Gray Catbird

From Ohio History Central
Gray Catbird.jpg


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Scientific Name: Dumetella carolinensis
Habitat: Forest edges, brushy areas, residential areas
Adult Weight: 1.37 - 1.5 oz.
Adult Body Length: 7 - 7.75 inches
Nesting Period: May - August
Broods Per Year: 2
Clutch Size: 3-5
Foods: Mostly fruit and berries; some insects


The catbird is known for its ability to mimic sounds around it. It will rarely imitate the sound of other birds and will repeat a phrase only once, while a mockingbird may repeat the same phrase two to three times. Within the phrase, it will include the mew-like call which gives the bird its name.



The mimicking cry of the catbird greeted early settlers when they arrived in Ohio in the late 18th century.

19th Century

Throughout the nineteenth-century, catbirds have been common in the state.

20th Century

The catbird population remains stable in Ohio. The songbird migrates into the state at the end of April, early May and leaves around the first week in October.


  1. Peterjohn, John. The Birds of Ohio; Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN; 1989.