Family Cardinals (Cardinalidae)

Least Concern

Dickcissel (Spiza americana)


Taxonomy

French: Dickcissel d’Amérique German: Dickzissel Spanish: Arrocero
Taxonomy:

Emberiza americana

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

New York, USA

.

Monotypic.

Distribution:

Extreme S Canada (SE Saskatchewan, S Manitoba, S Ontario) and C & EC USA (E Montana E to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, S to Texas and Georgia); migrates to Central America and N South America (S to N Colombia, Venezuela and N Brazil).

Descriptive notes

c. 16 cm; male average 28·5 g during breeding, 36 g pre-migratory Apr (Venezuela); female 25 g during breeding, 30 g pre-migratory in Apr (Venezuela). Male breeding... read more

Voice

Song onomatopoeic, a dry insect-like series of notes, e.g. “see see dick dick ciss ciss ciss... read more

Habitat

Grassland areas. Breeding habitats include hay fields, grassy roadsides, lightly grazed pastures... read more

Food and feeding

During breeding season omnivorous, stomach contents about two-thirds animal, one third vegetable. Prey includes grasshoppers (Orthoptera),... read more

Breeding

Egg-laying begins mid-May in S parts of range (e.g. Texas) and Jun in N; single-brooded, although possible that some, after breeding, move... read more

Movements

Migratory. Core wintering range C Venezuela (especially Portuguesa and W Guárico); winters... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common. Has fluctuated widely, both in total numbers and in geographical distribution, for much of its known history. Core breeding area... read more

Recommended citation

Brewer, D. (2018). Dickcissel (Spiza americana). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/62179 on 19 April 2018).