Living Bird Magazine
Smith's LongspurCalcarius pictus
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Calcariidae
A brightly patterned songbird of the subarctic tundra, the Smith's Longspur winters only in the center of the United States.More ID Info
- Escribano de Smith (Spanish)
- Plectrophane de Smith (French)
- Cool Facts
- The Smith's Longspur is polygynandrous: each female pairs and copulates with two or three males for a single clutch of eggs, at the same time that each male pairs and copulates with two or more females.
- Male Smith's Longspurs are not territorial, but instead compete for fertilizations by copulating with females frequently in order to dilute or displace sperm from other males.
- Over a period of one week in June, a female Smith's Longspur will copulate over 350 times on average; this is one of the highest copulation rates of any bird.
- "Longspur" refers to the elongated claw of the hind toe.