During my last visit to Prairie State Park in southwest Missouri, I found a couple of Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) in some trees and shrubs along the Gayfeather Trail of Regal Prairie. When I first noticed them in the shrubs, they were busy collecting small twigs for a nest, carrying them out of the shrub and into heavy foliage of some nearby trees.
I set up my tripod and waited for them to return. It wasn’t long before they returned to the shrubs. But photographing them was not easy for a while, as they continued to stay in the dense foliage. But after a while, they began to move around and eventually found their way to some clearings. Here are a few of my favorite images of the catbirds on the prairie. If you look closely, you can see the 2 identifying marks of the Gray Catbird, (1) the black patch on the top of the head, and (2) the reddish-orange patch under the tail, as seen in the last image:
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 7D body
- Canon EF500mm, f/4, IS lens
- Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly version 1 Gimbal head
- ISO 250
- Aperture f/4
- Shutter 1/400 sec. to 1/800 sec.