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Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird
Photo Information
Copyright: Jean Yves Bissonnette (JYB) Silver Note Writer [C: 2 W: 0 N: 84] (916)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 30D
Exposure: f/11, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-07-17 9:19
Viewed: 3081
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Have a nice day to all and thanks for your comments and critiques. JYB

Infos on Gray Catbird

A secretive, but curious skulker of dense thickets, the Gray Catbird is heard more than it is seen. Its rambling song contains imitations of other bird songs, but the characteristic "mew" that gives it its name is not an imitation and sounds only vaguely cat-like.


Medium-sized songbird.
Small bill.
Long tail.
Uniform gray all over.
Black cap.

Size: 21-24 cm (8-9 in)
Wingspan: 22-30 cm (9-12 in)
Weight: 23-56 g (0.81-1.98 ounces)
Sex Differences
Sexes alike.

Song is a long slow series of warbled notes, ranging from whistles to squeaks, often including imitations of the songs and calls of other birds. Notes not given multiple times. Calls a raspy "mew" and a chattered "chek-chek-chek."

Widespread and common, but number in Southeast declining.

Other Names
Monqueur chat (French)
Mímido gris (Spanish)

Cool Facts

One male Gray Catbird was observed to be mated to two females in different territories. The territories were separated by another catbird territory, but the male defended both of them.

The male Gray Catbird uses his loud song to proclaim his territory. He uses a softer version of the song when near the nest or when a territorial intruder is nearby. The female may sing the quiet song back to the male.

Although the Brown-headed Cowbird lays eggs in Gray Catbird nests, the catbird throws most of them out. The catbird learns to recognize its own eggs, probably by looking at them. If a cowbird quickly replaces the first catbird egg in a nest, the catbird may recognize the cowbird egg as its own and throw out its own eggs as they are laid. But such mistakes are rare, and few catbirds are ever seen incubating cowbird eggs.

Source : http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Gray_Catbird.html

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Critiques [Translate]

Jean Yves,
I believe you if I look at your work. This bird is heard more than it is seen.
On the other hand you definitely spotted it. Moreover you photographed this Catbird very well!
I want to underscore two elements: the very good lighting and the moment/pose.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-07-17 9:37]

Hello Jean Yves,
Wonderful capture of this Grey Catbird in beautiful light. Great sharpness too and a very fine composition. We've seen and heard the Australian Catbird that certainly sounded like a cat!
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2008-07-17 10:14]

hi jean,
beautiful picture.excellent details with good compo

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2008-07-17 10:24]

Ola Jean
Belissima foto com otimos detalhes e cores, a nitidez esta otima e a luminosidade muito boa, a ave é realmente muito bela.

Crystal clear shot, Jean

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