Adults weigh from 23.2 to 56.5 g , with a wingspan of 22 to 30 cm (8.7 to 12 in) they are 20.5 to 24 cm (8.1 to 9.4 in) long. Grey Catbirds are plain lead gray almost all over. The top of the head is darker. The undertail coverts are rust-colored, and the remiges and rectrices are black, some with white borders. The eyes, bill, legs and feet are blackish. Males and females are similar in appearance; different behaviours in the breeding season is usually the only clue to distinguish them.

Habitat and Distribution

Native to most of temperate North America east of the Rocky Mountains, Gray Catbirds migrate to the southeastern United States, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean in winter; except for the occasional vagrant they always stay east of the American Cordillera. Their breeding habitat is semi-open areas with dense, low growth; they are also found in urban, suburban, and rural habitats.


Grey Catbirds mainly forage on the ground in leaf litter, shrubs and trees. They feed on arthropods and berries.


They build a bulky cup nest in a shrub or tree, close to the ground. Eggs are light blue in color, and clutch size ranges from 1 to 5, with 2 to 3 eggs most common. Both parents take turns feeding the young birds.

Calls and Songs

The call is a nasal, catlike, down to slurred mew. Alarm call : a quirt note and a rapid chatter. Song: is a variable mixture of melodious, nasal, and squeaky notes, interspersed with catlike mew notes.