Fun Fact Friday: Gray Catbirds are handsome, chatty birds of shrubs, tangles, and thickets. They are related to Mockingbirds and Thrashers (a family known collectively as mimids), and share their ability to mimic the sounds of other birds, stringing them together into their own songs (which may last up to 10 minutes!). However, this bird derives its name from its distinctive call – an unmistakable, cat-like mew.
Gray Catbirds breed across much of North America, then retreat to the Gulf Coast, spending winters from Florida to Texas and into Central America and the Caribbean. However, they are year-round residents along the Atlantic Coasts – though they’re a bit harder to find during the colder months.
As with most birds, male Catbirds are highly territorial during the breeding season, chasing away would-be interlopers of several different species. Somewhat unusually, though, both males and females will defend territories in the winter months.
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