Large flocks of bushtits invaded our Littleton, Colorado, farm this evening. Joining chickadees, downy woodpeckers and a pair of red-breasted nuthatches, they scoured the trees for insects, their high-pitched calls ringing across the farm.
As I have indicated in past posts, the population of these tiny insectivores is highly variable on our property. A pair or two often nest here in the spring but they may otherwise be absent for months at a time. Then they suddenly appear in large flocks, sometimes hanging around for a week or more.
I suspect the cool weather may have had something to do with this evening's invasion since the other insectivores, including a flock of cedar waxwings, were especially active, numerous and vocal as well. Whatever the reason, these rather tame birds are always welcome on the farm; they surely consume a large number of harmful insects and their friendly banter never fails to raise my spirits.