PhotoPost, a new feature on Flying Lessons, tells the story through photos, videos and captions. Today’s topic is the omnipresent Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, a hyperactive bird not much bigger than a hummingbird that nonetheless seems to be everywhere at once.
Except they always seem to have just moved on.
The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, which can be found in almost every state in the U.S., first strikes you for its crisp, pale-blue plumage and long tail that give it the look of a small mockingbird. But when you tune in and start to follow their manic, zig-zagging path, you realize it’s all about their constant motion. They almost never stop moving.
There’s a clear purpose to the frenetic travels of the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. It flicks its tail, jumps from branch to branch, turning upside down then upright again, all in pursuit of its next meal. The tail wagging stirs up insects and its speed helps it to catch up to the next morsel. As this video that’s almost as quick as the gnatcatcher shows, it’s not easy just keeping up with the little guy: