For the first five years that we lived at his property (beginning in 2001), at least a dozen times I must have sent my husband out into the woods across the street to find “the abandoned kitten!” the “lost kitten,” and the “cat stuck somewhere.” After several obedient jaunts into the thicket, Robert began to tell me, “I think it’s just a bird,” but I failed to believe him. I was certain that I was hearing the unmistakable sound of a cat in peril. While I quit asking my hubby to go find that endangered feline, my heart still skipped a beat every time I heard the sound. On a few occasions, I even thought it might be an abandoned human baby!
Here’s a recording I recently made of that sound:
Then, last year when I began my birding expeditions, I saw movement in a tall shrub. It wasn’t an outstanding beauty, but I knew I had never seen it before. As it turned and flew off, I noticed the deep crimson colored feathers that it kept hidden on the understand of its tail. After a bit of research, I knew that I had seen my first Gray Catbird.
This year, Robert has graciously cut several nice paths through deeply overgrown areas, especially around our pond. Where it was once impenetrable, I can now move into the thickets, which is where I have discovered the Gray Catbirds love to reside. They enjoy the ripening blackberries, and you can see the evidence in a couple of these photos (the bird needs a napkin to wipe its beak!) These photos were taken in the past week of a few different Catbirds.