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Chestnut-collared Longspur

Calcarius ornatus ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: CALCARIIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Near Threatened

The black belly of the breeding male Chestnut-collared Longspur makes it stand out when proclaiming its territory on its short-grass prairie home. In other seasons the male is as drab and sparrow-like as the female.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
5.1–6.7 in
13–17 cm
Weight
0.6–0.8 oz
18–23 g
Other Names
  • Bruant à ventre noir, Bruant à collier chatâin (French)
  • Arnoldo de collar castano (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Chestnut-collared Longspur bred historically at sites recently grazed by bison or disturbed by fire. Even today, it avoids nesting in areas protected from grazing, instead preferring pastures and mowed areas such as airstrips, as well as grazed native prairie habitats.
  • "Longspur" refers to the elongated claw of the hind toe.

Habitat


Grassland

Breeds on short-grass plains and prairies. Winters in open cultivated fields.

Food


Insects

Seeds and insects.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–5 eggs
Condition at Hatching
Helpless.
Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Ground Forager

Conservation

status via IUCN

Near Threatened

Populations appear to be declining in most areas.

Credits

  • Hill, D. P., and L. K. Gould. 1997. Chesnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus). In The Birds of North America, No. 288 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Range Map Help

Chestnut-collared Longspur Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings