Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

On 19 May 2015, Erika and I watched two Blue-gray Gnatcatchers forage at the edge of the forest in the Carleton College arboretum. Gnatcatchers are active little birds, often hard to see in the dense foliage in which they feed. You often hear their high-pitched, nasal songs. They will often come close and investigate if you make squeaking or spishing noises.

Gnatcatchers are monogamous.  Males contribute to most aspects of breeding. They help build their intricate nests, incubate eggs, and feed young. In the past 25 years, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers have increased in numbers and expanded their range northward (Kersner and Ellison 2012).

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