Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Polioptila Caerulea 

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Males are blue-gray on the upperparts with white underparts, have a slender dark bill, and a long black tail edged in white.

Females are less blue, while juveniles are greenish-gray. Both sexes have a white eye-ring.

BILL: black, thin and pointed.

SIZE: a very small songbird, measuring about 3.9 - 5.1 inches in length.

WEIGHT: weighs only about 5 - 7 grams.

COLOR: blue, blue-gray, greenish-gray, black and white.

Feeds on small insects and spiders.

Deciduous woodlands, thickets near water and chaparral. They concentrate along habitat edges.

They migrate to the southern United States, Mexico, northern Central America- (Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras), Cuba, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Cayman Islands.

CALL:  A thin, nasal “pwee”. Both sexes utter a kind of two-note mewing call, maybe as an alarm call.

SONG: A soft and musical, a low- pitched trilling “zee-you-zee-you”, and a light buzz “pzzzz”. This song may contain some mimicry of other species’ songs.

NEST: The male and female jointly choose a nest site, usually in a live broadleaf tree in a less dense bit of their territory.

Both build a neat, open and cuplike nest made of plant down, spider webs and caterpillar silk, and covered with small pieces of lichens or bark.

EGGS: 4 - 5 pale blue eggs, spotted with brown.

INCUBATION: 13 days, both sexes.

NESTLING PHASE: 10 - 15 days.

They forage actively in trees or shrubs, mainly eating insects, insect eggs and spiders. They may hover over foliage while snatching prey (gleaning), or fly to catch insects in flight (hawking).

The oldest known Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher was a male, and at least 4 years, 2 months old.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher Infographic





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