Chickadees, Bushtits, Nuthatches and Creepers of Columbia County, Oregon

These are small, “clinging” birds that are as happy underneath a branch as they are on top of it. The chickadees are part of the same family as the European tits and titmice, while nuthatches and treecreepers are most closely related to wrens. Bushtits are distantly related to many Old World warblers.

Black-capped Chickadee – A little gray bird with a tiny bill and white cheeks between a black cap and chin. Prefers low-elevation broadleaf and mixed forest. (photo © Jim Johnson)
Chestnut-backed Chickadee northwest oregon columbia county
Chestnut-backed Chickadee – Chestnut-brown back distinguishes it from Black-capped Chickadee. Prefers coniferous forest but often visits bird feeders at homes. (photo © Bob)
mountain Chickadee northwest oregon columbia county
Mountain Chickadee – Can be distinguished by the white eyebrow and grayish underparts. Found in high elevation coniferous and mixed forest, thus rare in our county. (photo © RJ Baltierra)
Red-breasted Nuthatch northwest oregon columbia county
Red-breasted Nuthatch – Longer bill and shorter tail than chickadees. Often seen on tree trunks in coniferous and mixed forest, while chickadees prefer twigs. (photo © John D Reynolds)
White-breasted Nuthatch northwest oregon columbia county
White-breasted Nuthatch – Longer bill and shorter tail than chickadees, with white encompassing the eye as well as chin. Prefers low-elevation oak and mixed forest. (photo © grillo911)
Brown Creeper northwest oregon columbia county
Brown Creeper – Well-camouflaged mottled brown is unique among creeping birds. Relies on tree trunks, constantly searching for insects in the bark of coniferous forest and occasionally oak. (photo © AD Konings)
Wrentit northwest oregon columbia county
Wrentit – Grayish-brown above and brownish below with relatively long legs and tail. Tends to remain hidden in dense vegetation. Very rarely seen in our county. (photo © Mark Nikas)
Bushtit northwest oregon columbia county
Bushtit – A very tiny round gray bird with relatively long tail. Shorter legs and smaller head and bill than a Wrentit. Common in urban areas, often traveling in groups. (photo © Zach)

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