Masked gnatcatcher

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Masked gnatcatcher
Polioptila dumicola -Rocha, Uruguay -male-8.jpg
Male at Rocha, Uruguay
Polioptila dumicola - Masked Gnatcatcher (female).JPG
Female at Santa Fe Province, Argentina
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Polioptilidae
Genus: Polioptila
P. dumicola
Binomial name
Polioptila dumicola
(Vieillot, 1817)

The masked gnatcatcher (Polioptila dumicola) is a small active insectivorous songbird, found in northern Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and southern and central Brazil. It is found in a wide range of semi-open habitats, including dry forest and Cerrado. It is generally fairly common, and consequently considered to be of least concern by BirdLife International and IUCN.

Its jizz is similar to that of other gnatcatchers; a small bird with a relatively long thin bill, a long frequently cocked tail, and grey upperparts. The central rectrices are black, while the outer are white (consequently, the tail appears primarily black from above, white from below), and there is a white patch in the wing (caused by broad white edging to the tertials). Males of the southern and western group (including subspecies saturata), the masked gnatcatchers in the strict sense, have grey underparts and a broad black mask. Females lack the mask, but instead have a black patch behind the eyes on the auriculars. The northern nominate subspecies dumicola is distinctive, with white underparts in both sexes, and a narrow black mask in the male. It may be a separate species, Berlepsch's gnatcatcher.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Polioptila dumicola". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  • Atwood, J. L.; & Lerman, S. B. (2006). Masked Gnatcatcher (Polioptila dumicola). pp. 376 in: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; & Christie, D. A. eds. (2006). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 11. Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edictions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-96553-06-X