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Friday, September 20, 2013

Another day, another new bird

I was at my usual post late Thursday afternoon, watching the birds in my yard as they had their last snacks for the day and began to settle down for the night. I was watching a group of juvenile Northern Cardinals that were gleaning seeds that had fallen from my backyard feeders when I suddenly realized that, as the Sesame Street gang used to teach my kids, "One of these things is not like the other."

Even in the fading light, I could clearly see that the bird in back was not a cardinal!

In fact, it was a Dickcissel, a lovely little bird that is supposedly endemic to this area in summer, but I rarely see them.

 This was only the second Dickcissel I have ever seen in my yard.

The Dickcissel is a bird of prairies and meadows. In migration they may be found in any kind of grassy or weedy field, which I suppose my backyard qualifies as.

They generally migrate in flocks, sometimes of hundreds of birds, but I only saw the one on this occasion. In feeding habits, they are similar to House Sparrows and do sometimes flock with them. They winter in Central America and Northern South America and no doubt that is where this particular bird is headed. I was happy that he dropped in for a visit on his way out of town. I only wish the light had been a bit better and I had had a bigger lens on my camera so that I might have gotten a better picture, but, in my experience, the "perfect shot" almost never happens, so I'll settle for what I can get.


  1. Great bird to get in your yard! Plenty have been reported in our area this summer but I haven't seen one yet.

    1. It's funny that they are supposedly all around us all summer and yet I almost never see them! I was surprised and delighted to have this one come to me.