Monday, 21 March 2011


Auriparus flaviceps

Common name:
verdin (en); chapim-de-face-dourada (pt); auripare verdin (fr); pájaro-moscón baloncito (es); goldköpfchen (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Remizidae

This species is found in the souht-west of the United States, from Colorado and California to Texas, and in northern Mexico from Baja California to the Gulf of Mexico. They are especially common in the Mojave, Sonora, and Chihuahuan deserts.

The verdin is 9-11 cm long and has a wingspan of 16-17 cm. They weigh 6-8 g.

They are found in areas of desert scrub and thorny bush, preferring areas near rivers or streams.

Verdins are mostly insectivorous, but also feed on fruits, berries, flowers, nectar and seeds.

These birds breed in March-August. The nest is often obviously placed in the outer branches of a spiny scrub, consisting of a small spherical or elongated cup, made of small twigs, leaves, spider webbing, and moss, lined with feathers, fur or wool. Usually the male starts building the nest and then the female helps complete the structure. The female lays 3-6 blue-green to greenish white eggs which she incubates alone for 14-18 days. The nestlings are first fed by the female, but after 5-7 days the male also start to feed them. The chicks fledge 17-21 days after hatching. Each pair will attempt to produce 2 broods each season and the female can start to lay the second clutch within 2 days of the first clutch fledging.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
Verdins have a very large breeding range and a global population of 9 million individuals. They are negatively impacted by habitat loss due to commercial and residential development, but seem to adapt well to low levels of disturbance. This species has undergone a small decrease over the last few decades but is not considered threatened at present.

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