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Lapland Longspur

Calcarius lapponicus ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: CALCARIIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A common songbird of the Arctic tundra, the Lapland Longspur winters in open fields across much of the United States and southern Canada.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
5.9–6.3 in
15–16 cm
Wingspan
8.7–11 in
22–28 cm
Weight
0.8–1.2 oz
23–33 g
Other Names
  • Lapland Bunting (British)
  • Bruant lapon (French)

Cool Facts

  • Some winter flocks of Lapland Longspurs have been estimated as large as four million birds. During snowstorms, such flocks sometimes collide with lighted structures such as radio towers, and thousands can be killed in a single night.
  • The Lapland Longspur breeds in the high arctic with continual daylight during the summer, and a breeding male may sing at any hour of the day. Despite the lack of a real dawn, the male tends to sing most in the early morning.
  • Longspur refers to the elongated claw of the hind toe.
  • The oldest recorded Lapland Longspur was at least 5 years old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Alaska.

Habitat


Grassland

Breeds in Arctic tundra in wet meadows, grassy tussocks, and scrub; in migration and winter in plowed fields, stubble, and open grasslands.

Food


Insects

Seeds and insects.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–7 eggs
Condition at Hatching
Helpless.
Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Ground Forager

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Lapland Longspur is common and widespread, but there is little information on population trends. There are reports that local populations have declined in some areas. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 130 million, with 43% spending some part of the year in Canada, and 42% breeding and migrating through the U.S. The species rates a 6 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Lapland Longspur is a U.S.-Canada-Stewardship species and is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.

Credits

Range Map Help

Lapland Longspur Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

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