Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mystery solved

I happened to notice a new (to me) bird a few days ago. I may have seen it before, at the birdbath even, but not for long enough to even take note of what it looked like to try and look it up. This time I got a good look at it. It stayed in the shadows a lot, and being such a dark color, it was still somewhat hard to see, though.

Can you see it?

How 'bout now?

But occasionally it hopped out into the sunshine, and that's when I got my good look. THEN... oh, this is so great... I looked it up on my iPad via my awesome Merlin Bird ID app! It gave me description options to choose, and then it gave me birds to choose from that fit those descriptions... and violà, there was my bird!

It turned out to be a gray catbird. That's a pretty common bird. I'm sure, after googling and listening to their calls/songs, that we've had them around here for years. They make sounds a lot like a brown thrasher, so what I always thought was that bird could've been the gray catbird at times. BUT, it makes one other sound... and that brings me to the mystery that got solved.

For years, I've heard a bird call that sounded like a dying kitten. (If you've ever heard a dying kitten's cry, you know what I mean.) Many times I wondered if it actually was a dying kitten, but I could never find one so figured it had to be a bird. Yep, it was the gray catbird. Now I know! And because they're such elusive birds that also blend into their surroundings because of their dull coloring, I could never see it. But now I have. And this one graced me with a couple of better photos shot from the opened-with-screen-removed bathroom window. :)

I have yet to see the rust-colored feathers under his tail, though. :)


Anonymous said...

oh my what a great app. thanks for posting about it.

Grandma G said...

Hi, Grandmommasmith! :) You're welcome. I do love that app! They also have a beta test thing on their website where you can upload a photo of a bird and get it identified from your photo. I only had time to try it once, but it worked beautifully!

Geneviève Thiffault said...

I don't know what a dying kitten sounds like and I never want to know!! :(

On the other hand, that app seems really great. I've just sent the link to my mom, who really love to watch birds too! Thanks for the tip!

Grandma G said...

Yeah... it's not a nice sound. :( Hope your mom enjoys the app!