~Friday’s Feathered Friend – Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher~

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

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Added to my Birding Life List on December 20, 2011

Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Hobe Sound, Florida

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I linked to PrairieBirder: http://PrairieBirder.Wordpress.com

 

 

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

 

Such a tiny little bird, only 4.25 inches! It looks like a very small mockingbird.

`Male has bluish-gray upper parts and the female is more gray

`White eye ring

`Long black tail with white outer feathers

`Black bill

`Black legs

Lovely little bird (white eye ring)
The white eye ring gives this lovely little bird big facial expressions

 

The Blue-gray gnatcatcher feed entirely on insects, which it pursues actively through the foliage of tall trees. Catches insects in flight. May hover briefly above food before taking it in its bill.

Its nest is interesting, a small cup made up of plant fibers, down and decorated on the outside with bits of lichen. This lovely little bird can be spotted in woodlands, thickets and chaparral.

When breeding it is monogamous and is a solitary nester. Its eggs are incubated 13 days by both sexes, stays in nest for 10-12 days and fed by both sexes. They usually will have one brood per year maybe two in the far south.

**information above taken from Smithsonian handbooks, National Geographic Society, Birds of North America**

Breeding male I believe, bacause of black line on sides of crown.
Breeding male I believe, bacause of black line on sides of crown.

 

Conservation: neotropical migrant. Common victim of cowbird parasitism

Population: common, increasing with range expanding northeasterly

 

Neotropical Migrant – (noun) A bird that spends the summer in its breeding range in North America but migrates to Central or South America for its nonbreeding range in winter. The winter range may also include the Caribbean, and the general dividing line between breeding and nonbreeding ranges is the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees north latitude, though the entire range does not need to be either north or south of that division for the bird to be considered a neotropical migrant.

More than 200 species of birds are considered neotropical migrants, including at least a few species in most bird families. Many warblers,hummingbirds and shorebirds are neotropical migratory birds, as are some hawks and many other songbirds.

The exact distance and route of migration between breeding and nonbreeding ranges varies for each species, and migration time between the separate ranges may take anywhere from just a few weeks to several months. It is essential to conserve habitat not only in the birds’ different ranges, but also along principle migratory flyways so birds will have sufficient feeding and resting areas to successfully complete their journeys. (taken from the web, written by Melissa Mayntz.

 

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher  (long black tail with white outer feathers)
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher (long black tail with white outer feathers)

 

I took these photos, on April 13, 2014, sitting in the coach with the window glass open and the screen pulled back; what a nice bird blind it made. This oak tree was not too far away and this little guy fluttered around catching insects for awhile. We were camped at South Llano River State Park in Junction, Texas.

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Enjoy Birdwatching!

It can be entertaining as well as educational!

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18 thoughts on “~Friday’s Feathered Friend – Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher~”

  1. Oh, it’s a sweet little bird. Wouldn’t be much bigger than a hummer would it! Thanks for stopping by and following my blog. I’m not on Google+ so I am unable to follow you, but you are on my blog roll 🙂

  2. What a sweet little bird! It’s amazing how far they migrate…truly amazing!

    P.S. I got an oriole feeder today at Wally World! Can’t wait to set it up next week in Moab!

    1. Hi Gay, so very glad you got a feeder and I sure hope you get to see some fantastic birds, including the Oriole!

      Go out to Prairie Birder and look at her review on the Sibley Birding Book. You might want to wait until September if you decide to get this one, because of an”error” I guess in publishing with the color of the text.

    1. You are so welcome, I am glad you are enjoying the Birds on Friday! I learn something new all the time with this hobby. I hope you are enjoying your time at home!

    1. LuAnn, you are too sweet! Thanks!

      I have been thinking about you, I hope you are enjoying your time in VA. I know you miss the west and would probably rather be there. You will get there and it will be extra special. Take lots of photos of your park!

      1. This is an unusual park, very forested, and the rangers have instilled an awareness of the tick issue by saying they would not get onto the trails here so I have been sticking to the roads. Terry continues to find ticks on him, no matter how careful he is being, which is making me a bit nervous. He seems to be a tick magnet. 😦

    2. You are a better person than me. I think I would be out-of-there! It can’t be fun to continually worry about ticks (that is what I would be doing, I think). Lets hope all ticks are found! Well, that is a unique title for hubby “Tick Magnet”. Trying for a little humor – 🙂

      1. I don’t know how many more ticks it will take for hubby to say enough. I have had none and he has already had three, not counting the three he picked up in the Carolina’s that had us heading to Urgent Care. We will see how this all unfolds. 🙂

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