Gray Catbird

Their songs have cat-like qualities and can mimic other birds and animals, like tree frogs.
Gray Catbird Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Dumetella carolinensis
Gray Catbird Physical Characteristics
Grey, Black, Dark Grey
29 million
6.3 years
0.8 to 2 ounces
Gray Catbird Distribition

Pay attention for their mechanical, scratchy mimicry as they conceal in shrubs and trees.


The gray catbird ( Dumetella carolinensis) is a tool- sized songbird belonging to The United States and Canada. It lives in thick vegetative locations like thick farmland and deserted orchards, where it chooses to conceal in tough thickets and sing its tunes of mimicry. Try to find this species reduced to the ground as it forages for insects and berries. Find out whatever there is to learn about this catbird, consisting of where it lives, what it consumes, and exactly how it acts.

5 Remarkable Gray Catbird Realities

  • This North American bird sometimes discovers its method to Western Europe throughout movement.
  • Their tunes have cat- like top qualities and can simulate various other birds and animals, like tree frogs.
  • They have a songbird syrinx and can make 2 audios at the same time.
  • Gray catbirds are territorial and hostile also throughout wintertime, which is unusual for a lot of birds.
  • Fifty percent of their diet contains fruit and berries.

Where to Discover the Gray Catbird

The gray catbird lives in The United States and Canada in over 20 nations, consisting of Canada, the USA, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. This species is migratory, reproducing in the pleasant USA and Canada and wintering in the Southeastern USA, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. They are additionally exceptionally unusual drifters to Western Europe. Catbirds occupy thick vegetative substratums, such as scrublands, timberland sides, thick farmland, and deserted orchards. Throughout the wintertime, they reside in thickets near a water resource with a lot of berries. Try to find them reduced to the ground as they jump along thick plant life, and pay attention for their mechanical, scratchy mimicry as they conceal in shrubs and trees.

Gray Catbird Nest

They put the nest 3 to 10 feet in the air in thick bushes, thickets, and briar tangles. Females construct a huge cumbersome mug making use of branches, leaves, lawn, weeds, and garbage and line the within with finer product.

Scientific Name

The gray catbird ( Dumetella carolinensis) is from the Mimidae family, which contains New Globe catbirds, thrashers, mockingbirds, and tremblers. This family is recognized for its articulations and capability to simulate lots of species. Its genus, Dumetella, is Latin for “tough thicket” and describes the bird’s tendency for vocal singing in concealed boscage. Its details name, Carolinensis, is New Latin for “from the Carolinas.” The gray catbird is monotypic, implying it has actually no acknowledged subspecies.

Dimension, Appearance & Habits

Grey catbird
Called for its cat- like telephone call, the gray catbird can simulate various other birds and animals, like tree frogs. Its voice has a scratchy mechanical high quality.Steve Biegler/Shutterstock. com

The gray catbird is a tool- sized passerine bird, gauging 8.1 to 9.4 inches long and considering 0.8 to 2.0 ounces, with an 8.7 to 11.8- inch wingspan. They have long, rounded tails, directly, slim expenses, long legs, and wide wings. They are a lead- gray shade around, yet the top of the head, tail, and wing remiges are a darker gray to black. Males and females are identical, yet juveniles are plainer with buffy undertails.

Called for its cat- like telephone call, the gray catbird can simulate various other birds and animals, like tree frogs. Its voice has a scratchy mechanical high quality. It has a songbird syrinx and can make 2 audios at the same time. You will not discover them singing their tunes while resting set down on a branch. Rather, they choose to conceal inside shrubs as they sing. They invest their days jumping with reduced plant life and flying brief ranges. These birds are instead hostile and territorial, also throughout wintertime. They frequently run burglars and will certainly also damage the eggs and nestlings of various other timberland bird species.

Movement Pattern and Timing

Gray catbirds reproduce throughout a lot of the USA, besides the West Coastline. They move to the Gulf Coastline throughout wintertime, from Florida to Texas, to Central America and the Caribbean. Populaces along the United States East Coastline are nonmigratory and continue to be in their settings year- round.


Gray catbirds are omnivores, and fifty percent of their diet contains fruit and berries.

What Does the Gray Catbird Eat?

They eat fruit such as holly berries, cherries, blackberries, and elderberries. In the summertime, they count much more on insects, like grasshoppers, ants, beetles, worms, and various other bugs. It forages for berries in bushes and trees and searches for insects on the ground by turning fallen leaves apart.

Predators, Hazards, and Conservation Status

The IUCN notes the gray catbird as LC or “least concern.” As a result of its substantial array and big, steady population, this species does not satisfy the “endangered” condition limits. While this species does not deal with any type of brewing dangers, it might be at risk to the future results of urbanization and environment adjustment. Springtime warm front can threaten the young in their nests, and wildfires can damage their environments.

What Consumes the Gray Catbird?

Their predators consist of serpents, rats, cats, foxes, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, blue jays, crows, and grackles. These animals primarily take advantage of catbird eggs and chicks yet are not constantly effective. Gray catbird moms and dads conceal their nests in exceptionally thick bushes to avoid nest predation. Their gray quill additionally serves as a camouflage as they relocate the darkness of tangles. This species is not worried of predators and blink its wings and tails while making its “mew” audios.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Gray catbirds develop virginal set bonds throughout reproduction, and courtship entails vocal singing, chasing, posturing, and bowing. Sets create 2 broods per period. Females lay approximately 4 (yet can be anywhere from 2 to 6) green- blue eggs. Females incubate alone for 12 to 13 days, yet both moms and dads help in feeding the nestlings. The young fledge the nest 10 to 11 days after hatching out. This species comes to be sexually fully grown around one years of age and lives approximately 6.3 years.


The worldwide gray catbird population is 29 million fully grown people, and their fads have actually been steady for the last 40 years in The United States and Canada. They are additionally not experiencing any type of severe variations or fragmentations in their numbers.


  1. The Red List / BirdLife International, Available here:
  2. USDA Fire Effects Information System / Janet Sullivan, Available here:

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