Gray 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.