California - Bushtit or Wrentit? (1 Viewer)

LucaPCP

Well-known member
Seen in the California Bay Area, Shoreline. Bushtit or Wrentit? I say Bushtit, but am I right? Thanks!!
 

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Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
2nd bird definitely male Bushtit - it has a dark eye.

1st bird has a pale eye, so could be either female Bushtit or Wrentit. If it was together with the 2nd bird, then female Bushtit.

They're also semi-separated by habitat - Wrentit tends to be in lower, drier chaparral (dense low stuff mostly less than a metre tall), Bushtit in moister, taller shrub & tree habitat. Does that help here? Also Bushtit often in flocks, Wrentit solitary or in pairs (family groups just after fledging only).
 

rkj

Well-known member
2nd bird definitely male Bushtit - it has a dark eye.

1st bird has a pale eye, so could be either female Bushtit or Wrentit. If it was together with the 2nd bird, then female Bushtit.

They're also semi-separated by habitat - Wrentit tends to be in lower, drier chaparral (dense low stuff mostly less than a metre tall), Bushtit in moister, taller shrub & tree habitat. Does that help here? Also Bushtit often in flocks, Wrentit solitary or in pairs (family groups just after fledging only).

I think both are Bushtits. As Nutcraker says, the dark eye is a certain indicator for the second bird. The shape of the bill and the lack of any faint streaking or mottling on the breast make the first bird a Bushtit as well.

Every time this question comes up on this forum I have to note that in life these two birds are easy to tell apart - size, calls, behavior, and often habitat are quite different. Regarding habitat, I have to disagree a bit with Nutcracker about Wrentits. Their habitat is always dense shrubby vegetation, but it can often be up to 2-3 meters tall. Bushtits can be found in the same habitats as Wrentits, but are also commonly found in both more open and taller vegetation.
 
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LucaPCP

Well-known member
Many thanks!

Many thanks!

Habitat was not a clear differentiation... I saw these in low dry brush, but at Shoreline park, in a portion close to where also taller brush and wetter habitat is. But behavior is: these were in a flock, and together, so bushtit it is, for both.

I truly appreciate this feedback as I learn to tell species apart!
 

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