Gray Catbird

eric mccarty
2 min readJun 1

Gray catbird:

it’s the songs that caught my curiosity first, seeming to last for minutes without purpose other than to extend the quality of its voice for others to enjoy, beautifully so, an artist right at the edge of thickets, staying hidden in tall weeds and tangled branches, preferring to be unseen. The gray catbird is related to the mockingbird and has similar vocal gifts, not quite as skilled with mimicry, but devoted to its song and will stretch it at length in a string of notes that play to perfect to the air.

there’s a subtle beauty to the charcoal gray catbird, a beautiful black cap sits atop of its head and with just a hint of rust colored wing-feathers under the tail to give it a distinguished flair, a soft distinction to the uniform gray of its body. A soulful bird, gray suits it’s preference to remain hidden and play its songs. I love the artistry of this bird, it’s devotion to song above appearance, shy, but not reclusive.

the gray catbird is the spirit bird to every artist, not as well known as the mocking bird or other birds known for skillful mimicry, yet equal in the joy of giving sound, playing from a hidden depth of branches, right at edge of being recognized as the source of such beautiful songs. This bird shows me the way of artistry, that it’s the song that matters, a skillful practice that’s beyond the need of finish, each note being the perfection of the moment that it’s given. Above all, this small bird teaches me of devotion, playing my own song with joyfulness and ease through the thickets and tangled branches of my life.

a beautiful song indeed…

such an important lesson from this little bird.


Peace, Eric

eric mccarty

Writer, prose poetry, meditation teacher and lifetime student