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Jemima on PBS Nature! Tonight!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Jemima's last visit was Christmas Eve 2017. But she has achieved immortality!

Way back at the end of June, a magical thing happened. Mark Carroll, a natural history cinematographer absolutely dripping in awards (his latest, an Emmy for his work with filmmaker Ann Prum of Coneflower Studios on PBS Nature's "Super Hummingbirds,"), arrived at Indigo Hill.

Through the magic of social media and college connections, Ann, wife of my birding buddy and fellow Harvard classmate Rick Prum (himself a MacArthur fellow for his work studying bird plumage, his book the Evolution of Beauty, and mating systems), had become aware of Jemima. It occurred to her that Jemima might be the perfect semi-wild bird to play the Avian Predator in Coneflower's butterfly special, in production for Nature.

Jem had been free since the 11th of June. Could I keep her around, train her to come in for caterpillars; get her to cooperate for the shooting? From those questions hung a big story and a LOT of stressing on my part. I laugh every time I think of it.

Working with Jemima and Mark to get video of her, in the wild, bashing and eating caterpillars, is a rollicking story in itself. For obvious reasons, I won't tell it here, but it's one of my favorite chapters in Saving Jemima, the book I'm working on for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Due out October 2019. I keep saying that so I will meet my deadline of Oct. 1, 2018. Yikes that's coming up fast.

It was such an honor to be able to make this sequence happen for Mark Carroll and Coneflower and Nature. As I'll relate in the book, it was allll up to Jemima whether or not to cooperate. You probably can't imagine what that was really like. Arrrrgh.

Jemima tickles Mark Carroll as he sets up a shot on a hot June day in our yard. Photo by Bill Thompson III

The result of Mark's work and my worry will air TONIGHT, Wednesday, April 4, at 8 pm Eastern, 7 pm Central, on PBS's Nature. I will probably be bawling my head off in awe and wonder as my tatty blue daughter does her worst to hapless caterpillars right on the TV screen in the living room where she played. I plan to put my iPhone on a tripod aimed at the TV so I can watch it over and over (I lack the ability to record otherwise). I hope you'll be watching!


Congrats!!! Can't wait to see it. Just one thing, April 4th is Wednesday not Thursday.

Julie, I've set the TiVo and can't wait to watch it. Haven't told Wayne yet, he'll be so excited. As always, love your work and so appreciate your dedication to this world we call home.

I can DVR program, if I can figure out how to record it on disk, I'll be sure to let you know and send you a copy !!!!

You are the best secret-keeper, you rascal!

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This is soooo cool, Julie! I will definitely be setting up the DVR to record this episode. Thanks so much.

Have just realized that I won't be able to see it when it airs tonight because I'll be at the Monticello Bird Club monthly meeting listening to a young woman named Katie Fallon talk about vultures. Perhaps you know her? HAHAHAHAHA! Anyhoo - I'll probably watch in onlijne as soon as I get home. Unless Katie talks really fast and I get home sooner than I expect to... This is SO AMAZING!! Can't wait to see it. But I'll have to.

You ought to be able to stream it afterward, from I can’t wait to watch!

This is SO exciting! I so hope she comes back to say hi at some point.

How exciting!!!! I am so happy it all worked out. Congrats. I can't wait to watch.

I'm posting this on my popular FaceBook page in Roanoke, VA
...looking forward to this!

Blue Jays, captive ones I guess, have been the traditional test birds in many insect studies by one of my favorite researchers and authors, Eisner (for love of insects) My Jackdaw Jakob also stared in a couple of old clips about hornworm feeding at the University of Bochum, Germany. But he was so trusting that anything I gave him was edible that we really had to watch out to not offer anything too nasty: he would desperately try to eat it anyway. Young corvids are not born with too much instinct, they are definitely a group that depends very much on learning, nearly like humans

I'll be watching.

DH and I threw out the TV two years ago--but I'll check to see if I can catch this on the stream. Great news!

And great pictures of Phoebe on the preceding post.

All because you gave Jemima a second chance!!!!! Long live Jemima!

“Alright Mr DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up”!

Am I wrong, but PBS Aired a butterfly show.

@Patty, if you read the post, it's made clear that Jemima is part of the butterfly special, "Sex, Lies and Butterflies." If you missed it, it will air again repeatedly. Watch your local listings.

I taped it and am currently watching. Thank you!

Just read this then headed to the website. Realized I saw the last half of the show last night so missed her at minutes 23. Anyway, she's a star! That was so exciting; I watched and rewatched. I can just imagine how thrilled you are with the result. Kim in PA

I squealed like a little girl when Jemima appeared on my television! We watched it On Demand so I could go back to minute 23 again and again. That girl can eat!

Julie, my local station was showing the Nature episode, "Sex, Lies and Butterflies." I searched for Super Hummingbirds but the dates were back a few years. Is there another way I could search for it? Thank you.

@Mollie: Jemima stars in "Sex, Lies and Butterflies" as a caterpillar predator. That's the show you want. Thought this would be clear from my post, but apparently some have been confused and didn't watch the special because they thought it was only about butterflies. It will be repeated a LOT in coming weeks. Search your local listings for repeats. You can purchase a DVD of Super Hummingbirds from PBS, or check it out at your local library. I should think that Googling "Super Hummingbirds PBS Nature" should lead you to the page.

Julie, I think you were clear. My guess is that sometimes we humans read too quickly and the details are swooshed away in the rush and, in this case, the excitement of the news. Hope everyone finds Jemima around minute 23 of "Sex, Lies and Butterflies," which can be found online where poncedog indicated in the comment above. Kim in PA

Oh my goodness!! Just catching up here - I've been reading through everything I missed since Valentine's day. So much amazingness and beauty and food for the soul. But THIS - this is totally wicked awesome! Congratulations and I'm headed to my TV now to see if I can find it on demand. YAHOOO!!!!

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