article and photos by Charly Mann
About three years ago I saw my first Gray Catbird hopping around amid some dense shrubs near my home. I fell in love with the bird immediately and was overjoyed when I discovered it was called a catbird. This is because their call resembles the mewing of a cat. Since that day the Universe has been very kind to me, and I now usually see several Catbirds almost every day during the Spring and Summer. Gray Catbirds spend their winters along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.
This Gray Catbird is a regular visitor to my backyard and perches in a tree near where I often sit
Gray catbirds have a black crown and tail and a distinctive dark grey plumage. Adults measure about 9 inches in length. Their tail is long and erect like a wren and its under tail is rust colored. They have black eyes and legs.
Some Gray Catbirds have lived more than 17 years.
This Grey Catbird is singing his song which can last as long as ten minutes
The Gray Catbird has another correct spelling: Grey Catbird.
The Gray Catbird usually build its nest no more than four feet from the ground in small trees or dense shrubs. The Catbird will attack predators including humans that threaten their nests.
Turquoise eggs of Gray Catbird from nest in my backyard
Gray catbirds are monogamous.
Gray Catbird in his catbird seat
Gray Catbirds are rather fearless and you can usually get closer to them than most birds.
The expression "being in the catbird seat"means you have a great advantage in a situation. Many times when I see a Gray Catbird sitting in a nearby branch I think what an enviable position he is in.