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IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A tiny, active songbird of the arid southwestern United States and northern Mexico, the Verdin is the only North American member of the penduline-tit family (Remizidae). Vocal and often conspicuous despite its size, it builds a large enclosed nest in thorny scrub.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
3.5–4.3 in
9–11 cm
0.2–0.3 oz
5–8 g
Other Names
  • Auripare verdin (French)
  • Baloncillo, Párido del desierto (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • 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's 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 roosting nests all year round. One pair of Verdins in Arizona was observed building 11 nests in one year.
  • During the heat of the desert summer, the Verdin rests quietly in the shaded interior of a shrub, sometimes panting or spreading its wings. Nests built in summer open toward prevailing winds, perhaps to aid in cooling.
  • The oldest recorded Verdin was at least 5 years, 7 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations.



Desert scrub, especially along washes where thorny vegetation is present.



Insects and spiders.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–6 eggs
Egg Description
Light greenish, with irregular dark reddish spots, especially at larger end.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless and naked.
Nest Description

Large sphere with a hole usually located near the bottom. Outer shell of sticks, lined with leaves and smaller twigs. Placed in shrub.

Nest Placement



Foliage Gleaner

Moves actively and nimbly among limbs of scrub vegetation, in a manner resembling that of chickadees. Often holds blossoms with feet while looking and picking at prey with bill.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

Verdin populations declined by over 2% per year between 1966 and 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 65%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 8 million with 58% occurring in Mexico, and 42% in the U.S. The species rates an 11 out of 20 on the Partners in Flight Continental Concern Score. Verdin is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species, and the 2014 State of the Birds Report listed it as a Common Bird in Steep Decline. Land development in southern California has reduced Verdin habitat, and has resulted in the possible extirpation of the species from San Diego County, California.


Range Map Help

Verdin Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings


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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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