The conspicuous nest of this species is a complex construction of protective thorny twigs, grasses, leaves, and feathers (see Fig. 5). Spherical or ovoid and 15¿25 cm in diameter, these enclosed nests are placed in the outer foliage of a shrub or small tree. The usual opening is to one side at the bottom of the nest, 3 cm wide and with a small platform of twigs. Smaller nests are used for roosting throughout the year. Roosting nests are built at any time of year and maintained continually by the addition of insulating grasses and feathers. Old nest materials are recycled, and they may be stolen from other Verdins.
Verdins are the only New World representatives of the Remizidae, a family that includes the penduline tits of Eurasia (Remiz) and Africa (Anthoscopus). The relationship of the Verdin to these Old World taxa has been controversial and only recently more firmly established (Sheldon and Gill 1996).
Significant research has revealed much about the breeding biology, systematic relationships, and physiological ecology of this species (Taylor 1971, Webster and Weathers 1990, Sheldon and Gill 1996, Wolf and Walsberg 1996a). Many questions remain, however, regarding Verdin behavior, vocalizations, and geographic variation. The Verdin's tractability, ease of capture and manipulation, and open habitat make this species an exceptional subject for continuing study.t Authors: Webster, Marcus D.
Help author an account about this species from a Neotropical perspective.