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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Smith's Longspur

Calcarius pictus ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: CALCARIIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A brightly patterned songbird of the subarctic tundra, the Smith's Longspur winters only in the center of the United States.

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Appearance

Sparrowlike
Sparrowlike
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized sparrow-like bird.
  • Short, thick, pointed bill.
  • Long tail with white outer feathers.
  • Whitish wingbars.
  • Breeding male with orangish neck, chest, and belly, and black-and-white patterned face.
  • Female and winter male with dull, buffy belly and small white eyering.

Immature Description

Similar to female.

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Field MarksHelp

  • Male breeding

    Smith's Longspur

    Male breeding
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, January 2000

Similar Species

  • Horned Lark has thin bill, black face patch, black tail with white outer tail feathers.
  • Pipits have thin bills.
  • Chestnut-collared Longspur has black triangle on white tail; breeding male has black chest and belly and rufous nape.
  • Lapland Longspur has little white on outer edge of tail, and rufous in the wings.
  • McCown's Longspur has black T on white tail (tip and center black); breeding male has small black chest patch and gray belly.