The Amazing Catbird!

bird photography tips

It’s always exciting when we see new birds visiting our garden. This time, it’s the Gray Catbird. What, you’ve never heard of it before?

Well, they really do exist and have quite a large range. In Washington state, they are more likely to be seen east of the Cascade Mountains… which is great since that’s where we live! Catbirds use mimicry to attract a mate, and the longer they live, the larger their repertoire of calls. You’ll often hear them going from one bird call to the next, which is really cool.

The birds are about 8 inches long and have a wingspan of 11″. They weigh a mere 1.3 ounces and have an odd way of holding their tail, which makes them rather distinctive. It’s almost like that pesky tail is getting in the way!

I first knew a Catbird was in our garden when I heard this sound:

Yes, it does sound like a mewing cat, doesn’t it? I kept trying to get a clear view of him, and especially some photos of him, but they tend to be pretty elusive.

Then, late in the day, I caught this little glimpse of him:


I was so excited and I was tickled to at least see his head! Then, as I hung in there, he moved to a more open area of the tree, and I could finally watch him and listen to him singing:

I looked up the video below on the website and it really is worth watching, just to gain an appreciation of the amount of different calls they make:

I hope you find this as fascinating as we do! Happy birdwatching!