Gray catbird Facts

Gray catbird Facts
Gray catbird is a member of the mimid family. It can be found in the temperate areas of North America. Gray catbird inhabits scrublands, edges of forests, areas covered with thick thorny vegetation and vines, abandoned orchards and suburban areas. Major threats for the survival of gray catbirds in the wild are habitat loss and traffic accidents (they often collide with vehicles during migration). At the moment, population of gray catbirds in the wild is large and stable and these birds are not on the list of endangered animals.
Interesting Gray catbird Facts:
Gray catbird can reach 9 inches in length and 2 ounces of weight.
Gray catbird has dark grey body with black cap and rust-colored underside of the tail. Males and females look alike.
Gray catbird has slightly curved elongated black beak, long tail and wingspan of 8.7 to 11.8 inches. It usually flies short distances, close to the ground by combining active flying with gliding through the air.
Gray catbird is diurnal animal (active during the day).
Gray catbird is an omnivore (it eats plants and meat). Its diet consists of ants, beetles, spiders, flies, grasshoppers, moths and various types of berries.
Gray catbird produces cat-like meowing tones (hence the name "catbird") and mimics vocalization of other birds, tree frogs and various mechanical sounds. It is able to produce up to 100 different sounds.
Unlike mockingbird and thrasher, gray catbird does not repeat any phrase of the song. Its song is less musical and harsher.
Song of gray catbird can last 10 minutes. Male sings loud songs when it wants to establish boundaries of its territory. Female usually accompanies male with quieter tune.
Unlike other songbirds, gray catbird does not sing from an open space. Instead, it sings hidden in dense thicket.
Gray catbird migrates to the south at the beginning of September or October. Gray catbirds usually travel in flocks of 10 to 15 birds during the night.
Mating season of gray catbird takes place during the May.
Female builds cup-shaped nest using the twigs, bark and mud. Nests are usually located in the trees or shrubs, close to the ground. Female lays 1 to 5 turquoise eggs that hatch after 12 to 15 days.
Female is able to recognize and eliminate foreign eggs from the nest. Most commonly eliminated eggs are eggs of brown-headed cowbird.
Chicks are naked and helpless at birth. Both parents take care of the chicks. They stay in the nest until the age of 10 to 11 days. Parents aggressively protect nest against predators by spreading their wings and tail and by producing loud calls. Gray catbirds often physically attack predators with their beaks.
Gray catbird can survive up to 17 years.

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