One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A sparrowlike North American songbird related to the cardinals, with a black-and-white throat and bright yellow breast.
Spiza americana, family Emberizidae (subfamily Cardinalinae)
- ‘The dickcissel is a wanderer, appearing in large numbers at a breeding ground one year and totally absent the next.’
- ‘Grasslands and prairies support a number of polygynous species as well, including meadowlarks, bobolinks, dickcissels, lark buntings, and great-tailed grackles.’
- ‘Henslow's sparrows were present in five of the six tracts and dickcissels present in all six.’
- ‘He's set up a network of 15 computerized monitoring stations that listen for dickcissels in flight.’
- ‘Birds that flock with the dickcissel or that feed in the same areas are also at risk.’
Late 19th century: imitative of its call.
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