Gray Catbird 

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Dumetella Carolinensis 

Gray Catbird

Adults have a combination of slate-gray plumage with black cap and tail, and chestnut undertail coverts.

Eyes, legs and feet are black.

Both sexes are similar.

First winter has a brownish tinge to flight feathers, primary coverts and sometimes, outer greater coverts.

Eyes are grayish-brown or dull reddish-brown.

Juveniles are similar to adults.

BILL: black and slim.

SIZE: medium-sized, measurement ranges from 8.1 - 9.4 inches in length, with a wingspan of 8.7 - 11.8 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 23 - 56 grams.

COLOR: slate-gray, black and chestnut.

Insects (ants, beetles, flies, caterpillars and moths) and spiders; fruits (blueberries and raspberries).

Dense thickets, especially near water, woodland edges, parks and residential areas, open woodlands with bushy undergrowth, and hedgerows, abandoned farmland and streamside.

BREEDS: Southern Canada, southward to Northeastern Arizona and eastward to Northern Florida.

WINTER: East Coast from southern Massachusetts to Florida, and from the Gulf Coast southward into Central America and the Caribbean.

CALL: A very short cat-like, nasal “mew”, slowing towards end.

It has also a grating “tcheek-tcheek”, and a sharp snapping note.

SONG: A soft melodious warbling, interspersed with nasal mewing, squeaks and imitations.

They can make more than 100 different types of sounds.

NEST: The female builds a bulky cup nest with twigs, scraps, paper or plastic, straw and mud and lined with rootlets, fine grass or hair.

It is located in dense shrubs, small trees and vines, low to the ground.

EGGS: 1 - 5 turquoise-colored eggs.

INCUBATION: 12 - 14 days, female.

NESTLING PHASE: 10 - 11 days.

They are secretive but energetic, hopping and fluttering from branch to branch through tangles of vegetation.

Singing males sit atop shrubs and small trees.

They are reluctant to fly across open areas, preferring quick, low flights over vegetation.

The oldest known Gray Catbird was at least 17 years, 11 months old.

Gray Catbird Infographic





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