On May 14, 2023, I was walking the trail at Sunnymead Park in Fort Smith, Arkansas with my camera. I noticed a female Dickcissel perched on a barbwire fence with nesting material in her beak. I was able to get a photo before she flew away.

Dickcissel With Nesting Material

Dickcissel With Nesting Material

Dickcissel Gathering Nesting Material

Dickcissel Gathering Nesting Material

Learning about the Dickcissel and its Nests

Dickcissels are birds that migrate and can be found in grasslands and prairies in North America. When they’re ready to have babies, they build nests using twigs, grass, leaves, and other plant materials. It’s interesting to see how they collect all these things and weave them together to make a cozy home for their little ones.

Here are some additional facts about Dickcissel nest building:

  • The female Dickcissel builds the nest alone, taking about 2-4 days to complete it.
  • The nest is typically located in dense vegetation, such as tall grass or weeds.
  • The female lays 3-6 eggs, which she incubates for 12-13 days.
  • The young birds fledge after about 10 days.

If you are lucky enough to see a Dickcissel nest, please be respectful of the birds and their young. Do not disturb the nest or the birds, and please keep your distance.

Appreciating the Wonders of Nature

Remembering that special moment at Sunnymead Park makes me realize how incredible nature is. Wildlife photography allows us to capture these unique moments and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. It reminds us of the delicate balance in our ecosystems.

Protecting the Gifts of Nature

Nature has so much to offer, and it’s our responsibility to protect it. Every time I take a photo, I’m reminded of the amazing connections between all living things. Let’s make sure we preserve these special moments, so that future generations can also enjoy and learn from the wonders of wildlife.


The encounter with the magnificent Dickcissel at Sunnymead Park showcases the splendor and harmony of nature. Its striking appearance and diligent nest-building efforts remind us of the intricate web that defines the natural world. Through photography, we can capture these enchanting moments and develop a deep respect for the interconnectedness of life. Let us unite in safeguarding these precious instances, ensuring that the captivating realm of wildlife continues to inspire and educate for generations to come.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 800 mm F11


  • Location: Sunnymede Park, Fort Smith (Arkansas)
  • Date and Time Taken: May 14, 2023 (09:11 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f11
  • Shutter speed: 1/1250
  • ISO: 2500 (Auto)
  • Exposure Compensation: +0.3
  • Focal Length: 800 mm

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