Long-tailed Tits (Aegithalidae)

Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) - HBW 13, p. 99

French: Mésange buissonnière German: Buschschwanzmeise Spanish: Mito Sastrecillo
Other common names: American Bushtit; Black-eared Bushtit (“melanotis group”); Common/Plain Bushtit (“nominate group”); Lead-coloured/Plumbeous Bushtit (“plumbeus group”); Jouy’s Bushtit (iulus); Puget Sound Bushtit (saturatus); Sacramento Bushtit (californicus); Grinda’s Bushtit (grindae)

Taxonomy: Parus minimus J. K. Townsend, 1837, Columbia River, Washington State, USA.
Geographical variation complex. Races divisible into three groups, “nominate group” (including also saturatus, melanurus, californicus and grindae) of Pacific coastal regions, “plumbeus group” (with single race) in interior, and “melanotis group” (including also dimorphicus, iulus and personatus) in S of range; groups meet in zones of secondary intergradation in S USA (California, Texas) and N Mexico, and were for many years treated as representing two or three separate species on basi.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Parus minimus J. K. Townsend, 1837, Columbia River, Washington State, USA.
Geographical variation complex. Races divisible into three groups, “nominate group” (including also saturatus, melanurus, californicus and grindae) of Pacific coastal regions, “plumbeus group” (with single race) in interior, and “melanotis group” (including also dimorphicus, iulus and personatus) in S of range; groups meet in zones of secondary intergradation in S USA (California, Texas) and N Mexico, and were for many years treated as representing two or three separate species on basis largely of theory that “melanotis group” and “plumbeus group” overlap without interbreeding in SW Texas, whereas these two groups display a near-continuous gradation of characters from N to S. Proposed race lloydi (described from Limpia Canyon, near Fort Davis, in Texas) represents a hybrid population between plumbeus and “melanotis group” found in USA-Mexico border region (extreme SW New Mexico and adjacent NE Sonora and NW Chihuahua, and C & W Texas). Otherwise, in California, plumbeus intergrades with race californicus (in “nominate group”) on E flank of Sierra Nevada and nominate race intergrades with californicus in E. Birds of this species in NE San Luis Potosí (C Mexico) of uncertain racial affinity, provisionally placed in iulus. Ten subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • saturatus Ridgway, 1903 - extreme SW Canada (SE Vancouver I, SW British Columbia) and extreme NW USA (Puget Sound lowlands of NW Washington, including Whidbey I).
  • minimus (J. K. Townsend, 1837) - W USA from SC Washington (Yakima valley) and N Oregon (R Columbia W of Cascades) S along coast (W of Coast Range) to SW California (S at least to Santa Barbara County).
  • melanurus Grinnell & Swarth, 1926 - coastal California from N San Diego County (possibly from Los Angeles County) S to NW Mexico (NW Baja California S to c. 30° N).

     See all 10 subspecies
  • saturatus Ridgway, 1903 - extreme SW Canada (SE Vancouver I, SW British Columbia) and extreme NW USA (Puget Sound lowlands of NW Washington, including Whidbey I).
  • minimus (J. K. Townsend, 1837) - W USA from SC Washington (Yakima valley) and N Oregon (R Columbia W of Cascades) S along coast (W of Coast Range) to SW California (S at least to Santa Barbara County).
  • melanurus Grinnell & Swarth, 1926 - coastal California from N San Diego County (possibly from Los Angeles County) S to NW Mexico (NW Baja California S to c. 30° N).
  • californicus Ridgway, 1884 - interior S Oregon (Jackson, Klamath and Josephine Counties) S, E of Coast Range, to SC California (S to Kern County).
  • grindae Ridgway, 1883 - mountains of Cape district of S Baja California (S from c. 24° N), in W Mexico.
  • plumbeus (S. F. Baird, 1854) - WC & S USA from CE Oregon (recorded also Yakima valley, in SC Washington), SW Idaho and SW Wyoming S to E California (E watershed of Sierra Nevada, also Little San Bernardino Mts), S Arizona, S New Mexico, W Oklahoma and W & C Texas, and N Mexico (N Sonora, NW Chihuahua).
  • dimorphicus van Rossem & Hachisuka, 1938 - mountains of S USA (extreme SW New Mexico and W & C Texas) and NC Mexico (E Sonora E to NW Coahuila, S to NE Sinaloa and extreme N Durango).
  • iulus Jouy, 1894 - W & C Mexico from Durango (possibly also S Coahuila) S to S Jalisco (Nevada de Colima), W Michoacán and S Querétaro, E to NE San Luis Potosí and W Tamaulipas.
  • personatus Bonaparte, 1850 - mountains of C Mexico from C Michoacán E to W Veracruz (including Cofre de Perote) and NE Puebla.
  • melanotis (Hartlaub, 1844) - S Mexico in Guerrero (Sierra Madre del Sur), Oaxaca and mountains of N Chiapas (possibly also W coastally to SW Jalisco), also highlands of SW Guatemala (E to Chimaltenango).