Delightful Dickcissels

Yesterday was a fun-packed, full day for me. The evening before, I had decided to take a day trip to Prairie State Park, located in southwest Missouri. This prairie is approximately an hour and a half away from my home, so it is not a long trip … just a tiring one, especially the trip home after hiking around the prairie all day, in the sun!

My main objective was to capture some images of spring prairie wildflowers. But, as always, I’m always open to anything that is nature related. One of the non-flower subjects I captured yesterday was the Dickcissel (Spiza americana).

The dickcissel is a rather small bird, somewhat resembling a common sparrow. But the dickcissel, particularly the male, is brightly colored with yellows and blacks, as well as different shades of reddish brown. And they are quite good singers, especially in the spring. Here are a few images I captured of this amazing bird yesterday (by the way, all of these were made using my car as a photo blind, allowing me to get closer to the birds than I would otherwise be able to do):

Male Dickcissel

Male Dickcissel singing

Male Dickcissel

Male Dickcissel



If you live in southwestern Missouri or southeastern Kansas, you should really check out this wonderful state park. Well worth your time! It consists of ~4,000 acres and preserves Missouri’s largest remaining tallgrass prairie. From early spring to late fall, the landscape is an everchanging sea of colors as various wildflower species bloom. And in fall, some of the tallgrasses, such as Indian grass and big bluestem can be found as tall as 8 feet! A few remaining, endangered prairie chickens still can be found here. And a small herd of elk and free ranging bison roam the wildflower-covered hills.

Tomorrow’s post will feature another interesting bird that I found at the prairie, one that is “long” in character!

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