Apr 29 2017
Years ago Chuck Tague taught me that gray catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) are a special signal during spring migration.
Catbirds spend the winter in Florida, Cuba and Central America, then return in the spring after the first tantalizing migrants (the blue-gray gnatcatchers and Louisiana waterthrushes) but before the big push of warblers, thrushes and tanagers.
Because they’re the leading edge of the best part of migration, Chuck always announced his first gray catbird of the year. I’ll carry on his tradition.
Yesterday was the day! On 28 April I saw my first gray catbirds of 2017 at Enlow Fork in Greene County and at home in the City of Pittsburgh.
This year the catbirds did not arrive alone. At Enlow Fork we also saw rose-breasted grosbeaks, scarlet tanagers, Baltimore orioles, wood thrushes, northern parulas, American redstarts, common yellowthroats and more.
I’m still waiting for an indigo bunting. Maybe today … 🙂
p.s. Many of us learned a lot from Chuck Tague who passed away last June. This coming Thursday, May 4 at 7:30pm the Wissahickon Nature Club will hold an All Members Night A Tribute to Chuck Tague. Bring up to 12 slides or digital photos to share. Click here and scroll down for location and meeting information.
(photo by Chuck Tague)