BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER


Polioptila melanura


Description:

The Black-tailed Gnatcatcher is a nonmigratory bird that lives in pairs throughout the entire year. They forage amoung low shrubs and trees for small insects and spiders. Black-tailed Gnatcatchers are true desert birds, thriving where other bird life is sparse.


Appearance:

Bluish-gray upperparts. Whitish underparts. White eye ring. Thin, dark bill. Brownish wash on wings. Long black tail with whitish outer feathers; appears mostly black from underneath. The male has a black cap. 4.5 to 5 inches in length.


Habitat:

Desert


Nesting:

3-4 pale blue eggs with spots. The eggs have a 14? day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 9-15 days. The nest is a small, open cup of weeds, grass, bark strips, spider webs, and plant fiber, and lined with softer material. The nest is built in mesquite or a low desert bush or tree (less than 5 feet above the ground). The nest is built by both sexes.


Observed Locations:

  • Visitor's center, Anza Borrego Desert State Park
  • Clark's Dry Lake, Anza Borrego Desert State Park


  Listen To This Bird ( mp3 )
         Song #1




Click on an image to see the larger version.

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Male
Clark's Dry Lake

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Male
Clark's Dry Lake

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Juveniles
Clark's Dry Lake

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Juvenile
Clark's Dry Lake

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Male
Clark's Dry Lake

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Male
Clark's Dry Lake

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Male
Clark's Dry Lake

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Male
Clark's Dry Lake

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Male
Clark's Dry Lake

 

 


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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.