Gray Catbird

Dumetella carolinensis

About This Animal

SIZE: 10 inches

RANGE: Eastern and NW US

HABITAT: Dense thickets and brambles in clearings and edges of woods

DIET: Seeds, insects and berries

ON EXHIBIT: Delta Swamp at River Journey

The sexes are similar with all dark gray plumage, a black cap and tail, and a chestnut under tail. The eyes and beak are black.  The Gray Catbird is named for its catlike “mew” call.  It is member of the family of birds called mimic thrushes (it is a close relative of the Northern Mockingbird). This group of birds uses the calls and songs of other birds which they memorize and string together making their own song.  This species is a neotropical migrant that breeds in North America but a few can still be found during the winter months in the southern US.

The Gray Catbird is protected by the Migratory Bird Act and their populations are stable.