Photo Study Of A Dickcissel And Other Birds At E.B. Forsythe NWR (Brigantine), June 24th, 2012

      Congressman Jim Greenwood and I went to Brig yesterday where we had lots of sunshine, lots of birds and, of course, far too many of those nasty Saltmarsh
      Greenhead Flies. On our first loop, we saw the previously reported vagrants, the two male Dickcissels. They were on both sides of the road at North Dike's 
      Stop 9 (thank you Brian Kushner!).
                                                                           

                                                              Here are a few of  the photos:


Dickcissel Sings

Dickcissel Perched

Dickcissel Checks Us Out!

Close-Up Of A Male Dicksissel

And for comparative purposes, here are two views of another male Dickcissel taken in Chester County, PA  in 2010:

          The Dickcissel (Spiza americana) is a small (6.5 inches long; 10 inch wingspan) American seed-eating bird in the family Cardinalidae. It is the only
          member of the genus Spiza. In older works, it is often placed with the American sparrows in the Emberizidae; females especially resemble American
          sparrows in plumage. T
he Dickcissel was formerly common in the farming regions of the eastern states, especially on the Atlantic coastal plain, but
          disappeared from that region by the middle of the last century. It is now most numerous in the Midwest. It appears in small numbers on the East Coast
          during the fall migration and sometimes in winter at feeders, often with House Sparrows. Dickcissels
migrate in large flocks to southern Mexico,
          Central America and northern South America. They may occur as vagrants well outside of their normal range. The breeding male is colored like a tiny
          Meadowlark, with a black "V" on a yellow chest
. Dickcissels forage on the ground or in fields. They mainly eat insects and seeds. Outside of the nesting
          season, they usually feed in flocks. The birds migrate to their breeding range rather late, with the first arriving only in May, with most birds only
          arriving in early June. They nest near the ground in dense grasses or small shrubs, or up to 34 feet high in bushes and trees. Males may have up to six
          mates, with most attracting only one or two, and several failing to attract any mates at all. Yet if such "bachelors" survive until next summer, they will
          get another try to attract females, as the partners only stay together for raising one brood.  Dickcissels are thus among the few songbirds that are truly
          polygynous. When they leave for winter quarters by early August, what little pair bond that existed during the summer is broken up.
The major threat
          to Dickcissels comes from its wintering grounds in Venezuela. Because of the species' propensity for gathering in enormous flocks and feeding on
          cultivated plants such as rice and sorghum, it can be a serious agricultural pest for Venezuelan farmers, who have sometimes taken to trying to poison
          flocks. Dickcissel flocks in Venezuela can number over a million birds, meaning that the wintering population can become highly concentrated at certain
          favored roosting sites. A single "successful" poisoning event of a large flock of roosting birds could significantly reduce the world Dickcissel population.
          On its North American breeding grounds, Dickcissels face several additional threats, i.e., cowbird parasitism, the destruction of nests and nestlings by
          mowing machines, and loss of habitat due to changing agricultural practices and succession.
We are seeing more of these birds this year in our area, 
          perhaps because of the severe drought conditions in the Midwest.   
(Cornell BNA; Wikipedia; Sibley Guide To Birds; Audubon)   

 

To see a larger image of any of the photos below, please click on either the thumbnails or the captions...thanks!

A-Dicksissel73.jpg

B-Dicksissel76.jpg

C-Dicksissel75.jpg

D-Dicksissel84.jpg

 

Dickcissel 1

Dickcissel 2

Dickcissel 3

Dickcissel 4

 

    The Egrets and Herons abounded. Here are a few photos:


Great Blue Heron

Great Egret In Breeding Plumage

Snowy Egret
 

To see a larger image of any of the photos below, please click on either the thumbnails or the captions...thanks!

Black-crownedNight-Heron71.jpg

Black-crownedNight-Heron72.jpg

GreatBlueHeron4.jpg

GreatEgret2.jpg

GreatEgret3.jpg

Black-crownedNight-Heron 1

Black-crownedNight-Heron 2

GreatBlueHeron

GreatEgret 1

GreatEgret 2

GreatEgret73.jpg

SnowyEgret1.jpg

SnowyEgret10.jpg

SnowyEgret11.jpg

SnowyEgret6.jpg

GreatEgret 3

SnowyEgret 1

SnowyEgret 2

SnowyEgret 3

SnowyEgret 4

SnowyEgret71.jpg

SnowyEgret72.jpg

SnowyEgret73.jpg

SnowyEgret74.jpg

SnowyEgret75.jpg

SnowyEgret 5

SnowyEgret 6

SnowyEgret 7

SnowyEgret 8

SnowyEgret 9

SnowyEgret8.jpg

 

 

 

 

SnowyEgret 10

 

 

 

 

                                                               In addition to birds, Brig also has butterflies:


Female Black Swallowtail Butterfly On Thistle

A Monarch Butterfly Enjoying A Milkweed Blossom
 

                                                               And Turtles as well:


Diamond-backed Terrapin

Eastern Painted Turtle

Northern Red-bellied Cooter

                                                                      But let's not forget the birds:


Glossy Ibis

Female Red-winged Blackbird With A Delicious Bug

Male Common Yellowthroat

Male Blue Grosbeak

American Crow

Black Skimmer Near South Dike

Wild Turkey

Willet

Osprey Flies Overhead

 Species Seen Today:

Canada Goose

Black-bellied Plover

Tree Swallow

Mute Swan

Willet

Barn Swallow

American Black Duck

Laughing Gull

American Robin

Mallard

Herring Gull

Gray Catbird

Wild Turkey

Great Black-backed Gull

European Starling

Double-crested Cormorant

Gull-billed Tern

Common Yellowthroat

Great Blue Heron

Forster's Tern

Chipping Sparrow

Great Egret

Black Skimmer

Song Sparrow

Snowy Egret

Mourning Dove

Northern Cardinal

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Blue Grosbeak

Glossy Ibis

Northern Flicker

Dickcissel

Turkey Vulture

Eastern Kingbird

Red-winged Blackbird

Osprey

American Crow

Boat-tailed Grackle

Clapper Rail

Purple Martin

House Sparrow

 

 

To see a larger image of any of the photos below, please click on either the thumbnails or the captions...thanks!

BarnSwallow71.jpg

BlackSkimmer2.jpg

BlackSkimmer3.jpg

BlackSkimmer4b.jpg

BlackSkimmer99.jpg

BarnSwallow

BlackSkimmer 1

BlackSkimmer 2

BlackSkimmers

BlackSkimmer 3

CormorantGaggles1.jpg

Double-crestedCormorant2.jpg

Double-crestedCormorant3.jpg

Double-crestedCormorant71.jpg

Double-crestedCormorant72.jpg

CormorantGaggle

Double-crestedCormorant 1

Double-crestedCormorant 2

Double-crestedCormorant 3

Double-crestedCormorant 4

Forster'sTern1.jpg

Forster'sTern2.jpg

Forster'sTern71.jpg

Forster'sTern72.jpg

Forster'sTern73.jpg

Forster'sTern 1

Forster'sTern 2

Forster'sTern 3

Forster'sTern 4

Forster'sTern 5

GlossyIbis3.jpg

GlossyIbis7.jpg

GlossyIbis71.jpg

GlossyIbis72.jpg

GlossyIbis8.jpg

GlossyIbis 1

GlossyIbis 2

GlossyIbis 3

GlossyIbis 4

GlossyIbis 5

GreatBlack-backedGull3.jpg

HerringGull71.jpg

HerringGullAndCrab3.jpg

JuvenileLaughingGull1.jpg

LaughingGull2.jpg

GreatBlack-backedGull

HerringGull 1

HerringGullAndCrab 2

JuvenileLaughingGull

LaughingGull

Osprey71.jpg

Osprey72.jpg

Osprey99.jpg

Red-wingedBlackbird1.jpg

Red-wingedBlackbirdFemale1.jpg

OspreysWithChick

Osprey

OspreyWithChick

Red-wingedBlackbird Male

Red-wingedBlackbirdFemale

     Howard B. Eskin 2012    Please click here to email your comments to <hbeskin@voicenet.com>    Please click here to go back to Bird Webpage Index