The American Bushtit is one of the smallest passerines in North America, at 11 cm in length and 5-6 gms in weight. It has a large head, a short neck, a long tail and a short stubby bill. The male has dark eyes and the adult female, yellow. Coastal forms have a brown cap while those in the interior have brown mask.

Habitat and Distribution

It is a year round resident of the Vancouver through the Great Basin and the lowlands and foothills of California to southern Mexico and Guatemala.


The American Bushtit is active and gregarious, foraging for small insects and spiders in feeding flocks containing species such as chickadees and warblers of 10 to over 40 .


American bushtits build their hanging nests as a couple. The female lays between 4 and 10 smooth white eggs that hatch within two weeks.

Calls and Songs

Members of the group make contact calls to each other that can be described as a short spit.