Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Polioptila caerulea

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Gnatcatchers and Gnatwrens (Polioptillidae)

Code 4

BGGN

Code 6

POLCAE

ITIS

Egg Color:

Pale blue, usually with brown flecks



Number of Eggs:

4 - 5



Incubation Days:

13



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Location:

3 - 25 feet above ground.



Nest Material:

Fine plant fibers with lining of bark pieces and finer materials.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: Small, flycatcher-like perching bird with blue-gray upperparts, white underparts, and prominent white eye-ring. Wings are dark. Black tail is long and white-edged. Female tends toward grayer tones.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: Four or five pale blue eggs, usually with brown flecks, are laid in a small cup nest of plant down and spider webs decorated with lichens and fastened to a horizontal branch at almost any height above the ground. Both parents incubate eggs for 13 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: Eats aphids, hemipterans, beetles, moths, butterflies, flies, ants, bees, wasps, and spiders; forages by moving up and down outer branches of trees or shrubs.

Vocalization

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: Song is a thin, musical warble. Call note is a distinctive, whining "pzzzz", with a nasal quality.

Similar Species

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: Black-tailed Gnatcatcher has black cap and mostly black undertail.

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UnderpartsX

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

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X