Singing Gray Catbird after it bathed – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/200, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Gray Catbirds aren’t flashy and except for the spot of cinnamon colored feathers under their tails they are mostly an overall gray with a black cap. While their appearance isn’t dazzling the variety of songs they sing certainly can be. I love listening to them sing, have a listen here.
This past week I was able to take images of these catbirds that I actually like while the birds were out in the open which was a treat for me because most of the time these catbirds are hidden away in the thickets of willows high up in the mountain canyon where I have been spending a lot of my time lately looking for birds.
Two days ago I was able to photograph this singing Gray Catbird after it had apparently bathed, its head, wings and tail were wet but that didn’t seem to stop the bird’s desire to sing even while it shook off its feathers.
Gray Catbird shaking its feathers – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Gray Catbirds are a species that I usually hear before I see them, if I see them at all. Lately I have had to rely on my eyes more than my ears to spot these gray songsters when they appear at a favorite group of willows because they haven’t been making a sound when they arrive. They disappear as quickly as they arrive too so I have had to be quick to lock my focus on them to take any photos of them at all.
Yesterday morning this catbird showed up, shook its feathers and took off rather quickly but I was able to take 44 images of it before it was gone from my view. The bird was so close to me that I didn’t have nearly the depth of field I would have liked or the shutter speed but I like how the motion blur conveys a feeling of movement in this photo.
Gray Catbird in a mountain canyon – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Then later yesterday morning I had another opportunity with a Gray Catbird out in the open and looking directly towards me, that time I was only able to take a series of eight photos. I think that it is a dashing looking bird!
Gray Catbirds do at times sound like mewing kittens when they call and I have to admit they have fooled me more than once when I have gone searching for what I have thought were kittens lost in shrubs and thickets only to realize the kitten I was hearing was a catbird’s meow.
Life is good.