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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Verdin -- Auriparus flaviceps

RANGE: Resident from northeastern Baja California, southern California, southern Nevada, northern Arizona, southwestern Utah, central New Mexico, and central Texas south into Mexico. Casually in southwestern California and southwestern Oklahoma.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Inhabits brushy valleys, oak slopes, and other semiarid habitats where there are stiff-twigged and thorny bushes, or trees such as mesquite, hackberry, hawthorn, catclaw, screw bean, paloverde, and cholla.

NEST: Builds a nest that is an oval or ball-shaped mass, up to 8 inches in diameter, of thorny twigs anchored to a limb of almost any tree or shrub species found within its range. Also builds roosting or winter nests.

FOOD: Eats mostly insects, searching among terminal twigs, buds, and under leaves for insects, their eggs and larvae. Also eats spiders; pulp from seed pods of paloverde, mesquite, and ironwood; and fruits of wolf berry and date palm.

REFERENCES: Johnsgard 1979, Taylor 1971, Terres 1980, Whitaker 1943.

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