This morning Dan the bird guy came from Smithsonian Nestwatch to survey our yard. This is the fourth year they've done it. The first two years Bob the bird guy spent a couple of hours trying to lure a catbird into the mist net to no avail (each time, he caught four other birds instead). The next year Vince(? I don't think his name was really Vince but a name that reminds me of Vince) and Elizabeth (? again, although I know it was a long name that she used whole) did catch one in the net, although we don't know how. We were on the porch working on another bird when it flew into the net. Dan found last year's catbird two yards downhill from us. Then he stalked another one in our yard and caught it with a net on a stick. In prior years, they've taken blood samples from the larger birds, but this year they are just collecting parasites when they find them to see if they are West Nile Virus vectors. There weren't any visible on this bird. Other than that, they get weighed, measured, checked for fat (this one had none), and then a couple of fluffy feathers and a tail feather are stuffed into an envelope. They get leg bands--this bird has blue and green--and are set loose. Dan offered to let Victoria pet the bird before he let go of him, but she preferred to keep her distance. Then the bird wanted to hang out on Dan's hand, biting his thumb for a while, but finally he took off. I'm supposed to watch for the nest he's going to be building. I am a terrible bird-watcher but I do try. Just one bird this year, but my list of banded birds is long by now. I have yet to re-spot one on my own.