- Polioptila caerulea
4 1/2 -5" (11-13 cm)
Smaller than a sparrow. Tiny, slender, long-tailed bird, blue-gray above and white below, with white eye ring and broad white borders on black tail.
Looks like a miniature Mockingbird.
Breeds from northern California, Colorado, southern Great Lakes region, southern Ontario, and New Hampshire southward to Guatemala. Winters from southern California, Gulf Coast, and Carolinas to Honduras and the Greater Antilles.
- P. c. caerulea (Eastern):
- P. c. amoenissima:
- P. c. obscura:
- Southern Baja California (28°N to Cape District)
- P. c. gracilis:
- Foothills of north-western Mexico (south-eastern Sonora)
- P. c. nelsoni:
- Southern Mexico (Guerrero to Oaxaca and southern Chiapas)
- P. c. deppei:
- Eastern Mexico (San Luis Potosí to Veracruz, Tabasco and northern Chiapas)
- P. c. mexicana:
- South-eastern Mexico (Yucatán Peninsula)
- P. c. cozumelae:
- Cozumel Island (off eastern Mexico)
Deciduous woodlands, streamside thickets, live oaks, pinyon-juniper, chaparral. Coastal sage scrub and gardens.
Hyperactive and hard to capture, gleams insects of shrubs and trees, acts like a wren.
The clutch consists of 4 or 5 brown-spotted pale blue eggs laid in a small, beautifully made cup of plant down and spider webs, decorated with flakes of lichen and fastened to a horizontal branch at almost any height above ground.
Song is a thin, musical warble. Call note a distinctive, whining pzzzz, with a nasal quality.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 18 May 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Blue-gray_Gnatcatcher