Okay, let's see if I can break this just-one-post-a-month thing I've unfortunately been keeping up so far this year.
The second episode of Earthflight focuses on African birds, primarily vultures, flamingos, and African fish eagles. Spoilers ahead.
The dynamic between the flamingos and fish eagles is similar to that between the snow geese and bald eagles in the first episode, and after this episode I wondered whether such a storyline would be a recurring thing for this show, but that turned out not to be the case. Unlike the snow geese, however, the flamingos are also beset by baboons and hyenas on their journey. Dawnemperor remarked that the flamingos appeared to be the Butt Monkeys of the episode. (I first watched this episode with several members* of the paleontology forum Hell Creek on the Hell Creek chatbox, where we did live commentary on the show. It was great fun.) Eventually though, the flamingos do settle down at a lake where they get to perform their courtship displays to one another.
*Cheers to DawnEmperor125, Kazanlak, Pilsator, Sharkosaurus, Stewmorg, and Tomozaurus.
Besides hunting flamingos, the fish eagles get some other very cool footage in this episode, from fishing to fight scenes with other birds, including a marabou stork and some steppe eagles. It's hard to deny that a primarily fish-eating animal can be quite badass after those sequences.
The episode also covers the wildebeest migration, which we've probably all seen a hundred times. I don't know about the rest of you, but as spectacular as the migration is, it gets a little stale when you turn on the TV and find that every other wildlife documentary is covering it. Fortunately Earthflight puts a fresh spin on the event, covering things from the vultures' point of view. I think I like the vulture sequences best of all in this episode, because they showcased some rarely-shown occasions, such as a vulture being preyed on by a lion. And, appropriately, later on we see a mass gathering of vultures trick another lion into leaving its kill unguarded. This is, after all, a documentary about birds, and stinking synapsids can continue stinking.
A few seabirds get some airtime as well, and we get to see gannets plunge diving en masse and kelp gulls feeding on the remains of great white shark kills. Surprisingly, the episode ends on a cliffhanger as the white storks and barn swallows the episode had been following intermittently cross the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe, with the note that the next episode will cover the birds of Europe as well as the fates of these travelers. That also makes this the only episode to draw an actual connection with the episode that follows it. (Okay, the second to last episode does draw a connection with the last, but as I will explain later the last episode is thematically vastly different from the others.) I think they should've drawn these connections more often if only for the sake of consistency, but I understand that this may not have been applicable in all instances.
I really liked the effect of the background music in this episode. (I don't think it's actually all that different from the other episodes, but I found it particularly noticeable.) At some points you could even tell what species of bird the show was transitioning back to even before they showed up on the screen, as though they all had distinctive leitmotifs. My only gripe with this one has nothing to do with maniraptors, but with the fact that spotted hyenas are implied by the narrator to be mostly scavengers, when we've long known that this is generally not the case. (Some populations of spotted hyenas do indeed subsist primarily on scavenging, but this could've been made more clear.)