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Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Polioptila nigriceps


Wyatt Egelhoff
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eBird Checklist S35142972
Guadalupe Canyon
Hidalgo, New Mexico, United States
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Latitude and Longitude 31.3662, -109.0234 Map



Observation details

An apparent pair seen 0.2 mi East of the cattleguard in the immediate vicinity of several pieces of yellow CAT earthmoving equipment (parked). Coordinates: 31.363713, -109.030404 In the field I noted that both birds showed predominately white surfaces of the undertails, compared to a Black-tailed Gnatcatcher for which I would expect to see much more dark coloration. The bill (particularly on the female, but also evident in photos of the male) appeared longer in proportion to the head (approx. 1/2 length) than I would expect on a Black-tailed. The female had what appeared to be a complete eyering. The eyering of the male, though both the upper and lower portions were present, seemed to be bifurcated along the horizontal. The male was not sporting a full black cap, rather it seemed to be molting in (suggesting perhaps this was a young bird?) The dark coloration did extend below the eye slightly below the lores, but did not seem extensive enough to rule out Black-tailed on the basis of this mark alone. The pair were noisily and conspicuously foraging together, which makes me wonder if they may attempt to breed. Also, this female may be the same bird seen during July-August of 2016 (but undetected since, despite a visit in early Sep.) though this is much further up canyon (approx. 1 mi) than the previously noted location (the Old Cistern).

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