Gray Catbird

On a dark-gray, drizzly day, flocks of American Robins and Cedar Waxwings filled the thickets and trees in and around the old field with a bustle of activity. The Robins squeakily called, perched in several trees, and restlessly flew back and forth across the road. I could hear the thin high tseees of the Waxwings, but couldn’t see them in the murky, misty light until they flew – one flock, then another and another, suddenly flying up and away, at least four dozen Cedar Waxwings, maybe more.

Then a raspy call came from a very tangled and weedy area across the road from the field – a Gray Catbird, perched on a low limb of a tree choked in weeds and vines. Dark-gray all over, the Catbird blended in with the shadows, but switched its tail back and forth assertively, and repeated its cat-like mew several times, a prickly, abrasive mew that reflected the scrubby, tangled surroundings a Catbird often loves.

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