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The bird who sings his name all day long, Dickcissel, seems to me to be singing…”I’m so special” over and over. Most birders miss seeing this bird on Chico because Dickcissels usually arrive in June when most bird migration is over. This is an eastern species who nests in tallgrass prairies and weedy fields so you won’t find this one out on the Chico shortgrass prairie. Also, sometimes large flocks of non-breeding birds hangout during summer months. Today, I counted 9 singing males but I didn’t see any females. This species is an alfalfa specialist in some agricultural areas and most alfalfa fields are mowed three times during the summer so rarely does a Dickcissel get to nest in this habitat type. One had been at the Chico alfalfa field but with the recent mowing it is no longer there. Dickcissels are about the size of a House Sparrow and current taxonomy places them in with the Cardinal and Allies Family.

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Two singular artists of Americana music, Nikki Lane and Sierra Ferrell, on friendship, songwriting, and their eclectic paths to fame.


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