Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Polioptila caerulea

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Gnatcatchers and Gnatwrens (Polioptillidae)

Code 4

BGGN

Code 6

POLCAE

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher has a large breeding range of nearly 3,000,000 square kilometers. It breeds in a variety of forest, second growth, and arid habitats in parts of southern Canada, the eastern and southern United States west to California, a large part of Mexico, and the Bahamas. Most populations winter in the southern United States, Mexico, northern Central America, and in the Caribbean. The global population of this bird species is estimated to be around 160,000,000 individuals and does not currently meet the population decline criteria for the IUCN Red List. The conservation rating of the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: Small, flycatcher-like perching bird, blue-gray upperparts, white underparts, prominent white eye-ring. Wings are dark. Black tail is long and white-edged. Forages in thickets, trees and shrubs for insects, their eggs and larvae. Weak fluttering flight on shallow wing beats.

 

Range and Habitat

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: Breeds from southern Oregon, Wyoming, Minnesota, the Great Lakes region, southern Ontario, and New Hampshire southward. Spends winters from southern California to the Gulf coast and the Carolinas. Preferred habitats include deciduous woodlands, streamside thickets, live oaks, pinyon-juniper, and chaparral.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"zee-you- zee-you"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • By flicking its white-edged tail from side to side, the gnatcatcher may scare up hiding insects. They remove the wings of larger insects and beat large prey on a perch.
  • The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is the northernmost occurring species of gnatcatcher, and the only truly migratory one.
  • Their breeding range is expanding northward, especially in eastern North America.

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

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Chris Vest

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

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

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
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