Peeking out from behind the leaves and doing it with their typical style we proudly present ….the Gray Catbird.
With it’s distinctive cat like mew call radiating out from the dense undergrowth we knew if we waited just a little bit we might get a nice look at one of our favorite songsters and with a little patience we were rewarded.
This morning a pair of Catbirds emerged from the thick undergrowth into a nicely lit clearing. Although from a distance these birds look completely gray a closer look reveals a black cap and black-tipped tail and a bit of rufous under the tail.
“The Gray Catbird belongs to the genus Dumetella, which means “small thicket.” And that’s exactly where you should go look for this little skulker.”1https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Gray_Catbird/overview
Perhaps this pair were building their nest in this tangle of benches as Catbirds regularly nest in deep tangles building open cup type nests lined with inner cup of tightly woven grass, hair and small rootletts of plants.The nest is then used to incubated between 1-6 eggs which typically hatch in 12-15 days.
In altercations, Gray Catbirds may fluff up the breast and rump feathers, spread their tailhttps://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Gray_Catbird/lifehistory
The real treat of the morning was listening to the extended song of the male. A wonderful mix of whistles, squeaks,various mimicry of other birds, forest creatures and even mechanical noises strung together in a rambling song lasting up to 10 minutes.