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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

13 Amaze-wing Facts About The Bushtit Facts For Kids

Bushtit Fact File

Bushtits are social songbirds that are seen mostly in the western part of North America. These birds can be seen flying in a sprightly manner amongst bushes and thickets. The common bushtit has a tiny body and a long tail. Adult males have a very small bill and overall pale gray color with darker upper parts of the body. Male bushtits have dark eyes while female adults' eyes are yellow in color. They usually have a large head, stubby bill, short neck, and are gray-brown in color.

Bushtits mostly feed on insects and spiders and are found in flocks of 10-40 individuals but get into smaller flocks when it's breeding time. They have been listed as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List.

Read on for more interesting facts about this species. For more such animal facts, check out our articles on red bird-of-paradise and barn owl.

Bushtit Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a bushtit?

The bushtit is a species of bird belonging to the Aegithalidae family and Psaltriparus genus. The scientific name of these North American birds is Psaltriparus minimus.

What class of animal does a bushtit belong to?

The bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus, belongs to the class of Aves in the animal kingdom. Fox sparrows and Nicobar pigeons are some other examples of this class.

How many bushtits are there in the world?

While there is no accurate estimate of the population of this species, their population is stable.

Where does a bushtit live?

North American bushtit birds are often found to inhabit open woodlands that contain oaks, thickets, and bushes. Bushtits are found in the southwestern part of the USA as well as in parts of Mexico. They can be found at elevations at sea level going up to 10,000 ft (3048 m) as well.  In the US these are mostly found around the Pacific rim area in the southwest along California. They are also found in Las Vegas down to areas in Mexico like Guadalajara and even Mexico City. There are large conglomerations of this tiny bird across the areas which they are seen to commonly inhabit.

What is a bushtit's habitat?

This North American bird species can be found at elevations from sea level going up to 10,000 ft (3048 m). The common habitat of the bushtit bird comprises oak forests, dry scrublands, evergreen woodlands, suburbs, and streamsides.

Who does bushtit live with?

Generally, the bushtits are found in flocks of 10 to 40 individuals. However, with the arrival of the months of January and February, the bushtits get into smaller flocks. With the passage of time early in the year, male and female bushtits wander off into pairs of two.

How long does a bushtit live?

In the wild, this species can live for up to nine years.

How do they reproduce?

Generally, the bushtits are found to inhabit small flocks. However, with the arrival of the months of January and February, the bushtits get into smaller and smaller groups. With the passage of time early in the year, male and female bushtits wander off into pairs of two for breeding behavior. The male and female will then begin their nesting phase to prepare for the breeding and egg-laying season.

The breeding season is typically in the months of March and April. These activities generally happen when the weather is normally warmer as compared to the months of January and February. In the mating season, there is sexual posturing between males and females along with excited and shrill notes that the bushtits engage in. Once the pairing between male and female is done post the courtship period, the pair settle down to making the nest. Thereafter the mating happens between male and female and eggs are laid by the female.

Once the breeding is done, around six eggs are laid by the female in the nest at a time. It takes almost 12–13 days of incubation for the eggs to hatch. A female bushtit often produces two broods in a year.

The young hatchlings of the family are carefully cared for by their parents. The nesting period lasts for around 18 days in this family. The young hatchlings make weak sounds indicating their need for food. Feeding is done when one parent enters the nest with insect larvae. The other then leaves the nest to look for food for the next feeding of the hatchlings. Generally, insect larvae are found in the oak trees where the nests are built.

Generally one of the parents of the young hatchlings in the family does the maximum of the foraging for feeding the hatchlings. The other parent often keeps a close watch on the nest to keep it safe from predators and enemies.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this species has been listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. The population of these tiny birds is stable, however, human activity is causing habitat loss for them.

Bushtit Fun Facts

What do bushtits look like?

These tiny birds from the Aegithalidae family have a long tail and are also called long-tailed tits.

The common bushtit has a tiny body and a long tail. This distinguishes them from other similarly small birds. Adult males have a very small bill and overall pale gray color with darker upper parts of the body. Male bushtits have dark eyes while female adults' eyes are yellow in color. They usually have a large head, stubby bill, short neck, and are gray-brown in color.

How cute are they?

The bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) is a small bird species and looks very cute. The smallest bird in Ontario however, is the hummingbird.

How do they communicate?

The bushtit call is generally short but of a high pitch. The notes come in fast succession and are a means of communicating with other bushtits in the flock. These are also urgent calls when faced by a predator or an intruder or enemy. The intent is to scare the enemy or the intruder away.  

How big is a bushtit?

These North American birds measure approximately 4.3 in (11 cm) in length and are sparrow-sized birds.

How fast can a bushtit fly?

Information for this is not available.

How much does a bushtit weigh?

The long-tailed tits have an average weight of 0.17–0.21 oz (5–6 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female bushtits don't have separate names. Bushtit is the common name, whether it's a male or a female.

What would you call a baby bushtit?

Young bushtits are called hatchlings.

What do they eat?

To a large extent, bushtits eat small insects and spiders. These are found among the foliage of the bushes and thickets that the bushtits inhabit. Sometimes the bushtits are seen to be hanging upside down to eat the spiders and insects that are found hidden underneath the leaves.

Are they dangerous?

No, the behavior of the species of long-tailed tits is not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

The lack of danger these long-tailed tits pose may make you want to raise them as pets, but these birds are not meant to be pets. They belong in their natural habitat in the wild. There are very few reports of bushtits being reared in captivity. These are abundantly found in nature and not particularly exotic in appearance. Bushtits are also not an endangered bird type. This could explain why they are generally not reared in captivity.

Did you know...

The bushtits are preyed upon by larger birds like the hawks and other predatory birds. When threatened by larger birds the bushtits emanate shrill notes to try and scare away the predators.

What does a bushtit nest look like?

The bushtit makes small nests that are made out of roots, twigs, moss, and spider webs. The nests are small keeping in mind the overall size of these small birds. The nests are also made of plant material and are made in the bushes where the bushtits generally flit about. It takes about a month’s time for the bushtits to make their nests. The nests are generally built on the boughs of the large oak trees found in the habitat of these birds.

The nests are quite intricate and nuanced in the way they are built. They build a hanging nest that has a small hole towards the top of the nest. This hole is covered by a kind of hood that is intricately woven with twigs and other materials. Inside the hanging nest, there is a kind of bowl that is used to lay the eggs in. This bowl-shaped structure is useful for hatching the eggs safely inside the nest safe from outside intruders.

How did the bushtit get its name?

The second half of the name 'bushtit' comes from the Icelandic word ‘titr’ that means small which has been shortened to indicate the name tit.  This bird mostly flits about bushes hence the first part of the name is bush. This is the main habitat of the bird. The scientific name of this bird is Psaltriparus minimus where the word minimus indicates the size of these birds which is generally small. The word 'parus' comes from the Latin word which means titmouse.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these vulture facts and tawny owl facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bushit coloring pages.

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