Posted by: atowhee | December 26, 2019


I will never need to post another Bushtit image as long as I live.  I will, of course, but it will be superfluous henceforth.  In one of the images above the bird on the suet log is looking down from his perch, leaning down in fact.  That is the only image of the that bird in that position.  I shoot in bursts, more than one exposure per second, so this bird went from feeding to lean and back upright in sequential images!  No blur, no pause in between images…nano-seconds to move down and move back.
Here in western Oregon we all see Bushtits commonly.  In our garden in winter several times daily they hit our suet feeders.  We “see” Bushtits in action, but don’t comprehend.  They move so fast, and so often, our eyes and our plodding brain cannot tell exactly what is  happening.  We guess and presume, and we clearly miss most detail.  In the bird world small ones generally move faster (think hummers).  The Bushtit, let us remember, is the smallest songbird in Oregon, only most of the hummingbirds and most insects are smaller. Our senses can’t keep up. We may miss but the camera sees much and we have but to look to truly “see.”

My favorite shot is the one where he leans over his left shoulder and stares at me.

In another image above the Bushtit’s wings and tail are in motion and blurred.
Here below, in comparison a heftier chickadee shares the suet log.  It is one of the Chestnut-backed Chickatrio that inhabit our neighborhood this winter. I expect the Bushtit gang so confuses and overwhelms the bullying yellow-rump that he simply goes away when they arrive, with an avian shrug of the shoulders, perhaps.CBC+3 (2)


  1. I love these tiny bits but they only come by once or twice a week and are gone in a flash, of course. Robins though have been here for almost two weeks! I rarely see them for more than 2-3 days a year. Starlings too, but I go out and clap and that is all it takes to spook them. I don’t know how to put my camera on burst. Must go to best buy/m a

  2. Excellent pictures. Harry, please tell us the model of the camera.

    Thanks, Graham

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