skip to content

Polioptila lembeyei

Cuban Gnatcatcher

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Polioptilidae


Polioptila lembeyei

Cuba; 14 November 2006 © Dominic Sherony

The Cuban Gnatcatcher was described by the most famous of this island’s ornithologists, the naturalised Juan (Johannes) Gundlach, for one of his predecessor’s, Juan Lembeye, who published an early catalog of the country’s avifauna. This delightful gnatcatcher, whose plumage recalls most Polioptila in being principally blue-gray and white, is distinguished by the crescentic black auricular mark. The only other gnatcatcher found on Cuba, the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) is a usually uncommon winter visitor to the island. Usually found in pairs, the Cuban Gnatcatcher is distributed in dense coastal scrub discontinuously east from central Cuba, and is also found on several small offshore islands, where its habitat is coming under increasing pressure from ongoing tourist developments. Nonetheless, the species remains reasonably common, at least locally, and is not currently perceived to be at particular risk of extinction. The Cuban Gnatcatcher breeds, like most resident landbirds on the island, from around March to July, and constructs a deep, cup-shaped nest, in which it lays 3–5 eggs.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute — we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more

Recommended Citation

. 2010. Cuban Gnatcatcher (Polioptila lembeyei), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:
  • Primary Habitat:
  • Foraging Strata:
  • Foraging Behavior:
  • Diet:
  • Sociality:
  • Mating System:
  • Nest Form:
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status: