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Strange catbird behavior

Posted Nov 18 2008 12:21am

I know this is supposed to be a gardening blog but I've gotten interested in the birds around me, and it's gardening that caused that.   This year I've been particularly noticing the catbirds.  When we first moved here, about 15 years ago, the catbird was rarely seen unless I walked to the far back of my 6 acres.  They seemed very shy compared to many of the the other bird species.  It took many years before I started to occasionally see them near the house and a few years after that before I saw them regularly.  Now, they seem almost semi-tame as they forage for insects only 5 or 6 feet away from me as I do some weeding.

Today for the first time, I noticed some rather bizarre behavior.  A catbird hopped up onto the deck railing and then onto one of our cushioned outdoor chairs and assumed this position:

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It just froze this way for several minutes and then hopped away.  It has done this at least 5 times in the past few hours that I've been watching from my kitchen window.  What could possibly be the cause?  At first I thought it was injured and was about to die, but as I opened the door to get a closer look, it hopped away.  And then 15 minutes later, there is was again, in the same pathetic pose.  I've Googled in vain.

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