No I'm not. I'm lying.
BUT YOU KNOW WHO WILL
For those who are reading this and have no clue whatsoever as to what I'm talking about, I'm currently in my fourth summer as an intern at the Houston Zoo raising Attwater's prairie chickens from hatch to release to augment the wild population and try to recover the species from the brink of extinction. And by brink, I mean there are less than a hundred wild birds in existence - they're one of the most endangered species in the country. And they poop a lot but their babies are really really cute so that's what matters. They are fuzzy. I like them.
Fortunately, everyone in Montana can ignore this next part, because the Montana PBS is the division that's hosting the broadcast. Everywhere else in the country, however, it's up to the local station whether or not they air the program. It all depends on how much interest they think their viewers will have in the program. So what does this mean? It means anyone and everyone that's reading this that lives in the US needs to call their local PBS station and go HEY. HEY. YOU GUYS KNOW THIS TIM BARKSDALE GUY? RUN HIS SHOW. DO IT. FUCKING DO IT.
The show is called The Last Prairie Chicken
and it's spotlighting all the efforts people have been putting in to rescue these species of birds. It doesn't focus on any one species in particular, so there'll be a lot of northerners talking about their Lesser Prairie Chickens and Greater Prairie Chickens and blah blah blah
but most importantly, it will have the Attwater's Prairie Chickens. AND THEIR BABIES. WHICH ARE MY BABIES.
Unfortunately, the only blurb I can find on the internet about it so far is this
from earlier in the month. The guy came by today, however, to film some video and grab some stills of the chicks. I think he's going to shoop them into scenes from The Matrix or something because he insisted on filming them with a green screen. I don't know. Still though, baby fucking prairie chickens
HOW COULD YOU EVER SAY NO TO SOMETHING SO CUTE
It'll be airing this May, so if you're in Montana, keep an eye on the TV schedule on PBS to see when it's on. I tried asking the guy for a ballpark estimate of when it'd air, but all he could say for sure was May. And those not in Montana, START NAGGING YOUR PBS STATION TODAY. DO IT. DO IT NOWWWW.
Also, I may have lied a little bit when I said I wasn't going to be on TV after all. Because I might - the film crew just hasn't moved on to filming our chicks yet. This fall, National Geographic is doing a big show on the Houston Zoo and it's many and various conservation projects. We're super huge in the conservation business, from Bowling for Rhinos to Pongos Helping Pongos to our partnership with Baylor College of Medicine pumping out research on the elephant herpes virus to the Saint Vincent Amazon breeding program to PRAIRIE CHICKENS YEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH. We've had two cameramen hanging around in the bird department for some time now, and they've been popping around the zoo filming various shots for the program. Since the prairie chicken breeding and release project is one of our biggest conservation projects (ok well I say it is), they've already guaranteed they'll be shooting a lot of clips of the work Mollie (the keeper in charge of the APCs), Hannah (the curator of the department), and us interns do to keep the babies healthy and ready to be released. So several people have said it's extremely likely that I'll be on TV, since I'm pretty much /physically attached/ to these birds I'm so busy with them.
Again, no release date on that one, but that one's far enough off anyway that I won't be expecting one for a while. But hey. Mark your calendars and keep an eye out!