Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

photo by Phil Swanson

Polioptila caerulea
L 4 1/2″ (11 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Thin “speeeee.” Song is a jumble of fussing, warbled notes.

Description: Male is blue-gray above; white below; long tail is black above with white outer feathers; crown and forehead bordered with black in breeding plumage only. Female is less bluish above, and lacks black markings on head. Both sexes have narrow white eye-ring and conspicuous white edging on secondary wing feathers.

Behavior: Constantly flick their long tails upward while foraging for insects on branches of trees or bushes.

blue gray gnatcatcher
Habitat: Deciduous bottomland forests.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant and summer resident in eastern Nebraska.

Fun Facts: Blue-gray Gnatcatchers often mimic other birds within their own songs.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)