The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. (Photo: AGFC)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The bird of the week this week is the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. A very cool bird and a very small bird.
They have a blue-gray back and head, white belly, white outer tail feathers, a thin black stripe above the eye, an obvious white eye ring, and a thin black bill. They are found year-round in Central America, and a great many of them migrate north into the southern and eastern U.S. during the breeding season.
Several have been spotted already this spring right here in Arkansas. They feed exclusively on small insects and spiders. They nest in just about any forest-type habitat, from dense deciduous forest to shrub-lands with fewer trees, and their nest is an open cup on a tree or shrub branch.
Their nests have high sides and are very small and soft - made from caterpillar silk or spider webs and lined with lichens, down, animal hair, and other soft, natural materials. You can often spot Blue-gray Gnatcatchers in mixed flocks with Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, and other small songbirds throughout the spring and summer.
They are very common here from late March through mid-September. Also they are very spunky and vocal, and will respond well to "pishing" into the woods. What is "pishing"? Watch the video for more!