Gray Catbird, Willows and Sunshine

/, Gray Catbirds, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, Utah/Gray Catbird, Willows and Sunshine

Gray Catbird and Willows, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahGray Catbird and Willows – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I have truly been enjoying being able to photograph Gray Catbirds this spring and summer because they are challenging to get out in the open, because I think they are dashing in appearance and their songs always delight me.

It is wonderful to be able to listen to these songsters while I am photographing other birds and because I can hear them I always keep an eye out for them to make an appearance. When I see them I quickly aim my lens, focus and fire away because they generally do not stay in one place very long unless they are singing for a long period.

Two days ago when this Gray Catbird popped up neat the top of some willows I was ready to photograph it and even though I was only able to take four images of it before it flew away I quite liked the setting, the light, the view of the catbird’s eye and its pose. I do wonder why the catbird’s tail looks crinkly and I have no answer to that question but it looks like it was put in one of those contraptions that crimps hair.

I’ve spent more time up in the mountain canyons this year than I normally do and that has given me many opportunities with this species and other birds that I don’t typically see out in the deserts, grasslands, marshes and sagebrush steppes. This week the temps will be climbing into the triple digits for at least seven days in a row so I might spend all my time in the field up there to escape the heat in the valley.

I’m happy this Gray Catbird made an appearance because it brightened up my day.

Life is good.



  1. Elephants Child July 3, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Beautiful things.
    I do hope you CAN escape the heat.

  2. Marty K July 3, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Patty, a catbird in the dogwood made me giggle this morning — thanks! 🙂

    Mia, this is a lovely shot. I especially like the separation between the primaries.

  3. Patty Chadwick July 3, 2018 at 7:50 am

    For several days now, I have been hearing the most beautiful variety of bird song coming from a nearby bush or tree, but was unableto spot the songster…I was going crazy trying to identify it…I haven’t seen a mockingbird in several years, so I doubted if it was one of them, but its song was very similar…finally, I caught the singer in the act, sitting in my neighbor’s dogwood, singing his heart out…a catbird!!!

  4. Liz Cormack July 3, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Beautiful photo! You sure are having luck with Gray Catbirds. I have yet to see one this year even though I hear them all the time.

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