I am truly going to miss my early mornings at the Angeles National Forest. It was magical waking up early enough to experience the sunrise in the forest and to hear the early birds sing. On each day that we conducted hummingbird surveys, I also got a chance to see a new bird that I’d never seen before. Partnered with other bird fanatics, we all shared our knowledge of birds and nature together. Although our focus was foraging hummingbirds, we couldn’t help but gasp when we encountered a Mountain Quail or Mule Deer.
Not only was every survey day fun and exciting, it proved to be a great way to make new friends and network with others in my field of study. I found myself sharing my journey in my career and was amazed at how the others had accomplished similar career goals and successes.
Most importantly, this opportunity allowed me to be part of an extremely important project. We studied the relationship between flowering plants and hummingbirds at post-fire areas. With that information, we analyze what plants hummingbirds use and how these burned areas naturally restoring themselves. This valuable data will be used when trying to rehabilitate post-fire regions in the future.
After participating in this project, I have learned so much about the importance of natural fires, as well as the preventative measures we must take before they happen. With Los Angeles being prone to wildfires, I think this project is especially important for those working as field biologists in the city. This experience has been very eye opening and has broadened my interest in fire ecology projects.
Here are some photos of the awesome wildlife we saw: