Birds of North America Home Page

Field Guide for all the Birds of North America

Gray Catbird

Moqueur chat

Dumetella carolinensis

Information, images and range maps on over 1,000 birds of North America, including sub-species, vagrants, introduced birds and possibilities


Species: The Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) is part of the same group of mimic birds such as thrashers and mockingbirds. It is known for its wide variety of songs, including its "mew" call. This bird is found around residential properties where it is quite comfortable among people, and most times, easy to approach.

Distinctions: The male and the female are similar in appearance. Both sexes have an all grey body, black crown and a chestnut coloured patch in the undertail coverts. When one is seeking a singing bird, it is typical for the bird to move deeper into the thickets, but with some patience, the catbird can be coaxed back out into an opening. It is not uncommon to see the Gray Catbird perched on a limb, warming itself in the sun with its body squat and flattened and feathers ruffled.

Voice: It has a large repertoire, from flute-like notes to scratchy notes, with the odd "mew" thrown in and mimicking a sound which it may have heard.

Nesting: Four to five blueish-green coloured eggs, as many as two broods per year. Builds its nest in thick bush or tangles, usually in a small tree located a few feet from the ground.

Birds of North America
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Life, Habitat & Pictures of North American Catbirds

B L W W W Family Latin Name
8.5" 21.6cm 11" 28cm 1.3oz 36.9g Mimidae Dumetella carolinensis

North American Bird Calls

  1. Tap to hear Choice 1
  2. Tap to hear Choice 2

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter
range map

Distribution: Found throughout areas with thickets or brambles, comfortable in residential areas. Seen from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, down into New Mexico and across to Florida. May spend the winter months in southern Florida, Louisiana, eastern Texas, and into Mexico.

References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database This site provides the user with a complete list of bird species, broken down per country, or in the example of the US or Canada, per state and province. Here, bird species names are available in other languages, a great asset to be used as a translation of foreign bird names.

ABA - American Birding Association This site represents an organization that maintains official records of all birds species that have been proven to have been seen inside the perimeters of the North American Continent and the surrounding bodies of water. Regular revised versions are posted to keep the bird list current at all times. This is the list used by all serious birders over their lifetime. You may be aware of the movie called the "Big Year". It was with this list that all the competing birders used in an attempt to set a new record as to how many bird species that could be seen by an individual birder in one calendar year.

I hope you will take advantage of these suggested websites. I have used each of them, in one way or another, throughout the years in my quest to better identify and understand our fine feathered friends.

Classic Collection of North American Birds