Gray Catbirds

by Bethany Plonski June. 20, 2019 244 views

Today after work I left one of our garage doors open for a little while, and two little gray catbird fledglings found their way into the garage! The poor things were panicking and didn't seem to understand how to get out. We opened the other door in hopes that they would have more space to exit, but they just kept flitting around high above the garage doors and bumping into the ceiling or perching on the tops of the doors and cables.

After a while, they seemed to be getting exhausted and came down to perch on the bar of the weight bench.

Now that they were lower to the ground, I was hopeful they'd be able to see the light from the open doors more easily and realize the way out. We could hear their mama calling for them outside in the yard, and eventually that helped one of them figure out the direction he needed to go to leave.

The one who escaped first kept calling to the one who stayed, and they called back and forth for a while. If you've ever heard a catbird call (it sounds like some kind of grumpy cat outburst), try to imagine how cute a baby one sounds. It's adorable!

Once he was alone, the poor little left-behind bird was getting frustrated and started flying up into the ceiling again. When I took the photo below, I didn't realize that he was already missing feathers on his head from the first few times he had flown into the the ceiling (which has a rough surface). When he came back down again, he had a few drops of blood on his head and I was getting really worried about him.

But he made it out! I was so relieved to see these little birdies get back where they needed to be.

Interesting to think that one day they'll look like this.

And now I've learned my lesson: No more leaving the garage door open! :)

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Jay Boggess 1 year, 7 months ago

Touching saga! Nice camera work with a happy ending! Yay!!!

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Jay Boggess 1 year, 6 months ago

Thank you! So very happy these little ones found their way out.smile

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 6 months ago

My pleasure, as always, Sis!
I always cheer for life, success & happiness!!

1 year, 6 months ago Edited
Buster Bruce 1 year, 7 months ago

Is a catbird same as a blue jay ?

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Buster Bruce 1 year, 7 months ago

I don't think so - blue jays belong to a different family/subcategory. Apparently catbirds are more closely related to mockingbirds.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Buster Bruce 1 year, 7 months ago

Following along with your story. Good ending with some good photos! I've never seen a catbird to my knowledge.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Buster Bruce 1 year, 7 months ago

Thank you! I was so happy it was a safe ending for them. I've been hearing catbirds for a long time but only seen them now that they are nesting in the trees around our house. They don't stop at the feeders like the other birds, but they love to eat service berries straight off the tree.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 year, 7 months ago

Loved this post and I know exactly how you felt. Last year a cardinal accidentally flew into our house and got totally disoriented, flying into things and the ceiling and just like your fledgling ended up cutting the top of his head, and left some blood on the family room ceiling. Fortunately, with a lot of coaxing on my part he found his way out of the house. Glad all went well for this little guy. Photos were perfect!

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 7 months ago

Thank you, it's crazy isn't it? I'm glad your cardinal found his way out! I'm sure it must be such a scary experience for the birds until they figure out how to escape.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F 1 year, 7 months ago

I am great to know that they left your garage finally.
The black bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) also sings like a cat sometimes.
I think you may like it!smile
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdxeiGx16Dk

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Tsao T-F 1 year, 7 months ago

Me too, so happy they got out safely. smile And thank you for sharing the video - I've never seen a black bulbul before. It sounds very similar!

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Björn Roose 1 year, 7 months ago

No sky above their head is like no floor under our feet. Try to reason people into walking over a glass bridge (in which there is actually a floor, but you can't see it) and you'll know how hard it is for a bird to understand what a ceiling is smile

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Björn Roose 1 year, 7 months ago

That's a really good way to explain it! They were so persistent about trying to go up (and I was thinking it was because we were down on the ground looking up at them, which probably added to the confusion). Either way I'm so glad they made it out!

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Bob Rosenberg 1 year, 7 months ago

I can imagine how sorry you felt for the 2 birds.  I'm really glad the outcome was good.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Bob Rosenberg 1 year, 7 months ago

I was too! It was really hard not knowing how to help them. They seemed genuinely bewildered!

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
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