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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Dumetella carolinensis
POPULATION: 29 million
TREND: Slight increase
HABITAT: Dense thickets, brushy suburban areas, and gardens.
The Gray Catbird is a familiar member of the Mimidae (mimic) family, a group of birds that includes noted songsters such as Northern Mockingbird and Sage Thrasher. Like its relatives, the Gray Catbird mimics a variety of sounds, but this bird is best known for the cat-like mewing calls that give the species its common name.
Gray Catbirds often sing from a high perch while displaying; this behavior gave rise to an idiom heard in the southern United States, “sitting in the catbird seat,” which refers to someone in an advantageous position.