Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Jim Parrish
Photo Copyright Jim Parrish

The gray catbird, Dumetella carolinensis, breeds across most of the United States and in southern Canada. It winters in Central America, as well as along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Old record suggest that the species may have once been common in Utah, but it is now rare in the state, breeding only in a few limited areas of north-central Utah. The gray catbird prefers dense shrublands and forested areas with thick undergrowth.

Nests are built in brush or low in trees, usually less than ten feet above the ground. This species is often double-brooded; each clutch typically contains four eggs. The female alone incubates the eggs, which hatch in about two weeks. Both parents attend to the young; the young leave the nest at approximately two weeks of age. This species eats insects, spiders, seeds, and fruits.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Peterson, R. T., and V. M. Peterson. 1990. A field guide to western birds, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 432 pp.