Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

NATURE: Big Bend: The Wild Frontier Of Texas

Lightning storm over Chisos Mountains in Big Bend, Texas.
Courtesy of © Lee Hoy
Lightning storm over Chisos Mountains in Big Bend, Texas.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m. on KPBS TV + May 22 at 8 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On demand now with KPBS Passport

—Witness the Beauty of the Untamed American Borderlands—

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 true frontier land, where horizons never end and stars blaze as they have for eons, is featured in NATURE “Big Bend: The Wild Frontier Of Texas.”

Preview of Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas

In a journey narrated by Thomas Haden Church ("Sideways," HBO’s 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 U.S. 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.

Sly Bear Steals From Woodpecker's Acorn Stash

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.

Meet the World's Smallest Owl

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.

Anna’s Hummingbird Filmed Nesting for First Time in Big Bend

Watch On Your Schedule:

This episode is now on demand with KPBS Passport, a benefit for members at $60 or more yearly, using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.

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.

Join The Conversation:

NATURE is on Facebook, and you can follow @PBSNature on Twitter. #NaturePBS


NATURE is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. Fred Kaufman is executive producer; Bill Murphy is series producer and Janet Hess; and Danielle Steinberg is digital content and strategy lead. 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.