At 5:13 a.m. on May 31 of this year, a male Gray Catbird perched right in front of our field recorder and gave us a nine-minute "interview". The very next morning at nearly the exact same time, he give us another six minutes.
Gray Catbirds are mimics -- males sing to impress potential mates with their diverse repertoire. Studies have found that catbirds with the highest number of different songs and calls are preferred for mating over less well-versed singers.
While there are a wide variety of background singers in this recording, the catbird was so incredibly close to the recorder that they are merely a distant-sounding backdrop. This specific catbird's mimicry is limited to a mixture of harsh calls with short segments from other bird species songs and calls. There is a brief fade out & fade in between the two separate recordings.
Recorded at McMaster Forest, in Hamilton, Ontario.
Audio editing by Rob Porter.
For more information, see http://hamiltonnature.org/songscapes