Planet Earth 2

The BBC contacted Fabio Di Segni to help them with filming the phenomenon of starling swarms in Rome, for their landmark series PLANET EARTH 2, narrated by Richard Attenborough.
Each evening during the autumn in Rome, swarms of starlings fly over Rome attracted by the heat of the city. They form huge swarms that swirl and change form above the buildings, millions of birds taking part in a type of aerial acrobatics. And then suddenly, as if responding to a signal they can hear but we can’t, they all alight on the trees along the city avenues to roost for the night.
It’s one of nature’s great spectacles. But for the Romans who live below them the beauty is somewhat diminished by what the birds leave behind. Tons of guano drop on the roads, parked cars and buildings of the city. The slippy city streets have been responsible for accidents, and residents are frustrated by the dirt and the smell. So, the city council has been trying for years to find a solution, some method to encourage the birds to nest elsewhere. They’ve used alarms that sound like guns firing (not very popular with residents) and more recently natural predators such as peregrine falcons. The problem with the latter is the sheer numbers: you’d need thousands of falcons to make any kind of impact on these huge swarms.
To film this natural history documentary, the BBC needed to find the best vantage points in the city and as the location producer Fabio was there to help them. He identified the ideal rooftops for filming and negotiated access on behalf of the producer. He also spoke with local scientists researching the phenomenon and members of the city council to find out what programmes they were implementing to scare the birds away.
The result is one of the most enchanting and breathtaking scenes in this excellent series, PLANET EARTH 2, Episode 6 Cities



  • Anh Does Italy (7 Network)
  • Baby Boom To Bust (Becker Entertainment/National Geographic/Discovery)
  • A Current Affair (Nine Network)
  • 60 Minutes (Channel 9)
  • Swimming World Championships in Rome with Peter Overton (Channel9)


  • The Secret Life of Alexander the Great (Proper Television/History Channel Canada)
  • The Secret Life of Casanova (Proper Television/History Channel Canada)
  • The Secret Life of Pope Rodrigo (Proper Television/History Channel Canada)
  • The Secret Life of Caligula (Proper Television/History Channel Canada)
  • The Secret Life of Lord Byron (Proper Television/History Channel Canada)
  • Are We There Yet? (Sinking Ship/National Geographic)

UK and Europe

  • Fizz, Bang, Whallop (STV/BBC4)
  • The Cook Who Changed Our Lives (Keo Films/BBC2)
  • River Monsters (Icon Films/Animal Planet)
  • 'Hula' and 'Alien' (Sonera TV commercials, Also Starring)
  • Planet Earth 2 (BBC1)
  • Football Lovers Do (Scripps International Networks)
  • 5 Best Things to Do in Milan (Scripps International Networks)
  • Ahlstrom commercial (Cocoa)
  • Rasgas commercial (WMP Creative)
  • Gino's Italian Escape (ITV)
  • Kotipizza TV commercial (Also Starring)
  • Andrew Roberts' Napoleon (Back2back/BBC2)
  • Nelson in His Own Words (Oxford Scientific Films/BBC2)
  • Fire & Ice (Just So London/Dunhill International)
  • Jingles for NOVA, Czeck television
  • Mentors (Proudfoot TV/ Rolex)
  • Nike Photo Shoot with Mario Gomez (VCCP Berlin)
  • Masterchef , The Professionals (Shine TV)
  • Top Gear (BBC1)
  • Objects of Desire (Storyvault Films/Channel 4) with Mariella Frostrup
  • The Link (Lion Television/National Geographic)
  • Earthflight (John Downer Productions/BBC/Discovery)
  • The Gadget Show (North One Television, Five)
  • The Fig Leaf (BBC4)
  • Pope Benedict XVI (Juniper Television/Channel 4)
  • Could You Eat An Elephant? (Keo Films/Channel 4)
  • Rhodes Across Italy (Denham Productions/UKTV)
  • History of Science (BBC1)
  • Rat Pack (Fever Media Ltd/BBC1)
  • UEFA Championship Final, Rome (ITV Sport)
  • PM Salvage Code Red (Steadfast TV)
  • Dolce Vito (IWC Media/Channel 4)
  • Superswarm (John Downer Productions/BBC Natural History Unit)
  • Imagine (BBC2)
  • Canon publicity (Coast)
  • Blue Peter (BBC1)
  • Medical Mysteries (Scream/Fox TV)
  • Mr and Mrs Smith (Outline Productions/Discovery)
  • Urban Myths (Cineflix/Five)
  • Who Do You Think You Are? Sheila Hancock (Wall to Wall Television/BBC2)
  • Ancient Worlds (MEM Television)
  • The Northern Renaissance (BBC Scotland)
  • Greatest Dishes of the World (Shine/Sky)
  • Holiday Showdown (RDF/Five)
  • Country File Special Christmas Edition (BBC1)
  • Mark Steel Lectures . Leonardo Da Vinci (BBC2/BBC4)
  • Home Abroad (RDF/Five)
  • ‘Yn Enw Serch’ (In the Name of Love) (Boomerang TV/SC4)
  • Motor World with Jeremy Clarkson (BBC2)