Gnatcatchers in Oregon
Gnatcatchers in Oregon.-On the morning of April 26, 1949, in the McKenzie River bottoms near Thurston, Lane County, Oregon, while out checking warbler migrations, I was attracted by some unfamiliar notes coming from a group of small birds in the tree tops. On closer inspection these proved to be Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (Polioptila caerulea). These birds, four in number, were feeding on insects around the blossoms and freshly opened leaf-buds of a clump of low, spreading, big leaf maples (Acer macvophylla) in open woodlands of mixed deciduous and coniferous trees. They were in almost constant motion, for the most part keeping well up in the trees, although one individual came down to the lower branches to within about twelve feet of me. These gnatcatchers were under close observation for fully fifteen minutes until they finally disappeared toward the north. They were followed soon by two others which entered the trees from the south and left as had the previous four.
Mr. and Mrs. A. Ray Wiseman recently reported to the local natural history society that a gnatcatcher spent the period from May 26 to June 2, 1949, in the trees and shrubbery at their home in Eugene, Oregon.
So far as I know there are no previously published records of gnatcatchers for the state of Oregon.-BEN H. FRUITT, ’ Springfield, Oregon, June 13, 1949.