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Spotted Catbird

(Ailuroedus melanotis)
Alternate name(s): "Black-eared Catbird"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "maculosus": "jiguya" [ngadjon]

Size: 26-30 cm
Weight: 140-200 g


Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Spotted Catbird at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "maculosus"



Lateral/ventral view of a Spotted Catbird; since Spotted Catbirds do not build bowers, the stick the bird is carrying is most likely nest material - and since only females build nests, this bird is thereby likely a female (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Kingfisher Park, Julatten, QLD, November 2018]

Sex unknown

Lateral view of an adult Spotted Catbird (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Kingfisher Park, Julatten, QLD, July 2013]

Near-dorsal view of a Spotted Catbird, showing more clearly the dark spot behind the bird's eye (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Kingfisher Park, Julatten, QLD, July 2013]

Ventral view of a Spotted Catbird (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Kingfisher Park, Julatten, QLD, November 2018]


Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary/roaming Elementary unit: Solitary

As opposed to other species of bowerbirds, male Spotted Catbirds do NOT build bowers (i.e. courting displays to attract females).

Male birds are sedentary, females are roaming.


For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

Twitcher's tip

Apart from the characteristic cat-like call giving them their name, Green Catbirds also use a very high-pitched short chirping call unusual for a bird this tall (about the same size as a Satin Bowerbird).

spotcat_me_20200927.m4a maculosus (Near Townsville, QLD) Contact call © ME
spotcat_me_20200927_2.m4a maculosus (Near Townsville, QLD) Contact calls
(+ Rufous Whistler)
© ME

More Spotted Catbird sound recordings are available at .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.