Gray Catbird and its red undertail coverts

Photo by Chris Bosak A Gray Catbird perches on a branch at Selleck's Woods in Darien, Conn., May 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Gray Catbird perches on a branch at Selleck’s Woods in Darien, Conn., May 2014.

The Gray Catbird is very aptly named because, well, it’s mostly gray and often sounds like a cat. I say mostly gray because it has a small black cap on its head and has rusty red undertail coverts. That red patch is not seen very often and many casual observers of birds probably don’t even know the Gray Catbird has that patch of red.

Undertail coverts are the area of a bird under the tail and behind the legs. The photo above shows this catbird’s patch of rusty red.

With the spring migration season starting to wind down, much of New England will be left with only its breeding birds to watch for a few months. Thankfully, the charismatic Gray Catbird is among them.

Click “continue reading” for a catbird’s closeup.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Gray Catbird perches on a branch at Selleck's Woods in Darien, Conn., May 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Gray Catbird perches on a branch at Selleck’s Woods in Darien, Conn., May 2014.

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One thought on “Gray Catbird and its red undertail coverts

  1. Hi Chris — News to me about the catbird. Decades ago, we went to our house at Fire Island at this time of year with our two sons & our two city cats in their carrier. The cats were timid. When we would let them out on the front deck in the early morning, a catbird would swoop down, mewing loudly at them, & they would retreat back into the house.
    I went to “Audubon’s Aviary” at the New-York Historical Society yesterday — made it on the next to last day! I hope you had a chance to see it. One of the best things to me, though, was the video featuring live birds. They picked twelve of Audubon’s best birds &, using his plates as a sort of frontispiece, played a short video of the live birds. The Prairie Chickens were particularly wonderful, in full courtship mode. Very fine photography — but no better than some of yours!
    Best Susan

    Like

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