SCIENTIFIC NAME: Auriparus Flaviceps
Adults have dull gray or ashy upperparts. Wings and tail feathers have pale edges. There is a conspicuous chestnut shoulder patch. Underparts are pale gray to white.
Head is yellow on forecrown, chin and throat. This color may vary from olive-green yellow to bright yellow in male. Lores are dark. Eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are blackish.
Both males and females are similar.
Juveniles are similar to adults, but lacks yellow head and chestnut shoulder patch. They have brownish upperparts, and underparts may be slightly tinged with yellow.
BILL: black, conical and pointed.
SIZE: small, measuring about 3.5 - 4.3 inches in length, with a wingspan of 6.5 inches.
WEIGHT: weighs about 5 - 8 grams.
COLOR: gray, ash, chestnut, yellow, olive-green yellow, and white.
Insects and spiders, also fruits, berries and seeds. They will often visit flowers to consume nectar.
Desert scrub, in thorny vegetation areas and desert riparian areas. It prefers brush in open deserts, avoiding dense forests.
Southern California, eastwards to central Texas, and southwards to central Mexico.
CALL: A typical “tschep” rapidly repeated; a call note “tseet” regularly uttered; a scolding “tsip” given in rapid chatter increasing in pitch and speed if the bird is excited. Mates use soft calls, a warbling “tweedle” when together. Alarm call is a variable “gee-gee-gee-gee”.
SONG: A plaintive three-note whistle “tseet- tsoor- tsoor”.
NEST: Both male and female build a bulky, spherical-shaped nest with sticks, as a roof and line the interior with leaves and fine twigs.
EGGS: 3 - 6 blue-green or greenish-white eggs, spotted with brown or gray.
INCUBATION: 14 -18 days, female.
Most of their foraging is done by climbing through the foliage of shrubs and low trees, gleaning insects from branches and foliage.
They often hang upside down like a chickadee while foraging. They are rarely seen on the ground, preferring foraging in trees or shrubs.
The Verdin is among the smallest of North American songbirds.