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gray bird of western North America, belonging to the songbird family Aegithalidae, or Paridae (order Passeriformes). The common bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus), 11 centimetres (4.5 inches) long, ranges from British Columbia, Can., to Guatemala. "Black-eared" forms have been separated, perhaps unwarrantedly, as P. melanotis. Bands of bushtits forage busily for insects in dryland scrub and make pouchlike nests.