Black-tailed Gnatcatcher Polioptila melanura

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Polioptilidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors needed...

Principally found in the deserts of the southern and southwestern United States, the Black-tailed Gnatcatcher also ranges narrowly into northern Mexico. It was formerly treated as being conspecific with the California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica), and these two species form a superspecies. Given the species’ distribution and comparative abundance, it is relatively unsurprising that the Black-tailed Gnatcatcher is one of the better studied members of the genus Polioptila. As in most species of gnatcatcher, the sexes differ in plumage, with females (and non-breeding males) lacking the dark cap of breeding-season males.

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© Geoffrey A. Keller

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (Polioptila melanura), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: