Dumetella Carolinensis – Gray Catbird

Dumetella carolinensis - Gray catbird that can be found in the United States

The gray catbird or in Latin Dumetella carolinensis is a medium-sized North American and Central American perching bird. Dumetella is the only “catbird” genus. A basal lineage Mimidae species, it is probably more closely related to the Caribbean thrasher and trembler assemblage than to the mockingbirds and Toxostoma thrashers. It is also called the slate-colored mockingbird.

Quick Overview: Dumetella Carolinensis – Gray Catbird
Body size: Around 8.5-9 in (22-23cm) in length and a weight of 37 g (1.3 oz)
Main colors: Gray, Black, Chestnut
Range: East Coast and South Eastern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: January, February, June, July, August, September, December
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Gray Catbird Description

Medium birds with a dark gray body, a black cap, and black tail feathers, are some of the identifications of these birds. Their tail coverts are chestnut. Eastern populations are generally darker gray. Black eyes, black feet, and black legs distinguish gray catbirds from other species.

Dumetella carolinensis - Gray catbird that can be found in the United States
Dumetella Carolinensis – Gray Catbird. Source: Wikipedia


These birds have a length of 8.5-9 in (22-23cm) and a weight of 37 g (1.3 oz). Their wings could range from 11-12 in (28-30 cm).


Gray catbirds hunt in the trees and on the ground. They are omnivores who eat insects and fruits. Anthracnose beetles, flies, caterpillars, gypsy moths, spiders, and aphids are among their predators. 


These birds prefer dense shrubs, small trees, and vine growth along forest edges, stream banks, old fields, and fencerows.


A diurnal and migratory species, Breeding pairs are territorial in both summer and winter. When breeding, males defend a small area around their nests. They rarely breed at the same site year after year. Male and females defend different territories. During migration, gray catbirds form groups of 10–15.

Dumetella Carolinensis Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Mimidae
  • Genus: Dumetella
  • Species: Dumetella coralinensis

Other common names

Gray catbird is also called the slate-colored mockingbird.

Best time of the year to see

The best time to see these birds in the United States are during summer (June to September) and winter (December to February).

Distribution of the Gray Catbird in the USA

Gray catbirds are Nearctic natives. From Oregon to New Mexico and up the East Coast, they breed in the United States and Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). During the winter, they live in the Caribbean Islands and the extreme southeast United States.

The Gray Cat can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Dumetella Carolinensis – Gray Catbird

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