Gray Catbird in my garden

The Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) is another species well-known to North American birders. It gets its name from its mewing call. It’s very hard to spot as it moves slowly through its preferred habitat of thick bushes, but today a bird whose presence in my garden I have suspected for a couple of weeks finally revealed itself. This individual is certainly now established here in the garden and friend Larry Waddell was able to take a photograph that shows the salient field marks. These are its generally grey plumage plus black cap and rufous under the vent.

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird in San Antonio, courtesy of Larry Waddell

In Costa Rica the Gray Catbird is rated a fairly common winter resident and passage migrant. I’m assuming that ours is a winter resident. It is the only other member of the Mimidae (Mockingbirds) family to be found here besides the Tropical Mockingbird, a species which is now becoming established throughout Costa Rica and Panama. We have a pair of these residing close by in our village of San Antonio.

My only other previous sightings of the Gray Catbird for my garden were in February 2015.

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