30 August, 2009

Grey Catbird

Scientific Name: Dumetella carolinensis

Population Estimate: 10M, Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Breeds in summer in southern Canada through central and eastern United States. Winters on the east coast of the US into Mexico and Central America. Also found in the Bahamas, Cuba, and Jamaica. Prefers a shrub habitat near water.

Field Notes: Secretive bird with habitus true to the mockingbird and thrasher family. Plumage slate grey with black eye and bill, black cap, and black tail feathers. Rusty vent. Distinctive cat-like call. Is also a mimic, though does not repeat phrases. Overlaps in winter with Black Catbird in parts of Central America, though readily distinguished.

Personal Notes: Easily identified by it's call, we've had difficulty getting a good photograph of this shy bird. We finally had some better luck at Chaa Creek Resort in Belize then later at Deseret Ranch in Utah. 

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