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6" (15 cm)
 Similar Species
Breeds from eastern Montana and Great Lakes region south to Texas and Gulf Coast, locally farther east. Migrates through Central America where some winter, but it winters mainly in northern South America.
Was once commonly seen on farmland in the eastern states, especially on the Atlantic coastal plain, but disappeard by the middle of the last century and is now most numerous in the Midwest. It appears in small numbers on the East Coast during the fall migration and rarely but regularly in winter at feeders, often with House Sparrows.
Open country in grain or hay fields and in weed patches.
Perches on stalks to pluck seeds, picks fallen seeds from ground.
They are omnivorous during the breeding season, eating insects such as grasshoppers and also vegetable matter.
Their clutch contains 4 or 5 pale blue eggs which are laid in a cup of plant stems and grass set on or near the ground, often in alfalfa and clover fields.
Song sounds like dick-dick-cissel, the first two notes being sharp sounds followed by a buzzy, almost hissed cissel; repeated over and over again from a conspicuous perch on a fence, bush, or weed.
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