I first went to the valley to participate in the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival.in November 2011. I was so impressed by the area, that I knew that this would be a wonderful area to retire to. Right down my alley, so to speak. Of course, there is much more to life in the valley than just the bird-life. I have met some wonderful people there and have made lasting friendships. Here is a video that I saw on the internet. It shows why so many birders are drawn to this area.