Today we took another ride over to Gatorland to see how the eggs had developed. As we were heading back to the “rookery,” we were surprised by a rare find in a tree as we were walking there.
As is typical of Catbirds, they are quick movers and like to stay hidden as much as possible. This one was all over the place until he finally came out on a branch where I could get a decent photo.
Had this bird not let out one of its soft “cat call,” We would have probably walked right by it.
“This species is named for its cat-like call. Like many members of the Mimidae (in particular mockingbirds), it also mimics the songs of other birds, as well as those of Hylidae (tree frogs), and even mechanical sounds. Because of its well-developed songbird syrinx, it is able to make two sounds at the same time. The alarm call resembles the quiet calls of a male mallard.
A gray catbird’s song is easily distinguished from that of the northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) or brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) because the mockingbird repeats its phrases or “strophes” three to four times, the thrasher usually twice, but the catbird sings most phrases only once. The catbird’s song is usually described as more raspy and less musical than that of a mockingbird.
In contrast to the many songbirds that choose a prominent perch from which to sing, the catbird often elects to sing from inside a bush or small tree, where it is obscured from view by the foliage.” (Wikipedia – Gray Catbird)
Our Catbird find was encouraging, as it was sort of quiet today, until we got near the few hatch-lings. But, that will have to wait until the next post.
As the Catbirds call out, it can remind us of Psalm 91:15:
“He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.”
Considering we haven’t been birdwatching in some time, other than out the back door, I thought I would share the Catbird, while I check the rest of the photos. It was just about a month ago that we were last at Gatorland, and there is a new group of birds laying eggs. Stay tuned!
What an amazing Catbird Lee, has a complex of abilities similar to both our Magpies and Bowerbirds, though our Catbirds are actually grouped into the Bowerbird family which are great mimics, as they are basically the same, and have a similar courting ritual. They are a very elusive bird, at least yours is grey, ours are both green and blend into the dark green foliage so they are invisible even close up.
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They may be grey, but they are still very hard to find in branches. Their cat call, is the best way to even know they are nearby. Challenges, challenges!. Every bird presents some sort of a challenge. :)
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