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About the Dickcissel

Also known as: Black-throated Bunting, Dickzissel

The Dickcissel is a prairie bird that breeds across parts of central North America. These little sparrow-like birds migrate south to parts of Central and South America during the winter months.

Breeding male Dickcissels are colorful with yellow, rust, black and white all featuring in their plumage. In their color pattern they somewhat resemble another grassland bird, the Eastern Meadowlark.

Dickcissels feed primarly on insects and seeds. They are named for their unique song, which sounds like it is saying "dick! dick! ciss ciss ciss."

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 30 November 2011
Scientific Name Spiza americana
  • Passeriformes
  • Cardinalidae
  • Spiza
  • S. americana
Birdorable Family Tanagers, Buntings & Cardinals
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 15 September 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
6.25 inches
9.75 inches
.95 ounces
Range North America Central America Caribbean South America United States (East)

International Names

  • Papa-capim-americano (Brazilian)
  • papežík americký (Czech)
  • Dicksissel (Danish)
  • Dickcissel (Dutch)
  • preeriakardinaali (Finnish)
  • Dickcissel d'Amérique (French)
  • Dickcissel (German)
  • Spiza americana (Italian)
  • ムナグロノジコ (munaguronojiko) (Japanese)
  • Sisselspurv (Norwegian)
  • luszczynek czarnogardly (Polish)
  • Американская овсянка (Russian)
  • Arrocero Americano (Spanish)
  • Dicksissel (Swedish)

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Bonanza Bird #13: Dickcissel

Bonanza Bird #13: Dickcissel

Birds fly when you're having fun ... we're already at our 13th species in this year's Birdorable Bonanza. Today’s bird is the Dickcissel! Singing Dickcissel by cyclewidow The Dickcissel is a small grassland bird ... more