- 5.5–6.3 in
- 9.8 in
- 0.8–1 oz
- Dickcissel (French)
- Arrocero americano (Spanish)
- In preparation for fall migration, Dickcissels begin assembling in larger and larger flocks that gradually coalesce into flocks of thousands. Winter roosts can number into the millions of birds.
- The Dickcissel makes irregular movements outside of its core breeding range to breed in surrounding areas where extensive grassland can be found. Such movements can make for dramatic changes in abundance from year to year. Abundance on much of the wintering ground also varies markedly from year to year.
- Nearly all Dickcissels winter far south of their breeding range, but each year small numbers can be found scattered within the breeding range throughout the winter. Individual Dickcissels frequently turn up far from the normal range, often joining in with House Sparrow flocks.
Tall grasslands, including prairie, hayfields, lightly grazed pastures, and roadsides.
Seeds and insects.
- Clutch Size
- 3–6 eggs
- Egg Description
- Unmarked, pale blue.
- Condition at Hatching
- Helpless with sparse white down.
A bulky cup of weed and grass stems, lined with finer grasses, rootlets, and hair. Placed slightly above ground in dense grasses or in tree saplings.
Perches on stalks to pluck seeds, picks fallen seeds from ground.
Dickcissel populations declined drastically from 1966 to 1978, but then stablized at a lower level. May be declining again in some areas. Considered an agricultural pest on the wintering grounds.
- Temple, S. A. 2002. Dickcissel (Spiza americana). In The Birds of North America, No. 703 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.