|A beautiful Gray Catbird at Magee Marsh|
|Hey! Look at me...I'm a neotropical migrant too (just a little larger and grayer).|
|This Catbird was not afraid of anyone. He would walk the planks while people looked on and walked past him. Apparently Gray Catbirds are forced to take drastic measures to compete with the glittery, colorful, tiny, fleeting warblers...|
|When he wasn't on the boardwalk, he dropped down beside it to forage on the ground and in shrubs for insects. He really is quite beautiful, and when he's not mewing, he has a lovely and varied song (mimicking other birds as well).|
|The spring songbird in the winter gray flannel suit...|
Is it neophilia, or is it gray flannel?
If I heard, "Oh, it's just a catbird," once, I heard it a million times. These poor birds with their sweet mews and songs got no respect along the boardwalk. It's easy to understand, though. In the grips of WARBLERMANIA, the more common songbirds often fall by the wayside. Neophilia is the love of or enthusiasm for what is new or novel, and humans often fall prey to its lure. Many of the spring warblers are fleeting and rare and are definitely novel in our parts. Some of the visitors stay, but others are just stopping off on their long flight north adding to their mystique, but our sweet berry-loving catbirds are brave enough to live among us, becoming commonplace in the process. In the wild, catbirds like swampy, boggy, and soggy areas. You can always find them streamside along the Little Miami River, but they are neotropical migrants that can adapt, and they have taken to suburban and urban backyards packed with berries. We have resident catbirds in our backyard all spring and summer. They come readily to the mulberries and then stick around for the pokeweed berries, so maybe that's why throngs of people move quickly past them to look for the cute and colorful rare warblers...
...or maybe it's just the gray flannel!