Bushtit - Psaltriparus minimus plumbeus
a.k.a - American Bushtit
 Forest Trail 796 from the Kingston Cemetery
to Emory Pass, Black Range, New Mexico, USA
December 25, 2017

This subspecies was first described by Baird in 1854 as Psaltria plumbea the Lead-colored Bushtit.  The subspecies found in the Black Range of New Mexico is now referred to as the Plumbeous Bushtit.  There are 10 recognized subspecies of Bushtit including some which have been considered full species in the past (Black-eared Bushtit, Psaltriparus melanotis).  This species is generally found in flocks of quietly chattering birds.  Like the Dark-eyed Junco groups, the various subspecies of Bushtit are often combined into groups: the minimus group of the Pacific coast, the plumbeus group of the Rocky Mountain interior, and the melanotis group found in the southern part of the range.  The clinal variation in characteristics and “considerable genetic differentiation” found within the species promise to keep the speciation questions associated with this species open to argument.

Image correctly oriented.


South Wicks Canyon, East of Hillsboro, New Mexico

© Robert Barnes 2018-2023