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Dickcissel - Spiza americana



 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Passeriformes 
 Family: Cardinalidae
 Genus: Spiza
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern



dickcisselThe dickcissel is 6-7 inches in length. It has a short tail and a heavy, cone-shaped bill. The male has a gray head, back, and belly and brown shoulders. He has a bright yellow breast with a black bib and yellow "eyebrows." The female is brown on her undersides and does not have a black bib or yellow breast or "eyebrows."


mapThe dickcissel is found in the central United States from North Dakota south to Texas and east to Ohio and Tennessee and Alabama. It winters from southern Mexico to South America.


dickcisselThe dickcissel is found in grain fields and weedy areas. Dickcissel populations may shift when food sources change.




The dickcissel forages on the ground for seeds and insects. In the winter, dickcissels feed in flocks and are considered pests by farmers.

Life Cycle

The female lays 3-5 eggs in a nest in the grass or in a bush close to the ground. The eggs hatch in 13-15 days and the chicks fledge when they are 9-10 days old.


The dickcissel was once a common bird in the farmlands of the eastern United States. There are still small, isolated populations found on the east coast.

Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Mike Nelson cc logo