Birda Logo
Species Guide

White-lored Gnatcatcher

Polioptila albiloris

The White-lored Gnatcatcher, scientifically known as Polioptila albiloris, is a diminutive and sprightly bird, measuring a mere 11 to 12 centimeters in length and tipping the scales at a lightweight 6 to 9 grams. This species exhibits sexual dimorphism; the male, in his breeding attire, sports a striking black cap that extends down to his eyes and includes the nape, while his upperparts are a bluish gray. His tail is a stark black with contrasting white outer feathers. The throat is a pristine white, which gently transitions into a pale bluish gray across the breast and flanks. The female, on the other hand, is adorned with a more subdued dark gray cap, but she shares the characteristic white lores and supercilium that give this species its name. Juveniles resemble the female but have a browner hue to their upperparts.

Identification Tips

To identify the White-lored Gnatcatcher, look for the male's distinctive black cap and the white lores that are present in both sexes. The bird's small size, bluish-gray upperparts, and the black and white pattern on the tail are also key features. The subspecies P. a. vanrossemi can be distinguished by a larger black cap and longer wings and tail compared to the nominate subspecies.


The White-lored Gnatcatcher is typically found in arid to semi-arid environments, including scrublands, thorn forests, deciduous woodlands, and secondary forests. It tends to avoid the interiors of dense woodlands, preferring more open areas.


This species is distributed across several Central American countries, ranging from central Guatemala through Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, and extending into northwestern Costa Rica. The subspecies P. a. vanrossemi is endemic to Mexico, inhabiting the southern regions of Michoacán, México, and Puebla, down to most of Chiapas.


The White-lored Gnatcatcher is an active forager, primarily gleaning insects from foliage but also adept at making short flights to snatch insects from the air. It is a sociable bird, often seen flitting about in pairs or small groups.

Song & Calls

This bird has a repertoire of vocalizations, including two distinct songs: a "simple" and a "complex" variation. It also communicates with a variety of calls, which can be heard on resources such as Xeno-canto.


Breeding season for the White-lored Gnatcatcher spans from March to August. Both sexes collaborate in constructing their nest, a meticulously crafted deep cup made of grass and roots, bound together with spider silk and lined with fine grass, hair, and other soft materials. The typical clutch consists of four eggs. Notably, nests are sometimes parasitized by Bronzed and Brown-headed Cowbirds.

Similar Species

The White-lored Gnatcatcher was once considered conspecific with the Black-capped Gnatcatcher and closely related to the Yucatan Gnatcatcher, which was previously treated as a subspecies. Observers should note the differences in cap size and wing and tail length when differentiating between these species.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the White-lored Gnatcatcher is composed of a variety of adult insects, caterpillars, and spiders. Its foraging technique is mostly gleaning from foliage, but it will also perform aerial sallies to capture flying insects.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the White-lored Gnatcatcher as Least Concern. There are no immediate threats to the subspecies, as they do not inhabit ecoregions that are considered to be at serious risk.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

White-lored Gnatcatchers on Birda


More Gnatcatchers

A photo of a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) , male

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher

Polioptila caerulea
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Birda fan
I really enjoy using Birda, all sightings are recorded and photos can be added. There are monthly challenges which help to get you out to record your sightings. The Birda community are great and are happy to help with unidentified bird sightings. Suitable for all ages and experience!
Simply fantastic
I love this app, it puts so much fun into recording the birds I’ve seen and heard while I’m out and about. The interface is user-friendly and suitable for all ages. It’s great to collect badges and to review my “lists”.
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
Terrific App for Birders
Downloaded Birda around the time my interest in birding was sparked, and it has been a terrific app to help me (1) share my experience, (2) document my sightings, and (3) learn more about birds in general. That said, I also believe Birda is a fantastic app for birders of all experience levels. Great community!
Such a great app!
I didn’t think I could enjoy birding more but this app makes it so much better. Some great features and a really great way to share your sightings with your friends or fellow birders nearby or around the world! ❤️
Robred 2
Fun way to add to your birdwatching experience
I enjoy watching birds in my backyard, but this app helped me really pay attention while on vacation this summer. It was fun to add new birds to my bird watching app.
Talli A
My favourite app
As a young birdwatcher who was always keen to be apart of a community but never seemed to find one, my problem was solved downloading this!!! Everyone is so friendly and just as excited to see birds as me 😁
Amylia S
Best app for any birding person!
I love this app!! I am so addicted to it when I saw it had 3 star review I was so sad! The app is awesome!! The best app for any birding person! ❤️
Great app for learning Birds
I’ve been using the app for a couple of months and love it....Someone said it’s like a real life Pokémon Go for birds. They’re not far off! It’s something that the family can do that gets you out and about. Well worth downloading no matter your age.
Really great app
It’s easy to use and it’s fun to log the birds you notice on a walk or just in your garden. There’s a option to record the birds you see in a session which is really nice. Good excuse to stop for a while and just watch birds. I am also enjoying the information part where you can find out fact about birds from all over the world.
As featured in
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Giving back
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.