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Gray Catbird - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by GerryHerd
Northwest Florida, October 2020
Dumetella carolinensis


8-9 inches (21-24 cm)
Smaller than American Robin

  • Dark gray
  • Black cap
  • Rusty undertail coverts
  • Slender, long-tailed



Photo © by tetoneon
New Jersey, USA, July 2012

North America: from British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia south to Washington, Texas, and Georgia.


From Carolinas and Gulf Coast southward, small numbers occur regularly to southern New England.


This is a monotypic species[1].

Formerly known as "Catbird," this bird has had its name changed officially to Gray Catbird because there is an all-black species, the Black Catbird in southern Mexico.


Thickets and brush, residential areas and gardens.


Photo © by padmartin
Virginia, USA, July 2006

A ground feeder, turning the leaf litter over with the beak


The bulky nest is hidden in bushes or vines. Four or five shiny blue-green eggs are laid


Consists of insects and fallen berries


Song: A long, irregular succession of musical and mechanical notes and phrases. Sometimes seems to mimic other birds.

  • Cat-like mewing
  • Ratchett call when alarmed
  • Soft whip and chip given at nest between pairs.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2014)

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