Dumetella carolinensis


Common Names: Gray catbird, grey catbird, slate-colored mockingbird
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Mockingbirds & Thrashers

This species is named for its cat-like call. Like many members of the Mimidae (most famously mockingbirds), it also mimics the songs of other birds, as well as those of Hylidae (tree frogs), and even mechanical sounds. Because of its well-developed songbird syrinx, it is able to make two sounds at the same time. The alarm call resembles the quiet calls of a male mallard.

They range in length from 8.1 to 9.4 inches and span 8.7 to 11.8 inches across the wings. Gray catbirds are plain lead gray almost all over. The top of the head is darker. The undertail coverts are rust-colored, and the remiges and rectrices are black, some with white borders. The slim bill, the eyes, and the legs and feet are also blackish. Males and females cannot be distinguished by their looks; different behaviours in the breeding season is usually the only clue to the observer. Juveniles are even plainer in coloration, with buffy undertail coverts.

The catbird tends to avoid dense, unbroken woodlands, and does not inhabit coniferous, pine woodland. Catbirds prefer a dense vegetative substrate, especially if thorny vegetation is present. Scrublands, woodland edges, overgrown farmland and abandoned orchards are generally among the preferred locations of the catbird.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings