The Gray Catbird

That's not a feline you hear in your backyard.

By: Jerry Poindexter

The gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) measures between 7 1/2 and 9 1/2 inches in length and comes in various shades of gray. (The birds used for this article had distinct variations in coloration, so good reference is recommended.) These birds frequently flick their long tails up and down like wrens. Like the Northern mockingbird and the brown thrasher, the gray catbird can skillfully mimic the songs of other birds. It gets its name from its cat-like meowing.

The measurements for the pattern and painting notes were taken from study skins provided by Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington.


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