Range
Gray Catbird breeds from the southern mainland of British Columbia, the southern half of the Canadian Prairie provinces, southern Ontario, southwestern Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia south through Washington, eastern Oregon, Utah, and eastern Texas, east to the Atlantic coast. Winters mainly on the coastal fringe of the Gulf coast and eastern Mexico, south to Panama and the Caribbean islands.

Status in British Columbia
On the coast, rare to uncommon migrant and summer visitant locally to the lower Fraser River valley, Squamish River valley, Pemberton valley, and Bella Coola River valley; casual elsewhere on the coast.
In the interior, an uncommon migrant and summer visitant to the Southern Interior, Southern Interior Mountains, and Central Interior ecoprovinces, except locally fairly common in the Okanagan valley and in the vicinity of Williams Lake; further north, a casual summer visitant in the SubBoreal Interior and the Boreal Plains ecoprovinces; casual in winter in the Southern Interior, accidental in the Southern Interior Mountains.

Breeding Read More

Range
Gray Catbird breeds from the southern mainland of British Columbia, the southern half of the Canadian Prairie provinces, southern Ontario, southwestern Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia south through Washington, eastern Oregon, Utah, and eastern Texas, east to the Atlantic coast. Winters mainly on the coastal fringe of the Gulf coast and eastern Mexico, south to Panama and the Caribbean islands.

Status in British Columbia
On the coast, rare to uncommon migrant and summer visitant locally to the lower Fraser River valley, Squamish River valley, Pemberton valley, and Bella Coola River valley; casual elsewhere on the coast.
In the interior, an uncommon migrant and summer visitant to the Southern Interior, Southern Interior Mountains, and Central Interior ecoprovinces, except locally fairly common in the Okanagan valley and in the vicinity of Williams Lake; further north, a casual summer visitant in the SubBoreal Interior and the Boreal Plains ecoprovinces; casual in winter in the Southern Interior, accidental in the Southern Interior Mountains.

Breeding
The species reaches its highest numbers in summer in the Okanagan valley of the Southern Interior. General habitats for reported nests were natural shrub thickets and human-influenced habitats, mainly gardens, orchards, vineyards, hedgerows, and uncultivated land associated with farms. In the Okanagan valley, natural sites are frequently in moist draws and riparian areas. Populations are small and local throughout British Columbia, with pairs widely scattered in suitable habitat. Nests are usually built in dense tangles of vegetation. The nest is a bulky assemblage of coarse material. The nest cup is lined with fine grass, plant fibres, and other soft items. Some pairs, in the Okanagan valley at least, are double-brooded. It is not known what proportion of second clutches followed the loss of a first clutch rather than a successful first brood. Sizes of 122 clutches ranged from 1 to 6 eggs, with most having 4 or 5 eggs.

Remarks
The Gray Catbird was formerly known as Catbird. It has been reported that the Gray Catbird destroyed a variety of eggs of other species placed near the nest.


Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Tape Number: M6.007(05a)
Recording Remarks: 15 ips, Nagra IIIB, 40" Parabolic Reflector, AKG Microphone; 50 ft. away, maybe less; not enough song
Length: 1:15
Location Description: Swamp bed
Location Name: Island Road Swamp, Okanagan, BC
General Remarks: Morning - to late. Several Catbirds in the swamp bed. Background, chat, traffic, bee, parabolic reflector
Date: 1966/06/11
Recorder: Grace Bell
Tape Number: M6.007(05a)
Recording Remarks: 15 ips, Nagra IIIB, 40" Parabolic Reflector, AKG Microphone; 50 ft. away, maybe less; not enough song
Length: 1:15
Location Description: Swamp bed
Location Name: Island Road Swamp, Okanagan, BC
General Remarks: Morning - to late. Several Catbirds in the swamp bed. Background, chat, traffic, bee, parabolic reflector
Date: 1966/06/11
Recorder: Grace Bell

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Range
Breeds from western and northern Alaska, northern Yukon, and northwestern and western Mackenzie south to northern California and east through Oregon, Washington, and Idaho into northwestern Montana. Winters along the coast from southern Alaska and British Columbia south as far as Baja California.

Status in British Columbia
On the coast, resident as well as fairly common to locally common migrant and summer visitant to the Georgia Depression and Coast and Mountains ecoprovinces, including Western Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands; fairly common to locally very common in the Georgia Depression during the winter and fairly common winter visitant elsewhere.
In the interior, fairly common to locally common migrant and summer visitant in the Southern Interior and Southern Interior Mountains ecoprovinces; uncommon to locally fairly common winter visitant there; uncommon to locally fairly common migrant and summer visitant to the Central Interior Ecoprovince; rare to uncommon there in winter; rare to uncommon migrant and summer visitant to the Sub-Boreal Interior, Boreal Plains, Taiga Plains, and Northern Read More

Range
Breeds from western and northern Alaska, northern Yukon, and northwestern and western Mackenzie south to northern California and east through Oregon, Washington, and Idaho into northwestern Montana. Winters along the coast from southern Alaska and British Columbia south as far as Baja California.

Status in British Columbia
On the coast, resident as well as fairly common to locally common migrant and summer visitant to the Georgia Depression and Coast and Mountains ecoprovinces, including Western Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands; fairly common to locally very common in the Georgia Depression during the winter and fairly common winter visitant elsewhere.
In the interior, fairly common to locally common migrant and summer visitant in the Southern Interior and Southern Interior Mountains ecoprovinces; uncommon to locally fairly common winter visitant there; uncommon to locally fairly common migrant and summer visitant to the Central Interior Ecoprovince; rare to uncommon there in winter; rare to uncommon migrant and summer visitant to the Sub-Boreal Interior, Boreal Plains, Taiga Plains, and Northern Boreal Mountains ecoprovinces, where it may be rare or absent in winter.

Breeding
The Varied Thrush has a widespread nesting distribution throughout southern portions of the province, from the west coast of Vancouver Island east to the Rocky Mountains and north, in the interior at higher elevations, to the latitude of Quesnel (53°N). Further north, nesting reports are scattered and sparse. Most habitats in which nesting occurred were forested, including coniferous forest, mixed forest, and deciduous forest. Most nests were in trees, including coniferous and deciduous trees, followed by shrubs or vines. Nests in trees and shrubs were placed on branches, typically close to the trunk or near the top of the nest tree. The nest is a bulky cup of grass, moss, and rootlets, on a base of twigs. It is usually lined with fine grass, although leaves and shredded redcedar bark are also frequent components. Sizes of clutches ranged from 1 to 5 eggs, with a majority having 3 eggs.DA6 image Varied Thrush Ixoreus naevius


Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Varied Thrush

Varied Thrush

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Bird Song

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Sonogram

Sonogram of Varied Thrush Song

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Tape Number: M6.047(08a)
Recording Remarks: 15 ips, Nagra IIIB, AKG Microphone, 20" Hand held Parabolic Reflector
Length: 03:04
Location Description: 6:30-7:30 a.m. Garden. Trilliums out. Heavy frost. No wind, temperature 35 degrees F.
Location Name: 742 St. Patrick St., Victoria, BC
General Remarks: He puts his head back with bill pointed skyward. He was mostly in an apple tree 6 ft. from the ground. Beautiful plumage. Fox sparrows below him. Several in garden all the bad weather of winter. They like the apples. Background: Gulls, Bewick’s Wren, Fox Sparrow, traffic.
Date: 1960/03/23
Recorder: Grace Bell
Tape Number: M6.047(08a)
Recording Remarks: 15 ips, Nagra IIIB, AKG Microphone, 20" Hand held Parabolic Reflector
Length: 03:04
Location Description: 6:30-7:30 a.m. Garden. Trilliums out. Heavy frost. No wind, temperature 35 degrees F.
Location Name: 742 St. Patrick St., Victoria, BC
General Remarks: He puts his head back with bill pointed skyward. He was mostly in an apple tree 6 ft. from the ground. Beautiful plumage. Fox sparrows below him. Several in garden all the bad weather of winter. They like the apples. Background: Gulls, Bewick’s Wren, Fox Sparrow, traffic.
Date: 1960/03/23
Recorder: Grace Bell

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Become familiar with the appearance, song, ecology, and taxonomic groupings of Canadian songbird species, with particular reference to British Columbia
  • Understand the importance of field notes in ecology, and be aware of typical information found in such notes

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