April 29, 2019

Salem, Oregon, and I’m sure other parts of the Pacific Northwest, is abundant in Bushtits. These little nuggets of pure joy are currently out and about, building their nests, amending the insides, feeding, and calling. No matter where I go in Salem these past few weeks, I hear and see Bushtits (they are calling right now outside my window).

During nest construction, Bushtit males and females gather plant materials (e.g., moss) and other fine items (e.g., spider webs) to make a sock-like nest with an opening near the top. This sock is attached firmly to a tree or large shrub. Post-construction, they continue to amend the inside of the nest, preparing the inside for egg-laying perfection.

While birding the Capitol property last week, I found three Bushtit nests and confirmed that two were active. On April 29, I visited one of the active nests in a cedar tree (Cedrus sp.) to see if I could get some shots of one of the adult Bushtits arrive or leaving nest. I set up my camera and tripod, pointed up at the nest and focused, sat down, and waited and watched from a distance as they came and went from their nest. With an incredible amount of patience, and a lot of crappy, blurry shots, I managed to catch a few decent shots of an adult female leaving nest (adult females have white eyes).

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