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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
White-eared catbird
Gray catbird
A gray catbird voicing cat-like sounds at Wildwood Preserve Metropark, Ohio, US

Several unrelated groups of songbirds are called catbirds because of their wailing calls, which resemble a cat's meowing. The genus name Ailuroedus likewise is from the Greek for 'cat-singer' or 'cat-voiced'.[1]

Australasian catbirds are the genera Ailuroedus and the monotypic Scenopooetes. They belong to the bowerbird family (Ptilonorhynchidae) of the basal songbirds:

New World catbirds are two monotypic genera from the mimid family (Mimidae) of the passeridan superfamily Muscicapoidea. Among the Mimidae, they represent independent basal lineages probably closer to the Caribbean thrasher and trembler assemblage than to the mockingbirds and Toxostoma thrashers:[2]

The Abyssinian catbird (Sylvia galinieri) is found in Africa. It was previously considered to represent a monotypic genus Parophasma.[3]


  1. ^ Rowland (2008): pp.7,31
  2. ^ Hunt et al. (2001), Barber et al. (2004)
  3. ^ GrrlScientist (2011-06-21). "Mystery bird: Ethiopian catbird, Parophasma galinieri". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2024-04-22.


  • Barber, Brian R.; Martínez-Gómez, Juan E. & Peterson, A. Townsend (2004): Systematic position of the Socorro mockingbird Mimodes graysoni. J. Avian Biol. 35: 195–198. doi:10.1111/j.0908-8857.2004.03233.x PDF fulltext
  • Hunt, Jeffrey S.; Bermingham, Eldredge; & Ricklefs, Robert E. (2001): Molecular systematics and biogeography of Antillean thrashers, tremblers, and mockingbirds (Aves: Mimidae). Auk 118(1): 35–55. DOI:10.1642/0004-8038(2001)118[0035:MSABOA]2.0.CO;2 PDF fulltext
  • Rowland, Peter (2008): Bowerbirds. CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 0-643-09420-2 Excerpt at Google Books