Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival 2009

Again this year ventured to the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival (RGV) in Harlingen, Texas. RGV is a grand event (no pun intended). This year marks its sixteenth year. Having attended last year as a vendor, I was convinced that it would be a good deal to repeat. Birders and experts come from all over the United States and Canada--some even from other parts of the globe. There are several species of birds particular to the Valley--Green and Red Crowned Parrots, Green Jays, Buff Bellied Hummingbirds, Great Kiskadees to name a few. If you want to see these, a host of opportunity is afforded you.

The trip down can be great for birding, too. The highway between Kingsville and Harlingen often is populated with hawks. It is not uncommon to see Crested Caracaras, Harris’ Hawks, Red Tails, Ferruginous Hawks, and American Kestrels.
When in need of a break from the wonderful birding, RGV offers a great trade show where all kinds of vendors offer equipment, feeders, plants, art, reading material, and information about the area and its refuges, parks, and birding centers. Organizations which support and promote conservation of birding habitats have booths at RGV, too.

When the day is done, there is always good food. One evening we closed up for the night and took the drive to South Padre Island. There we dined on the deck of Amberjack’s. The view of the bay and the cool of the evening made for a grand experience. The Oysters Rockefeller were delicious.

For five days, we talked and shared our stories, provided some good products, enjoyed hearing from where people came, marveled at some who migrate to the Valley every year for the winter. And then it was homeward bound. We had a great time; we’re looking forward to next year.

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