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 Gray Catbird

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Gray Catbird.

Use the links below to view the Gray Catbird reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Gray Catbird sightings.
Gray Catbird Archives Reports
Fall 2003 136
Spring 2003 92
Winter 02-03 13
Fall 2002 38
Summer 2002 47
Spring 2002 75
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 33
Summer 2001 39
Spring 2001 57
Winter 00-01 1
Fall 2000 78
Summer 2000 30
Spring 2000 42
Winter 00-99 1
Fall 1999 22
Spring/Summer 1999 17

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Gray Catbird

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Gray Catbird
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Gray Catbird
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Dumetella carolinensis (Linnaeus)
Catbird (A.O.U. 1998: Gray Catbird)

Summer resident, common in the south, less common in the Upper Peninsula. Reported in winter from Ingham, Washtenaw, and Monroe counties.

First recorded for Michigan by Sager (1839: 413) : "Orpheus felivox."

SPRING.-Arrival is reported in the Lower Peninsula in the last week or 10 days of April and in the Upper Peninsula about the middle of May.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940: 205) usually reported main flight in the Toledo-Erie marsh during the first week in May. Swales (1904: 41) found the species in the Detroit area by late April, and re- corded 1 on April 14 (1891). The species is also reported by late April in the Ann Arbor region, where 15 were noted by R. E. Morrill on April 28, 1938. N. A. Wood (1922: 32) found the Catbird in Berrien County, after the first of May; G. A. Ammann noted it at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, on May 8, 1940. D. W. Douglass observed it the most commonly at Sand Point, Huron County, during mid-May (1931 to 1933).

Upper Peninsula.-Christofferson has recorded the Catbird at Blaney, Schoolcraft County: 1 seen on May 14, 1932, and 1 on May 19, 1939. From the extreme western part of the peninsula, at Ironwood, Gogebic County, L. C. Anderson collected 1 (U.M.M.Z.) on May 18, 1933.

SUMMER.-Eggs have been found in mid-May and after mid-August, but nesting is reported chiefly from the latter part of May to mid-July.

Lower Peninsula.-Swales (1904: 41) listed the species as a common summer resident in the Detroit region, and found several nests there in 1889: 1 with 4 eggs on May 26, 1 with 4 eggs on July 12, and 1 with 5 eggs on June 17. From the same locality J. Claire Wood (1905e; 423) recorded a nest with young on June 6. In the Ann Arbor area Thomas Weller found a nest with 1 egg, on May 16, 1934. N. A. Wood (1922: 32) saw the species daily during the summer (1917 to 1920) in Berrien County, and F W. Rapp (1931: 30-31) recorded nests in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, between May 11 (1897, nest with 2 eggs) and July 7 (1897, nest with 1 egg). In the northwestern part of Huron County (1910), N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 304) discovered several nests (1 with 3 eggs, June 30; 1 with 1 egg, August 20); N. A. Wood (1912o; 187-88) found a nest in July, 1910, on Charity Island, in the same county. Walkinshaw noted a nest with 3 young at Higgins Lake, Roscommon County, on July 3, 1937. Van Tyne (1925: 626), in Charlevoix County, and Widmann (1902:236) , in Emmet County, found the species uncommon but fairly well distributed. Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) have listed a number of nests from the vicinity of Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, between June 24 (2 nests with 4 eggs) and August 8 (nest with 2 young and 2 eggs).

Upper Peninsula.-Van Tyne (1923: 25) listed the Catbird as very Tin- common on Les Cheneaux Islands, Mackinac County, but found a nest with 1 young on June 26 (near Hessel). Brodkorb saw a few Catbirds at Seney, Schoolcraft County, in early June, 1938, and Walkinshaw observed 1 north of Seney on June 26, 1933. George H. Shiras, 3d (N. A. Wood, 1908: 14) observed a pair nesting at Whitefish Lake, Alger County, during the summer of 1915; Christy (1925: 216) recorded an individual in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on June 14. F. M. Gaige (1914: 90) noted the species frequently during the month of July near Brown Lake, Dickinson County; John L. George and R. L. Patterson recorded it at Golden Lake, Iron County, on July 20, 1938. N. A. Wood (1933: 731) recorded an individual at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, on May 21, and listed the species as a rare summer resident there.

FALL.-Departure is recorded during the early part of October.

Upper Peninsula.-On Isle Royale Max M. Peet (1909: 380) saw a Cat- bird on September 12, 1905; in 1929 N. A. "Wood collected 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) there on September 12. Bryens has observed the species at McMillan, Luce County, until middle or late October (1 seen on October 14, 1939; 1 on October 23 and 26, 1937).

Lower Peninsula.-Trautman saw a Catbird at Houghton Lake, Roscommon County, on October 9, 1938; in the fall of 1910 N. A. Wood (1911:110) observed only 1 on Charity Island, Huron County (on August 16). F. W. Rapp (1931: 30-31) recorded the species in the vicinity of Vicks- burg, Kalamazoo County, on October 5, 1902, and N. A. Wood collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) at Ann Arbor on October 7, 1903. Swales found 5 at Grosse He, Wayne County, on October 7, 1916, and 1 on October 13, 1907; Trautman recorded 6 on September 9, 1934, in Erie Township, Mon- roe County. L. W. Campbell (1940: 192) has generally reported departure from the Toledo-Erie marsh area by the second week in October, but recorded 1 Catbird as late as October 30 in 1932.

WINTER.-C. C. Ludwig frequently saw 1 at his home in Lansing between December 26, 1941, and January 8, 1942. Van Tyne (1926: 117; and notes) saw 1 in Ann Arbor on December 26, 1925; other observers noted the species on several later dates, the latest being January 19 (1926,J. 0. Kirby). Van Tyne observed 1 on January 21, 1927, and 1 on February 4, 2023 (with L. "W. Campbell) in Erie Township, Monroe County.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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