Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird in a tree

Gray Catbird perched in a tree at Middle Run Natural Area.

The Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) does not hunt cats. It has a varied voice that can sometimes sound like a meow, which is where it gets its name from.

This songbird can be found across the state of Maryland and much of the Unites States, but it is tough to photograph because it prefers to shelter itself deep within a mess of branches. A clean shot is pretty rare.

I happened to catch the one above closer to sunset, and I had to sneak a pretty clever angle and zoom to find a shot with only a few branch obstructions. The key identifying features on this bird are its black “cap” and the reddish or chestnut colored tail wings on its underside. You can see a hint of the red patch in my photo above.

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