Dickcissel

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Images from North Central Texas June 2006

 

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Dickcissels are reported to becoming increasingly rare. They travel in large flocks and nest in the wheat fields and in 2005, one pair nested in the bushes in our yard which is near the wheat fields. The Dickcissels sit on the trees, phone lines, fences and weeds adjacent to the fields and sing. We have had flocks of tens of thousands in the fields near our home, but lately, many seed eating birds are being found dead and the once frequent birds at our feeder are disappearing. Even the prolific sparrows, cowbirds and blackbirds have disappeared almost overnight over the past month. Even vast colonies of cardinals and other birds which have lived in this area for years are suddenly disappearing overnight. The only birds which seem unaffected are the insect eating birds. We suspect the birds are being poisoned whether on purpose or by accident from an effort to eradicate mice, we are unsure. We are also unsure whether the source is a residence or a farmer but now the poisonous snakes are swarming across the roads from the fields into our yards looking for food, so the poisoning of birds and mice in the fields by farmers is appearing to be the most likely cause. If so, this could wipe out the tens of thousands of Dickcissels migrating here each year which are in danger of extinction. 

There is only one remaining Dickcissel who came to our feeder and for the moment, can still be heard singing alone across the street.

   
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Thousands of acres of wheat and corn fields populated by last years flock of Dickcissels. The males sit on nearby phone lines, electrical lines or trees to sign and watch over their nest sites.

 

 

 

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