Fun Black Catbird Facts For Kids

Devangana Rathore
Nov 14, 2022 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
The black catbird facts are some of the most interesting ones around! How many do you know?

There are many bird families in the world about that history does not know much about. The black catbird is one such family.

Known across the world for its inclusiveness, it has been very difficult to identify a lot of things about this bird from Northern Mexico. Photos and records of their sounds exist, though these sounds and photos and few are far between, and often monotypic in nature.

However, their identification is a breeze. It is common knowledge in Ornithology that these birds often have fluffy gray feathers on top along with black feathered bodies below.

These secretive birds, however, are at least known for their rather beautiful singing voice. Very popular songbirds in common Ornithology, these birds are in current knowledge for their rather secretive nature, along with their singing which is enough to draw anyone close.

It is so unique, in fact, that no other bird has been able to replicate or adapt this call to its own, which makes it easy for us to distinguish them from the many other common, new, or old birds in Mexico.

Read on to know all about their breeding, their current status, and a lot more, and make sure you do read these Palm Warbler facts and Northern Parula facts.

Black Catbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black catbird?

Black catbird (Melanoptila Glabrirostris) is a type of bird.

What class of animal does a black catbird belong to?

The black catbird range belongs to a class of birds.

How many black catbirds are there in the world?

The world population of the black catbird (Melanoptila Glabrirostris) was believed to be less than 50,000 in 2008, and it is declining.

Where does a black catbird live?

These birds live in the woods.

What is a black catbird's habitat?

The Yucatán Peninsula is home to the black catbird Melanoptila Glabrirostris. This species can be found in habitats ranging through scrubland and abandoned farms to wood edges at low altitudes in semi-arid to humid environments.

This bird also favors habitats like dense thickets, brush, or understory, and is rarely found in the larger forest with more open vegetation underneath the canopy.

The gray catbird (Genus Dumetalla) prefers dense thickets, semi-open regions with thick, low growth, but these birds can also be found in suburban, urban, and rural settings.

Who do black catbirds live with?

Due to a lack of research, it is unknown with whom these songbirds live.

How long does a black catbird live?

The survival period range for a black catbird is about 17 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The black catbird's breeding behavior is poorly understood. Nest formation was witnessed in Belize in early May, and little offspring were discovered in a nest in Mexico in mid of August, indicating that its mating season runs from spring to summer season.

The bird's nest, which is made of an open cup of sticks lined with roots and other light stuff, is tucked into a small tree or dense bush. Two greenish-blue colored eggs are laid by the female.

During breeding time, gray catbirds (Family: Mimidae) usually raise two litters per season. The black-capped catbird or gray catbirds' breeding range is between April and early August.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this species of songbird is classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN.

Black Catbird Fun Facts

What do black catbirds look like?

The North American gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) is closely linked to this species. The male and female birds have similar appearances, though the male is heavier.

This bird has short, rounded wings and a relatively long tail. The feathers are glossy black with a purple shine on the whole, with a greenish shimmer on the rectrices, main and secondary coverts, and a duller blackish-brown color with diminished shine on the remiges.

Juveniles are brownish-gray with mottling underneath, and females are just less shiny than the male bird. The legs are dark in color. The black bill has a usually straight culmen that is decurved at the tip, and it is smaller than the head.

Gray catbirds (Order Passeriformes) are almost entirely lead-gray. The upper part of the head is darker (called a black cap) than the rest. The rust-colored under the tail contrasts with the ebony remiges and rectrices, many of which have white borders. The slender-billed eyes, legs, and feet are all black in the color for these songbirds.

The black catbird (Melanoptila glabrirostris) is a Yucatan Peninsula and Cozumel Islands indigenous species.

How cute are they?

Glossy black plumage with purplish shine, black-billed, long tail, and different melodious sounds makes this species (Family: Mimidae) a cute bird. These songbirds belong to North America, the gray catbird (Genus: Dumtella) with black cap and bill with long-tail is cute, too.

How do they communicate?

No other species have been observed imitating the black catbird call. Its melody (black catbird sounds) is made up of a series of tones that range from rough and scratched to chirp and flute-like.

It frequently sings from perches that are exposed to the elements. They make a range of calls, some of which are very similar to the North American gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), a similar species of black catbird. Song thrush birds sing throughout the year, living up to their name.

How big is a black catbird?

The black catbird's (family: Mimidae) length measures up to 7.5–8.1 in (19.05-10.41 cm). While the length of the gray catbird (order: Passeriformes) estimates at 8.1-9.4in (10.41-23.87 cm). Among the black and gray catbirds, the black catbird is smaller than the gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis).

How fast can a black catbird fly?

There is no information regarding the flying speed of this species.

How much does a black catbird weigh?

The weight range of the black catbird is about 1.11–1.48 oz (31.46-41.95gm). The gray catbird (Order Passeriformes) has a weight range of 1.2–1.4 oz ( 34.01-39.68 gm).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male and female of this bird species (Family: Mimidae) do not have any separate names.

What would you call a baby black catbird?

There is not any significant name for a bay black catbird (Melanoptila glabrirostris).

What do they eat?

The main diet comprises of these birds are fruits of Ficus Cotinifolia and Bursera Simaruba, two deciduous trees.

Are they poisonous?

Black catbirds are not poisonous birds.

Would they make a good pet?

People can acquire a catbird's trust and create a delightful connection with these intelligent songbirds with some mild persuasion. Most people enjoy catbirds since they are easy to tame, have pleasant singing, and don't have many undesirable traits.

Did you know...

Even though the black catbird is rarely confused with other mimidae species like the melodious blackbird, and the Giant cowbird, something to keep in mind is that the latter are all blackbirds.

Scientists classified the black catbird to the monotypic genus called Melanoptila, which scientists formed at the very same time when they first identified it in 1858.

The American songbird in the Mimidae family, the mockingbird has a long tail,  known for its ability to imitate other birds' sound, whereas the catbird is one of two American mockingbird relatives, the gray catbird.

The long song of gray catbird (Family: Mimidae)may continue for about 10 minutes. The male gray catbird sings the harsh song to declare his territory. These birds sing a lighter variant of the song when there is any intruder close to the nest or in his territory. Female birds may sing the soft song after the male.

How do you tell the difference between a catbird and mockingbird?

Mockingbirdsare bigger and have a paler underbelly than catbirds. They also have two white wing bars, which are absent in a catbird.

Why is it called a catbird?

Catbirds are a group of distinct songbirds named for their specific wailing calls, which sound like a cat meowing. It is also interesting to note that the genus name which we now refer to  Ailuroedus originates from the Greek word ailuroedus, which means "cat-singer", "cat-voiced." The Brewer's Blackbird is titled after Thomas Mayo Brewer, an American naturalist, and ornithologist.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Hummingbird facts and Amazon Parrot facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our black catbird coloring pages.

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Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

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Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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