Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

: The Tiny Bird with a Big Personality

The Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, scientifically known as Polioptila melanura, is one of the smallest birds found in North America. Despite its small size, this tiny bird packs a lot of personality and charm.

Basic Description:

The Black-tailed Gnatcatcher measures only 4 to 4.5 inches long and weighs around 6 to 7 grams. This bird has a grayish-blue back and wings, white underparts, and distinctive black tail feathers that make it easy to identify. It also has a thin black stripe above its eyes that accentuates its expressive facial features.

Where To Find This Bird:

The Black-tailed Gnatcatcher is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. You can find these birds throughout Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Sonora (Mexico), Baja California Sur (Mexico), Sinaloa (Mexico), Chihuahua (Mexico) among other places.


These little birds prefer arid habitats such as deserts or scrublands with low shrubs like mesquite or creosote bushes where they build their nests near the ends of branches for added protection from predators such as snakes or lizards.


Black-tailed Gnatcatchers primarily feed on insects such as flies and spiders but will also eat berries when available.

Cool Facts:

Here are some interesting facts about this charming bird:
– Although they are small in size, these birds have loud voices that carry over long distances.
– They are monogamous meaning they mate for life.
– Interestingly enough pairs often form bonds by singing together before mating.
– During breeding season males will perform acrobatic aerial displays leaving females impressed with their agility.
– These birds use spider silk to construct their intricate nests which they typically camouflage using lichens ranging from beige tones all the way up through brown hues to match the branches they’re built on.

In conclusion, these tiny birds are a delight to watch and listen to. Keep an eye out for the Black-tailed Gnatcatcher while hiking or birdwatching in its natural habitat – you may just be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this charismatic little creature.