Wild Guide: Gray Catbird

By MDC | June 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: June 2023

Being dark gray and preferring to search for food in dense forage, catbirds can be hard to spot. Males usually announce themselves acoustically. Their song is a complex jumble of musical and nonmusical squeaks, whistles, clicks, and nasal sounds. Calls are a distinct and characteristic down-slurred catlike meeoow and a harsh kute or tcheck.

Did You Know?

Catbirds sing nonstop for minutes at a time. You may hear them quote the tunes of cardinals, robins, wrens — even frogs or chickens.

Photo of a gray catbird, closeup of head and breast.

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner