Nature – Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas

Air date: 02/10/2021

Witness the Beauty of the Untamed American Borderlands in Nature — Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas

Premieres Wednesday, February 10 at 8 p.m. on PBS,
Thomas Haden Church narrates

The majestic Rio Grande River cuts deep canyons between the United States and Mexico, creating staggering landscapes in one of the largest protected areas of its kind in North America. The most remote corner of this infamous borderland is Big Bend National Park – a vast, unspoiled wonderland of serene beauty and home to some of America’s most glorious wildlife. This is true frontier land, where horizons never end and stars blaze as they have for eons. Nature — Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas premieres nationwide Wednesday, February 10 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), and the PBS Video app.

In a journey narrated by Thomas Haden Church (Sideways, HBO Divorce), uncover Western dramas as told by the animals themselves. Showcasing the natural magic of Big Bend over the course of a year, the film searches out its secret places and wild creatures, including many species of birds, butterflies, bats, reptiles, cacti and scorpions. Big Bend is home to a greater variety of these creatures than nearly any other US National Park.

The film features Big Bend’s remarkable Black Bears – pioneers who came across the Mexican desert and were the first to reclaim Texas after decades of hunting and persecution. Witness in super slow motion the magnificent courtship display of the Lucifer Hummingbird and the extraordinary Pallid Bat stalking its insect prey on the desert floor at night. Observe male Bighorn Sheep fighting for dominance and the unique way beavers keep themselves groomed. Watch the Elf Owl, the smallest owl in the world, hunt food for its chicks. And catch a glimpse of the first-ever footage of Anna’s Hummingbirds nesting in Big Bend.

Now in its 39th season on PBS, Nature brings the wonders of natural history to millions of American viewers. The series has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 19 Emmys and three Peabody Awards. Nature is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details).

Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer; Bill Murphy is Series Producer; Janet Hess is Series Editor; and Danielle Steinberg is Digital Content & Strategy Lead. Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas is a production of CROSSING THE LINE PRODUCTIONS and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET in co-production with ORF-UNIVERSUM and FRANCE TÉLÉVISIONS in association with RTÉ and SVT. The documentary is directed by John Murray and Jamie Fitzpatrick. Principal photography by Skip Hobbie and Domenico Pontillo. Written by John Murray and edited by Jamie Fitzpatrick. Produced by Cepa Giblin, John Murray and Skip Hobbie. The film’s score was composed by Texas band Explosions in the Sky (Friday Night Lights, Lone Survivor).

Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas was produced with the support of Creative Europe – Media Programme of the European Union, Will and Pam Harte, The Horizon Foundation, Cina Alexander Forgason, and The Sun Hill Family Foundation. Support for Nature is made possible in part by The Arnhold Family, The Fairweather Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Charles Rosenblum, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Sandra Atlas Bass, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by PBS. Additional financial support for this episode was provided by Incentives for the Irish Film Industry provided by the Government of Ireland. Supplementary promotional support for Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas was provided by Big Bend Conservancy.

Websites:,, @PBSNature,,,, #NaturePBS


About WNET
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station: a company of New York’s THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey and its news division, NJ SPOTLIGHT NEWS. Through its new ALL ARTS multi-platform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and the nightly interview program Amanpour and Company. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multiplatform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.

For editorial use in North America only in conjunction with the direct publicity or promotion of NATURE, no other rights are granted. All rights reserved. Downloading this image constitutes agreement to these terms.

Big Bend Sunset in The Window. ©Lee Hoy

Male Lucifer hummingbird in flight. Big Bend, Texas. Credit: © Lee Hoy

Greater earless lizard. Big Bend, Texas. Credit: © Lee Hoy

Texas horned lizard. Big Bend, Texas. Credit: © Lee Hoy

Sunset on The Window Trail. Big Bend, Texas. Credit: © Lee Hoy

Lightning storm over Chisos Mountains in Big Bend, Texas. Credit: © Lee Hoy

Elf owl looking out of its nest. Big Bend, Texas. Credit: © Lee Hoy

Male Bighorn sheep. Big Bend, Texas. Credit: © Lee Hoy

Bear cub emerges from behind a tree. Big Bend, Texas. Credit: © Lee Hoy

Christmas Mountains in Big Bend, Texas. Credit: © Lee Hoy