Description of the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

BREEDING MALE

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher has blue-gray upperparts, head, and underparts, a long, black tail with white outer edges, and a white eye ring.

Males have a black forehead.

blue-gray gnatcatcher

Female

Females have an evenly blue-gray forehead.

Seasonal change in appearance

None.

Juvenile

Juveniles are similar to adults, but have browner upperparts.

Habitat

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers inhabit woodlands and riparian areas.

Diet

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers eat insects and spiders.

Behavior

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers forage in trees and shrubs, actively gleaning food from leaves and branches, sometimes hovering to obtain prey.

Range

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers breed across the southern two-thirds of the U.S. and winter in the southern U.S. and Mexico. The population has increased slightly in recent decades.

More information:

Bent Life History

Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Fun Facts

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers sometimes beat large insects against a branch before consuming them.

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers have been expanding their breeding range north in recent years.

Vocalizations

The song is a series of thin notes. A common call consists of nasal buzzes.

Nesting

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher’s nest is cup of grasses, moss, and other plant materials held together with spider silk and covered with lichens. It is placed on top of a horizontal limb or in a fork.

Number: Usually 4-5.
Color: White with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 13 days and fledge at about 10-15 days, though remaining dependent on the adults for some time.