Birda Logo
Features
Birda+
About
Species Guide
Challenges
Shop
loading...

Tropical Gnatcatcher

Polioptila plumbea

The Tropical Gnatcatcher, scientifically known as Polioptila plumbea, is a diminutive and sprightly insectivorous songbird. This avian resident is adorned with grey upperparts and a contrasting white underbelly. Its tail, a striking feature, is predominantly black with white outer feathers, presenting a black appearance from above and white from below. The male is distinguished by a black cap that extends just below the eye, while the female sports a grey cap and may exhibit a black post-ocular patch.

Identification Tips

To identify the Tropical Gnatcatcher, look for a small bird with a long, slender bill and a tail that is often cocked upwards. The male's black cap and the white patch in the wing, caused by broad white edging to the tertials, are key features. Females lack the black cap, instead showing a grey one, and some may have an irregular black patch behind the eye.

Habitat

The Tropical Gnatcatcher thrives in a variety of wooded environments, from arid woodlands and scrub to humid forests. It is typically found at canopy height in dense forests but can be observed at lower levels in more open habitats.

Distribution

This species is widely distributed across northern South America, from the Caatinga region of northeastern Brazil, through the Amazon Basin, to the Guianas, northern Venezuela, and northern Colombia. It is also found from northwestern Peru through Central America to southern Mexico.

Behaviour

The Tropical Gnatcatcher is often seen moving alone or in pairs, actively gleaning insects from outer twigs and foliage. It is known to join mixed-species feeding flocks and exhibits a curious nature, showing little fear of humans.

Song & Calls

The bird's vocalizations include a thin buzzy "gezzz" call and a trilled "swee see see si si si su su" song, with variations across its range.

Breeding

The nest of the Tropical Gnatcatcher resembles that of a hummingbird, a small cup constructed from vegetable fibers. The female lays two or three brown-spotted white eggs, primarily in May and June.

Similar Species

The White-browed Gnatcatcher (Polioptila bilineata) is similar in appearance but can be differentiated by the white underparts that extend above the eye, creating a more restricted black cap.

Diet and Feeding

This bird's diet consists of spiders, their eggs, beetles, caterpillars, and other insects. It is an adept forager, often partaking in mixed-species feeding flocks.

Conservation Status

The Tropical Gnatcatcher is classified as Least Concern due to its common and widespread presence throughout most of its range. However, certain subspecies with limited distributions may face threats due to habitat destruction.

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

Tropical Gnatcatchers on Birda

Sightings
A map showing the sighting location
Profile picture for Jaider Carrillo
Jaider Carrillo
19 Mar 2024 - 2:26pm
Colombia

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
Jake W
Great app
I use this app all the time as it’s quick and easy to log individual sightings or whole birding sessions. It’s an excellent way to meet new people and the forum is full of really friendly people. The challenges are a great way to get involved and learn more about birds. Cannot recommend it enough!
Unbridled Discoveries
Great app for bird lovers
I love this app! It’s a wonderful way to track birding sessions, and also connect you with fellow birders. I also really like the unidentified bird section, it’s a great community tool to help figure out what a never-before-seen bird is!
Jane N
A great app
Enjoying it immensely and finding it useful too. Recording the different birds and counting them is showing me how the present climate is affecting them all. I've trebled the numbers by planting native hedging. A great app.
Nick S
Work together with community
Been loving using this app to log my bird sightings and work together with community members to identify different birds. I've already learned a lot since I started about a month ago!
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! ❀️
Chudbond
Love Birda
I love this app. It really encourages you to log your sightings and the community is friendly and helpful.
Leonie
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Mike T
Sense of Community
A great app, which is continually being improved. What really comes through is the passion of those behind the app. The sense of community is brilliant, so much help and support provided to new and/or in experienced birders.
Emma L
App got me interested in birding!
Super friendly community <3 This app got me interested in birding! It teaches me cool stuff and its super friendly, and fun :) The species guide is really developing my knowledge, and i love seeing cool new birds from round the world!
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright Β© 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.