The Catbird Seat is used to describe an upper-handed position. Someone in the catbird seat is often “sitting pretty”. But is this really the position of one of our favorite birds, the Gray Catbird?
This term is credited with coming from the southern U.S. and in the 1940s sportscaster Red Barber used it for “a pitcher who was almost certain to strike out all the batters.” Catbirds do sit up high but are often found in low tangles. Their incessant chatter mixed with “mewing” is counterproductive to their secretive nature. Plus, their high energy often leads to long periods of non-sitting.
Regardless of the validity of “the catbird seat”, it’s a cool cliche of one cool gray bird.