Blue-gray Gnatcatcher


The Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher is one of my favorite birds. Why? They are extremely small and dainty. They eat mosquitos. What?! They're cute and they eat mosquitos- cool! I love this bird!
The Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher in the accompanying photo was searching for insects and didn't seem to mind that I was only sitting about 30 feet from him. This was only the second Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher that I have ever seen. The last time that I had witnessed one of these birds was in 1992 in Winterville, Georgia. Yes- it was that memorable of a moment for me. These are awe inspiring birds- simply because of their dimunitive size. Imagine a 1/4 scale model of a Mockingbird and you have an idea of what this bird looks like. Consider the following author's description of this bird:
THERE are birds in whose presence you cannot help exclaiming, God bless you! and this is one of them.
The nests are also a sight to behold. The nests are built in a cup shape and placed on a branch starting at about 12 feet high above the ground. The nests are usually built below a protecting branch. The outside of the nests are covered in lichen. Below is a couple of pictures of a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher's nest.

Text not available
The Birds of Ohio A Complete Scientific and Popular Description of the 320 Species of Birds Found in the State By William Leon Dawson, Lynds Jones

Text not available
The Birds of Ohio A Complete Scientific and Popular Description of the 320 Species of Birds Found in the State By William Leon Dawson, Lynds Jones

The scientific name of this bird is Polioptila caerulea.

2 comments:

Kathiesbirds said...

I like this post. Very informative. I saw my first blue-gray at Corkscrew swamp in Florida in 2003. Out here we have the black-capped and the black-tailed gnat-catcher as well as the blue gray. Amazing and feisty little birds!

birder61 said...

Just saw a pair of blue-grays in the Ulao Waterfowl Production Area in southeast Wisconsin. They were building their nest a little above eye level on the side of a small tree growing from the water near a pedestrian board walk. We checked out their progress on two consecutive days, and admired their handiwork with spider webs and lichen. Cool nest and very cool birds!