Dickcissel

Spiza americana

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Cardinals & Piranga Tanagers (Cardinalidae)

Code 4

DICK

Code 6

SPIAME

ITIS

Egg Color:

Pale blue



Number of Eggs:

3 - 5



Incubation Days:

12 - 13



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

0 - 6 feet above ground.



Nest Material:

Grasses, stems, and leaves with lining of soft rootlets, and hair.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Dickcissel: Medium-sized, stocky, sparrow-like bird with dark gray back and head, and black-streaked shoulders. Face is gray with yellow eyestripe and breast is yellow. V-shaped bib is black. Wings are brown with chestnut-brown patches. Female and winter adult have brown upperparts and no black bib. Juvenile is brown and streaked.

Range and Habitat

Dickcissel: Breeds from eastern Montana and the Great Lakes region through the Mississippi River Valley and south to Texas and the Gulf coast, locally farther east. Spends winters mainly in the tropics from southern Mexico south. Preferred habitats include open country in grain or hay fields and in weed patches.

Breeding and Nesting

Dickcissel: Three to five pale blue eggs are laid in a cup of plant stems and grass set on or near the ground, usually in a field. Incubation ranges from 12 to 13 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Dickcissel: Feeds on seeds, grass, and insects; younger birds consume more insects.

Vocalization

Dickcissel: Sings "dick-dick-cissel", with the first two notes sharp and the third buzzing, repeated over and over from a conspicuous perch on a fence or in a tree. Call is a distinctive buzzing note often given in flight.

Similar Species

Dickcissel: Meadowlarks are larger and have longer, thinner bills. Female Dickcissel has larger, paler bill than female House Sparrow.

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UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X