SCIENTIFIC NAME: Calcarius Ornatus
Breeding males have a black chest and belly, creamy face and throat, and rich chestnut nape.
Females and nonbreeding birds are subdued, pale gray with blurry streaks on the breast and dark smudges on the rear of the cheek.
In all plumages, the bill is small and gray and the tail is distinctive, mostly white with a bold black triangle in the center.
BILL: gray, short and conical.
SIZE: measures about 5.1 - 6.5 inches in length, with a wingspan of 10.5 inches.
WEIGHT: weighs about 17 - 23 grams.
COLOR: black, chestnut, gray and white.
Seeds and insects.
BREEDS: short and mixed-grass prairies.
WINTER: prairies and open fields.
BREEDS: Central Canada and the north-central United States.
WINTER: Southern United States and Mexico.
CALL: A buzzy contact call, “tzip”, during aggressive interactions with other longspurs. They also commonly make a finchlike “til-lip” contact call.
SONG: High clear warbling that descends and becomes harsher at the end.
NEST: The female builds a cup-shaped nest with grasses, sometimes with hair or feathers in the lining in a shallow scrape on the ground.
EGGS: 4 - 5 white, gray or pale buff eggs, spotted with reddish-brown or purple.
INCUBATION: 7 - 15 days.
NESTLING PHASE: 7 - 15 days.
They walk or run along the ground, often bobbing their head.
Males sing on exposed perches such as barbed-wire fences during spring and summer.
They often form flocks in non-breeding season.