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Posted by: atowhee | January 23, 2019

BUSTLING BUSHEL OF BUSHTITS

bt-jan23abt-jan23bbt-jan23cbt-jan23ebt-jan23fThe local Bushtit gang makes repeated raids on our suet feeders and hanging seed feeders when they are in vicinity.  They may be near for a few days, then vanish for a week or more, on their nomadic way through the ‘hood.
Sometimes they flock to a feeder even though a House Sparrow is already there.  He then looks like Goliath surrounded by Lilliputians…or at least an elephant among zebras.
There really isn’t a bushel of Bushtits, just more than two dozen  But the frenzied fluttering, the constant shifting of perch and feeding position, the coming, going and going some more…all makes  it seems like are even more.  Bushtits make a crowd.  These images make you appreciate the promises of back-lighting, often bemoaned by fastidious photographers, but I love seeing the light through flashing, translucent wings.
Bushel.  How many would it take?  500 Bushtits=bushel? Would anybody under the age of sixty even know what a BUSHEL looks like? When a kid we bought apples in fine pine wooden bushel baskets.  Haven’t seen a real one in years.  Some decorating stores peddle replicas.

Here is Paul Sullivan’s response, calculating just how many BNuishtits might make a bushel:

“Harry, To answer your question:

Sibley says a Bushtit weighs 0.19 oz

16 oz/0.19 oz = 84 bushtits per pound [that would be five through the mail for a first class stamp]

A bushel = 64 pints, which is a measure of volume, not weight.

Yes, there’s a saying “a pint’s a pound the world around” referring to water.  Clearly bushtits are lighter than water. 

Let’s guess that bushtits are half as heavy as water.  Let’s guess 42 bushtits, half a pound,  would fit in a pint jar.

0.5 lb of bushtits per pint X 64 pints per bushel = 32 pounds of bushtits per bushel

42 bushtits per pint X 64 pints per bushel = 2,688 bushtits to the bushel

Not too heavy to lift, especially if half of them are airborne…

😉             Paul Sullivan”

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