About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dickcissel: Miniature meadowlark

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Dickcissels are an irruptive bird species that may be common in Michigan one year and absent the next. Though Dickcissels eat insect mostly in Michigan, seeds and grain form the main part of their diet on their South American wintering grounds. Unfortunately each year large numbers of birds are killed by pesticides which may explain partially the Dickcissel's pattern of absence and abundance.

The birds migrate from southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America to their breeding range rather late. Early birds arrive in May, but most arrive in early June.

This "miniature meadowlark" with a black V on its chest, is a bird of the prairie grasslands. From an open perch in a field, the Dickcissel's song is a sharp dick dick followed by a buzzed cissel. In flight they call a short, buzzy fpppt.

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