Carl Kurtz is a professional writer, teacher, naturalist, and photographer. He and his wife and partner, Linda, live on a 172-acre family farm in central Iowa that is one of the few prairie seed sources in the Midwest.
Dickcissels are grassland birds that evolved in the tallgrass prairie. If a prairie is available they make use of its superb plant structure. Singing perches are the tallest plants such as this compass plant. The sturdy interior cluster of stalks of large old plants can provide for their finely woven nest with its pale blue eggs. They are also fairly common roadside birds. Listen for their song as you drive down the road. It sounds like their name repeated over and over.