Gray Catbird

photo by Phil Swanson

Dumetella carolinensis
L 8 1/2″ (22 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (UNL audios)


Mewing calls. Song is variable mix of melodious, nasal, and squeaky notes. Phrases are not repeated.

Description: Sexes similar. Slate-gray overall; black cap; long, black tail; and chestnut undertail coverts.

Gray Catbird
Habitat: Thickets, woodland edges, shrubby marsh borders, orchards, parks, and similar brushy habitats are used by breeding birds.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant and summer resident across much of the state, becoming rarer northwestwardly. Apparently declining in Pine Ridge area, where habitat is decreasing.

Field Notes: Some individuals are good mimics.

Fun Facts: The Gray Catbird’s long song may last for up to 10 minutes.

Gray Catbird - photo by Phil Swanson  Gray Catbird - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)