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Catbird - The Family in My Yard

Updated on August 23, 2013

“Wherever there are birds, there is hope.” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

The Catbird

The gray catbird is a relative to the mockingbird. No one had to tell me though. We've had catbirds visiting our backyard for several years. They roosted in our cedar trees and sang from there. Interestingly, they repeat the sounds of other birds much like the mockingbird. How do you know the difference? Well, the mockingbird repeats its phrases 3 to 4 times, but the catbird sings most phrases only once. As it sings you think there are four or five different birds in the tree but there is only the catbird.

Catbirds can be found just about anywhere in North America east of the Rockies. They do migrate south in the winter going from the US to Mexico, to Central America and then to the Caribbean in the winter. They actually start leaving in September or October before the weather gets too cold. That sounds like something I wouldn't mind doing, heading further south to follow the warm weather.

They say the catbirds cry resembles a cat's mew but I have yet to notice that. An interesting fact about catbirds is that they are monogamous and mate for the season. They have also been known to have two nests in one season.

Catbird in an Evergreen Tree and Male Catbird

Mother or father catbird.
Mother or father catbird. | Source
A male catbird fluffed up to attract a female.
A male catbird fluffed up to attract a female. | Source

Catbirds Nest

Each year for the past three or four years we have had cardinals build a nest in our rose bush. This year however, the cardinals didn't show up. Seemingly as if on cue, the catbird decided to build it's nest there instead. They are known to nest in dense thickets and I can tell you my rose bush is super dense. Not only is it dense but the thorns per square inch are unbelievable. What better place to hide your nest?

Although the female is the primary nest builder, the male will often help. It takes about five to six days to build the nest which is usually about four feet off the ground. You would think they'd build it higher, but no, that is their norm, possibly because they are ground feeders and eat ants, beetles, grasshoppers, midges, caterpillars, and moths. They will also eat holly berries, cherries, elderberries, poison ivy, greenbrier, bay, and blackberries when available. Hmm, anyone with a poison ivy problem might want to attract some catbirds.

So, my catbirds started building their nest. As I mentioned, we couldn't tell which was the male and which was the female but they were both busy getting things ready for their babies.

Catbird Gathering for the Nest

Can't tell if this is Mom or Dad but note the red arrow showing nest building material.
Can't tell if this is Mom or Dad but note the red arrow showing nest building material. | Source

Have you ever watched a birds nest till the young hatch?

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Watching Babies Grow

Apparently eggs are laid one at a time at twenty four hour intervals. I found that very interesting. For the first day or so after laying her eggs the female may leave the nest but then she sits and rarely leaves. The male feeds her while she incubates her babies. If she does leave however, Daddy bird guards the nest. While the number varies from two to five eggs, my catbird Momma had three. Unfortunately due to the density of the rose bush I couldn't get any pictures of the lovely bluish green eggs.

As the eggs begin to hatch Momma bird gives a little gentle assistance. She actually eats the shell membrane after the babies hatch and the egg shells are then carried away by Momma bird. Once all the eggs are hatched the little babies start opening their mouths looking for food.

For the first couple of days I went out each day to take a photo, sticking my arm into the middle of the bush and hoping I got a picture. The babies grew very fast. It seemed each day they had grown more over night. The last two pictures I took were after about ten days. When I went out the next morning to take another picture they were all gone.

Research led me to learn that they tend to fly away from the nest at night. Though they leave anywhere from eight to twelve days after hatching, Momma will continue to feed them for about twelve more days. Then Daddy takes over as Momma starts looking for a place for a new nest, which she will start with the same mate.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
The rose bush.The nest built deep within the bush.Momma on her eggs.My first peek at a baby bird in the nest.Second day after babies hatched.Third day after hatching.Momma bringing home the food...looks like a grub.About a week after hatching.About ten days after hatching.  The next morning the babies were gone.
The rose bush.
The rose bush. | Source
The nest built deep within the bush.
The nest built deep within the bush. | Source
Momma on her eggs.
Momma on her eggs. | Source
My first peek at a baby bird in the nest.
My first peek at a baby bird in the nest. | Source
Second day after babies hatched.
Second day after babies hatched. | Source
Third day after hatching.
Third day after hatching. | Source
Momma bringing home the food...looks like a grub.
Momma bringing home the food...looks like a grub. | Source
About a week after hatching.
About a week after hatching. | Source
About ten days after hatching.  The next morning the babies were gone.
About ten days after hatching. The next morning the babies were gone. | Source

"Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain." - Doug Coupland

FAQs About Catbirds

  • According to Gregory Gough of The Smithsonian Institute, "...catbird has adapted well to the widespread urban and suburban habitats created by people."
  • Catbirds breed between April and early August.
  • They mate the first year after they are hatched.
  • Parents shade the young from the sun by opening their wings over them.
  • The oldest reported catbird was ten years eleven months.
  • Catbirds communicate visually.
  • Known predators include snakes, rats, foxes, chipmunks, cats, racoons and blue jays.

Catbird Summary

So my catbirds are now gone. Actually even Momma and Dad bird seem to be gone. I do hear one now and again but I haven't seen any lately. I know they will not reuse the same nest so perhaps they've flown off to another rose bush somewhere. Maybe they'll be back next year though opinions on that are conflicting. Some say they return to the same spot year after year while others say they never return to the same spot.

Though they aren't very colorful, their gray feathers are pretty to look at and their little black cap just tops it off. Their songs and imitations are a cheer to the ear! Would you like to attract catbirds to your yard? You can with some dense bushes or shrubs including holly, dogwood, and from my experience cedar trees and thick rose bushes. Catbirds don't eat seeds but you can attract them to feeders by putting fruit in the feeders, things like halved oranges, raisins, fruit-flavored suet and peanut butter. Like most other birds they love to bathe so a bird bath is a definite plus.

Knowing they are protected under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act leads us to believe they will be around for a long time to come.

Hope you've enjoyed my little adventure with the catbirds. I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Catbird songs


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Patricia, watching the birds grow was certainly amazing. Glad you enjoyed my photos and video. How great to watch the ospreys.

      Effer, we see an occasional woodpecker, but it sounds like yours have a smorgasbord on your deck! Glad you found and enjoyed my hub. I love watching the birds. Thanks for stopping by. Sending hugs right back to you GF.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Til....I'm very glad this oldie was sent around again. I appreciate the education on catbirds. I do love birds and have so many various birds in and around my yard, but I can recognize only a few. I definitely know the Woodpecker family that lives in the woods beyond my property. There are so many holes in my redwood deck railings, it looks like I painted them with polka dots! LOL

      How fortunate that you had this catbird experience. Your grandchildren must have loved seeing the babies! It is such a peaceful and relaxing scenario to sit outdoors and be entertained by all of nature's miracles and beauty.....Sending hugs, Tillie. Paula

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      What an amazing experience you had to watch the newbies as they changed ...I know what you mean about them changing so rapidly...A Momma osprey built a nest near my home and I got to experience that..watching Daddy and her taking care of them, bringing home building materials for the nest and was amazing. And then to hear the babies each day was just glorious.

      The video was great and the photos made me feel like I was getting a first hand peek along with you.

      Shared pinned g+ tweeted Angels are once again on the way to you ps

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Yes Sha. Robins aren't too bright and build their nest very low, sometimes only three feet off the ground. Cardinals will go as low as five feet. I've watched them both.

      We don't have the big woodpeckers in our immediate area, we have the smaller downy woodpeckers and I've never seen their nest.

      I totally agree, it is awesome to watch and I look forward to it each year. We have some catbirds in our yard but I don't know if they'll nest here again.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Mary, I think it's so cool that you got to see the babies up close. I didn't have that luxury with my woodpeckers because they nest at least 15 feet up the trunk. Woodpeckers build their nests quite differently than other birds, but I did see a Mourning Dove building her nest about a year ago. She gathered most of her material from my yard, then flew next door to a large Laurel Oak to put them in place. She worked almost continuously for a couple of days. It was very cool to watch.

      I don't think I've seen a Grey Catbird. The various sounds they mimic are fascinating - especially the frog!

      I hope your Catbirds return. If not, do you know of any other birds that build their nests so low to the ground?

      Great hub. I enjoyed your journey. It's awesome to watch the creation of new wildlife families, isn't it?

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      I love birds Au Fait but this was my first experience with cat birds. Watching them from eggs to flight was enchanting. Thanks for the votes and share.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      4 years ago from North Texas

      When I lived where I had a fantastic backyard and was able to feed the birds I really enjoyed watching them all. One year we even had a family of sparrows nest in an old lamplight and we watched as they practiced strengthening their wings for flight and then finally took their first short flight. Another time we had a nest in a tree next to a window in our house and we were able to look down into the nest and see all those huge mouths waiting for something yummy.

      You are so lucky to have birds nesting where you can enjoy them. I really miss mine. All these years I've thought mockingbirds (Texas state bird) and cat birds were the same thing, so I've learned something here. Really enjoyed this article and the photos, too.

      Voted up and BAUI, and will share!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      So glad you enjoyed my hub Crafty. Exminer-1 is right of course. It is just hard for us to imagine when the thorns are so prickly.

      As I think I mentioned in previous years we had cardinals buildings a nest in that very same rose bush.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago


      They like the protection of the closeness/tightness of the branches combined with the thorns which keeps most predators away from their nest and young ones.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      5 years ago

      Excellent Hub! We have a huge rose bush on the side of the house and I could never figure out what was going on in it. There is something living in it or around it, and my dog goes crazy every time I take her for a walk. This explains it! I have noticed birds around it! Never knew that a bird would build a nest in a rose bush. Fascinating!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Ah yes, writing ;)

    • profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago

      It is a bad thing when you want to cook your oatmeal eat breakfast so that you can get your daily chores started. That way you can begin writing and similar things for the day.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      There are certainly worse sounds to wake up to Examiner. Sorry you don't get to hear them any more but if you can sleep late that's not such a bad thing either.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago

      When I used to hear the birds in the morning I would usually wake up on time, now that I do not hear them I sleep late. :-( I enjoy their sounds.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      I know what you mean always seems to be the morning you want to sleep.

      I have learned a lot about birds here on HP too! Glad you enjoyed my hub and pictures as I really enjoyed taking them and writing the hub.

    • TheKatsMeow profile image

      Katee Shew 

      5 years ago from Canada

      I love bird watching and I am happy to see others on here who do as well. Mary, it was such a pleasure to read about this bird and to see the pictures of the nest building and baby birds. Very exciting and such a great idea to turn that into a hub! Your camera also takes fantastic pictures! Thanks for sharing this with us :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      5 years ago from Nepal


      bird watching is my favorite pass time affair. However, I hate birds when they wake me up in the early morning, which is very common in my farm. I'm not sure if I have seen catbird, but I think this is a beautiful creature.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you for stopping by Rosemay. So glad you found it entertaining and informational.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Mary I had never heard of the catbird before. A very clever bird to mimic all those other birds. It was a real pleasure to hear it on the video.

      Such a nice hub. Thank you

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      It is nice to be reminded that some things are still doing well in the world. Glad you enjoyed Carter!

      Shyron, that is so cool (mocking your husband's whistle). Nature is chock full of surprises. Thank you so much for the votes and shares.

      Frank, nice to stop and smell the roses now and again ;) Blessings on you as well.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      sometimes life moves so fast that you never really get to enjoy nature.. and this hub was entertaining, fun and it kind of slowed me down a bit.. thanks for that til... bless you...

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Hi Mary, I love this hub, I had heard of the 'Cat Bird' but had no idea they are like the Mocking Bird, which is one of my favorites.

      We had a Mocking Bird that mocked my husband who would whistle while he was working outside.

      Thank you for the information. Voted up-ABI, pinned and shared.


    • carter06 profile image


      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      I enjoyed this Till.. didn't know anything about the Cat bird before but it's awesome to see nature take its course like this, your photos are great.. it reminds me that all is still OK in the world!! cheers

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Aviannovice definitely a compliment coming from a specialist like you! (Patting myself on the back) I know the other birds eat their eggs, how sad! Lucky the little ones that make it. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Very nicely done, Mary!(pat on the back) Shading young birds is referred to as mantling. Thrashers are great mimics, too. Last year, I found a thrasher on her nest, but I believe a crow ate the two eggs that she had.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago

      You are welcome. I just try to help now and then.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks for all the helpful info Examiner.

      Thumbi, that's what I thought too but they flew away one night and now they are all gone. Thanks for the vote and share.

      So hyappy you found my hub informative and useful DDE. I find its always fun to learn about birds.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Brilliantly thought of, I didn't know much about the Catbird until I read your hub, an informative,and useful hub indeed.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      5 years ago from India

      Lovely hub. You are really lucky to watch the birds build their nest and family. It will be fascinating to watch the parents teach their babies how to fly.

      Voted up and shared

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago


      I saw my first bluebird this year, or last year, I know it was in this yard. :-)

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago

      rajan jolly

      The Gray Catbird is an extremely rare vagrant but it does show up in western Europe. It is a regular migrant in Central America and the Caribbean.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Moonlake. They are so interesting to watch and sometimes do make you laugh at their antics.

    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      Beautiful photos. We enjoy the birds in our yard and the nesting birds. We had a swallow this year and bluebirds. Enjoyed you hub voted up and shared.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      I know Deborah, birds are so possessive of their nests and young, yet they build their nests in the strangest places!

      drbj, glad you enjoyed. I was hoping my hub would be half as interesting as my experience. I hope they do return next year. Thanks for the vote.

      lyricwriter, so many birds, so many stories. One of my brothers-in-law took in a bluebird that had a broken wing, he had it for 13 years! We had a robin for one summer (I wrote a hub about that one too). Thanks so much for the votes and share. Hope you have a great week.

      Rajan, so many different and interesting things in each part of the world. Wouldn't it be nice if we could switch for a week or two to take in some of the beauty each part has to offer. Thanks for the votes!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      I haven't seen this bird here as it doesn't exist here in the tropical climates. But it is a lovely bird and I'd love to see it personally.

      Voted up, beautiful and interesting.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      5 years ago from West Virginia

      Til, great article. I've never heard or seen this bird before. We get a good mixture of birds in WV, but not this beautiful bird. I hope they come back, I remember being little and we had a bluejay that always came back every year. It was truly fascinating because we had a huge birdhouse and she always came back. She had an accident with her little foot and only had a half of leg, but managed quite well. I think it's cool that they help one another, stay with their offspring, it's just very interesting to me. Fun to read Mary, hope you have a great one! Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      What a sweet tribute to your very own catbird family, mary. This was so fascinating I read every single word. Trust me. Perhaps mommy and daddy catbird will return again next year.

      In the meantime, voted Up!

    • profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago


      Glad to hear it. After I posted it I realized that you had described the two birds in your Hub.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      5 years ago from Iowa

      I've never seen a catbird in my yard, but we do get lots of robins, cardinals and others nesting in the trees. This year, a robin couple built a nest right above the screen porch door. They got upset every time we went in or out of the door, but sorry birds, that's how we get to the grill. : )

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Nice to see you hear B2B. Birds really are amazing when we watch and pay attention. I'm not really surprised at the noise you describe hearing from a bird. They are so adaptable and as we both know can copy sounds. Glad you enjoyed my little hub and happy I don't have to stick my arm into that bush anymore ;) I see a catbird up in our cedar tree but there's no way I can get up there!

    • bac2basics profile image


      5 years ago from Spain

      Hi Mary.

      What a lovely hub. You did really well getting those fantastic pictures of the birds, you must have gotten quite a few scratches in the process !!

      I always feel honoured when birds nest close by. I have a nest box situated very close to a door and Wrens usually nest in that, I also have a decorative ceramic pot on the wall of my porch and that´s normally taken over by Blue tits.

      We have a bird very similar to your cat bird here in Spain, it too has a black cap. I couldn´t tell you what it´s song is like as have never seen one singing, but I can tell you that it makes a noise like buzzing electricity cables and just after we had a supply put on to our rural house in the mountains I was convinced there must be a problem when I heard this very loud buzzing noise going on until I went to investigate and found it was a bird making this noise. A few days later my hearty heard it too and thought the same as me, when I told him it was a bird he didn´t believe me and so we both took a walk until we saw it in action. Like me he was scratching his head and said he would never have believed it had he not seen it with his own eyes.

      Lovely hub Mary, but be careful sticking your arm into that fierce rose bush LOL.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Thank you Examiner for the little insight. : )

      Blessings Mary and Examiner, Faith Reaper

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Oh no I didn't think that at all Examiner. I'm always happy to learn more and I thought you were just trying to help, which you did!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago


      You are welcome. I was not trying to steal your show, I just thought that I would give Faith a little insight.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      I know Martie, time is such a difficult commodity to pin down! Glad you enjoyed. I bet you have lots of relatives in Africa to many of the birds and animals we have here.

      You are so very welcome Faith.

      Thanks for the clarification Examiner.

    • profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago

      Faith Reaper

      The Mockingbird and the Catbird are relatives because they are both members of the mimidae family.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, thank you so much Mary. You're the best. I see that the mockingbird is a relative of the Catbird, and we do have the mockingbirds down south for sure!

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      5 years ago from South Africa

      Birds fascinate me - I see them as living jewels. The sound of the Gray Catbird sounds familiar, but I am not sure if they are down here in South Africa. Maybe a will find a relative? I wish I had the time to study birds :)

      Fabulous hub with lots of interesting information. Thank you, tillsontitan :)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks so much Eddy, hope you enjoy yours as well. I appreciate the votes and share.

      jhamann so many different types of birds and many peculiar to just one area. So glad you enjoyed my hub.

      Thanks so much Genna. It was so much fun to watch. When I first saw them building the nest I thought I might be able to chronicle it and fortunately I could. It was great to watch them grow and amazing how fast they did.

      Well Bill, now you understand why I enjoy your hubs about birds of prey so much. I do love birds and watching them. We have feeders for all types of birds but only humming birds in the summer. Thanks so much for votes and all the shares!

      WND I think the mockingbirds are noisier, maybe because they do their imitations at night!

      We have feeders too Pamela. They say many types of birds do return to the same spot each year. My in-laws have birds that build above their garage light every year and dive at us as we try to get in the garage. I think they are swallows. Glad you enjoyed.

      sheilamyers since you're not that far from me I would think you'd have catbirds. The thing is they like to be in thick underbrush and bushes so if you don't have that you might not see them. My in-laws have a big open space and bluebirds come there every year. We're only a mile away but no open space, so no bluebirds.

      dreamseeker2, so glad you 'had' to vote up! Even more glad you stopped by and enjoyed my hub.

      Faith Reaper, I got chills reading your comment. What a wonderful blessing for Easter morning and not silly at all. Birth and re-birth are true signs of Easter. My friend, I would be honored if you linked my hub to yours truly. As for the mockingbird he is a totally different species than my friend the catbird. God bless.

      Now I'm jealous Examiner. I've never heard the cat sound. Oh did my arm get scratched! I was pulling thorns out almost every day but I thought it was worth it. How amazing to see an albino mockingbird! Nature is full of surprises and every once in a while gives us a glimpse.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago

      I have heard the catbird make that cat sound. It does not do it often you usually hear the other sounds. I liked reading your Hub. It was interesting. It must have been something to watch. I do have one question: Did your arm get scratched in the rosebush?

      I have a relative of the catbird in my yard - the mockingbird. It has been a regular in the same area (maybe not the same nest) for several years. I believe that the regular mockingbird is the male and it has mated with an albino mockingbird.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Mary,

      We have mockingbirds in southern USA too, but I have never known them to be called Catbirds, how interesting, and they may be a different breed of mockingbird.

      This lovely hub brought back precious memories of when I was a very young child watching the building of a nest until the eggs were hatched. I knew it was a little miracle just for me, as He knew in my little heart, and I can remember it so vividly, and have written about such, but that I was thinking how lovely it would be for the eggs to hatch on Easter morning. And they did! My little heart was filled to brim with so much joy. I know that sounds so very silly, but I knew the Lord had given me the desires of my little heart at the time, in the simple pleasure of wanting to see those eggs hatch in that nest made in a beautiful dogwood on Easter morn.

      I love all of your photos and videos. I am about to publish a hub here in a bit, and this wonderful hub would be perfect to link to it, if you do not mind in advance?

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I've never heard of these birds before. Interesting hub and very informational. Great pics and video too. Had to be voted up! : )

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Another great hub! I haven't seen or heard any catbirds around my place, but they'd be a welcome addition. I do a large variety of birds because of the way I landscape. Maybe they'll be some catbirds in the future.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love the birds and feed many in my neighborhood. We have one little couple of birds that make a nest each year in one of my hanging plants. I am not sure what type they are as I couldn't find them in by bird book, but I think they must be the same to as they have come 3 years in a row. I tried so hard to get pictures of the babies but the shade made the pictures come out too dark and I didn't want to scare them away. We have a bird bath and a humingbird feeder also. We can see them all when we sit at our kitchen tablloe. I don't think we have Catbirds here as they are new to me. I love your pictures. Awesome hub.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      5 years ago from Alabama

      It's fun birwatching, isn't it?

      I haven't heart of cat birds, but we got the mockingbirds. The catbirds would love my back yard, it's got all kinds of ivy and stuff that the catbirds could be in competition with especially, Jenny.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mary. It's amazing what's right there in our backyards. What a great opportunity to watch as this family built a nest, laid their eggs, and raised their young. Great job getting photos in a very difficult spot. I love to sit on our deck and just watch the birds. I find it very relaxing. Really enjoyed this hub, great job. Voted up, shared, pinned, etc.. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Mary;

      I love the opening quote; your hub drew me in from here. I never knew that the catbird mimicked the songs of other birds. The rose bush is a clever nesting area. How wonderful to be able to watch each step of the nesting process and watch the little babies grow and mature. Mama Catbird is quite neat and tidy with her nest and young ones. It seems that Mama and Papa are monogamous as well.

      The photography is amazing, Mary, and the video is very interesting. They have a variety of appealing songs and calls. Excellent hub.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 

      5 years ago from Reno NV

      I was unaware of Catbirds. Even though I stop and look at so many birds a day I need to take more time to become aware of their species. This is a well crafted hub with beautiful music at the end. Jamie

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      A great hub Mary and voted up plus shared .

      Have a great day.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Sounds just like kids doesn't it Sue? Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      So nice to hear from another catbird lover. At first grandmapearl I thought they were annoying cause they made so much noise, that was until I stopped to listen and realized their vocal abilities. I really enjoyed watching the whole process but was sorry I didn't get to see the babies fly. Thanks for the votes and shares!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Mary, you have pleased this old bird nerd no end! I absolutely loved reading about and seeing your awesome catbird family. I have not seen any catbirds yet this year, but that doesn't mean they aren't foraging under some dense thickets not far away! Normally they nest either in my rose bush or my winterberry bush.

      Those baby catbirds were so darn cute. Very well done, my friend ;) Pearl

      Voted Up++++ pinned and shared

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 

      5 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      In my case it's wherever there are birds there is deafening noise on my conservatory roof. The cheeky chirpers sit on the house roof and drop dry bread and cherry stones onto the conservatory. When I go out to see what all the racket is there is a row of them sitting there all sweet and innocent looking!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      So nice to see you here Bob. I know you love birds so I'm glad you found my piece about the catbirds. Yes, the catbird is a great imitator and as the video mentions even imitates tree frogs!

      It really was fun to watch from start to finish Suzie. A bit difficult to get my camera into the rose bush but rewarding all the same. They really are amazing little creatures that build their nests so carefully. Thanks for the vote and share.

      So glad you enjoyed Mhatter. I take it birds no longer show up in your backyard? So sorry as they are definitely fun to watch and so nice to listen to.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Birds use to love my back yard.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mary,

      How fascinating to be able to watch the process of the nest build from start to finish. Ending with the babies being born.We had a swallow nest her in the beams of our spare room which is unfinished and the neighbors had a nest in a shed which was easier to see. Amazing how they diligently work at building it. great article on a bird I was unfamiliar with but would love to hear it sing. Voted up +++ shared!

    • diogenes profile image


      5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Mary: Lovely to be surrounded by plants and birds. It is strange how it's nearly always the unprepossesing birds as regards color and size, etc., are the ones that are the great songsters: the Nightingale, blackbird, thrush and all the rest. I love the birds that are good mimics, the Grackels in Mexico can imitate any sounds they hear and have extraordinary calls occasionally.

      I have never seen a bird nest in roses but it does make sense.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      How wonderful is it that my two favorite guys are the first two to post comments here?

      Bill, does this mean you're a bird lover too? As I write this I realize I'm just an animal lover at heart and living in a development we don't see a lot of animals around our house, so I watch the birds, which I happen to love too. So glad you enjoyed my catbird piece. Please enjoy your weekend even more.

      Now for you my dear Joe...How in the world can you make me laugh over a piece I wrote about a bird? Your sense of humor is so infectious, even through the darn computer. I have visions of Kona chasing my catbirds around my yard - beep, beep! Alas poor Kona I would never let you catch one. I love your closing remark and can think of a lot of people I'd like to write it too. Have a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious weekend!!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I can see it now...a cartoon where a catbird drives a feline crazy with its mimicking of the furry critter's meows, hisses, and yowls.

      Very well done, Mary, and so interesting because this is a bird, as you mentioned, that is biased towards regions east of the Rockies.

      As my pet, Kona, might contribute for his two cents' worth--the cats on the west coast don't put up with tomfoolery!

      Like his male owner, Kona needs to just chill.


      Aloha, Mary, and have a wonderful weekend! If we keep smiling in our hearts, before we know it, our faces won't be able to contain it.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I don't think I've ever seen one. Us west coast people have our own strange critters to watch and enjoy. Thanks for the information...any article about creatures is an article I will enjoy, and this one certainly pleased me.

      Have a great weekend!


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