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Bushtit        Images © Mark A. Chappell

These little brown birds are characteristic of woodlands and brush in much of the western US.   They travel in small, tightly-knit flocks (except during breeding), constantly making soft twittering contact calls.   The nests are beautiful long hanging tubes woven of grass, lichen, and spider webs.   Bushtits are rather fearless and often will approach fairly closely if tempted with 'pishing' calls or soft squeaks.   These birds were at the University of California's Motte Rimrock Reserve, the nearby Box Springs Mountains, and Bolsa Chica wetlands in coastal Orange County, all in southern California (one of the Bolsa Chica bushtits has an oddly black face).

  • Canon 10D, 1D Mk. II, 7D, 1D4, or 7D2; 500 mm f4 IS lens plus 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens, fill-in flash (2004, 2006, 2010-2013, 2015, 2016, 2017)