Friday, November 4, 2005

Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival

Friday, November 4, 2005

Father Tom Pincelli, famed birding priest of South Texas, called me this spring to ask if I'd sub for him at the 2005 Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival as the event's emcee. Of course I said yes. Not only because I like Fr. Tom, but because I love the RGV Birding Festival and the birds of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Green jays, brown jays, chachalacas, great kiskadees, muscovy ducks, green kingfishers--I could go on and on. Besides I owed Fr. Tom for having facilitated the article that former President Jimmy Carter wrote for BWD. President Carter has been reading BWD for almost 20 years, and has been gracious enough to write jacket blurbs for a couple of my books. Whatever your political orientation, I think you'd agree that Jimmy Carter has dedicated himself to helping others since he left the Oval Office. And it's been since leaving the presidency that the Carters became birders. Fr. Tom said that birding with the Carters in South Texas was, as you might guess, a memorable experience.

Birding South Texas (even without a former President and First Lady) is always a blast. If you've never been down to the southernmost tip of Texas, you should make plans to go and attending a birding festival is an easy way to do it. There are several birding and nature festivals in South Texas, but the RGVBF is the largest. There are festivals in Brownsville, McAllen, Mission, Kingsville and elsewhere in South Texas.

This year's RGVBF runs from Wednesday, November 9 to Sunday, Nov. 13. I'm looking forward to seeing some of my birding pals there, in addition to seeing some great birds.