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The Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) is a member of the Sylviidae family as are the Black-Capped, Black-Tailed and California Gnatcatchers. This family of small, active birds has a long, slender tail kept in a cocked-up posture.

The Blue-Gray is about 4.5 in. long with a 6 in. wingspan. It looks like a miniature Mocking Bird. Loud for their size; it's song is a thin, squeaky, wheezy series of notes. It sounds like zee you, zee you, and the call sounds like spee, spee.

Their habitat is open woods, oaks, chaparral and pine thickets. They eat insects, insect eggs, and larvae. Nest material from plants is bound together by spider silk. It is cup shaped and saddled in the fork of a branch.

To have the delightful experience of seeing a Blue-Gray, look for the nest located from 3 to 25 ft. off the ground. The flight pattern is direct and short with shallow wing beats. Check the tips of branches where they forage for insects. They also catch insects in flight.

This wonderful little bird is found from Southern Canada to South America. It will fly to Honduras or Guatemala for the winter. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Bob King - Birder

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