catbird

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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). 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

In a powerful position. The phrase likely refers to the catbird's preference for high tree branches (a position that helps it to avoid predators). 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

the catbird seat

A powerful position. The phrase likely refers to the catbird's preference for high tree branches (which keep predators at bay). 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

or

be in the catbird seat

AMERICAN, OLD-FASHIONED
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

in a superior or more advantageous position. North American informal
This expression is said to have originally referred to a baseball player in the fortunate position of having no strikes and therefore three balls still to play (a reference made in James Thurber 's short story The Catbird Seat).
See also: catbird, seat

be in the ˈcatbird seat

(American English) have an advantage over other people or be in control of a situation: After his recent success, the president is sitting in the catbird seat.With prices falling dramatically, buyers seem to be in the catbird seat.
See also: catbird, seat

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, (sitting) in the

Being in a position of advantage or superiority. The term originated in the American South, where the catbird is quite common. It is thought to allude to the bird’s habit of singing from a very high perch in trees. It came into common usage in the 1940s when Mississippi-born sportscaster Red Barber would use it, for example, for a pitcher who was almost certain to strike out all the batters. Barber said he himself first heard the term in a poker game where he had bluffed all but one player into dropping out, but the remaining player, who had said from the start that he was sitting in the catbird seat, proved to have an ace and an ace in the hole. James Thurber used the expression as the title of a short story about a mild-mannered accountant who was so irritated by a colleague using this and other terms that he planned to murder her.
See also: catbird

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 ?
In most observations, catbirds fed singly (61%) or in pairs (29%).
Fruits were gleaned by various means; catbirds commonly perched next to the clusters and gleaned sideways.
From late May-July 2007, we located and monitored the nests of seven species known to breed in edge habitat: Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis), Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum), Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia), Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), and Red-winged Blackbird (Yasukawa and Searcy 1995, Imbeau et al.
A minimum of 20 nests per species was required for meaningful estimates of DNS (Martin and Geupel 1993), which was calculated for the Gray Catbird and Red-winged Blackbird.
Alternatively, we find that other common birds, including American robins, gray catbirds, and house sparrows, may play a greater role in supporting enzootic transmission.
These species included American robin, American crow, black-capped chickadee, blue jay, button quail, common grackle, eastern tufted titmouse, gray catbird, house sparrow, mourning dove, northern cardinal, sharp-shinned hawk, wood thrush, domestic cat, domestic cow, domestic dog, horse, sheep, white-footed mouse, and white-tailed deer.
Like other bowerbirds, the female catbird builds a shallow, cup-shaped nest in which two cream-colored eggs are laid and tended.
But as hundreds of twitchers flocked to see the Grey Catbird - the first ever seen in Britain - they were devastated to find it had left again, still aboard the luxury liner as it headed for a two week cruise of the Mediterranean.
"I got my bird book out and identified it as the Grey Catbird. I knew it was rare so I immediately rang my local birdwatchers' group."
To investigate the individual and synergistic effects of these variables, I will use the malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum and gray catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis).
The gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), a migratory passerine bird, is known to be infected with the blood parasite Plasmodium relictum.
False-positive results in oral VecTests were observed in 36 (2%) of 1,900 RT-PCR-negative birds and rarely occurred in species, with the exception of Gray Catbirds (Dumatella carolinensis) (12%, 13/111) and Green Herons (Butorides virescens) (75%, 6/8) (Table 1).
Most (24/36) of the false-positive results, including all those involving Gray Catbirds and Green Herons, consisted of very narrow lines at the lower border of the test region, unlike the full-width colored bands described in the manufacturer's instructions as positive results, and recorded in oral tests of RT-PCR positive birds (Figure).
tested Anseriformes Canada Goose 253 Wood Duck 120 3 additional species 35 Columbiformes Mourning Dove 11 Rock Dove (b) 20 Galliformes Chukar (b) 22 Domestic Chicken (b) 63 2 additional species 16 Passeriformes Cedar Waxwing 5 Blue Grosbeak 2 Indigo Bunting 28 Northern Cardinal 129 American Crow 157 Red-winged Blackbird 39 Brown Thrasher 19 Gray Catbird 72 Ovenbird 32 House Sparrow 185 American Robin 79 Swainson's Thrush 32 45 additional species 422 Strigiformes Great Horned Owl (b) 9 2 additional species 3 Other (5 orders) 10 species 31 Total (10 orders) 81 species 1784 Order Common name No.
It was positively related to occupancy in Northern cardinal and American robin (Turdus migratorius) and negatively related to gray catbird (Dutnetella carolinensis) occupancy.