Black-capped Gnatcatcher (Polioptila nigriceps), lower Sycamore Canyon (south of Ruby Rd), Santa Cruz County
This Black-capped Gnatcatcher was
discovered by John Yerger and Jake Mohlmann on 25 May 2009 and photographed by John Yerger
the same day.
Black-capped Gnatcatcher has been an extremely rare
resident in SE Arizona. Historically, influxes of this species from
Mexico have occurred sporadically and have persisted for a few years afterwards,
followed by several years with no records. However, the incursion that
began in 2002 appears to be the most widespread and longest lasting. In
the last few years Black-capped Gnatcatcher has both increased in numbers and
has been found in an increasing number of areas. There is only one
previous record from Sycamore Canyon of a pair that bred there in the mid
1980's, although this site is infrequently visited. AZFO currently has
documentation for this species at Patagonia Lake, Montosa Canyon, Proctor Road,
Florida Canyon and California Gulch.
No other North American gnatcatcher features a complete black cap with black in the lores and a thin white crescent under the eye, in combination with a pure white undertail. Fortunately males like this are fairly easy to identify! First detected by call notes.
25 May 2009, photo by John YergerAll photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Submitted on 04 June 2009