Friday, January 7, 2011

Gray Catbirds of the Vermilon River. A Post to Camera Critters # 144


Immature Catbird


Immature Catbird

Adult Catbird


Adult Catbird

Adult Catbird
I usually shoot in a series to ensure I get good photos that require as little editing as possible. If I'm lucky this gives me lots of pics to post. So when I got these little fellows all that I could figure out was that I had an immature. With the help of some people at NWO birding they identified it as a Gray Catbird. And I posted a few photos.Today I was going through my file looking for what I thought were some pics of a Northern Mockingbird ,which I could post. When I pulled up the so-called Mockingbird, I had real second thoughts and went over to Cornell Labs and ran through Northern Mockingbirds, Gray Jays, Catbirds and Shrikes. Cornell is really good because they show other birds that are confused with what you think you have. I don't think I have a Mockingbird at all, but an adult Gray Catbird. Mom and Dad to my immature.

Now a few facts about Gray Catbirds. They are gray all over except for the black cap on their head, which you can just see in photo # 1. and have rusty red feathers under the tail feathers.The last identifier was useless to me for obvious reasons. The Northern Mockingbird has white wing feathers at the edge, and a white belly. Identifying birds is hard, isn't it?  Sometimes it's a process of elimination. The bird is a member of the mockingbird and thrashers group, and copy their songs from other birds in a similiar fashion. Yet, their song is distinctive because it has a cat like mewling in it.

For further information see: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/ Cornell Lab and http://birdsbybent.com/ch91-100/gcatbird.html
For other Camera Critters photos, go to: http://camera-critters.blogspot.com/

27 comments:

  1. As I am a bird watcher, learning to travel around the coastal birding route in search of an elusive species...I really enjoyed your catbird photos!! They're gorgeous.

    My Camera Critter is posted...'cause I'm feeling a little "crabby" today.

    Here's the link...
    Click Here

    http://hootin--anni.blogspot.com/2011/01/im-feeling-little-crabby-today.html

    - - -

    Have a great weekend.

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  2. You have some really nice photos of Catbirds, both juveniles and adults. As you pointed out they belong to a family of birds that mimic other birds' songs. When you listen to their songs, it is often hard to distinguish one from the other, but it's fun trying to figure out what birds are being mimicked.

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  3. Great post on the Catbirds. They are cool birds, I usually see them here in the summer.

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  4. Hi Hootin'Anni. Thanks for the visit and kind comments.

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  5. I'm no where near the birder you are, maybe even just an amateur photographer. But it's amazing how you begin to recognize bird calls. But to recognize them in a mimic-you maybe; me no.

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  6. To eileeninmd:Glad you enjoyed the post, and they are interesting.

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  7. This was very interesting. I too, have been unsure about IDs of GCBs, Mockers and Shrikes when I've seen them on the fly and only breifly. We have all three here, too. So, I could easily see any of them, though this time of year, GCBs would be rare, Mocker possible but not common, NoShrike, very likely. You have inspired me to get shots of a NoShrike, which so far, I have not. I do have great shots of the other two, so I could do something about comparing them, too. Thanks for that (talk is cheap, though. Don't hold your breath!). What kind of critter cam are you using?

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  8. I forgot to mention that I also use allaboutbirds.org and find it really helpful.

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  9. aahhh, interesting... I'm not really into knowing bird's name.. I respect them though, but glad to know their names... great photos.
    Camera Critters here

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  10. Thanks for the Catbirds! They are not a bird I see here in North Texas..... Thansk for sharing!

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  11. Very informative entry that I could learn many things about the bird. Whenever I see your bird photos, I am always amazed at focusing. Focusing a bird that is surrounded by branches is always a hard task!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Yoshi

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  12. Thanks Yoshi for the visit and compliments.

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  13. Hi Indrani for the kind words.

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  14. Hi John. These days I'm not certain what I'm going to see. Thanks for the visit.

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  15. To Vernz: Thanks for the kind words.

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  16. To Robin: Thanks for the visit. I don't use a cam. Should I? Remember I'm old and you're giving me more things to learn.

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  17. I love that first shot. What a little sweetie he is, Gary. And the adult with its beak open, is probably hollering, "Hey, Ma, have you seen Junior?"
    Good stuff. Keep it up, you're getting very good at this.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  18. Hi Kay. Strange as it may seen I did feel like I united a family. I've been out in the woods too long.

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  19. That's some wonderful Catbirds.Good shooting Gary.

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  20. Thanks Bob for the visit and good words.

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  21. They look so colourful. Nice to stop by your blog because this is the first time I see this species :)

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  22. To Hanne Bro Jensen: Thanks for the visit and kind words.

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  23. Wonderful shots of the gray catbirds! They are so much fun to listen to.

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  24. Hi IGW. Interesting to see how many people have seen these birds and you've even heard them.

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  25. I love the juvie photos- what a cute fuzzball! Great series all around! I don't see catbirds too often.

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  26. Hi again Johnny. Yes he's a cutie; glad you enjoyed the series.

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