film, referred to as The piciform bird on UK broadcasts, remains his most famed work among a career plagued by triumph movies pays testament to its ability to capture the imaginations of audiences at the time.




Born in in Rheydt, Germany, in 1917, Sielmann affected to East Preussen at Associate in Nursing early age wherever his father opened a business commerce electrical and building provides.

His fascination with life began as a toddler, typically wakening early so as to look at birds before college.

At the age of seventeen, he received his initial camera and created his initial steps into the globe of life photography. 

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East Preussen became the setting for his initial nature film in 1938, a silents on birdlife within the province.

However, the young Sielmann’s career was interrupted the subsequent year by the happening of the Second war.

He was at the start stationed in occupied Polska as an educator at a radio communications coaching unit for the German Luftwaffe, defrayal time as a captive of war in Cairo and London.


After the war, he began his critically-acclaimed work for the academic Film Institute of the Federal Republic of Federal Republic of Germany.

It was throughout now he started motion-picture photography Carpenters of the Forest, capturing the elusive piciform bird in a very degree of depth that had not been seen before.

Sielmann placed cameras within piciform bird nests and in doing thus was able to film intimate moments between folks and offspring, a move that helped the documentary become a worldwide hit.

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“Of all the animals that I even have worked with, the woodpeckers square measure my favourites,” Sielmann would later write, “because i used to be able to establish several new facts concerning the biology of those birds.”

In the late Nineteen Fifties, he free his initial movie, Les Seigneurs First State la Forêt, or Lords of the Forest, that was commissioned by the King of Kingdom of Belgium and recorded within the then-Belgian Congo. 




The film was notable for being one in every of the primary to capture the social nature of gorillas in their natural environs. It won initial place at the national capital fete and quickly became one in every of his most revered works, being translated into twenty six languages together with Associate in Nursing English version narrated by role player. 

In 1971 he photographed for the honour winning film The Hellstrom Chronicle, beside Walon inexperienced, concerning the threat that insects put together create to humans and also the struggle between the 2.

In 1994, he supported the Henry John Heinz Sielmann Stiftung, a foundation that has with success reintroduced otters and beavers into the wild in Federal Republic of Germany.

He died encircled by his family in urban center in 2006.


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