Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's Time For Catbirds!

As it turns out, April 13th is the earliest I've ever recorded seeing a Gray Catbird on these grounds, and it being that date, I am eagerly seeking out the first bird for 2011. Catbirds, allies of the Thashers and Mockingbirds are neotropical migrants for much of the eastern continent, although around here they're supposed to be perennials (or so say the field guides). Not true for my part of town, anyway. Mine regularly materialize in April (between the 13th and 20th, like clockwork) and disappear between the 20th and 27th of August. They're also dependable eaters of the berries of Leatherleaf Mahonia, of which I possess an ample supply, and which are ripening nicely now. Any day now I should hear that distinctive "meow" and the sight of these elegant gray birds at our suet feeder. The clock is running! It's time for Catbirds!!

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