The American Bushtit inhabits mixed open woodlands, often containing oaks and a scrubby chaparral understory ; it also inhabits parks and gardens. It is a year-round resident of the western United States and highland parts of Mexico, ranging from Vancouver through the Great Basin and the lowlands and foothills of California to southern Mexico and Guatemala.The elaborate pendant nest of moss andlichen assembled with spider silk and lined with feathers hangs from a branch.
The American Bushtit is one of the smallest passerines in North America, at 11 cm in length and 5-6 gms in weight. It is gray-brown overall, with a large head, a short neck, a long tail, and a short stubby bill. The male has dark eyes and the adult female, yellow. Coastal forms have a brown "cap" while those in the interior have brown "mask."
The American Bushtit is active and gregarious, foraging for small insects and spiders in mixed-species feeding flocks containing species such as chickadees and warblers, of 10 to over 40 individuals. Members of the group constantly make contact calls to each other that can be described as a short spit.