Arriving In Harlingen

The Harlingen Airport is happy to see birders in Texas--look at the size of that banner! I feel so welcomed for the Rio Grande Valley Bird Festival.

We had the opening reception last night, which is a great time to reconnect with friends and eat some fancy foods. There was a new addition to the table--live birds. A small cage full of parakeets was put out by catering company (cause see, we're bird watchers). They startled the dickens out of me, but the budgies seemed to be having a great time preening each other and chirping sweet nothings.

I tried to get a photo of birders using a pair of tongs to get a budgie, but to no avail. I asked Jim from Kowa (above). "No way," he said, "your just going to put it in your blog that Kowa eats birds." He then went the extra mile to put his arm around the birds to prove how much he LOVES birds.

Kevin Karlson walked by and I shouted, "Yo, Kevin, do me a favor, put some tongs to the birds."

He also resisted my request, "No, you'll put it in your blog."

I even offered to say nice things about his books in the blog, but he said that I already do say nice things about his books and he appreciates that.

They're on to me!

So, by the time you are reading this, I'll be a digiscoping fool on the Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park. Then I give my Blogging: The New Nature Journal Program, then do a book signing, and then its Birds and Beers. Such a wild and exciting Thursday.

I've already touched based with several bloggers including Flying Mullet, Round Robin, and one third of 10,000 Birds. Will Mike Bergin sway me to the power of The Nature Blog Network...we shall see...

Oh, and bird banders will get a kick out of this:

Bird bites the cover of the book that identifies, ages and sexes them! And it's a house sparrow too! This sparrow latched on to the corner an would not let go, taking out its frustration on being man handled on poor, poor, hard to read Pyle.

Speaking of the Pyle book, there's a second one out. Yes, the bird id book with no photos, that even uses math equations to id birds, and is the necessary evil of every bander's operation now has a part 2! Here's an earlier post I had about Peter Pyle's Identification Guide To North American Birds and I had to chuckle, Ian Paulsen posted a few months ago: "I think every birder will want Pyle's Identification Guide to North American Birds: part 2!!!"

I hope he was kidding. Pyle is NOT for every birder, it's only for the masochistic Jedi birders that use The Force to identify birds. It's this heavy little book that sits on your back when you're sweating over a flycatcher in your hand and asking yourself if you'll be able to try to identify, let alone age and sex it. Then the book says in a gravelly drag queen voice, "No! Do or do not, there is no try."

Scariest bird book out there, I swear.