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This past weekend, at the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, while I was trying to photograph a Bufflehead which kept its distance out on a pond, my wife pointed out a Gray Catbird in a tangle of vines from shrubs no more than 10 ft from us! It was jumping from branch to branch and paid no attention to us.

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

Once I got home and looked at the photos on the monitor screen, I saw that it was snacking on little red berries.

Gray Catbird with red berry

Gray Catbird with red berry

Gray Catbird with berry

Gray Catbird with berry

Once the berries were ingested, it appeared to be quite content.

Gray Catbird after snacking

Gray Catbird after snacking

This bird owes its name to the meewing sound that it uses for calling. That sound is not too pleasant, but when it sings, the notes are different, varied, and may go on for many minutes. It is able to copy from other birds and rearrange their songs into their own song repertoire. All in all, a bird lacking in colors and looks, but with very unique vocal abilities.

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