With such a sweet little mug, I think this guy might
have been a juvenile. Males in spring and summer
have black eyebrows, so it could have been
a female, but the feathers seem new.
(More "record" shots. He was too far away for detail.)
We've lived here for ten years and have never seen one of these cute, nervous, fidgety little birds in any of our trees. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers prefer mature woodlands, often damp, which explains why the Little Miami Bike Trail is such a haven for them. In the early spring, they are often the first migrant I see on the Little Miami Bike Trail, and the trees lining the pavement are often dripping with them when they start moving in. I love listening to their bossy little calls echoing down the trail. This year I caught a pair building a nest--and a very sweet nest it was, cup-like and small, it was covered in lichens and resembled a Ruby-throated Hummingbird's nest.
Here he is flitting around in the wild cherry tree, gleaning
insects, but mostly jumping out for a gnat smorgasbord.
He certainly has attitude and you can see it in his little
postures. When I see them flitting through the trees
on the trail, they behave exactly the same...
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers will also come to mature shade trees in neighborhoods. Maybe after ten years, our Big Ash Tree is finally big enough to satisfy a gnatcatcher. I hope so. I haven't seen him since, but who knows! That evening a huge swarm of gnats had emerged and Little Blue was busy living up to his name.
I'm gonna get that gnat. I have wings,
and I know how to use them...now!