BIRD OF THE WEEK / WEEK 20: May 14, 2018

© Liron Gertsman

Bird

Bush Tit

Species Name

Psaltriparus minimus

Appearance

7-11 cm length | 4-6 gm weight

A tiny, compact songbird, the Bushtit is one of the smallest passerines in North America. It has a large head, a very small bill, a short neck and a long tail.

They are grey-brown with a darker tail and wings and a lighter underside. Coastal birds might have a darker cap while inland birds tend to be paler and have a dark mask. Their bill and legs are dark and males have dark eyes while the female has yellow eyes.

Habitat / Behaviour

Insectivore | Woodland

The American Bushtit inhabits open or semi-open woodlands, scrubby areas, parks and gardens.

The Bushtit forages in mixed-species feeding flocks. They feed on insects, spiders and larvae as well as a small amount of fruit and berries.

Breeding

Monogamous | Pendulum-shaped nest | 5-7 colour eggs | 1-2 broods

Bushtits make elaborate, woven, jug-shaped or gourd-shaped, hanging nests. They use small twigs and other materials as a base, spiderwebs as an adhesive to hold it together and moss and lichen to insulate and camouflage. If the nest is disturbed the pair may abandon the nest altogether, and even each other, before finding a new mate and starting all over.