The male Dickcissel is a striking, chunky bird with its identifiable black throat patch and yellow chest. The yellow eyebrow line is stark against their grayish head.
The female also has the same markings but with a slightly paler or duller tone. However, she does not have a black throat patch, and there is only a faint hint of the yellow chest.
- Spiza americana
- Length: 5.5-6.3 in (14-16 cm)
- Weight: 0.9-1.4 oz (25.6-38.4 g)
- Wingspan: 9.8-10.2 in (24.8-26 cm)
Dickcissels breed in the Central and Great Plains of the US before migrating to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.
Habitat And Diet
You can find Dickcissel in meadows and prairies, tall grasslands, light-grazed pastures, and roadsides.
Dickcissels feed on insects and seeds. In the summer, they feed on grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles, and crickets. At other times of the year, they may feed on seeds, weeds, grasses, and cultivated grain.
Nests of Dickcissel can be found in thick but small shrubs, grasses, and trees, up to four feet high. The bulky nests are made out of weeds, grass, and leaves and made soft with fine grass and animal hair.
The female may lay up to six eggs which hatch in two weeks. The young are ready to fly after around ten days.
When it’s time to migrate during the fall, the Dickcissels come together, and their numbers can reach from thousands to millions when they reach their winter grounds.