Smith's Longspur Life History


Habitat GrasslandsBreeds on dry, grassy, and hummocky tundra. Winters in fields with short grass, prairies, and grassy margins of airports.Back to top


Food InsectsSeeds and insects.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:1-6 eggs
Condition at Hatching:Helpless.
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Behavior Ground ForagerBack to top


Conservation Low ConcernThere is little information on population trends of Smith's Longspur. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 75,000, with 100% breeding and migration through the U.S., and 74% wintering in the north of Canada. The species rates a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Smith's Longspur is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species and is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.Back to top


Briskie, James V. (2009). Smith's Longspur (Calcarius pictus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center (2014b). Available from

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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