• WordNet 3.6
    • n catbird North American songbird whose call resembles a cat's mewing
    • n catbird any of various birds of the Australian region whose males build ornamented structures resembling bowers in order to attract females
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Additional illustrations & photos:

photo of catbird photo of catbird

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Catbird (Zoöl) An American bird (Galeoscoptes Carolinensis), allied to the mocking bird, and like it capable of imitating the notes of other birds, but less perfectly. Its note resembles at times the mewing of a cat.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n catbird A wellknown oscine passerine bird of North America, Mimus caro-linensis, one of the mocking-thrushes, related to the mocking-bird. It is of a dark slate-color, with a black cap and a red vent, and is so called because its cry of alarm resembles the mewing of a cat. Its proper song is voluble, varied, and highly musical. It abounds in the shrubbery of the eastern United States, builds a coarse nest in bushes, lays from 4 to 6 dark-green eggs, and is migratory and insectivorous.
    • n catbird An Australian name of members of the genus Ælurœdus: so called on account of the resemblance of their notes to the calls of a cat.
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In the catbird seat - (USA) If someone is in the catbird seat, they are in an advantageous or superior position.


In literature:

Jest fold our hands an' see the swaller An' blackbird an' catbird beat us holler?
"The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VIII (of X)" by Various
The Catbird rang only one bell.
"Seven Little People and their Friends" by Horace Elisha Scudder
And then the warbling ceased and the peculiar call of the catbird was heard.
"The Hero of Ticonderoga" by John de Morgan
It is no "chewink" at all, but almost as close a reproduction of a cat's mew as is the catbird's well-known call.
"Birds of the Rockies" by Leander Sylvester Keyser
It requires an effort for me to speak of the singing catbird as he; all the ways and tones of the bird seem so distinctly feminine.
"Bird Stories from Burroughs" by John Burroughs
Catbirds and robins are among the most abundant breeders, while chickadees and white-breasted nuthatches are less often seen.
"The Log of the Sun" by William Beebe
I expected nothing less than to find a young catbird injured, but I found nothing.
"A Bird-Lover in the West" by Olive Thorne Miller
Overhead the big cottonwoods whispered softly in the starlight, and a solitary catbird sang its lonely night song.
"A Breath of Prairie and other stories" by Will Lillibridge
In form and color it much resembles its West India cousin, and suggests our catbird.
"Camping with President Roosevelt" by John Burroughs
But in the choir of our best singers, like the catbird, thrasher, and mocking bird, there is unending variation of notes.
"The Meaning of Evolution" by Samuel Christian Schmucker

In poetry:

More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That's how much I love you.
"To My Valentine" by Ogden Nash
'Come forth!' my catbird calls to me,
'And hear me sing a cavatina
That, in this old familiar tree,
Shall hang a garden of Alcina.
"The Nightingale In The Study" by James Russell Lowell
Now morns are full of song;
The catbird and the redbird and the jay
Upon the hilltops rouse the rosy day,
Who, dewy, blithe, and strong,
Lures their wild wings along.
"July" by Madison Julius Cawein
The oriole is come, and in the thorn
Among the greening buds the catbird sings;
The fields are sweet, and in the sky is set
A tranquil glory. Let me go and lie
Upon the grass while happy May-winds blow.
"Lazing" by Maurice Thompson
The deadnin' and the thicket's jes' a bilin' full of June,
Thum the rattle o' the cricket, to the yallar-hammer's tune;
And the catbird in the bottom, and the sap-suck on the snag,
Seems ef they cain't--od-rot'em!--jes' do nothin' else but brag!
"Romancin'" by James Whitcomb Riley
See the shadow and the shine
Where the glossy branches twine,
And the ocean's sleepy tuning mocks the crooning in the pine;
Hear the catbird whistle shrill
In the bushes by the rill,
Where the violets toss and twinkle as they sprinkle vale and hill;
"May Memories" by Joseph C Lincoln

In news:

A tight presidential race might put Muskegon in the catbird seat.
News The Catbird Seat's Chefs Talk About What People Don't Get About Nashville — and Why a Certain Esquire Writer Can Suck It.
Restaurants Some Secrets to Securing a Spot at The Catbird Seat.
The Catbird Seat has been garnering a whole lot of buzz lately, and deservedly so.
News Food & Wine Names Catbird Seat's Habiger and Anderson Best New Chefs for 2012.
Sneaky like a cat – catbird that is.
Crow in catbird seat after stint in Fort Worth.
A songwriters showcase at Weymouth's Catbird Cafe.
John Olivere is among three singer-songwriters who will perform July 27, 2012, at the Catbird Cafe in South Weymouth.
News The Catbird Seat Lands on Bon Appétit 's Top 10 New Restaurants List.
Bon Appétit Magazine has released its annual Hot 10 List of America's Best New Restaurants, and Nashville's The Catbird Seat is perched at No.
And I definately have the catbird seat.
Jane Lopes, beverage director of Nashville's The Catbird Seat, creates two original cocktail recipes with fortified wines perfect for pairing with food.
With parliament dissolved, a retired air force general and long-time Mubarak crony in a runoff for the presidency, and democracy activists in disarray, Egypt's ruling junta is in the catbird seat.
His Ivy League catbird seat afforded Roach a pretty good view of the Penn basketball team.