Black-tailed Gnatcatcher: Medium gnatcatcher with black cap, blue-gray upperparts, black tail, and pale gray underparts. The bill is short and black. Black tail is edged with white; underside of tail appears mostly black with large white spots near tip when closed. Black legs and feet.
Range and Habitat
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher: Fairly common resident of arid scrub and washes of the American southwest and central and northern Mexico.
Canopy height appears to be important for foraging; they spend at least 75% of their time in brush less than 9 feet high.
The Black-tailed Gnatcatcher is a nonmigratory bird that lives in pairs throughout the entire year. The male and female usually forage within a few yards of each other. This togetherness may give them a heightened need to communicate—they have a surprising variety of call notes.
Unlike the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, which it closely resembles, it rarely catches insects in midair. It prefers to forage on thorn trees.
The Black-tailed Gnatcatcher is a small bird found in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It is non-migratory, and this species lives in pairs all year long. Black-tailed Gnatcatchers forage in desert trees and low shrubs to eat insects and spiders, and use a distinct call during this activity. Unlike the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, this species can rarely catch an insect while in flight. Nests of the Black-tailed Gnatcatcher are built relatively close to the ground by both parents, and cowbirds will often dispose of their own eggs in these nests which are then raised by the Black-tailed Gnatcatchers. The current conservation status of this species is Least Concern.