do catbirds scare away other birds

These birds are renowned for their remarkable vocal abilities, often mimicking the sounds of other animals and bird species.

The cat-like mewing call of the Gray Catbird serves as an alarm call, alerting others to the presence of potential predators or dangers in the vicinity.

While its not an exact imitation of a cat, it effectively communicates the need for caution.

Fairly inquisitive birds. They may pop out of thick vegetation to investigate if they hear someone approaching.

Once satisfied that there is no immediate threat, they will quickly retreat to cover and go about their business.

However, its worth noting that this vocalization doesnt sound exactly like a cat, and its unlikely to deceive anyone.

What do Gray Catbirds Eat?

The Gray Catbird’s food consists of tiny fruits, spiders, and insects. Catbirds eat a lot of berries.

In actuality, berries account for as much as 50% of their diet.

These birds will search in treetops but their primary areas of foraging are the ground and low foliage.

When catbirds see food on the ground, they swiftly toss leaves and other debris, which makes insects flee. The birds then grab the insects before they can escape.

I entice them to the fruit feeder by placing grape jelly in the trays of our Oriole feeders. Check it out here: Fruit Feeder.

Migration of Gray Catbirds

In late August or early September, Gray Catbirds leave their summer range to spend the winter in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Through the winter, a small but growing number of people stay in the North.

Most likely, you’ll see them traveling southward and along the coast of New England.

If you notice catbirds in your backyard in the winter, consider providing them with food by setting out suet, raisins, and blueberries.

What do Gray Catbirds Eggs Look Like?

The eggs laid by Gray Catbirds exhibit a deep blue-green hue, as evidenced by the nest. Females lay a clutch of 2 – 6 eggs.

Before the eggs hatch, the female catbird will sit on them (incubate) for 12 to 15 days. Females leave the eggs for short periods to feed.

After hatching, the young will depart the nest in ten to thirteen days.

After the young leave the nest, both adult birds will keep feeding their offspring for a period of twelve days.

Gray Catbird Nesting Stats

Gray Catbird Nesting Stats
Eggs 2 – 6
Incubation 12 – 15 days
Nestling Phase 10- 13 days
Broods 1 – 3

A gray catbird’s breeding season usually produces one to three broods.

They never use the same nest for consecutive years or for second broods.

The Brown-headed Cowbird is a parasite that feeds on young birds and sometimes preys on gray catbirds.

Gray Catbirds and other bird species’ nests are where female cowbirds lay their eggs.

The catbirds will reject or remove a cowbird egg from their nest if it is placed in one of their nests because they perceive it as alien.

While unsuccessful pairs leave their territory, successful pairs frequently return to the same area year after year.


Are catbirds aggressive to other birds?

Male catbirds are territorial. They announce their territory with a loud song. Songs can be up to ten minutes long and include weak mimics of other sounds in their territory. Gray catbirds are also very aggressive with territory intruders including other birds.

Do catbirds chase other birds away?

These often involve Gray Catbird chasing other species, even making physical contact (Harcus 1973. Song studies in the breeding biology of the Catbird, Dumetella carolinesis (Aves: Mimidae).

Do catbirds destroy other birds nests?

Gray Catbirds are known to peck and destroy eggs of other birds, and occasionally eat their contents and shells (Bent 1964; Belles-Isles and Picman 1986a; Sealy 1994).

Are GREY catbirds friendly?

The gray catbird is a baffling bird with a personality that runs the gamut from introverted to extroverted, sometimes depending on the season and at other times seemingly just on a whim. With some gentle persuasion, however, people can gain a catbird’s trust and develop a fun friendship with these clever songbirds.