Bushtit

This tiny bushtit is likely a male, as females typically have light eyes. Note the size of the bird in relation to the handler's fingers (shown)

This tiny bushtit is likely a male, as females typically have light eyes. Note the size of the bird in relation to the handler's fingers (shown)

 

Despite its name, the Bushtit (Order  Passeriformes, family aegithalidae) is not a well-endowed member of a prominent American political family but a tiny, insect-eating bird. Once called “Common Bushtits,”* these birds are primarily found in woodland and suburban habitats (ranging from southwest British Colombia, along  the western border of the United States, to Guatemala) where they can be found hanging upside down from foliage scavenging insects. Bushtits typically swoop into an area en mass, bustle around noisily while eating and socializing, and then depart, also en mass, for more insect-rich patches of greenery.

* The birds successfully petitioned for a change-of name when it was brought to their attention that “common” had unsavory connotations, a circumstance made particularly agregious by the fact they already had a reputation as ‘noisy little tits.” **

** A number of grad students and adjuncts were recently disappointed when their petition to change the name of freshman composition students to “Bushtits” was rejected.

Cf. http://homepage.smc.edu/sakai_walter/Species%20Accounts/bushtit.htm
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushtit

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