Spiza americana 

Found in prairie grasslands
Males have black “V” on yellow chest
Migrate in huge flocks to wintering grounds

Adult Description

  • Small songbird.
  • Stout, pointed bill.
  • Rusty patch on shoulders.
  • Yellow or yellowish on chest.
  • Breeding male has large black “V” on yellow chest.

Male Description

Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Streaked grayish head. Yellow stripe above eyes. Chin white. Thin black stripes at sides of throat. Black throat patch extending onto breast in a point. Chest bright yellow. Belly light gray. Back brown with black streaks. Tail and wings blackish. Chestnut shoulder patch.
Nonbreeding (Basic) Plumage: Black bib partly concealed by pale whitish to yellowish feather tips.

Female Description

Duller face and head pattern, with light yellow stripe over eyes. Throat whitish, with faint, thin dark stripes at sides. Breast dull yellow. Belly light gray. Thin dark streaks on flanks. Back brown with black streaks. Wings and tail blackish. Pale chestnut shoulder patch.

Immature Description

Immature similar to adult female, but duller. Yearling male with little black on chest.


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