The blue-gray gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) is a very small songbird, 10–13 cm (3.9–5.1 in) in length and weighing only 5–7 g (0.18–0.25 oz). Adult 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. Both sexes have a white eye ring.
The blue-gray gnatcatcher's breeding habitat includes open deciduous woods and shrublands in southern Ontario, the eastern and southwestern United States, and Mexico. Though gnatcatcher species are common and increasing in number while expanding to the northeast, it is the only one to breed in Eastern North America. They build a cone-like nest on a horizontal tree branch. The incubation period is 13 days for both sexes. Both parents construct the nest and feed the young; they may raise two broods in a season.
The tail is often held upright while defending territory or searching for food.
The songs (and calls) are often heard on breeding grounds, (usually away from nest) and occasionally heard other times of the year. Calls: "zkreee, zkreee, zkreee", Songs: "szpree zpree spreeeeey spree spre sprzrreeeee"
- BirdLife International (2012). "Polioptila caerulea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "Blue-gray Gnatcatcher". All About Birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
- "Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea". eNature.com.
- Greenberg, Russell (2001). Birds of North America. Sean Moore.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Polioptila caerulea.|
|Wikispecies has information related to: Polioptila caerulea|
- Blue-gray gnatcatcher - Polioptila caerula - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter
- Blue-grey gnatcatcher stamps from Turks and Caicos at bird-stamps.org
- Blue-grey gnatcatcher videos, photos, and sounds at the Internet Bird Collection
- Blue-gray gnatcatcher photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
- Blue-gray gnatcatcher Bird Sound at Florida Museum of Natural History
- BirdLife species factsheet for Polioptila caerulea
- Polioptila caerulea on Avibase
- Interactive range map of Polioptila caerulea at IUCN Red List maps
- Audio recordings of Blue-gray gnatcatcher on Xeno-canto.