Bushtit (BUSH)

Psaltriparus minimus

“Tit” means “little”, and Bushtits which prefer bushes and small trees are appropriately named. These little birds win the SoCal prize for cuteness. They travel in small groups, maybe half a dozen to a dozen at a time — and move into trees and bushes, where they clean the leaves and twigs of tiny insects and move on. Unlike other small insect eaters like the indefatigable Ruby-Crowned Kinglet (RCKI, see elsewhere on this page) they will stop long enough to give you a good look. Males have dark eyes, females have piercing yellow eyes — you get the feeling that very little escapes their gaze.