Good Birding & report of dickcissel in Timberline
12 Sep 2006, 7:07 PM,
Good Birding & report of dickcissel in Timberline
Yesterday a friend in Timberline Estates asked me if a dickcissel could be in her neighborhood. At her first sighting earlier this summer she saw the key features (yellow breast, black bib and white throat). She knew it wasn't one of her local meadowlarks. When she looked in a bird book, it looked like the dickcissel. She last saw it last Saturday morning, 9/9/06. For those interested in looking around, her sightings were west of 89 north and the Chevron station, around the intersections of Campbell Av. and Timberline Trail with Valley View Drive and Homestead Lane.

I've never seen one. What has been the history of dickcissel sightings around Flag and northern AZ in the summer? Fall? Can anyone give pointers on their behavior? Would they be likely to be on the sunflowers like goldfinch, or on open ground? Would they frequent feeders? Do they sing in view or hidden? When spooked, do they dive into the weeds or fly up into trees?

I walked a number of streets in Timberline yesterday and this morning with no dickcissel luck. Good birding regardless. Of all things, I caught a roadrunner preening on the peak of a two story house! Most bird numbers weren't high (many sightings of single birds), but they made up in variety: over 30 species! Some enjoyable appearances : townsend's solitaires, 4 flycatchers: hammond's, western kingbird, cassin's kingbird & say's phoebe, lewis' & acorn woodpeckers, 6 collard doves, a lone brewer's blackbird, plus warblers and jays and hummers and hawks. You get the idea.

Happy birding wherever you go!

12 Sep 2006, 8:48 PM,
DICK is semi-annual in N AZ.

Sibley says they feed like House Sparrows and may accompany. I would look for it in dense, weedy, seed-laden grasses. Note this is a chunky bird - weighing in around that of Lark Sparrow or Green-tailed Towhee.
13 Sep 2006, 10:30 AM,
Here's a good link about Dickcissel behavior:

I haven't identified this bird yet myself, so let us know if you do see it!

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