Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Smith's Longspur

This is my Lifer Smith's Longspur (Calcarius pictus) found at Last Mountain Lake in south-central Saskatchewan late September, 2012. 

This one plus two others were flitting around the cut and baled hay; two flew off and this male decided to hide in the shade of a large, round bale.  It was a hot day.  I don't blame him one bit....except it didn't give me much of a chance for getting a good photo.  Ah well....

Smith's Longspurs were one of the species I hoped to see around Churchill, MB (June), but we failed to find any.  Smith's Longspurs, along with its more common relative, the Lapland Longspur, is a tundra-breeder.  Smith's migrate to the south-eastern prairies of the US (E. Oklahoma, Texas, etc) to hang out in short grass prairie, mowed hay fields near water.  A habitat that perfectly describes where I saw them in here in SK.

Pete Dunn calls this The Tawny Longspur.  A good description, as my bird had a distinctly tawny breast  and generally overall, even though not in breeding plumage. 

Pete Dunn's Essential Field Guide Companion 

All About Birds



  1. Never seeb that one but the Lapland version can be seen here in the winter. I did love the ladyslipper and have a few of the yellow brand in my woods...:)

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  5. Birds are all wonderful to watch.
    Nature is awesome!!