Gray Catbird

Dumetella carolinensis




Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Dark blue green

Number of Eggs:

2 - 6

Incubation Days:

12 - 13

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In trees or shrub., 3 -10 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with fine material., Grasses., Twigs





Gray Catbird: Small, shy, dark gray mockingbird with black cap and red-brown undertail coverts. Bill, legs, and feet are black. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is gray-brown above with slate-gray crown.

Range and Habitat

Gray Catbird: Breeds from southern Canada to central New Mexico, the Gulf States and Bermuda. Winters in the southeastern U.S., Panama, and the West Indies. Prefers low, dense vegetation or vine tangles at the edges of forests, marshes, and streams; does not occur in forest interiors. Suburban landscapes often contain good habitat for this species.

Breeding and Nesting

Gray Catbird: Two to six dark blue green eggs are laid in a nest made of twigs and grass, lined with finer materials, and built in a dense shrub or low tree. Incubation ranges from 12 to 13 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Gray Catbird: Feeds mostly on insects such as beetles, caterpillars, cicadas, crickets, grasshoppers, moths, ants, and aphids; also eats spiders, fruits, berries, and seeds; forages on the ground or in shrubs and low trees.


Gray Catbird: Song is a cat-like meow; often sings at night. Call is a quiet "mew" or harsh "quit" or "chack"; imitates calls of jays, kingfishers, swallows, grosbeaks, and other songbirds.

Similar Species

Gray Catbird: Northern Mockingbird is lighter overall, has two white wingbars, and lacks black cap and rufous undertail coverts. 

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
The area on top of the head of the bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X