Indisputable, though, is the male catbird’s fierce defense of its nest while the female incubates the eggs. The males of many other songbird species also guard their nests, but the catbird is especially vigilant.
It is one of only a dozen species of birds known to recognize brown-headed cowbird eggs and eject them from its nest. The cowbird is called a parasite because it lays its eggs in other birds’ nests and leaves it up to the foster parents to hatch and raise the baby cowbirds, usually at the peril of the foster parents’ own babies.
In Georgia, catbirds raise two to three broods per season in bulky cup nests loosely made of twigs, leaves and grass. Come fall, most of our catbirds will migrate to the southern tropics, although a few may overwinter in South Georgia.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Center astronomer: The moon will be first quarter on Sunday. Mercury is low in the east just before sunrise. Mars is in the south, Jupiter is low in the southwest (and will appear near the moon tonight), and Saturn is in the east around nightfall.