CALL OF THE WILD You might like to think of yourself as the rugged outdoorsy type, more interested in a challenging hike than in remaining incredibly still for long periods of time just to catch a glimpse of a flickering feathered mass—but just wait. This could happen to you: While trekking up a steep incline, you notice a beautiful wildflower. Your mild curiosity blossoms into a more serious interest in native plants and wildlife, and before you know it, you've got your first birding book and a pair of binoculars hanging clumsily around your neck. If you're already there, or you suspect the time is nigh, there's no point in fight or flight. Embrace your obsession at one of this month's fine birding fests.
Galveston Island FeatherFest (April 3-6): During spring migration, more than three hundred species travel through the area, recognized as one of the top locations in the U.S. for birding. You'll likely spot a great egret (above left) or a green-winged teal, and if you're lucky, a brown pelican (above right) or a rare Attwater's prairie chicken.
Birding in the Big Thicket (April 25-27): Head to Kountze, in the Piney Woods, where you might see a brown-headed nuthatch or a Bachman's sparrow.
Bluebird Festival (April 26): Wills Point, a little town east of Dallas, is home to more bluebirds than anywhere else in the state.
Great Texas Birding Classic (April 26-May 4): The nine-day tournament along the Gulf Coast awards winning teams a total of $51,000, which goes to the approved bird habitat of their choice. Be on the lookout for a ferruginous pygmy owl or a green kingfisher. ( See Galveston: Other Events , and Kountze.)