Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Television Show Brings "Birding" to the Small Screen

Bindi the Jungle Girl may have some competition!

Since I was just back home in Florida for Christmas, I had decided to check the local listserv to see what "birding adventures" we might have missed since returning to Cape May. I came across some info on a post that I wanted to share.

It seems that there is a new television show that has hit the airwaves with the hopes of taking the ranks of The Croocidile Hunter and The Jeff Corwin Experience. But of course the focus is primarily birds.

Birding Adventures
T.V. launches to the airwaves, today in fact, with a three part series covering Guyana. I just watched the preview and it seems like a pretty well put together program. The host, James Currie, definitely has a spin toward the Jeff Corwin angle. But then again, how many ways are there to be a charismatic host of a nature program. I was glad to see that while the focus is on birds, there is coverage of other wildlife without seemingly trying to duplicate the Animal Planet heavy hitters.

While the Birding Adventures website is still new, like the show, and needs a bit of work yet, it is easy to navigate to find most of what you are looking for. For most folks this will be the air time schedule. What I quickly found was that those of us in parts of the country other than the southeast will not be able to view the program as its focused audience for the time being is centered on Florida. It is carried on a the Comcast Southeast division so with some success (and possibly some contact from interested parties to Comcast asking them to carry the program) of the show it may find it's way to other markets. The funniest part is that the program airs in the morning when most birders are out pursuing birds! I guess that's way they make DVRs.

Don't be alarmed by the website header which depicts a Barn Owl, Indiana Jones style complete with wool fedora. You gotta love marketing!! The show also claims to be "the first birding TV program that focuses on destination and adventure bird-watching." This is partly true. Many of you may remember the Animal Plant show All Bird T.V., hosted by University of Montana professor Ken Dial. All Bird T.V. seemed to focus more on avian conservation research projects (covering NJAS's own Dr. David Mizrahi's shorebird research). This new Birding Adventures program is more focused at the excitement with in birdwatching and "birding" as is evidenced by the Leica optics plug in the preview (they're even using the new Leica scope!). Personally, I think the program would do well to try to bridge the gap between the "Birding Adventure" programming and highlighting some of the excellent research that is going on in the world. And, this may be the case as the second episode is focused on the Florida Scrub Jay Trail (I have to plug Fla. Scrub of my favorite birds and the reason I decided to put this info out for you to review).

I am in favor of most things that will help get more people excited about nature and birds and wish this program success in doing just that. After all, the more folks who re-awaken the inner child and learn to find not only beauty but exhilaration in nature, the more chance we have for a clean, bright and birdy future.

No comments: