A Birdy Weekend

So this weekend I had the opportunity to participate in some really cool bird banding out in the desert with some friends. I have done my share of mist netting, which is catching birds in a fine net, but never actually banding them. I figured this weekend would be a nice brush up to all the mist netting I’ll be doing in Peru in…6 short days !!! (Seriously, where did time go?)

The morning started way too early (4am on a Saturday…I know, nuts.) at Starbucks for a much needed jolt, then it was onto Whitewater Canyon to set up the nets and get everything ready for the day.

We had 11 nets setup throughout the area and were checking them every 20-30 min, depending on the weather. We were hoping to get some good species but weren’t banking on it…yet to our surprise the birds came through! We ended up with some14 different species and around 30 individual birds. Here are some of the species we got:

Brown-crested Flycatcher
Costa’s Hummingbird
Yellow Warbler
Song Sparrow
Summer Tananger
Blue Grosbeak
Least Bell’s Vireo
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Breasted Chat
Bewick’s Wren
House Wren
A Woodpecker
House Finch
And one more i can’t remember!


Anyhow, it was a great day out in the field for sure. And of course even better because i got to band two song sparrows! Super exciting for me!

I think the best part of the day though was being able to hold these little guys after being caught in the nets:

Isn’t he cute?!?!?! I just about died when I was able to take the first hummingbird out of the net.  It’s like a rush for me!  I know, sounds crazy, but it is.  I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like when I get to Peru and I have to catch them all the time! Yay!!!

My weekend was filled with a few other things including an impromptu trip to San Diego:

I love my Ocean Beach Pier!

And some pretty great desserts from Extraordinary Desserts:


Now it’s time for some well spent time with the boy before I leave…I can’t believe I’m leaving.  Goodness gracious…


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11 Responses to A Birdy Weekend

  1. Ahhh! I love the pictures of the birds! They are so beautiful and cute! I especially love the fifth picture! :)

  2. Sana says:

    I am sooo excited for you!!!

  3. I can feel the excitement emanating from this post! I love the pictures of the birds – they are so cute! Can’t believe you are leaving in SIX days. Even though we aren’t in the same place, I’m going to miss you with so many miles between us! But I couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come for you and can’t wait to hear details once you’re all settled. :) Yay!

  4. Kim says:

    Love love love those birdies. So cute.

    I’m so excited for you for your trip. And don’t worry – my husband and I just got through a seven-month deployment. Your trip will fly by. If we can do it, you can do it! Good luck!!

    • Melissa says:

      I’m hoping it flies by for the sake of missing whit and my family but not because I want to be around those hummingbirds all.the.time!!!

  5. Amy says:

    Such beautiful photos of the birds! It sounds like you had a great weekend practicing your skills and eating some delicious cake!! I can’t believe you are almost on your way to such an awesome adventure, and I certainly can’t wait for all the updates from Peru :)

  6. Sarah says:

    Love this! What’s the bird that looks like it has a mohawk?

    • Melissa says:

      It’s a brown-crested flycatcher; one of the best catches of the day! Aren’t they cool looking…they bite like a beast though!

  7. Katie says:

    This must be such a bittersweet time for you! Enjoy your last moments, and embrace your new experiences! And what a cool birding event… they’re so tiny!

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