Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Delight of Dickcissels

I first met the dickcissel last summer. We had been visiting a prairie remnant weekly for several weeks to monitor several bluebird nestboxes placed along an access road there. We'd become used to hearing field sparrows, clay-colored sparrows, song sparrows and the occasional distant KWUNK of a pheasant, when suddenly one day in June there was this new, very distinctive, rhythmic SONG demanding to be noticed! The first week it seemed to be coming from just one bird, but the next week it was all around us. I've been a fan of the dickcissel ever since.

Dickcissel male, singing his heart out

I wrote about dickcissels shortly afterward -- such as how they are one of the latest birds to arrive on breeding grounds in Minnesota, which is why we hadn't heard them in April or May.

Dickcissel male - so handsome

For the past couple of weeks the dickcissels have been posing beautifully for us. This week we were there in the morning, rather than our usual evening, and the light was terrific, so I thought I'd share these new photos.

Female dickcissel - with delicate yellow coloring

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