Photo Study: Dickcissels in Mercer County, PA

Alex LamoreauxBird Finding Tips, distribution, eBird, General News and Info, photo study, Photography, Rarities9 Comments

Drew recently posted about this summer’s influx of Dickcissel sightings throughout Pennsylvania. This past Saturday, I was finally able to get in on the action and visit a site in Mercer County where quite a few Dickcissels have been seen over the past two weeks. After a few minutes of trying to find the exact spot, my friend Josh Lefever and I spotted a male Dickcissel flying from a grassy field to a nearby tree. We walked over towards the tree, but then spotted a female back down on the barbwire fence. Soon we could see that a male was perched next to her. I walked closer, to try and get some photos and realized there was a second female also! For the next 10 minutes, we were able to closely observe the three Dickcissels as they sat on the barbwire and surrounding vegetation and occasionally grabbed some food. The females almost constantly gave their distinct call note and we even heard the male sing a few times. Below are a few photos that I took of the birds. Take a close look at the second picture down and compare that female to the female in the fourth picture down – the first female has a very small area of yellow on the breast, while the second female has a wider yellow area with faint black streaks.

Dickcissel – male on Garrett Rd, Mercer County, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Dickcissel – female on Garrett Rd, Mercer County, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Dickcissel – male on Garrett Rd, Mercer County, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Dickcissel – female on Garrett Rd, Mercer County, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Dickcissel – male on Garrett Rd, Mercer County, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)