Verdin: Very small songbird with gray upperparts and pale gray underparts. Face and throat are dull yellow. Wings are gray with red-brown shoulder patches. Black bill, legs and feet. It builds complex sphere-shaped nests using as many as two thousands small twigs.
Range and Habitat
Verdin: Resident in the deserts of southwestern North America, from southern California eastward to central Texas and southward to central Mexico. Frequents desert scrub, especially along washes where thorny vegetation is present.
At 4.5 inches in length, it rivals the Bushtit as one of the smallest passerines in North America.
Nests built in summer open toward prevailing winds, perhaps to aid in cooling.
The roosting nests help it stay warm in winter. Winter roosting nests have thicker insulation, and may reduce energy requirements for thermoregulation by as much as 50 percent.
The Verdin builds nests for both breeding and roosting; roosting nests are much smaller. The outer stick shell is constructed mostly by the male, while the female does most of the lining.
The Verdin has a large range, estimated globally at 1,800,000 square kilometers. Native to the United States and Mexico, this bird prefers subtropical or tropical shrubland ecosystems as well as dry savannas or hot deserts. The global population of this bird is estimated at 8,900,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Verdin is Least Concern.