Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Wednesday Bird of the Week: August 1, 2018

Dickcissel (Spiza americana) singing from the top of a small tree on a cloudy
 Although it may look like a Meadowlark, this week's bird of the week is the Dickcissel (Spiza americana).

The Dickcissel is a common grassland song bird that is very prevalent during Midwest Summers. They enjoy singing from the tops of just about anything that they can find here in the grasslands of Kansas, being one of the first species that I am likely to hear in the mornings as I begin my birding trip.

Although the Dickcissel may look like the Meadowlark, it is only a sparrow sized bird. During the breeding season, the males sport a black "V" shape atop a mostly yellow breast. They also have a nice yellow "eyebrow" (supercilium).

Their song is their name in a slightly raspy voice. It is a call that I overlooked for the longest time, being one of those that I would hear and know that I knew, but not quite being able to place the name to the voice.

The Dickcissel is a bird of low conservation concern, but is one of the main target species on projects here in Kansas because of their abundance and reliance on a healthy grassland environment to succeed.

If you have more identification tips or stories about your time with Dickcissels, please share, I enjoy hearing from the readers of this blog.

male Dickcissel hiding in some wild hemp.

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