Catbirds

Jim has been watching the phoebes for weeks. A few days ago he noticed the nest was empty, and it seemed the family was gone. Just this morning he spotted them again. Though the fledglings are out, the phoebes are still in our yard.

The nest, a “permanent” structure, sits on a beam under our deck. With the babies gone, Jim drilled a small hole between floor boards to get a better view. The hole is only about a quarter inch across, but the camera lens on the phone is smaller than that. He was able to get this photo looking down into the nest.

Phoebe nest 2018. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

Of course the photo makes it look as large as an eagle’s nest, but in truth, the cup of the nest is less than 3″ across.

The wrens also seem to have sent their first brood out into the world, as it’s become less noisy out our back door. Often they have a second brood, so we’ll look forward to their chatter returning before the summer is out.

We still have the catbirds. Early this year we were treated to several of the plain, grey birds in our yard. Usually we’re only aware of one or two.

Catbird. 2018. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

Catbirds on suet feeder. 2018. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

What birds are hanging around your yard these days?

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11 thoughts on “Catbirds

  1. Mrs. P

    We do have lots of birds near us. In the last 24 hours I’ve heard morning doves, blue jays, both American and Fish crows, mockingbirds and cardinals. There is also a new one in town which I haven’t yet identified that has a very loud song and wakes me up every morning…sort of like cardinals on steroids.

    I plan on recording them in the morning and comparing them to the area song bird recordings, maybe I’ll get lucky.

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Our robins are obnoxiously loud in the morning. That’s not what you’re hearing, is it? Yes, we have so many lovely birds to enjoy. It’s fun to share them, too. Thanks for taking a look.

      Reply
  2. Jim R

    From All About Birds… “Only the female builds the nest, often while the male accompanies her. She constructs the nest from mud, moss, and leaves mixed with grass stems and animal hair…..Nests can take 5–14 days to build and are about 5 inches across when finished. The nest cup is 2.5 inches across and 2 inches deep. Unlike most birds, nests are often reused in subsequent years.”

    I hope they come back to use it.

    Reply
  3. Eliza Waters

    The catbirds, 3 types of woodpeckers and a few others have been going through a suet cake a day (vs. about 2 a month in winter)! Fledgling woodpeckers accompany their parents, begging to be fed – I wonder why they don’t feed directly? The wrens, robins and song sparrows have nests or babies soon to fledge. Cardinals, purple finches, nuthatches and titmice visit the feeders, but not sure where they are nesting. Goldfinches, too, but they don’t brood until next month.

    Reply
  4. shoreacres

    The catbirds are so pretty. They remind me of another “plain” bird that I enjoy — the tufted titmouse. I still see the occasional cardinal, but the bluejays are the most frequent visitors I have. I’ve discovered that peanuts in the shell are a perfect thing for me to put out. The bluejays, cardinals, and some sparrows will eat them, but the pigeons eventually get discouraged and leave.

    I do have two pigeons that seem to be a couple. The spend most of the morning sitting on the railing, grooming one another and cooing. I don’t remember ever seeing a baby pigeon. This might be my year.

    Reply

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