8-9 1/4" (20-24 cm). Slate gray except for a red undertail covert. crown and tail darker.
Similar Species- Northern Mockingbird
Call is a catlike scolding. Song is a variety of chattery whistles.
Breeds from southern British Columbia, east across southern Canada to Nova Scotia, and south to central New Mexico, Texas, central portions of Gulf states, and northern Florida. Winters from Atlantic coastal lowlands, north to Long Island, and from Gulf states to Panama.
Found in thickets, dense brushy and shrubby areas, undergrowth of forest edges, hedgerows, gardens, and dense second growth. An Idaho study in cottonwood forests reported that the probability of detecting catbirds increased with patch size; the species avoided grazed areas.
Eats insects, other invertebrates, small fruits, and arillate seeds.
Builds cup-shaped nest, frequently in thickets. Forages on ground or in vegetation. Sometimes forms loose flocks during migration.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Saab, V.A. 1996. Influence of spatial scale and land management on habitat use by breeding birds in cottonwood forests of southeastern Idaho. Ph.D. Dissertation, Univ. Colorado, Boulder. 140pp.