Saturday, August 10, 2013

one of my tiny favorites

What is it about bushtits? They seem happy. By virtue of size and song, cheerful is the adjective that comes to mind. I enjoy the way that they move as a body. Apart and together--stretching one or two at a time to cross a street, then the inevitable regroup as others notice that someone's moved on.

Is it food that propels them ever onward? Do the lallygaggers look up from the pursuit of a particularly plump gnat or aphid and think, "Oh shoot! Phil's in that other bush! Gotta go!". Is it the safety in numbers? Surely that plays a part.

Bushtits are the consummate flitter-ers--buzzy, zig-zaggy flight, wings all over the place. They look straight out of a cartoon or fairy tale.  If a bird is going to zip around trailing garlands or draping ribbons or strewing flowers, the bushtit is the logical choice. This then makes them fairly vulnerable to predators--certainly that's the reason for their flocking together so interconnectedly. That and it must take a large number of them to hold the larger banners.