Sunday, July 20, 2008

Catbird in front of Sky Pencil Holly in Adelphi

Mockingbirds are good company, they sing beautifully in the middle of the night, camped on a utility wire or a chimney or just the peak of the roof. I like wrens for their cheerful unceasing song, but unceasing to me can be incessant to others...they do drive some people crazy. Bluejays are beautiful but obnoxious, goldfinches are magical, but they come and go, cardinals are both pleasant in demeanor and appearance, but I like catbirds because they like me. You have to love a bird that will follow you around the garden just to be with you! And they do have an intriguing range of vocalizations; a meowing catlike sound, and a curious high-pitched song. But its their willingness to spend time with people that I like. As bird pictures go, this isn't great, but I had to take it. He challenged me by staying in the open almost withing arms reach for half an hour.

There are other birds that spend time around people. Towhees behave much like catbirds in this respect; when I am in Fern Valley, as long as I am in their territory, they maintain a proximity. They are less likely to be encountered in a suburban garden though and they spend most of their time rooting through the duff layer looking for insects. If you pay attention in the woods you can actually locate them by the sound they make scratching around in the underbrush. They are more difficult to see down there on the beneath the shrubs, but occasionally they will hop up into one and look at you. They are handsome birds both the male and female. They don't seem to range about so much as catbirds either, I know where I'll find them; there is one that forages around the entrance to Fern Valley, usually on the right as you come in from the road.

2 comments:

David Midgley said...

Nice shot Chris. I think that's one of the point Roy Zimmerman's making :D! I know lots of great Americans!

Amy said...

Catbird is my favorite bird. Well second favorite, after Great Blue Heron. I love them for the same reason you do, they like to talk to you. I swear I had real friendship with one that used to live in my backyard in Bowie. It would sit on the fence, 6 feet from me while I gardened, and talk to me for as long as I would talk back to it...