Status Rare vagrant. It was first seen by Donald H. Giffin in August 1938 at Goldboro, Guysborough County. Second and third sightings were by Israel J. Pothier (two on 10 October 1957 at Melvern Square, Annapolis County) and Gordon MacLeod (one on 30 August 1958 at Wine Harbour, Guysborough County). Since 1964 it has been reported in most years. Nine were seen on Seal Island on 25 May 1975, but most sightings are of single birds from throughout the province. Among them have been 13 reports of about 23 birds in spring and early summer (23 April to 28 June) and 30 or more reports of about 50 birds from late summer to early winter (2 August to 27 December). Several have been photographically documented. An unprecedented shower of gnatcatchers descended on Nova Scotia in the fall of 1984, when at least 20 were seen.
Remarks It is an active, diminutive creature, about the size of a kinglet. It has a very long tail, trimmed with white, which it uses proficiently in its gyrations as it whirls about in pursuit of gnat-size insects. It breeds as far north as Massachusetts and northern Vermont but appears to be extending its range northward.