Gray Catbird and Nest Survives Severe Weather


The night of May 26, 2011 was a challenging night of bird survival for our backyard birds, with a Gray Catbird and its nest surviving a particularly brutal storm of fierce winds, hail and rain.
Tornadoes, hailstorms, and fierce winds whipped through much of South Central Pennsylvania. (My family and I were very fortunate not to experience a tornado).
Although fierce winds disturbed many of our backyard birds, a Gray Catbird and its nest survived the storm completely unharmed.
Before I go any further, I would like to educate you about the Gray Catbird’s nesting habits.
Gray Catbirds nest in late May with a well-founded, tightly woven cup made of varying materials.

Gray Catbird Eggs


The primary material is twigs and mud as well and trash, which made up the nest pictured here.
You can see four beautiful tiny eggs in a plain teal color in this picture.

Gray Catbird Eggs


Though the mud is not visible in these pictures, I am certain that it is there, for when mud hardens, it provides a very sturdy foundation inside this holly bush.
Two American Robin families were unfortunate to lose their nests to the extreme winds they faced that stormy night. Though American Robins make their nest with a mud base, the deciduous tree branches did not hold the nests in place.
The Gray Catbird’s nest, however, was in a Holly bush.
Moreover, the holly branches provided the mud and twig nest a very sturdy foundation.
Gray Catbirds have 2 – 3 broods per season and American Robins have 2 – 3 as well. So, although the American Robins lost their first broods, they have more opportunities to raise further broods.
– Craig Curtis

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