Photo of the Week – July 21, 2011

Not just another pretty face…

Dickcissel chicks (just a few days old) in restored prairie - The Nature Conservancy's Platte River Prairies, Nebraska.

Birds sure are pretty.  When they’re grown up!  At this young age, however, they are interesting looking, but it’d be hard to argue that they’re attractive.  I suppose you could say the same thing about human babies (if you could keep emotion out of it)…  they’re small, skinny, hairless, and wrinkled.  And yet we feed them and nurture them – and birds do the same!

9 thoughts on “Photo of the Week – July 21, 2011

  1. Hey Chris – I just took a photo of a grasshopper sparrow nest yesterday and posted it on my FB account. It only had two eggs and I speculated on the FB caption that a clutch this late in the summer might be a second or third nesting attempt and that a two egg (i.e., small) clutch might be typical for a second or third attempt. What do you think?

  2. I’m always amazed that birds are as successful as they are, considering how fragile hatchlings look and how open to the elements nests often are. I know some bird species just keep laying and hatching out young all summer – dickcissels must be one of those? Where do they tend to nest – small understory, shrubs?

    • Dickcissels usually nest 2-3 feet off the ground in a clump of grass or wildflowers by tying multiple stems together with their nest. Because they’re off the ground and open at the top, the nests are among the easiest of grassland bird nests to find.

  3. Chris-
    The chicks look different, note dorsal bill color, side of gape and dorsal body color. I’d say one is a cowbird.

    • You’ve got good eyes! You could be right – the head color, especially, looks a little different. I certainly wouldn’t argue the point with you… This was a nest I watched through the season, and I don’t remember seeing cowbird eggs in it, but honestly don’t remember for sure.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.