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      Nature Report: Birding Festival

      If you want to see a colorful green jay or great kiskadee, then the Rio Grande Valley is the place to be.

      Deep South Texas is perhaps the best place in the United States to see birds with more than 523 species documented in the region.

      And there is no better time to enjoy these outstanding avian wonders than during the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, which begins Wednesday November 7th, and runs thru Sunday November 11th.

      Headquartered at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium, the 19th annual Birding Festival is expected to attract some 4,000 people.

      Danny Hoehne, President of the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, is excited about what this year's event has to offer.

      "We are looking at great weather so far. We have a great, great lineup of field trips. We have great leaders and speakers from all over the country," he said.

      An array of birdwatching field trips highlights the annual event.

      Hoehne said, "There are the classics. The spots that people all over the United States hear about|Laguna Atascosa, the King Ranch|this is one of the very, very few times that citizens can get on the King Ranch for any sort of tours."

      In addition to the field trips and renowned speakers there is also a Birder's Bazaar with 60 vendors selling everything from binoculars to books.

      Even if you can't make it on the field trips or attend the presentations, the Birder's Bazaar is a great place to introduce the family to the joys of birding.

      "You've got the best birds arguably in the United States in your backyards. Just go sit in the back yard, put up a bird feeder| put up a humming bird feeder. Just start to look around and you will see what a jewel you have here in the Valley," said Hoehne.