Heinz Sielmann: Google Doodle celebrates the biologist and filmmaker 

Heinz Sielmann, the renowned biologist and documentary filmmaker, has been celebrated in a Google Doodle, on what would have been his 101st birthday.

Also recognised as Mr. Woodpecker after one of his most beloved wildlife documentaries was released, his most significant achievement was his ability to feature the elusive bird more closely than had ever before.

After being commissioned by the King of Belgium, Heinz Sielmann came out with his first feature film in the 1950s, it went to become one of the world’s most revered films. But who is Heinz Sielmann?

Who was Heinz Sielmann?

Born on June 2, 1917, in Rheydt, Germany, now referred to as Mönchengladbach, Heinz Sielmann is a renowned wildlife photographer, biologist, zoologist and documentary filmmaker.

His first film was a silent movie on birdlife in East Prussia and the Memelland and was released in 1938. With his further work being halted by the war, he was then stationed as an instructor at a Luftwaffe radio-communications unit.

Prince Philip pictured here sitting next to Heinz Sielmann, noted for his books on nature

Prince Philip pictured here sitting next to Heinz Sielmann, noted for his books on nature

In 1940, he gained a degree in Biology with a specialism in Zoology at the University of Posen, a Germanised University, an institution part of the German Reich. While he was stationed in Crete, he was able to work on his cinematography.

After his time as a prisoner of war, he was able to edit his footage from Crete for a three-part documentary whilst in London.

Heinz began to become recognised in certain circles and his feature film about woodpeckers, Zimmerleute des Waldes, which can be roughly translated as Carpenters of the forest, was a huge hit in the UK and was broadcast by the BBC after David Attenborough’s encouragement.

The film was followed by a book about it’s making and in it Sielmann wrote: ‘of all the animals that I have worked with, the woodpeckers are my favourites... because I was able to find out many new facts about

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