Monday, March 18, 2013

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher at Michael Perry Park

1. black-tailed gnatcatcher-kab Black-tailed Gnatcatcher 2-25-13

Since I live only about 2 miles from Michael Perry Park I have started counting birds there on a regular basis. Last month Chris Rohrer joined me in the afternoon and we walked through the park and along the Pantano Wash counting birds. In the nearby desert scrub we found three pairs of Black-tailed Gnatcatchers. Here in Arizona it is possible to see three species of gnatcatcher: the Blue-gray, the Black-tailed and the very rare Black-capped. I have seen 2 of the three species. It is the rare Black-capped that I am missing.

2. black tail-kab It can be quite difficult to tell the three species apart, and getting a glimpse of the underside of the tail certainly helps. Black-tailed Gnatcatchers have a mostly black under-tail feathers. The Blue-gray’s under-tail is mostly white.

3. BT gnatcather-kab All three species have a white eye-ring, but from what I understand, the Blue-gray inhabits more riparian or treed habitats and is often solitary. The Black-tailed likes desert scrub and usually travels in pairs. The Black-capped is a rare visitor from Mexico, though a few breeding pairs have been observed just over the border. They all have different voices, which I am still trying to learn.

4. verfl-kab We did see a gorgeous male Vermillion Flycatcher,

5. webl-kab as well as a few Western Bluebirds in a pasture at the far southeast end of the park.

6. amke-kab We also found a cute Kestrel in the same area, but the Gnatcatchers were the highlight of the day!

7. clinging-kab Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

8. staring-kab 

9. aren't i cute-kab Giving me the  “come hither” look!

10. fluffing-kab All fluffed up!

11. Screaming-kab

But who is this screaming at us? Come back tomorrow to find out!


  1. Lovely to see such a great variety of birds Kathy, thank you :)

  2. Hi Kathis

    Great shots of the gnatcatcher. It looks like a cheerful little bird.


  3. That is a fabulous shot of the gnatcatcher!!! Nice work! Our next work is to find the Black-capped!:)


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.