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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.

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

Chestnut-collared Longspur declined by over 4% per year between 1966 and 2015, resulting in a cumulative loss of 82%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Numbers have fallen in every part of the species' range. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 3 million, with 78% spending at least part of the year in the U.S., 22% breeding in Canada, and 35% wintering in Mexico. This is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species and a Tri-National Concern species. It rates a 15 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score Chestnut-collard Longspur is on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List, which includes bird species that are most at risk of extinction without significant conservation actions to reverse declines and reduce threats.

Credits

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