Verdin

Auriparus flaviceps TAXONOMY

Auriparus flaviceps Sundevall, 1850. Six subspecies. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Auripare verdin; German: Goldkopfchen; Spanish: Baloncito Verdín.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4-4.5 in (100-110 mm); 0.21-0.29 oz (6-8.2 g). Small with sharper bill than its relatives. Dull yellow head and throat, dark grey upperparts, lighter grey beneath.

DISTRIBUTION

Southwestern United States and Mexico. HABITAT

Open desert with scattered bushes and cacti. BEHAVIOR

Sprightly birds normally found in pairs and family groups. More solitary than other penduline tits. Interesting in its construction of roosting nests.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feeds on invertebrates, seeds, and fruit.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds from March to June. Nest a spherical construction up to 7.9 in (200 mm) diameter of layered thorny and thornless

twigs lined with softer material and located in scrub towards the end of branches. Clutch of two to four blue-green eggs; incubation 14-17 days; fledging 17-19 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Common and increasing.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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