A tiny, long-tailed, gray bird of Southern California. Alternate adult male is bluish-gray overall with dark wings, long dark tail, pale throat, black cap, thin eye ring, and slender, pointed bill. Underside of tail is mostly dark. Basic adult male lacks black on head except for a spot over the eye. Female is plain, with buffy tones on undertail coverts and flanks while mantle and wings are strongly washed with brown. The underparts are generally darker than those of Black-tailed and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. Those species also have white-edged tertials, more white under tail, and more conspicuous eye rings, with females lacking the brown tones on the wings and underparts shown by Calfornia Gnatcatchers.
Length: 11 (cm) Wingspan: 14 (cm)
Brushy areas, chaparral, thorn scrub.
Like other gnatcatchers, twitches long tail when active. Typically seen flitting among dense brush, usually in pairs. Nest is a very fine cup placed among low branches of a shrub.
Forages by gleaning foliage; eats insects, invertebrates, occasional seeds.
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