The bushtit lives in mixed open woodlands. It also lives in parks and gardens. It lives in the western United States and highland parts of Mexico all year, ranging from Vancouver through the Great Basin and the lowlands and foothills of California to southern Mexico and Guatemala.
The bushtit is one of the smallest passerines in North America, at 11 cm in length and 5.3 g 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.
The bushtit is active and gregarious, searching for small insects and spiders in mixed-species feeding flocks with species such as chickadees and warblers, of 10 to over 40 birds. Members of the group keep making calls to each other that can be described as a short tsit.