Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
Polioptila caerulea
July 27, 2010

The blue-gray gnatcatcher (BGG) is a tiny bird, smaller than a chickadee.

I imagine it catches gnats . . . although the field guides aren't too clear on that.

Actually, I didn't know what I had photographed, and it was identified for me by the State College Birder's List, although the photos caused a little confusion. Without a clear size reference (like a ruler nearby), the blue-gray gnatcatcher looks like a miniature catbird or mockingbird.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher
  The second photo shows two significant markings to help identify the blue-gray gnatcatcher: the tail is edged in white feathers and the wing has a white line.
Blue-gray gnatcatcher
  The third photo is somewhat blurry but shows the gnatcatcher's eye ring clearly.
Blurry blue-gray gnatcatcher - with eye ring
  The gnatcatcher is probably an immature, which would explain why the eye ring isn't particularly noticeable in the first two photos.

Photo note: I used a Pentax K20D, with the Sigma 150-500mm zoom, on July 22, 2010.

My Pennsylvania bird list

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