The dickcissel is a small songbird that breeds in the open fields and grasslands in the central portions of the United States from the Dakotas to Texas in the west and Ohio to Alabama in the east. Like many passerines the male dickcissel is much more brightly colored then the female. Immature males look more like the females and usually do not breed until they get their adult plumage.
Dickcissels eat seeds and insects and so most migrate into Central America and northern South America during the winter. In the fall individuals join together into large flocks in staging areas around the US. As the migrating birds begin to move south the flocks join together into larger flocks. On their wintering grounds it is not unusual to find flocks of millions of birds wintering together. Not all dickcissel migrate though. Small numbers typically stay in southern portions of the breeding range where some food is still available. Dickcissel do breed in parts of Minnesota primarily the southern and western portions of the state where the habitat is more open and flat.