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Black-Tailed Gnatcatcher

Polioptila melanura

Black-Tailed Gnatcatchers live in pairs all year. These birds are nonmigratory and found in arid desert areas year-round. They thrive among some of the driest and thorniest scrub and brush found in southwestern USA and Mexico. They require undisturbed habitats and will often abandon territories if we introduce human structures to their environment.

Their range includes southeastern California, southern Nevada, southern Arizona, Sonora Mexico, southern New Mexico, southeast Texas and northern Mexico south to central Mexico.

Like all their gnatcatcher cousins, these birds are always on the move, flitting through the scrubby elfin forests in the deserts they love. It’s a cheerful moment for me when I meet them in the dry, lonely places they call home. Most of my meetings with these bold watchdogs have been in the deserts of southern California, but southern Nevada, Arizona, and Texas have provided me with their company as well.

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