Gray Catbird leucistic 1800x BINNS AQ9I1499 copy copy

When a Gray Catbird isn’t Gray

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Aug 30, 2021 | by Adrian Binns

A friend notified me that he had seen an odd looking bird in our neighborhood. I quickly drove the short distance to the location  and soon found a partially leucistic, or more correctly pied (gray and white) Gray Catbird hanging about with a regular looking catbird – all gray with rusty undertail.

It was certainly very cool looking with it pied plumage – almost all white on the belly and breast, with patches of white on the head, back and wing.

The male, on the right, landed on the same branch with food in his bill as part of the courtship process in anticipation of wooing the pied female. She in turn crouched down and began quivering her wings, a sign that she is ready to mate.

A wonderful comparison of a pair clearly showing the diagnostic rusty undertail coverts on both birds. Though I did not see the pair mating the female was certainly very keen on receiving her reward!

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