Dickcissel | WYPR

Dickcissel

May 22, 2018

Credit All About Birds

I’m always on the lookout for our native plants and animals, and bright and early in the morning is a great time to see some of our most unusual species. Last week, I was up early and enjoying a cup of coffee before I started my day. I looked out my window at our birdfeeder, where a number of small songbirds had gathered for breakfast. One bird stood out from the rest with bright yellow markings. Initially, I thought this bird might be special – a rare find for our area. I looked for the rare bird’s markings – a back the same dusty brown as our common sparrows, with a bright yellow breast. It would also have a yellow “mask” around its eyes, making it look like a sparrow that was dressed up like a super hero. The bird I thought I saw was a dickcissel, a species that is now more commonly found in the Midwest than here on the East Coast. Alas, this time, my bleary morning eyes were just misidentifying a goldfinch.