Black-throated Tit bird

Black-Throated Bushtit: A Tiny Bird With a Big Personality

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Meet the Black-throated Bushtit: the bird that has become a popular internet celebrity.

Black-throated Bushtits are also called Black-throated Tits, or, more formally, Aegithalos concinnus. Regardless of which name you prefer, they are cute little birds who somehow look adorable and angry at the same time.

Let’s learn more about these colorful passerines.

Black-throated Bushtit Description

black throated bushtit

The Black-throated Bushtit is only about 4 inches long and weighs between 0.1 and 0.3 ounces. That’s lighter than an empty soda can!

The coloring of a Black-throated Bushtit can vary from subspecies to subspecies, but some things are consistent:

  • A medium-length tail
  • A black patch on the throat
  • A black mask over the eyes (which looks like a raccoon or bandit mask)

There are currently six different identified subspecies, but that list may grow as researchers continue to study these little birds.

They often have a chestnut-colored cap and matching breast band, as well as chestnut flanks. The bird’s back, wings, and tail are typically black, and they have a white belly.

If you’ve seen a super vibrant orange version of the Black-throated Bushtit online, check out the conclusion of this article about the importance of verifying the accuracy of online bird images before trusting them!

Others will lack the breast band and will be gray-gapped with gray bellies and flanks instead of being black and white.

Black-throated Bushtits are sexually monomorphic, which means that males and females look the same. If you’re lucky enough to see these birds in person, you won’t be able to differentiate between males and females.

Where are Black-throated Bushtits Found?

The Black-throated Bushtit’s range is limited to South, Southeast, and East Asia.

They are found in the Himalayan Mountain range of Nepal, but they are the most populous in China. They are also found in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan, and a handful of other places.

The subspecies in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia are more likely to have a gray crown. Those in the Himalayas have a white oval-shaped patch above their eyes.

Their main habitat is in the foothills of Asian mountain ranges, especially in mixed forests of broadleaf and coniferous trees. Their range also extends into lowlands and valleys.

What do Black-throated Bushtits Eat?

Bushtits have similar diets, regardless of species or subspecies.

They pick insects and spiders off of the leaves of trees and other plants, making them a great contributor to pest control. They will at times eat larger critters, including insect larvae and caterpillars.

When they prey on a caterpillar, they will beat it against a nearby branch to stun or kill it. At that point, they can eat it more easily.

Bushtits also eat seeds. In North America, you can attract bushtits with suet cakes, but because Black-throated Bushtits are limited to Asia, you won’t have the opportunity to see this brightly colored little bird unless you hop on a plane and head overseas.

Last but not least, Black-throated Bushtits love raspberries!

Interesting Black-throated Bushtit Behaviors

Black-throated Bushtits are quite social. They usually travel in medium-sized groups of about 40 other bushtits. Their social group will grow during the winter and shrink back down during the breeding season. Often, they will join flocks of other small birds, rather than staying isolated with just other Black-throated Bushtits.

They build oval-shaped nests from moss and lichen, which hang from branches. These nests are held together with spider webbing!

Generally, the Black-throated Bushtit doesn’t migrate and instead stays put in one area.

How did the Black-throated Bushtit Become Popular on the Internet?

Black-throated Tit bird

Let’s get back to this bird’s online popularity. Why are they such popular little birds on the internet?

First of all, when a picture is taken from the right angle, the black throat of one of these birds can look like a devious grin. Combined with the name that makes some people giggle, you’ve got a bird that shows up in various places online to give people a smile and a laugh.

For example, on Reddit, the Black-throated Bushtit has been called a Juggalo, a bird version of Gritty, and an evil supervillain. People can’t get enough of these fun little birds.

Bushtits (and other tits) are included in silly webcomics about birds with suggestive names, and you can even buy funny mugs and t-shirts that have borderline-crude slogans with a variety of tits and bushtits on them.

Ginger Fox Mugs (Calm Your Tits Ceramic Funny Bird Nature Mug)
  • A Humorous Way to Enjoy Your Brew – Calm Your Tits as you enjoy your coffee and tea in this bird ceramic mug. This mug with...
  • Keeps Drinks Warm - Add a light-hearted touch to your coffee breaks by using our funny mugs. You can use these ceramic bird mug to...
  • Reveal a Hidden Message - Sip your drink to the last drop and find out the hidden message in this Calm Your Tits coffee mug. Laugh...

Last update on 2023-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nerd Funny Tit Birds Birdwatcher Collection Of Tits Bird T-Shirt
  • Know someone who loves bird watching or a hobbyist birdwatcher? If yes then get this Collection Of Tits Bird design featuring 8...
  • Students with Ornithology major or zoology major zoologists, bird researchers, bird watchers, hobbyist bird watchers will...
  • Lightweight, Classic fit, Double-needle sleeve and bottom hem

Last update on 2023-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One Last Note: Watch Out for Fake Pictures

Important note: often, when you see pictures of colorful birds on the internet, you have to remember that they were Photoshopped! For example, I recently wrote about the Blue-Crested Hoopoe, a bird that doesn’t exist — except in pictures online.

The Black-throated Bushtit is often edited to make it look much more orange than it really is. While the birds of the world are absolutely colorful and vibrant, it’s always a good idea to look for non-edited bird photos of flashy examples that you’ve never heard of so that you can confirm whether or not you’re getting an accurate picture.

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