LONGSPURs and BUNTINGs

Order Passeriformes    Family Calcariidae

The Longspurs used to be placed in the Emberizidae family, but DNA evidence indicates the similarities are superficial. The relative new family Calcariidae contains not only longspurs but also some speices called Buntings. Other bunting families are: Cardinalidae and Emberizidae.

Genus Calcarius
The Longspurs are in genus Calcarius and also genus Rhynchophanes. The name refers to the long claw on the hind toe of each foot. They are chunky ground-feeding birds with long wings which are usually seen in open areas. They have short, stout seed-eater bills. They gather in large flocks in winter.
Similar to: Pipits. Pipits have thinner bills than Longspurs.

Longspur, Chestnut-collared  Calcarius ornatus  Found: central USA to north Mexico
Chestnut-collared Longspur breeds on prairies.
Similar to: Horned Lark. Horned Lark has black stripe on chin; Chestnut-collared Longsput does not.
Similar to: McCown's Longspur. Male Chestnut-collared Longspur has rufous nape; male McCown's Longspur has rufous wingbar.
Image by:   1, 2) Jerry Oldenettel - New Mexico  3) Bill Bouton - Montana  4) Ken James
1, 2) Nonbreeding male or female  3, 4) Breeding male


Longspur, Lapland also Lapland Bunting   Calcarius lapponicus  Found: North America
Lapland Longspur breeds on tundra.
Similar to: Smith's Longspur.  Lapland Longspur has white belly; Smith's Longspur has buffy or orange belly.
Image/Image by: 1) Ansgar Walk - Wager Bay, Canada 2) Jerry Oldenettel - New Mexico  3, 5) Wilhelm von Wright   4) Richard Droker - Washington   6) omarrun  7) Francesco Veronesi - Nome, Alaska 
1, 2. 3) Female  4) nonbreeding male  5, 6, 7) Breeding male



Longspur, Smith's  Calcarius pictus  Found: North America
Smith's Longspur breeds on tundra, winters in southcentral USA.
Similar to: Lapland Longspur.  Lapland Longspur has white belly; Smith's Longspur has buffy or orange belly.
Image by: 1) Chester Reed  2) Paul Roisen, USFWS   3) Charlie Westerinen - near Sacramento, Californnia  4) Nate Swick - Missouri   5) Jerry Oldenettel 
1) Breeding pair 2) Female 4) nonbreeding male 5) Breeding male




Genus Plectrophenax

Bunting, McKay's  Plectrophenax hyperboreus  Found: North America (western coast of Alaska)
Image by: 1, 2) jomilo75


Bunting, Snow  Plectrophenax nivalis   Found: North America, Europe, Asia
Image by:  1) Charlie Westerinen - Longyearbyen, Norway  2) Omar Runolfsson - Iceland  3, 5) Mark Kilner - England   4) Winnu  6) Donna Dewhurst USFWS  7) Drew Avery - Greenland   8) Graham Racher 
1) Juvenile   6, 7, 8) Male breeding




Genus Rhynchophanes - 1 species
The Longspurs are in genus Calcarius and also genus Rhynchophanes. The name refers to the long claw on the hind toe of each foot. They are chunky ground-feeding birds with long wings which are usually seen in open areas. Males declare ownership of a territory by singing during short flights over it. These birds gather in large flocks in winter.

Longspur, McCown's Rhynchophanes mccownii Found: North America
McCown's Longspur breeds on prairies.
Similar to: Chestnut-collared Longspur. Male Chestnut-collared Longspur has rufous nape; male McCown's Longspur has rufous wingbar.
Image by:  1) Jason Forbes - Colorado 2) Jerry Oldenettel - New Mexico 3) Chester Reed







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