by Marilyn and Keith Davis

"A Sight to Remember"

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

      Well, the bugs are out in force with the onset of the summer heat. Today after watering our pasture, and doing all the other honey-do things that take up time outdoors, my Honey decided to come inside for a rest on his super duper La-Z-Boy chair. He was wearing cutoffs outside, (which is a great way for intruders to find a movable hiding place) and one of those outdoor creatures landed on his pants. Then, while enjoying the comfort of his chair, something crawled up his leg, "Woo, woo"... he called! Slap, slap, slap... and a quick jump to the ceiling produced one dead body of a poor Honey Bee.gnatcatcher People have a natural flight reaction to creepy crawlies, especially up the legs. Birds have a totally different reaction. Birds see these small creatures as a gourmet treat.

      The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is one of those birds. It is found in Utah each summer, doing its thing of hunting food, finding a mate, building a nest, and bringing new life to the world. Gnatcatchers are lively birds, constantly flicking their long tails upward while gathering insects from the branches of trees and bushes. I am told they prefer moist deciduous woods, but I have often seen them in scrub habitat, chaparral, and desert landscape. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers build exquisite small cup nests, of soft materials, on horizontal branches, which are exceedingly difficult to find, unless the adults are in the process of feeding their young, being noisy and conspicuous.

      On a field trip to Kolob Reservoir, I saw my first Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. A first sighting is always the best. I remember hearing the unfamiliar, low pitched song... "zee-you, zee-you" with a few trills, whistles, and clicks. I remember seeing the blue of the feathers, the black wings and long black tail which made this an awe-inspiring, unforgettable sight. They are one of my favorite birds. I look forward to seeing them each year. I hope they become one of your favorites, too.

      Brenda Rusnell is the artist of the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. What a beauty. And what a great artist. We look forward to each new drawing. If you see this Gnatcatcher, have questions about birds, the next Red Cliffs Monthly Meeting, or field trip, call Marilyn Davis at 673-0996 or visit our home page

Past Artists & Birds articles are listed in the table below. 


Past Articles
"Cold Days and Good Memories"  (White Pelican) 
"Where's Sherlock Holmes When You Need Him?" (YB Cuckoo)
"Tale of Four Birders"  (Western Scrub Jay)
"East Zion Continued" (Golden-crowned Kinglet)
  Vermilion Flycatcher
"Aerial Wolves" (Sharp-shinned Hawk)
"From Clown School to Pond" (Ruddy Duck)
"Shades of Red" Red-tailed Hawk
"Predatory Songbird" (Northern Shrike)

The Cagey Killdeer"
"A True Bird Story" (Willet)
"A Song to Remember" (Hermit Thrush)
"To Catch a Fish..." (Green Heron aka Green-backed Heron)
"No Spring Cleaning" (Brown-headed Cowbird)
"Look-alikes Galore" (Sage Sparrow)
"A Jazzy Singer" (Cassin's Finch)
"Salute the Coot" (American Coot)
"Put a Smile on Your Face" (Greater Roadrunner)
"The Tale of Fred and Ethel" (Mallard)
"A Flutter of Sparrows" (Clay-colored Sparrow)
"A Sight to Remember" (Blue-gray Gnatcatcher)
"About Night Life" (Northern Saw-whet Owl)
"Black and White and Smart All Over" (BB Magpie)
"Dressed for Dinner... of Fine Wines and Bugs" (RN Sapsucker)
"A Life List" (Painted Redstart)
"Bird-Brained" (Flammulated Owl)
"Needle in a Haystack" (White-throated Sparrow)
"Booby Trap Nest" (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
"The Crowd Pleaser" (Western Tanager)
"Seeds and Civilization" (American Tree Sparrow)
"A Childhood Treasure" (Black-headed Grosbeak)
"Those Itchy Red Bumps" (Cliff Swallow)
"Is There a Bee in Your Bonnet" (Utah bees)
"Where's My Winter Coat" (Great-tailed Grackle)
"Ice Age Tree Planter" (Blue Jay)
"An Uncommon Beauty" (Black-and-white Warbler)
"What's In a Name" (American Redstart)
"When the Cold Winds Blow" (Western Grebe)
"A National Beauty" (Bald Eagle)

"Feathered Tiger" (Cooper's Hawk)
"The Accomplished Carpenter" (Acorn Woodpecker)
"Jewels" (Evening Grosbeak)
"Observations on the Road" (Rock Pigeon)
"A Leftover Memory" (California Gull)
"Lifelong Dreams" (Greater Roadrunner)
"Who's in Your Yard"  Wren)
"A Touch of Blue" (Mountain Bluebirds)
"Fur and Feathers" (Spotted Owl)
"Chick-a-dee-dee-dee" (Mountain Chickadee)
"In Search of" (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
"Wanderlust" (Canada Goose)
"Einstein Birds" (American Crow)
"What Spring Brings" (American Wigeon)
"Magnificent and Adaptable" (Golden Eagle)
"The Loneliest Sound" (Common Loon)
"When a Rare One Shows" (Thayer's Gull)
"Bird of the Ocean Shores" (Brown Pelican)
"A Mature Forest" (Northern Goshawk)
"When Black Eyes are Cool" (Short-eared Owl)
"Spring Is Busting Out All Over" (American Robin)
"Acrobatic Survivor" (Common Raven)
"Are You Ready For Hummers?" (Calliope HBird)
"Poppies, Rock Wren, and a Trip in Time" (Rock Wren)

"What’s On Tonaquint Pond?" (Baby Mallard Ducks)
"Definitely Not High-Uintah Parrots" (Pine Grosbeak)
"Before Radio, Records, and Hi-Fi" (N. Mockingbird)
"Bloomington Hills Drive Pond" (Birds of Southern Utah)
"Marks of Identification" (Northern Harrier)
"Nature’s Fighter Plane" (Common Nighthawk)
"King of the Western Skies" (California Condor)
"Are Bugs On Your Diet?" Ash-throated Flycatcher
"Warblers with Cavities" Lucy's Warbler
"Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner" Steller's Jay
"Life Bird List" Indigo Bunting
"Valley of Ghosts" Burned habitat
"One Raven is a Good Omen" Raven
"Way-Cool Bird" Cassin's Kingbird
"What a Song Will Do" Virginia Rail
"Surprise at Kolob"  Chestnut-backed Chickadee
"Hatches and Hatches" Mourning Dove babies
"Power Lines and Fence Posts" American Kestrel
"Pump-er-Lunk, Pump-er-Lunk" American Bittern
"What's a Chukar" Chukar
"A Jacket in The Morning" Oregon Junco
 "Silhouettes in the Sky" Turkey Vulture

"The Sound of Fall" White-crowned Sparrow
"Where Birds Hang Out" Ruby-crowned Kinglet
"Just Desserts" Canvasback Duck
"Reasons to Visit Zion" Wild Turkey

" Disappearing Act" Sage Sparrow
"A Favorite Bird of the UK" English Robin
"The Christmas Card Bird" Black-capped Chickadee
"Warm Slippers" Rough-legged Hawk

"Beautiful, But Strange" Northern Shoveler
"Live Christmas Tree Ornaments" Scrub Jay
"Red and Black and ..." Vermilion Flycatcher
"Bird Songs" Birds at the feeder

"Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!" Ovenbird
"Raptors and Bird Feeders"
"Who’s Who in Winter" Abert's Towhee "
"The Original Centerfold Model" Eastern bluebird

"What This ‘Look-Alike’ Looks Like" Pine Siskin
"To Shine a Light on a Name" Cedar Waxwing
"Find a Ladder-backed WP" Ladder-backed WP
"The Price of Bird Seed" Lesser Goldfinch
"Our Juniper Trees" Townsend's Solitaire
"Bird Friendly Backyard" Lazuli Bunting 
"What’s in a Lek?" Sage Grouse
"The Dueling Doves"
M. Dove - Collared-Dove
"Frozen Dinners" Turkey Vulture
"Stop, Sit, Listen & Watch" Common Yellowthroat
"The Night Hunter" Black-crowned Night-Heron

"Window Peekers" Hummingbirds
"When Food’s Free" Bullock's Oriole 
 "Here To Stay!" House Sparrow
"Wild Places" Black-throated Sparrow
"Weird Spring - Many Birds" Western Tanager
"A Little Bird Watching" baby bird watching
"Stripes, Streaks, Bills, Crowns, and Colors"  Lark Sparrow
"Hoping for Perfect"
Gray Catbird
"Home Sweet Home???" Horned Lark
"Ah, the Western Bluebird!"
"The 'Under Cover" Bird" Green-tailed Towhee
"A Shady Patio"Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk
"Quail Talk" Gambel's Quail 
"Flight of Dragonflies" 
  Ruffed Grouse/Rattlesnake
"Bird Feathers"
"Protective Coloration" Pigeons 
"The Agile Scavenger" Common Raven 
"Where Have All The Pheasants Gone?"
"Black is Beautiful!" Common Black Hawk
"A Best Friend" Barn owl 
"The Ugly Duckling" Mute Swan 
"What Birders Do" Magnificent Hummingbird 
"The Magic of October" Double-crested Cormorant 
"A Gibberish Conversation" Great-tailed Grackle 
"Black Things - Flying" American Coot 
"Flying Fortress White Pelican 
"What is a CBC?" Golden-crowned Sparrow
"Is That a Wild Canary?" Yellow Warbler 
"A Tale of a Great Blue Heron
" Great Blue Heron
 "Better To Wait For Breakfast..." Merlin
"This Was The Place" Red-winged Blackbirds 
"Just To Be Noticed" Pied-billed Grebe 
"Crash Landing" Eared Grebe 
"Where’s It Gonna Show Next?" Anna's Hummingbird

"Become a Junior Birder"
"Seen Any UFOs???"
"Feathered Treasures"
"The Long Way Home" Northern Harrier
"Mr. Lonesome" Greater Roadrunner 
"Four of a Kind" Black-crowned Night Heron
"Winter Colors" American Goldfinch
"Black Snow" European Starling 
"Looking Way Good" Belted Kingfisher 
"To Fill A Niche" Black-billed Magpie 
"Worth Every Cent" Backyard Chickens

"Wet and Bedraggled Pigeon..." Cooper's Hawk
"Why Don't We?" Northern Cardinal
"Rarely, but Possible" Harris's Sparrow
"A Lucky Fluke" Yellow-headed Blackbird
"What Spring Will Bring" Willow Flycatcher
"To Venture Outdoors"  Sharp-shinned Hawk
"St. George at its Finest!" Canyon Wren
"A Suitable Nest" Vermilion Flycatcher
"Stuck in Dixie"  Tree Swallow

"Time to Visit Zion" Blue Grosbeak
"Call From the Wild" Bullock's Oriole nest
"Apple Valley Babies"Western Scrub Jays
"The Fading Song Act" Cactus Wren
"To Win the Ladies"
Northern Mockingbird
"Color is Significant to a Flicker" Northern Flicker 

"King of Bunker Hill"Gambel's Quail
"The Dinner Table"Ferruginous Hawk 
"A Water Tank" Mourning Dove

"Faraway Places"  Black-throated Blue Warbler 
"Faraway Places - Part 2" Franklin's Gull
"Brenda Rusnell - Artist "
"Hit Or Miss" Sharp-shinned Hawk 
"The Flashy Singer/Babysitter" Prothonotary Warbler 
"A Sighting To Remember" Canada Warbler
"Super Size this Meal but Skip the French Fries" BG Heron 
"The Last Days of Summer" Red-eyed Vireo 
"More Than Just Spectators" Great-tailed Grackles 
"A Song to Love" Western Meadowlark 
"The Amazing Migrant" Bobolink 
"A Thistle Sock" Lesser Goldfinch
"From a Bird’s Point of View" Chipping Sparrow 
"At Just the Right Time" Cedar Waxwing 
"A Chicken in Every Pot " Chicken
"A Perfect Flight" Feathers 
"An Atmosphere of Comfort " Burrowing Owl
"Goose Girl" Domesticated Goose 
"Looking For A Super Sleuth" Vermilion Flycatcher 
"Birds and Bugs" Black Swift 
"Why Not Make a Memory?" Spotted Towhee 
"Curious About Birds? " Bewick's Wren
"Ow-Wow, Ow-Wow, Ow-Wow" Hooded Merganser 
"A Snipe Hunt"  Wilson's Snipe
"The Butcher Bird" Loggerhead Shrike 
"Just Happens Event" Killdeer
"A Spring Show" Cattle Egret 
"Are You Nuts" Double-breasted Nutcracker 
"If You Build It, They Will Come" American Robin 
"Passing Through Southern Utah" Black-necked Stilt 
"Listen Inside and Outside" Say's Phoebe
"Frozen Dinners" Paper Wasps vs Woodpeckers 
"Weather or Not" Golden Eagle 
"Troubadours From Mexico" Great-tailed Grackle 
"Sticks, Straw, and Bricks "
"Front Door Nursery
"Eggs And Ravens" Common Raven
"Field Trips are to Die For" Phainopepla
"A Successful Introduction" Wild Turkey 
"Follow The Leader" Turkey Vulture 
"When There’s Fire" 
"A New Kind of Sport "
"What to Do With Flying Pests "
"Oak Grove and Hummers" Broad-tailed Hummingbirds
"Being Fed" Feeding baby birds

"Crash Day"Learning to Fly 
"Thunderstorms and Scrambled Eggs" 
"Hold the Mud . . ."  Blue Grosbeak
"A Feathery Mystery"
"Magnetic Yards" 
"Rainbows and Gambel’s Quail"
"Not an Ordinary Bird" Phainopepla
"Sunflowers - Free Lunch" Lesser Goldfinch
"Passing Through" Townsend's Warbler
"How High Can You Count?" Blackbirds
"Belly Flops and Kingfishers" Belted Kingfisher
"Listen and Learn" Northern Mockingbird
"Food, Safety and Welcome" Red-winged Blackbird 

"Whooo, Whooo, Whooo, Whoooo?" Long-eared Owl
"Have Breakfast with a Bird" Baltimore Oriole
"Tongue Lashing from a Bird" House Wren
"Food and Easy Takings" Mourning Dove

"When It's Snow Time in the Rockies" Snow Birds
"Clothes Make the Man . . But *" Indigo Bunting

"The Call of Roosters" Chickens
"Find The Vermilion Flycatcher"
"A Snowy Zion" Dark-eyed Junco
"A Day Well Spent" Bald Eagle
"Easy Pickings" Eurasian Collared-Dove
"The Christmas Bird" Northern Cardinal
"Feathers in the Air" American Kestrel
"Is the Festival Over?" California Gull
"A Song of the Outdoors" Hermit Thrush
"What's on Your Pond?" Bufflehead
"A Must See" Ring-necked Duck
"Bird with the Most Smarts" American Crow
"Free Symphonies This Spring" Young artists birds
"Own a Chunk of Gold" Sandhill Crane
"Feathers on the Ground" Peregrine Falcon
"A Bill for What?" Northern Shoveler
"He's Back" Say's Phoebe
"Opportunistic Feeders" Cattle Egret
"When Habitat Disappears" Long-billed Curlew
"Bug Spray or Flycatchers???" Vermilion Flycatcher
"Talk to a Bird" Yellow Warbler
"Bathing Beauties"
"Who's Who...Parent or Baby"
"Did You Know..." California Quail
"Surprise Sighting" Solitary Vireo
"Bringing Home the Bacon (Bugs)"Western Kingbird
"Are the Grapes Ripe Yet?"House Sparrows
"Following Mom"
"When Grapes Are Ripe" Northern Mockingbird
"Dangers All Around"  Gambel's Quail
"Unexpected Visitor" Hummingbird
"Don't Miss What's Happening in Your Yard" Sharp-shinned Hawk
"Common, but Not So Common" Greater Roadrunner
"The Bird That Digs and Runs" Crissal Thrasher
"Birds and Temperature" American Wigeon
"A Picnic for Travelers" Lesser Goldfinch
"UFO's - Unexpected Flying Objects" Turkey Vulture
"Golden Eagles vs Cheatgrass"
"A Roller Coaster Ride"
"Hawks and Doves"
"When Leaves Fall from Trees"
"One Small Superhero" Northern Saw-whet Owl
"Snow in Dixie" Western Scrub Jay
"A Sunday Buffet?" American Kestrel
"Unexpected Surprises"
"Almost Never" Streak-backed Oriole
"Bird-friendly Plants" House Sparrow
"The Fly Over" Mute Swan
"Help...Help...Help" Peacock
"Picnic on the Beach" California Gull
"Hotel Accommodations" Say's Phoebe
"Weather Sense" White-crowned Sparrow/Dark-eyed Junco
"Looking for Quality Males" Sage Grouse
"A Keynote Bird" Vermilion Flycatcher
"A New Comer" White-winged Dove
"Fascination" Western Kingbird
"Migration Stopover" Glossy Ibis

"Sweet Sweet Sweet - I’m So Sweet" Yellow Warbler
"With a Black Spot" Song Sparrow
"The Most Wanted List" Brown-headed Cowbird
"Strange Looking Birds" Say's Phoebes
"The Everywhere Bird" Horned Lark
"Hollyhocks and Hummers" Black-chinned Hummingbird
"Habitats Make a Difference" Hooded Oriole vs Social Weaver Bird
"!!*&#!!@%*$#!!" Northern Mockingbird
"A Turkey in the Sky" Turkey Vulture
"A Bird with Many Names" Black-billed Magpie
"Desert Hummers" Costa's Hummingbird
"People Matter"
"Bedraggled" Great-tailed Grackle
"A Formidable Predator" Cooper's Hawk
"A Feeding Frenzy" American Robin
"It Looks Like Spring"
"Sounds of the Night" Great Horned Owl
"Delayed Takeoff" Turkey Vulture
"Eighty Percent Correct" Red-tailed Hawk
"A Most Important Bird" Red Jungle Fowl
"Alive and Thriving" Common Raven
"All Dressed Up in Black & White" Black-billed Magpie
"A Barren Habitat" Horned Lark
"The Good Samaritan" Mute Swan
"Road Kill Special" Golden Eagle
"A Nifty Surprise" Red-shouldered Hawk
"The Magnificent Seven" Northern Flicker
"Hawk Strike and Feathers" Cooper's Hawk
"Winter Flowers" Year-round Birds
"Scary Movie Flashback" European Starling
"Young Artists"
"Taking Up Residence in the West" Northern Cardinals
"Best Friends" Northern Harrier
"At the Crack of Dawn" Sage Grouse
"Spring Musical"
"The Spark Bird" Red-headed Woodpecker
"Pecans and Birds" American Crow
"Spring in Southern Utah" Robins & Waxwings
"A Treat of Rosemary" Lesser & American Goldfinches
"Egg Island" Double-crested Cormorant
"What's in Your Yard?" Find a Nest
"A Bird Without Wings" A Penguin Family
"Ivins Reservoir" American Avocet
"In Our Own Backyard" Phainopeplas
"Who's Singing That Song?" Yellow Warbler
"If You Hear Swisssshh. . ." Broad-tailed Hummingbird
"Largest Heron in North America" Great Blue Heron
"What's for Dinner?" Baby Birds
"Not Invited for Lunch" Cassins Finches
"Seed Up Your Yard" American Goldfinch
"Was This Heaven?" Pine Siskin
"Birds in Stone" Albatross
"Yellow Bird, Up High in Banana Tree" Prothonotary Warbler
"Chastised by a Birdbrain" Anna's and Costa's Hummingbirds
"Confused Identity" Eurasian Collared-Dove
"Sea Parrots Off the Coast of Maine" Puffins
"Fall Migration ? ? ?" Common Nighthawk
"Cowboys with Feathers" American White Pelican

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