Catbirds have been back for over a month but they’re more obvious now than they had been, they’re singing.
Gray Catbirds are mimic thrushes. They’re in the same group of birds as Northern Mockingbirds and Brown Thrashers. They sometimes imitate other birds or sounds in their local area. One catbird here at the Museum does a very good job of imitating the “police” whistles used by the Animal Keepers to call in the bears.
But what ever the catbird imitates, its song in general has a very squeaky quality to it. And, they usually throw in a “meow” or two while they’re at it.
Despite the squeakiness, they do well in the singing department, although they still can’t quite match the fine tones of either the thrasher or mocker. Most people prefer the singing of the other two mimics over the catbird. They’re all high on my list of singers.
Here’s a catbird giving its best on YouTube.
Greg Dodge is a professional naturalist as well as a writer, videographer and producer of natural history DVDs. His images have been used in various TV productions, museum displays, and corporate videos. Above all, he has a fascination and passion for all things natural.
He can be found Tuesday thru Saturday in Explore the Wild, Catch the Wind, or on the Dinosaur Trail. Ask him what’s new in the wild!