Gray Catbird

Dumetella carolinensis

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae)

Code 4

GRCA

Code 6

DUMCAR

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Gray Catbird is a medium-sized perching bird located primarily in the Americas. This bird breeds in semi-open areas of low and dense vegetation throughout North America. It may be seen in urban areas near human activity, especially during winter months. Nests are built in thick shrubs near to the ground. These birds fly to the southeastern United States, Mexico and Central America in cold weather. The diet of the gray Catbird consists of insects and berries found on the ground, but it eats fruits during the winter as well. The conservation rating of gray Catbird is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Gray Catbird: Small, shy, dark gray mockingbird with black cap and red-brown undertail coverts. The bill, legs, and feet are black. Forages on ground, shrubs and branches. Feeds mostly on insects and their larvae, spiders, berries and fruits. Swift direct flight on rapid wing beats.


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.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"mew", "mew", "chack"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Gray Catbirds are able to recognize their own eggs making them less susceptible to brood parasites such as the Brown-headed Cowbird.
  • Their calls include the catlike meow call that gives them their name.
  • When feeding on the ground, they toss leaves aside with their bills rather than scratching with their feet.
  • A group of catbirds are collectively known as a "mewing" and a "seat" of catbirds.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Gray Catbird

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X