Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gray Catbirds of the Vermilon River. A Post to WBW

Adult Gray Catbird

You can see the difficulty with photographing these fellows. They like thickets. With the forest in bloom, they're right at home. This particular one was located in a stand of pin cherries and choke cherries along a creek. The only reason I found him was his call which starts off with a cat's mewling sound and from there takes off in anything he wants as he's a mimic, like his relative the Mockingbird.


Gray Cat bird


Immature Gray Catbird.


This is an immature that I photographed last year and spent hours trying to identify.

 I was finally helped to identify him by some birders on the north Shore of Lake Superior who know their stuff. I'm kind of fond of them so I'm always on the lookout for them.

 In the photo below you can see him starting his mewling song and adding to it.The song may end up lasting up to 10 minutes so they're fun to hear.



He doing his call here.




Adult In Profile.




As I said they're relatives of mockingbirds and thrashers. To some they may appear plain as their gray plumage is only alleviated by a black head patch as you can see in the photo opposite. They have no wing lines as does the Mockingbird.


A Post To WBW @ http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/

42 comments:

  1. i've never seen or heard a catbird. i think they're gorgeous. i love their charcoal color and their large eyes.

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  2. He does sound interesting Gary. A real 'songsmith' :-)

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  3. I would like to meet with him, really great photos.

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  4. Neat, I'm not sure if I've ever heard or seen one. I watched a youtube video of it's call so maybe now that I know what it sounds like I'll be able to distinguish it's call.

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  5. New birds for me, and so beautiful!

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  6. They're one of my favorite birds. And, you caught them perfectly. I heard one yesterday, on my walk, but I couldn't find him. Not an uncommon thing with these guys.

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  7. Another lovely bird you have on your patch Gary.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  8. They are beauties,Texwisgirl.

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  9. He is an interesting bird Keith.

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  10. He sure is entertaining Bob. You may hear a great number of other bird songs.

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  11. It's the mewling like a cat, Grace, that is the tip off.

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  12. Funny isn't it Louise how easy it is to pick them out from that mewling but how hard it is to find them.

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  13. Good catch! Lovely little bird!

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  14. Very nice captures of a common and personable bird!

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  15. Wonderful bird Gary! They are an uncommonly beautiful bird, so smooth and formal looking. Very hard to take your eye off of. Marvelous shooting my friend!

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  16. A beautiful bird and I like it surrounded with all the flowers.

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  17. Despite the gray he is handsome Springman.

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  18. He suits his background, doesn't he Mick?

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  19. Yeh this is the problem with all passerine birds, isn't it... Took me a while to get the small wren or goldcrest over here!! Beautiful sets thought and the first shot is beautiful!

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  20. Very elegant birds. Never heard a bird that sounds like a cat before!

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  21. Thats a pretty awseome serie, this bird is very unique and interesting! Great shot's!

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  22. I think he is a lovely gray fellow!
    LOVE the image of the little guy. He's so fluffy and the colors so pastel. Just a sweet looking little thing. :)

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  23. I would love to see him in person and listen to his song.

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  24. I LOVE catbirds! they are fascinating and I can appreciate your great photos! I captured some photos but the catbird was in a thicket just like you said and the light was very low. We tried to tell our neighbor that the meowing sound he heard was a bird - he thought we were crazy!

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  25. Great Shots Gary!! Glad you got an ID On your mystery Baby!

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  26. Those guys are beautiful!
    Glad you found out what it is :D

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  27. Thanks DG. I think he is not so common to here.

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  28. Isn't it a great song, Barb.

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  29. Wonderful shots -- love the floral setting!

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  30. Thanks Pat, but that was where he was!!

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