One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small songbird with a grey body and yellowish head, found in the semi-deserts of south-western North America.
Auriparus flaviceps, family Remizidae
- ‘It was the head of a verdin, an extreme southwestern species that hops around in the trees, searching for insects to eat.’
- ‘The verdins have been doing their best to hover at the feeding holes.’
- ‘Hummingbirds and verdins sip nectar from flowers in late spring and summer; several birds and rodents eat the seeds in late summer and fall.’
Late 19th century: from French, literally ‘yellowhammer’.
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