Blue-gray gnatcatcher Facts

Blue-gray gnatcatcher Facts
Blue-gray gnatcatcher is small songbird that belongs to the gnatcatcher family. It can be found in North, Central and South America. Blue-gray gnatcatcher inhabits broadleaf and mixed forests, scrublands, chaparral, swamps, mangroves and savannas. It nests in the moist habitats (near the lakes, rivers and streams). Blue-gray gnatcatchers are numerous and widespread in the wild (they are not on the list of endangered species).
Interesting Blue-gray gnatcatcher Facts:
Blue-gray gnatcatcher can reach 3.9 to 4.3 inches in length and 0.18 to 0.25 ounces of weight.
Blue-gray gnatcatcher has bluish-grey body and white colored throat and belly. Tail is dark in the middle and white on the edges. Eyes are encircled with white rings. Females are lighter in color. Head and crown of male birds change color into blue during the breeding season.
Blue-gray gnatcatcher has long, slender bill, tiny body and long tail.
Blue-gray gnatcatcher is very active bird. It spends majority of time in the trees where it likes to hop while it searches food.
Blue-gray gnatcatcher is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on insects, spiders and small invertebrates. Despite its name, blue-gray gnatcatcher rarely eats gnats.
Blue-gray gnatcatcher moves its tail sideways to expose insects hidden below the leaves. It removes wings and kills large insects before swallowing. Small prey is usually swallowed in one piece, while still alive.
Blue-gray gnatcatcher produces nasal, high pitched sounds. It earned a nickname "little mockingbird" due to ability to imitate songs of other birds.
Blue-gray gnatcatcher is the only migratory species of gnatcatchers. It travels to the south at the beginning of the autumn.
Natural enemies of blue-gray gnatcatchers are jays, magpies, snakes, raccoons, chipmunks and squirrels.
Blue-gray gnatcatcher is territorial bird. Loud noise and specific body postures are typical signs of aggression. When intruder refuses to leave already occupied territory, males fight in the air by colliding with their breasts.
Blue-gray gnatcatchers are monogamous birds (they mate for a lifetime). Pair of birds builds cup-shaped nest using the bark, plant stem and grass. Blue-gray gnatcatchers construct nest in the trees and use spider web and lichens to camouflage it (nest looks like a knot on a branch).
Blue-gray gnatcatchers produce 1 or 2 brood per season, but they build up to 7 nests each year to avoid numerous predators, mite infestation and brood parasites (cowbirds).
Female lays 3 to 5 eggs that hatch after 11 to 15 days. Both parents participate in the incubation of eggs.
Chick are blind and helpless at birth. They grow quickly and learn to fly 10 to 15 days after hatching. Both parents take care and provide food for their chicks until they become ready for the independent life.
Blue-gray gnatcatcher can survive up to 4 years in the wild.

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