PBS Show – Bird Man, Night Hiker, Ocean Office, #2808

– NARRATOR: Coming up on
Texas Parks and Wildlife…
– You are listening to
Bird Calls
from Red River Radio. – It’s a one-hour show, and it goes by like
a blink of an eye. It’s so fast and furious. – I really enjoy doing
night hikes. You’re really kind of
showing them how amazing it can actually be. – My job is scuba diving. I get to come out. I get to see great fish. I get to go, “Look
what I did this week.” [theme music] ♪ ♪– NARRATOR: Texas Parks
and Wildlife,
a television series
for all outdoors.
100 miles one way for me to drive to the studio,
I can’t do it remotely. – RADIO ANNOUNCER: You are
listening to Red River Radio. Stay tuned,Bird Callsis
coming up in just a few moments right here on your
public radio station. – I’ve never heard a show
on the radio that people can call in and ask
questions about birds. – RADIO ANNOUNCER: Cliff is
currently the statewide non-game ornithologist for the Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department. A position he’s held since 1997. And he has been an avid bird
watcher for more than 30 years. He’s also the first
author of the book,Hummingbirds of Texas.– NARRATOR: Every other month,
Cliff Shackelford takes
his love of birds across
state lines to reach
10,000 listeners.– BILL: Cliff, thanks for
joining us again for Bird Calls. – Hey Bill, happy
to be here.– NARRATOR: And he starts
with a bird to spotlight.
– This month is the Blue Jay. So we’re going to talk about
the Blue Jay for a minute. In the Red River Radio listening
area we have several species of song birds that are
predominantly blue including the Eastern Bluebird,
the Blue Grosbeak and the Indigo Bunting but the Blue Jay is the
only one here with a crest. Blue Jays are so popular,
they even have a major league baseball team named after them. How about that? [cheering] – As soon as Cliff goes
on the air, the phone calls start coming in. And they don’t stop
until the show ends. – BILL: Gail from Marshall,
you’re on line with Cliff, what’s your question? – GAIL: I’m thinking that I’m
seeing an Indigo Bunting. [bird sings] – It’s the general public
calling. They’re not bird watchers
per se, they’re just regular folks that see
interesting things and they’re curious about
what these birds are they’re seeing or
behaviors. Let’s listen to some
that are mobbing. [screech calls] – BILL: You can see how that
pitch has gone up and almost the intensity
as well. – CLIFF: These are birds
that are mobbing a predator. And they’ll do this it’s like
a neighborhood watch program. – BILL: Give us a call
right now…– NARRATOR: Bird Calls airs
live in most of East Texas
and Louisiana and parts of
Mississippi and Arkansas.
The show took flight after
Cliff volunteered to help
with annual fund drive.– He does this for us
voluntarily and I know it’s a
lot of work for him. It’s travel back and forth. – I love it! It’s a one-hour show and it
goes by like a [snap] blink of an eye. It’s so fast and furious and
when one hour’s done, I’m like, “Oh, it feels
like we just started, I want to keep going!” On the Eurasian Collard Dove we
talked about a minute ago, he really sounds like an owl. A lot of the doves do but this
one really does and it’s just an incessant,
‘Whoo, whoo, whoo. ‘Whoo, whoo, whoo. Whoo, whoo, whoo.’ [dove call] And if you hear that outside
in the day and you think, “What is that owl? It won’t stop!” It’s just this big, giant,
Eurasian Collard Dove. – He’s a gem of a guy. He’s as… – CLIFF: Here we go! – BILL: …friendly and
approachable in person as he sounds like he is
over the air. – CLIFF: Oh my God,
look at that!– NARRATOR: Cliff loves birds.– Look at that! Ohh! – He does love birds, yea! – I’ve loved birds since
I was a kid. About nine years old. [gentle music] My parents thought it was a
phase like picking up frogs bringing them home,
kids outgrow that. But I never outgrew
looking at birds. [painted bunting sings] I just love them. I think there’s so much
interesting stuff going on with birds. Oh look at that flying in! Boom! A lot of people that like
watching reality TV, ought to turn off the TV
and go outside. Looks like he’s going
to fall over at times. Kinda fun to watch. Because birds, there’s a
reality there that’s so pure, so real and so interesting and
that’s really why I like birds. [gull call] – BILL: You are listening to
Bird Calls from Red River Radio with our resident ornithologist,
Cliff Shackelford. He is with the Texas Parks
and Wildlife Department and he’s been there
for 30 years. You can give us a call…. – CLIFF: My co-producer is
Bill Beckett. Yea, let me correct something
you said, I’ve been with the department for 30 years. – Sorry, you’ve been an
avid birdwatcher for 30 years. [laugh] – Yea, I wish I was
30 years cuz I could turn in my papers. Here are my papers, I’m done,
but no I’m 19 years with the department,
going strong. So he’s working this
big mother board. And I just sit there
and answer questions. – And we have lines
open right now. We are going to go to
Claire from Shreveport. Claire, your on line with
Cliff, what’s your question? – CLAIRE: Hi Cliff,
such a big fan. So glad to talk to you. – CLIFF: Hey, great
Claire, what’s up? He’s playing sounds that
we’ve pre-recorded that we play on the air. Let’s listen for a minute. This is a begging
Northern Mockingbird and you’ll notice these
in the springtime. They’re speckle-breasted so mom
and dad have no speckles at all on the chest but a young bird
fresh out of the nest has spots on the chest but otherwise
he looks like a mockingbird. The tail’s really stubby.– NARRATOR: Throughout Bird
Calls, Cliff gives helpful tips
like how to make
hummingbird food.
– CLIFF: Always four parts
water, one part sugar. Never any other
kind of sweetener. A mistake a lot of people do
is they put a feeder up and they say, “I’m not
going to change it until they drink it all.” And that’s a mistake
in the hot south. You want to replace it every
three or four days so if that bothers you, just
don’t fill it up to the brim, just fill it half way
because it kind of spoils. It’s like feeding
your kids sour milk. – BILL: Well basically it turns
into alcohol doesn’t it? – Well, maybe so and that might
be appealing to some listeners but its not appealing
to the hummingbird so.– NARRATOR: As well as
practical advice.
– CLIFF: I don’t think I’d
stick my hand though on top of a monk parakeet. Boy, if they can crack a seed,
just think what they could do to your finger. – CALLER: And one more question
before I let you go. – Uh huh. Sure.– NARRATOR: It’s a pretty good
gig for Texas Parks
and Wildlife too.– CLIFF: This is a great
partnership for Parks and Wildlife because we
don’t have to spend a dime on the equipment. They just send me over to
preach the good word of birds through a radio station
that’s already established. The estimates with the
radio show are reaching over 10,000 people. So I can reach a lot
of people in one hour. – BILL: Ben from Dry Prong,
your on line with Cliff, what’s your question? – BEN: Uh, Rain Crows. – Uh huh! – BEN: I hear people say
Rain Crow and I don’t know what the heck they’re
talking about. – CLIFF: Ok, well it’s one of
the few birds that sings during a rain storm and so in a light
gentle rain storm, they’re still making their
ca,ca,ca,ca,ca,cow,cow, cow, cow and that’s the Yellow-Billed
Cuckoo and that’s also called the Rain Crow. – BILL: Cliff we’re going to
close out this program with another conservation tip, what
do you have for us this week. – Yea, in this month’s
conservation tip, we’re going to discuss
bird baths.– NARRATOR: And with more than
600 species of birds found
in Texas, many in Louisiana too,
there’s plenty to talk about.
– CLIFF: The staff at the radio
station think it’s pretty cool, there’s really that much
interest in birds, and there really is. [phone rings] – Thank you for calling
Red River Radio. Would you like to make a
pledge or are you calling with a bird question? – CLIFF: What I’d like to see
happen is that this might get syndicated. [bird chirping]– NARRATOR: That might
have to wait.
But now, Bird Calls
airs monthly.
– BILL: This has been Bird Calls
from Red River Radio. Our producers for this show
are Bill Beckett and Cliff Shackelford. The audio for tonight’s program
will be posted to our website in the next few hours and you
can listen to this program again online at
RedRiverRadio.org – RICK TORRES: Nature in general
can be so diverse, so varied. It’s really limited to your
imagination of what you can go out and explore. [waves crashing] As an interpreter, it’s our job
to really kind of reveal the meanings behind, you know,
connecting your imagination to what you are seeing. My name is Rick Torres. I am the park interpreter here
at the Isle Du Bois unit of Ray Roberts Lake State Park. There are only eleven that are
actually venomous in Texas. – DANIEL RIOS: Rick’s passion
really helps bring more people in. – But all snakes have teeth. – They come in and they’ll
go to his programs and then you’ll see them
just come constantly. Pretty much every weekend
they’ll be here just for his programs. – RICK: I really enjoy
doing night hikes. There’s something really fun
about bringing people out into the woods and a lot
of them have never been out in the woods
at night before. So, it’s like their first time
and it’s kind of spooky, scary but you’re really kind of
showing them how amazing it can actually be. [suspenseful music] You don’t know what’s
out there, you know. It’s this fear of the unknown
almost, and it’s fun to kind of peel back those layers and show
people that there are there isn’t a boogey man or like
a Chupacabra out there. There’s these really amazing
nocturnal wonders from the stars or the owls hooting
and the coyotes howling that I really love to
kind of show people. – The level excitement that
either like the kids, adults show towards a program,
he kind of reflects that right back at them. – RICK: All nocturnal animals
have a reflective layer in the back of their eyes that
helps them pick up more light from the environment. What can we see out there? What are nocturnal animals? So, what you’re seeing,
as you shine your light in the grass or on the ground, you’re seeing spider eyes
reflecting back into your eyes. As we head out to the lake, we might start hearing
some frogs or some toads, right now on this
warm summer night. One of the things that I try to
really kind of show people on our night hikes is just how
beautiful the night can be, how peaceful it can be, and
how wondrous it can be. – CHILD: I see a grasshopper! – Really, in the end, what’s
most important is for people to walk away inspired. You know my goal is to
hopefully inspire the next generation of stewards. These kids will one day
inherit these lands from us. Gimme an air five. Awesome! [upbeat music]– NARRATOR: This is an
artificial reef on the
floor of the Gulf of Mexico.Here, the ocean will turn
this rusty metal
into a booming ecosystem.An empty sea bottom
transformed into a dense
underwater jungle of life.[upbeat music, splashing water]A few miles off the Texas Gulf
Coast, a research expedition
is about to begin.– You have more shots of me
putting my booties on than anything else, I think. [Brooke laughs]– NARRATOR: Brooke Shipley-
Lozano is Chief Scientist
of the Artificial Reef program
for the Texas Parks
and Wildlife Department.Chris Ledford is the
diving safety officer.
They’re part of a team spending
the next four days on board
the M/V Fling…Pursuing their life’s missionand chasing their life’s
[dramatic music] [splash] – MAN: Alright, have fun. [splash] [breathing underwater] [music, bubbles]– NARRATOR: The Gulf of Mexico
has very few naturally
occurring reefs.[music, bubbles]So, artificial ones like
oil platforms, reef balls,
and decommissioned ships…give barnacles, coral, and
other invertebrate sea-life
the hard surfaces they need
to survive.
[music, bubbles]Energy then flows up
the food chain,
providing habitat and sustenance
for snapper, grouper,
and countless other species.Every so often, the underwater
inhabitants here get visitors
from up top.Marine biologists like Brooke
and Chris, who have come to
count fish, collect data, and
evaluate the overall health
of their man-made ecosystem.– BROOKE: The monitoring program
is essential to the entire artificial reef program
because if we don’t monitor the restructures,
then how will we know whether the fish are there. Whether it’s a good structure.– NARRATOR: Both Brooke and
Chris help manage an artificial
reef program that covers 4,000
acres across nearly 70 sites.
– CHRIS: I was introduced to
scuba by my dad, who was a diver in the military. It’s very much a part
of who I am. I love just playing around down
there, which is kind of hard to do when I’m on a work dive,
but we always make some time for that. – BROOKE: One ten. One ten for forty. Yea, that was a good dive. Other than Kevin! [laughter] – CHRIS: Do you want to see
the jellyfish shots? – BROOKE: Yea, I do. Cause it was a really
cool jellyfish. Ooh, that’s a great shot. It’s got the four half-circles
in the top. I think that’s the Aurelia. – MAN: Did you get a picture
of that shark? – CHRIS: Ah, maybe. [dramatic music] [dramatic music] [dramatic music] [dramatic music] – Living out at sea is
difficult sometimes. It is a lot of fun. You know, my job
is scuba diving. I get to come out. I get to see great fish. I get to go home and take these
pictures to my parents and my family and go,
“Look what I did this week.” [chopping] – MAN: Barney, what’s for
dinner? – I’m going to have hog jowls,
creamed corn. – MAN: Possum grits. – BARNEY: Possum grits. [music] – BROOKE: I have been on work
ships where I have been gone for three to four weeks
at a time. It’s a wonderful thing,
but it’s also hard. You wake up at five
in the morning. You don’t go to bed until
10 or 11 at night. But it is also so amazing… because every day you wake up and you’re standing in the
middle of the Gulf of Mexico. All you hear is the water
sloshing around against the side of the boat. I mean, I sleep better on
a boat than I sleep at home. It’s crazy. What I’m working on is the
database that contains all of the data that we have collected
from 1993 through 2011. One of the things that I’m
hoping to do eventually is be able to take all of that and
run a spatial implication model using fuzzy logic, which
is what my Ph.D. was, to then determine if we’re
putting reefs too closely together. When you’re a kid and people ask
you what you want to do with your life, I wanted to be a
ballerina or a veterinarian or a scuba diver. And, as it turns out, in the
weird way that life works… [splash] I actually have a career
where scuba diving is a large portion of it. So, it’s uncanny to me that
at five or six or whatever age I was then, I actually knew
what I was going to be now. [film projector begins] – CHRIS: I was probably
primarily influenced with diving through two sources. My dad as a scuba diver. [film clip, music] But also a big deal was the old
Jacques Cousteau reruns. I always knew from the get-go
that that was what I wanted to do. I used to actually get dressed
up in my favorite scuba diving outfit, which was probably my
pajamas and a pair of socks that were loosely pulled up around my
feet so they flapped around like flippers. And I’d slide around on my
belly, pretending I was diving and being Jacques Cousteau’s
dive buddy. So it pretty much started from
that point and went downhill from there pretty much. [music from film] – BROOKE: When I’m at sea, and
once I’m in the water, it is just, it is the most
serene and perfect place that you can be. [soothing music] You’re there, and you’re
weightless in this amazing blue world where things swim
within inches of your face, and, it’s just- it’s
just perfection. I probably feel closer to,
you know, the-the God and all the spiritual aspects
when I’m at sea in the water than I do even in a church. It’s just you and God’s
creations and perfection. [dramatic music] [dramatic music]– NARRATOR: Like most families,
the Gibsons in Bastrop, Texas
lead busy lives.[upbeat music]There’s homework…and homeschool.A busy management job…and lots of new words to learn.But a few times a year,
the Gibsons take a break
from their busy lives…and get even busier.[upbeat music] [energetic music]They volunteer for the
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Coastal Expo.Three thousand kids come out
over two days to learn about
the natural world.– KAYLEE GIBSON: It’s almost
a little bit of an adrenaline rush. – I’ll be right over there! – Our main goal is to get
them in and paint fish, not themselves. – Just pull the rope in. I’d say about 60 to 70%
of the kids who come through there have never
either been fishing, they’ve never been to the coast. – TRAVIS GIBSON: Once you
start learning… Throw it out there! …not only yourself but
teaching other kids… Who wants to go first? …it’s really fun. You can develop a habit of
teaching people instantly. – If they don’t show up,
we’ll get as much of your class through. It’s exciting. It is hard work. But we get so much more out of
it than what we put into it. – I absolutely could not do Expo
without volunteers. If we didn’t have volunteers
like the Gibsons, we absolutely would not be
able to reach all the kids and provide those first-time
experiences outdoors. You know, their faces
lighting up when they get to touch a crab or see an
alligator or catch a fish for the first time. We’ve become very good friends
over the years so watching the kids grow up and become
these amazing adults has been a lot of fun. – There you go. – DORIANN: They’ve learned how
to supervise and how to be good leaders. – As soon as we have
a wave going down, just pick them up and wash
them as fast as you can. I’m a very mousy person. I tend to be quiet
and soft-spoken. [to kids] Just a little bit. I think it looks awesome. But with volunteering I’m a
completely different person. – CHAD: Throw it out! Look at that! I get a lot more out of
it than just sitting at a computer or Xbox for an hour… I get 100% more out of it. – DORIANN: Olivia’s first
Expo she was 17 weeks and this year she’s
participating. She’ll go visit with the
Master Naturalists and play with the tortoises
or she’s learning the words of the stuff at the
beach goodies table. Do you know the word for it? – CHAD: Kids are going to find
value in what you find value in. If you’re on the couch 24/7
watching whatever it is on TV, they’re going to follow suit. We try to get our kids out,
get them engaged, get them plugged
into the outside. – This is what we do! [bird chirps]– NARRATOR: The Gibson family
first started volunteering
at Bastrop State Park.– DORIANN: It allowed us to
really have that quality time with our kids. It’s fun. It’s purposeful but we
get to do it as a family.– NARRATOR: So when Chad and
Doriann decided to renew
their wedding vows,
they returned to the park
that held so many
family memories.
[wedding music] – DORIANN: I kind of figured
that was fitting seeing as where that was how we kind
of started all of this. It’s really part of the
fabric of our family life. – PASTOR: You may kiss. [music] – CHAD: Is mama ready? – KAYLEE: Here you go. Every hour is worth
volunteering when you see the kids get happy. Awesome! – You can’t put a price on
coming home and going, “That was so much fun,
that was really cool!” – Working as a team brings our
family together a whole bunch. – DORIANN: Just do it.
Don’t over think it. It’s so much fun! [wind blowing] [wind blowing] [wind blowing] [wind blowing] [wind blowing, waves] [wind blowing, waves] [waves] [waves] [waves] [waves]

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