photo by Bob Steele
I have to believe that such a little inconspicuous little bird mostly goes un-noticed by the majority of folks. It's colour is not overly striking or impressive, but perhaps in a gang and the sound of it's chirp it is more easily recognizable and familar.
The Sounds of a Foraging Gang of Bushtits in Redshank Trees
|Location||California Gulch, Arizona|
The sound itself is quick short busts of 'Tsit Tsit' and seems to be a continuous connecting with each others in the group. When a lead bird decides to move the group to another Shrub location for better foraging, this constant chirping & spitting sound seems more to be a reassuring beacon for any stragglers of one or two to radarand home in at the new location. You may even be familar with a number of other dainty little birds which have the word 'Tit' in their name. 'Tufted Titmouse' , 'Juniper Titmouse' and 'Oak Titmouse'. Then there is not only the 'Bushtit' but also the 'Wrentit'. There are sometimes when I have a hard time saying without wondering if I said a dirty word. *eyes rolling*
Aside from their groupy shrub preening and gleaning, they pair off in the Springtime for mating. I had an Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis) a pair and I am assuming the same couple every year though not sure how long lived they are. Here is that tree at my old place that I have shown before. It is the tallest pine with the tiniest needles almost like a pinyon which by the way they prefer since it is in their native range and densely covered with small needles like Aleppo.
Unfortunately they were continually harassed by this:
That darn cat every year was alerted to their sounds and movements. Nothing escaped his notice. Though he was a good mouser and that is why we got him in the first place and of course we really did like him, but sometimes the hunting of other non-targeted wildlife was a challenge to break him of. Needless to say we never did. Several times I had rescued Chipmonks from his grasp. Oh well, here are a couple of other nest shots to give you an idea of what to look for if you are ever out in the bush and run across one.
Notice the four needles to a bundle and the white colour on the undersides.
Photo by Calflora
BTW, if anyone lives near this area and recognizes the tree and collects the pine nutes which are large and edible, Tree of Life Native Plants Nursery wants some of the seeds. I tried the last two years I was there but a strangle anomalie occured where the nuts from every cone I collected were hollow and unviable. Contact Mike Evans at Tree of Life. Here's what the unripe immature cones look like.
Photo by Deborah Small
Here's the mature cones that the ScrubJays love so much. This is what they look like if the ScrubJays get there first which is quick. I swear they have radar for this stuff.
Photo by Esser Lora
Gathering nest material and couples building their nests.
One other thing I proded for them and other birds was a watering place. not only for drinking, but also splashing and taking a bath.
Just adding some kool videos for everyone's enjoyment of the funny cute little character of Bushtits in their surroundings. Enjoy!
Bushtits with Anna's Hummingbird
Bushtits at a Pool Party