The only long
tailed tit (family Aegilhalidea) to reside in North America. The
Pacific Populations are brownish overall, with a contrasting dark
brown crown and obvious dark lores. Interior populations tend to be,
over all, paler and grayer.
General A small
long tailed ball of fluff with a short neck and stubby black bill.
Average length 4.5” (11 cm) Weight 0.3 oz. (05.3 gr.)
Adult Male Dark brown crown, dark lores, dark brown eyes, brownish
back and long tail. No wing bars, bill is short stubby and black.
South Western populations may have a black facemask, and the rare
Black Eared morph can be found above the 5000 ft. elevation.
Have cream to yellow eyes distinguishing them from the male or
juvenile birds, otherwise sexes are similar.
Both male and female juveniles have dark brown eyes.
Plumage nondescript, but with a possibly pale whiter throat area.
Same as juvenile male
North Western regions Mountain Chickadee and Chestnut-backed
Chickadee, South Western regions Verdin and Gnatcatchers.
Out of breeding season usually in groups of 5-25 or more, often with
other species of birds. When breeding Bush Tits are solitary birds.
Though non-migratory they will move down slope for wintering
purposes. The song is a trill like excited twitter.
Bush Tits are foragers therefore mixed woodlands or scrubby areas,
that harbor insects, their larvae and eggs along with some fruit and
berries ,are required for a staple diet.
The nest can be
found 4-25 ft. above the ground. It is jug shaped hanging pouch made
by weaving material and twigs into the supporting branches of a tree
or bush. It is lined with plant-down, wool, hair and feathers. Eggs
5-7 per clutch, white, unmarked and oval shaped.
Note: If disturbed while nest building or laying a pair will often
leave the nest site completely and will possibly change mates before
building a new nest.
Bush Tits currently
maintain a status of least concern.
Capture rates of Bushtit (2010-2012; standardized as birds
captured per 100 net hours) occur starting in spring then
peak in summer through fall (June - Oct). Very social birds,
bushtits live year-round in flocks of 3 to 40 birds however
can move substantial distances to escape cold weather, as
suggested by our zero capture rates between November –