Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Identification

The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are tiny, slim songbirds with long legs; a long tail; and a thin, straight bill.

    Relative Size

    Slightly larger than a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Slightly smaller than a House Wren.

    Relative Sizesparrow or smallersparrow-sized or smaller
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 3.9-4.3 in (10-11 cm)
      • Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (4.8-8.9 g)
      • Wingspan: 6.3 in (16 cm)

Regional Differences

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers from the Rocky Mountains and westward are generally drabber than gnatcatchers of the East. Western females tend to have a brownish cast to their upperparts and summer males have a shorter and wider black forehead “V.” They also show black at the base of the underside of the tail, unlike the eastern birds’ entirely white underside to the closed tail. The calls and particularly the songs of the two forms differ as well.