‘A distinctive, whining pzzzz’

E3AE62D7-3BC1-41D6-8980-1CACF8938797_1_201_aiBird Plus describes the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher’s vocalization as “a distinctive, whining ‘pzzzz’ with a nasal quality”, and that’s exactly how I knew this little fellow was nearby.5E0CA291-CBA2-4973-A970-EB8B2578BD1E_1_201_aI was looking the other way when I heard that unmistakable squeaky call. I turned around was treated to the sight of this diminutive Gnatcatcher hopping about in full view!97791EC6-FE2A-4DAA-A57E-60FACD44F0BC_1_201_aGnatcatchers are non-stop foragers, and they are known for their “feisty, active mannerisms” (iBird Plus), so they can be quite challenging to photograph. 1620BA1F-6850-422B-A4F3-7A09C3AD0621_1_201_a“Flashing the white edges of their long tail may help them flush prey, which they then snap up while the gnatcatcher is perched, hovering, or sallying into the air after them.” (All About Birds – Blue-gray Gnatcatcher). Their diet consists of small insects of all kinds and spiders (Audubon.org – Blue-gray Gnatcatcher).4C5238C9-5797-42C8-98A8-297B6FB88754_1_201_aThe petite Gnatcatcher is so lightweight he can perch on the edge of a curled leaf. A mere 3-5″ in size, he weighs only about a quarter of an ounce (6 grams)!

37 thoughts on “‘A distinctive, whining pzzzz’

  1. With their small size and up-twitched tail, this gnatcatcher looks like a wren. Do you know if they are related?
    By the way, I tried to “Like” this, but WordPress won’t accept it. 😦

  2. Really enjoyed this celebration of the blue-gray gnatcatcher, BJ. I know their distinctive call well, and it fills me with joy when they arrive in spring. It is so very difficult to catch them perched for even a second, making these photos extremely impressive.

    • Thanks very much HJ! I’m checking to see how their size compares to whatever the smallest birds are – do you know? Are Hummingbirds the smallest? I haven’t looked it up yet, but you always are a wealth of bird knowledge ☺️

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