California Gnatcatcher

Polioptila californica

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Gnatcatchers and Gnatwrens (Polioptillidae)

Code 4

CAGN

Code 6

POLCAL

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The California Gnatcatcher is native to the United States and Mexico. This bird species has a range that is fairly small, only about 130,000 square kilometers. The population of this bird is thought to be around 77,000 individual birds. At the current time, there is no immediate concern regarding possible population decline of the California Gnatcatcher. It is rated as Least Concern, which is a downgraded rating from a prior rating of Lower Risk in 2000.

SUMMARY

Overview

California Gnatcatcher: Medium-sized gnatcatcher with a black cap, dark blue-gray upperparts, black tail, and paler gray, buff-washed underparts. Bill is short, slender, and black. Tail is black with white edges, with undertail appearing all-black when closed. Legs and feet are black.

 

Range and Habitat

California Gnatcatcher: This species has a limited range, and is a local resident of coastal southern California and the Baja Peninsula. Apparent coastal sage shrub/scrub, chaparral obligate in the United States. Population declines due to habitat destruction have prompted its listing as a federally threatened species.

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California Gnatcatcher SONGS AND CALLS

California Gnatcatcher C1

Typical cat-like mew calls.

California Gnatcatcher A1

"Zeer" calls given by a pair, commonly called mew calls.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"jzer", "zew", "zeeer"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • A high rate of nest predation is compensated by up to ten re-nesting attempts over the long breeding season.
  • The entire world's population of the California Gnatcatcher occurs in Baja California and coastal southern California year-round where it depends on a variety of arid scrub habitats.
  • The limited range of the California Gnatcatcher, and its specific habitat requirements, make it vulnerable and a high conservation priority. It was Federally listed as a Threatened species in 1993.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
EyebrowX
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X