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Related to Catbirds: Dumetella carolinensis

be (sitting) in the catbird seat

To be in a powerful position. The phrase likely refers to the catbird's preference for high tree branches (which keep predators at bay). Primarily heard in US. As the CEO's assistant, you are definitely sitting in the catbird seat. I know you were hoping to be elected president over Joe, but, as vice president, you're in the catbird seat if he resigns.
See also: catbird, seat

in the catbird seat

Sl. in a dominant or controlling position. Sally's in the catbird seat—telling everybody where to go. I hold all the aces. I'm in the catbird seat.
See also: catbird, seat

catbird seat

A situation of advantage or superiority, as in His promotion put Charles in the catbird seat. This term is thought to allude to that noisy bird's habitual high perch. It was popularized in the 1940s by sportscaster Red Barber.
See also: catbird, seat

be sitting in the catbird seat


be in the catbird seat

If you are sitting in the catbird seat or are in the catbird seat, you are in an important or powerful position. He'd go broke tomorrow if I left him, and I'd be sitting in the catbird seat. If the campaign is quick, short and successful, both leaders will be in the catbird seat. Note: This expression became widely known in the 1940s and 1950s, when it was used by the baseball commentator Red Barber. Catbirds are North American songbirds. The expression may be explained by the fact that catbirds often sit very high up in trees.
See also: catbird, seat, sitting

in the catbird seat

mod. in a dominant or controlling position. I hold all the aces. I’m in the catbird seat.
See also: catbird, seat

catbird seat

An enviable position, “sitting pretty.” Catbirds seek the highest limbs of trees on which to perch. The view from on high and the relative safety from predators puts them in an advantageous spot. The term is best known as the title of a James Thurber short story and from radio sportscaster Walter Lanier “Red” Barber's using it while broadcasting baseball games.
See also: catbird, seat
References in periodicals archive ?
I got my bird book out and identified it as the Grey Catbird.
As part of a larger study, female catbirds will be infected with a frozen stabilate of P.
The Black Catbirds on NTC spent most of the time out of view in thick buttonwood groves.
Notable returns include one House Wren, two Gray Catbirds, an Orange-crowned Warbler, and an Ovenbird that were captured in 4 successive years.
It is reasonable this nest was reused by Gray Catbirds to raise one more brood.
Nest incubation, hatching, and fledging dates were later in all years at isolated sites for Yellow-breasted Chats and Gray Catbirds (Table 1).
There appeared to be a high density of catbirds in this general area but we did not detect an active intermediate territory.
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