Dickcissel

Hey guys, welcome back. Today’s funny-named bird is the dickcissel. Although they kind of look like a sparrow (especially the female), they are actually in the same family as tanagers and cardinals. For now anyway. They’ve previously been in the sparrow and blackbird families. They’re one of those species that scientists have trouble placing taxonomically. Breeding males are a cool mix of colors; a sparrow-like brown and black back, with a gray, yellow, and black face.

Dickcissels are typically found in the prairies of the Central US, but are known wanderers, often spreading far from their core range. The only one I’ve ever seen was actually in Central Park. It was a sparrow-like female, and mixed in with a bunch of sparrows. Honestly, I probably would never have given it a second glance except I was with an experienced birder who was there looking for it as it had been reported in that area. He pointed it out to me and told me what to look for, but I can’t even picture seeing it in my head. Similar to the mourning warbler we did a while back, I eBirded it despite a not getting a great look, just for eBird to have additional data that a rare bird was in the park. Hopefully sometime soon, I’ll get a good look at one. Next up a bird I frequently get good looks at, the red-shouldered hawk! See you then.

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