California Gnatcatcher

Animal Guide : Birds

California Gnatcatcher
Fun Fact:
Our local gnatcatcher lives only in the coastal sage scrub of Southwestern California and Baja Mexico.

What's for Lunch:
Insects and spiders gleaned from branches and leaf litter

Where's Home:
Coastal sage scrub, year round

Scientific Name:
Polioptila californica

Animal Guide : Birds


Status: Threatened
This tiny gray-brown bird is sometimes confused with the much more abundant Bushtit. But while Bushtits flutter about in noisy flocks, Gnatcatchers forage in pairs, and are almost invisible in the shrubs. The California Gnatcatcher's shrubby habitat used to be abundant along California's coast: miles of coastal sage scrub stretched unbroken from Ventura to Baja Mexico. Now, the reserve is one of this threatened bird's few remaining strongholds.