Grey Catbird Dumatella carolinensis is a common, but interesting species, that arrives in our area in the early part of May. On most of our recent walks we have been observing this species and hearing its pleasing, gurgling song, often interspersed with the voices of other species, sometimes even those of amphibians.
At the end of its song it issues a mewing call reminiscent of that of a cat. It is from this characteristic that the bird gets its name.
It inhabits scrubby areas, overgrown farm land and abandoned orchards. It can also be found in well vegetated suburban areas.
This species is not particularly shy and can be approached quite closely. It often feeds on the ground and has the habit of flicking its long tail upward.
Recently, while observing a catbird we noticed this American Toad Anzxyrus americanus almost right at our feet. It was a large specimen and was well camouflaged.
Grey Catbirds and American Toads - pleasant company to spend the morning with if you ask me.