|Genus||Species||subspecies||Breeding Range||Breeding Range 2||Non Breeding Range|
|Calcarius||lapponicus||NA, EU||n||c EU, s USA|
Females are distinguished by their rufous nape and greater wing coverts, and by blackish lateral crown stripes separated by a bold supercilium from the blackish-bordered ear coverts. Like the males, they have striped upperparts and whitish underparts with striped flanks. In winter, males resemble females in breeding plumage, but the male’s dark breast pattern is visible as faint barring or spotting.
In flight, Lapland Longspurs appear chunky and have a stronger, more powerful style than the fluttering Horned Larks with which they may associate. They forage on the ground, walking or running while searching intently for seeds. When flushed, they circle in tight flocks, giving a characteristic flight call, a short hard “prrrrt” followed by a short musical whistled “chu.” Longspurs tend to stay together even in mixed flocks.
Listen to the sound of Lapland Longspur
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
|wingspan min.:||65||cm||wingspan max.:||82||cm|
|size min.:||39||cm||size max.:||47||cm|
|incubation min.:||11||days||incubation max.:||13||days|
|fledging min.:||9||days||fledging max.:||13||days|
In the short Arctic summer, Lapland Longspurs experience a compressed breeding season. The onset of courtship, nesting, hatching, and fledging is very synchronous. Females begin building nests within a few days of arrival on the breeding grounds. Within three days they complete the cup of grass, lichens, moss and rootlets in a sheltered depression on the ground. The nest may be lined with ptarmigan or raven feathers, and caribou, lemming, or dog hair. The female incubates the five to six eggs for less than two weeks. Hatchlings are fed a diet of insects, especially mosquitoes, craneflies, and beetles. They leave the nest even before they can fly, at eight to ten days of age, thus avoiding predators such as weasels and jaegers attracted to the smell and noise of the nest. Three to five days later the young can fly. Often the last-hatched nestlings are left behind. After the breeding season, they gather in small groups that gradually unite into larger migrating flocks.
Calcarius lapponicus is a widespread summer visitor to Greenland, Fennoscandia
and arctic Russia, with Europe accounting for less than a quarter of its global breeding
range. Its European breeding population is very large (>5,800,000 pairs), and was
stable between 1970-1990. Although the trend of the stronghold population in Russia
was unknown, the species remained stable in Greenland, Norway and Sweden during
1990-2000, and there was no evidence to suggest that it declined significantly overall.
Lapland Longspur is one of the most abundant breeding birds of the far north. Large yearly fluctuations make it difficult to assess population trends, but much of their breeding range is remote from human disturbance. Potential disturbance in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could be a threat to the Lapland Longspur population.
Lapland Longspurs breed across North America, Greenland, and Eurasia in a circumpolar range mostly north of the Arctic Circle. They are the most numerous passerine birds on the Arctic tundra, reaching densities of about one breeding bird per acre.