Q: Why is the spectacle of a mother catbird roosting on her nest outside the window so appealing?
A: Because it gives us a peek into wildlife life in the making, up close, personal and not on the Discovery Channel.
A pair of catbirds got busy making a cup-shaped nest high up in an azalea bush just outside Montgomery County on May 14. They used raffia, yarn, wet leaves and flowers, mud, pine needles and twigs. They took turns flying in the strands until mid-morning, when the male departed, leaving the female to finish the project alone. Depend on your view of life, he was either on a barstool in Ardmore, or volunteering at the Audubon Society in Mill Grove.
A day later, the female began sitting on the nest. At dusk, she flew in and settled, with her gray body and black tail and cap silhouetted against the nesting material. When she realized she was being watched, she fastened one black eye on the glass and kept it there until the shade was drawn. You will not disturb my privacy, the look said.
We did see the male, shrieking around the parking lot and landing in a dogwood tree on Tuesday, May 22. Possibly he was upset by the landscapers and their noisy machines. Or he could have been announcing the laying of eggs. Not sure, but we will watch and report back as the family evolves.