When the Gray Catbirds first arrive for the season, they are quiet, and tolerant of one another. As soon as they start nesting, however, all bets are off. They spend lots of time talking smack to each other, and puffing up to several times their normal size in an effort to look fearsome.
By my best estimate, we have three pairs that have settled here. There are frequent trips to the suet and oranges (they aren't seed eaters) and lots of furtive forays into the brushy shrubs where there are probably the beginnings of nests. And there is a lot of trash talk going on - squeeks and peeps and meows and all manner of other noises. They are, after all, members of the mimic thrush family. I chose this shot because I like the flowers, and also that you can see a bit of the rusty bottom that is characteristic of catbirds.
I was scheduled to go on an Audubon field trip today, but canceled because of steady rain this morning. Instead, I put the hide out and spent some time watching all the birds. I heard a yellow-warbler calling from the woods, but he wouldn't come out, alas. However, I did get some nice close up shots of a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak - she was going to be my blip today but I found myself drawn to the catbirds.
If you'd like to see three other shots, you can click HERE to scroll through. A very puffed up catbird, a blue jay "hiding" in the crab apple flowers, and the lovely female Grosbeak. Worth a look if you have a moment.
MIL is here, and Hubs is making a nice vegetarian pasta for dinner. Still drizzling out, so nice to be tucked inside where it is dry and warm.