gnatcatcher


gnatcatcher
/nat"kach'euhr/, n.
any tiny insect-eating, New World warbler of the genus Polioptila, having a long, mobile tail and a slender bill.
[1835-45; GNAT + CATCHER]

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Any of about 11 species of small songbirds (genus Polioptila) often treated as a subfamily of the Old World warbler family Sylviidae.

The blue-gray gnatcatcher, 4.5 in. (11 cm) long, with its long white-edged tail, looks like a tiny mockingbird. It breeds locally from eastern Canada and California to the Bahamas and Guatemala and winters from the southern U.S. southward. The black-tailed gnatcatcher lives in the deserts of the southwestern U.S.; the other species are found in Central and South America and Cuba.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)

Karl H. Maslowski

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bird
also called  gnatwren  
 any of about 11 species of small insect-eating New World birds (bird) in the family Polioptilidae (order Passeriformes (passeriform)). (Many authorities treat the genus as a subfamily of the Old World warbler family Sylviidae.) The blue-gray gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea), 11 cm (4.5 inches) long, with its long white-edged tail, looks like a tiny mockingbird. With short, quick flights, it is able to catch insects in midair, but it usually gleans them from tree branches. It breeds locally from eastern Canada and California to The Bahamas and Guatemala and winters from the southern United States southward. The black-tailed gnatcatcher (P. melanura) is resident in southwestern deserts of the United States. It stays in pairs all year, and the two call to one another in voices that seem to mimic other birds. The California gnatcatcher (P. californica) was once thought to be a local form of the black-tailed gnatcatcher; acknowledged as a full species in the late 1980s, it was simultaneously recognized as a highly endangered one, as its scrubby habitat along the southern California coast is rapidly being turned into housing developments.

Sy Montgomery
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gnatcatcher — Taxobox name = Gnatcatchers image caption = Polioptila californica regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Passeriformes subordo = Passeri familia = Polioptilidae familia authority = Baird, 1858 subdivision ranks = Genera… …   Wikipedia

  • gnatcatcher — mašalinukai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Polioptila angl. gnatcatcher vok. Mückenfänger, m rus. комароловка, f ryšiai: platesnis terminas – mašalinukiniai siauresnis terminas – balsvapilvis mašalinukas siauresnis… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • gnatcatcher — noun Date: 1839 any of a genus (Polioptila) of several small North and South American insectivorous oscine birds …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gnatcatcher — noun A member of any of various species of small passerine birds found in North America and South America, close relatives of the wrens …   Wiktionary

  • gnatcatcher — n. small songbird that feeds on insects with a long and thin beak and long tail native to North and South American …   English contemporary dictionary

  • gnatcatcher — noun a tiny grey backed New World songbird with a long tail. [Genus Polioptila.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • gnatcatcher — gnat•catch•er [[t]ˈnætˌkætʃ ər[/t]] n. orn any of various small, insect eating New World songbirds of the genus Polioptila (subfamily Silviinae), having a long, mobile tail • Etymology: 1835–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • gnatcatcher — noun very small North American and South American warblers • Hypernyms: ↑warbler • Member Holonyms: ↑Polioptila, ↑genus Polioptila …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tropical Gnatcatcher — Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 3.1) Scientific classification K …   Wikipedia

  • Black-tailed Gnatcatcher — Taxobox name = Black tailed Gnatcatcher status = LC | status system = IUCN3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Passeriformes familia = Polioptilidae genus = Polioptila species = P. melanura binomial = Polioptila melanura… …   Wikipedia


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