A medium-sized, slender songbird with a long, rounded, black tail and a narrow, straight bill. Catbirds are fairly long legged and have broad, rounded wings.
Slightly smaller than a Northern Mockingbird
- Both Sexes
- Length: 8.3-9.4 in (21-24 cm)
- Weight: 0.8-2.0 oz (23.2-56.5 g)
- Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in (22-30 cm)
Catbirds give the impression of being entirely slaty gray. With a closer look you’ll see a small black cap, blackish tail, and a rich rufous-brown patch under the tail.
Catbirds are secretive but energetic, hopping and fluttering from branch to branch through tangles of vegetation. Singing males sit atop shrubs and small trees. Catbirds are reluctant to fly across open areas, preferring quick, low flights over vegetation.
Look for Gray Catbirds in dense tangles of shrubs, small trees, and vines, along forest edges, streamside thickets, old fields, and fencerows.