SCIENTIFIC NAME: Psaltriparus Minimus
Males have gray, washed olive upperparts and dark gray long tail. The rectrices have paler gray edges, and the outermost tail feathers are fringed and tipped whitish.
The upperwing shows various tones of gray. The underparts, chin, throat and center of breast are whitish. The lower breast, belly and vent are pale buff-gray, with dull pinkish-brown wash on the rear flanks.
The head, crown and nape are olive-brown washed gray. Lores, cheeks and ear-coverts are pale brownish, and the neck sides are light gray.
The eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are black.
Females are almost similar but have duller plumage and white, cream or pale yellow eyes.
Juveniles resemble females but duller and with dark eyes.
BILL: black and short.
SIZE: measures about 3.94 - 4.33 inches in length, with a wingspan of 7.08 inches.
WEIGHT: weighs about 4.5 - 6 grams.
COLOR: gray, dark-gray, buff-gray, olive, olive-brown, pinkish-brown, white, and black.
Insects and spiders, also fruits, berries, and seeds.
Open woods or scrubby areas, particularly pine-oak woodlands and chaparral, as well as suburbs and parks.
The Western United States and high parts of Mexico, and occurs from Vancouver, through the Great Basin, lowlands and foothills of California to southern Mexico and Guatemala.
CALL: Utters short contact calls, “pit” or harder “chip” varying in frequency and volume. These calls can be given singly or in long series.
When the bird is excited, it gives loud, nasal “stit”.
They also give a high-pitched “see-see-see” or “sisisisi” in anxiety, if one bird is separated from the flock.
The alarm call is a protracted “silililililili” often given in chorus by several birds, and during about two minutes, especially when an avian predator approaches.
Between them at roost, they communicate with quiet twitter and soft contact calls.
They do not have a territorial song.
NEST: Both male and female build an elongated gourd-shaped pendent nest and it is placed within a fork or between two parallel twigs.
EGGS: 4 - 8 white and smooth eggs.
INCUBATION: 12 - 13 days, both sexes.
NESTLING PHASE: 18 days.
They are social outside of the breeding season, typically foraging in small flocks.
They are usually very active when feeding, climbing and flitting quickly through foliage and branches of vegetation, probing for insects.
They are often seen hanging upside down as they forage.
The oldest known Bushtit was a female, and at least 9 years, 1 month old.