Can you ID this bird?

by Gary Garnier
(Los Gatos CA)

Sparrow-sized bird, but more slender proportions. Blue topside, whitish - grey underside. Boundary between colors very well-defined. Very slender beak.


Seen in mountains ~ 1400 feet between San Jose and Santa Cruz California.

Comments for Can you ID this bird?

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Jan 11, 2013
blue-gray in San Jose NEW
by: Richard/Gallup, NM

I would suspect that your bird in that region is the blue-gray gnatcatcher. It is in total length sparrow-sized, but the body is small and the bird is long-tailed. They do have a white ring around the eye. And though the belly is more white, it usuallty has a little grey tinge, the bill is straight and thin and small. The other possibility in that area is a life bird that many people desire for their life lists, and that is the Cassin's vireo. It is stouter than the gnatcatcher, the belly is more grayish, and though there is a distinction between the upper and lower grays, the line is not as sharp in the head and neck region. This bird has a heavier bill and the eye-ring runs into a "spectacle" that meets the top of the bill. Hope this is some help, but I would bank on the gnatcatcher.

Sep 25, 2012
More information
by: Gary Garnier

The color is not bluebird blue, more of a dark slate-blue. (my wife would cringe at my attempts to describe any color - she's convinced I'm color-blind.)

I hope describing the beak as slender is not misleading. I just want to make clear that it does not have the stout beak of a chickadee, for example.

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