Language English Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing featuresThe gray catbird is a slender-bodied, slate-grey coloured passerine, with a black cap. It frequently flicks its tail, which is chestnut underneath. ReproductionGray catbirds usually nest in a shrub or at the base of a tree. The female generally lays 4 eggs, incubating them herself for 12 to 15 days. The male helps to feed the young, which spend from 9 to 15 days in the nest, although they are reliant on the parents for another 2 weeks after that. DietIn the spring, they mostly eat insects. Later in the year, they turn largely to fruit. PredatorsThe adults may possibly be hunted by diurnal and nocturnal raptors. The eggs and young may be eaten by some mammals. Brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) infrequently lay their eggs in these birds' nests. HabitatGray catbirds nest across southern Canada and in the central and eastern United States. They prefer dense vegetation along woodland edges and in thickets and ravines. During the nesting period, they also favour large gardens, wooded parkland, roadsides and fallow fields. Ecology, behaviourThe unmistakable call of the gray catbird resembles the mewing of a cat. They also mimic the songs of other birds, the phrases of which they string together. Unlike mockingbirds and thrashers, they do not repeat their musical phrases.Gray catbirds are able to recognize the eggs of the brown-headed catbird, which they throw from their nests. They winter from the southeastern United States to Panama and the Caribbean. French nameMoqueur chat Scientific nameDumetella carolinensisPhylumChordataClassBirdsOrderPasseriformesFamilyMimidaeSizeLength: 21 to 24 cmWeightAverage: 37 gLife spanRecord: 10 years 11 monthsStatusLeast Concern (IUCN). Abundant species.