Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on Nest

Back in mid-April, I got a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Kittery . . . Maine Big Year bird # 178.  Forty days and 94 birds, later I hadn’t seen another one.  Normally this wouldn’t bother me too much . . . except my wife hasn’t seen her first Gnatcatcher of the year . . . and Ingrid has been trying really hard.

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is not particularly rare, but its tiny . . . only 4 inches in size.  It’s blue/gray color blends in with the background and the bird is hyperactive . . . always moving . . . darting this way and that.  It’s impossible to see.

This evening in Kittery . . . just a half mile from the New Hampshire border, Ingrid and I located a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest that had been discovered a couple days ago.  It was about 30 feet up in a grove of small maple trees.

Momma and Papa Gnatcatchers, split time on the nest and we saw the male come in and relieve his mate.  Incredible.

As we were watching the nest, a rarely seen Yellow-billed Cuckoo landed in a nearby oak tree giving us short glimpse of this exceedingly shy species.

For birders . . . tonight was special.

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