Lapland Longspur at Col Sam Smith Park: November 19, 2020

It has been a good week for interesting birds. Evening Grosbeak, Common Redpoll, White-winged Crossbill and today a real beauty; a Lapland Longspur.

Lapland Longspur (male)

Lapland Longspurs nest on Arctic tundra and are circumpolar. In Europe they are known as Lapland Buntings.

Lapland Longspur (male)

They winter on open ground, such as plowed fields.

Lapland Longspur (male)

Lapland Longspurs are often found in flocks sharing habitat with Horned Lark and Snow Bunting.

Lapland Longspur (male)

Lapland Longspur diet in winter is mostly seeds from grasses and other plants. During the breeding season they also eat insects and other invertebrates. Lapland Longspurs spend almost all of their time foraging for seeds directly on the ground.

Lapland Longspur (male)

“Longspur”  describes the elongated claw on its hind toe.

Lapland Longspur (male)

This likely helps them in searching for food on the ground, often in places where dense low vegetation is interspersed with patches of bare ground.

Lapland Longspur (male)

Other birds:

American Wigeons
American Wigeons
American Wigeon (male)
American Wigeon (male)
Dark-eyed Junco (female)
House Sparrow (male)
Mallard (male) and American Black Duck
Mallard (female)
Gadwall (male)
Gadwall (male)
Bufflehead (male)
Bufflehead (male)
Mallard (male)
Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing
European Starling
American Robin in Sour Cherry Tree
American Robin in Sour Cherry Tree
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull

Thank-you to Judy Cazemier for these photos:

Lapland Longspur (photo: Judy Cazemier)
American Tree Sparrow (photo: Judy Cazemier)

Species list: mute swan, red-necked grebe, Canada goose, mallard, gadwall, American black duck, American wigeon, bufflehead, hooded merganser, long-tailed duck, ring-billed gull, blue jay, downy woodpecker, black-capped chickadee, American robin, cedar waxwing, European starling, house sparrow, northern cardinal, European starling, Lapland longspur, American tree sparrow, dark-eyed junco, American goldfinch.  (24 species)

Park views:

Humber College South
Dawn

Today’s group:

NATURE POETRY

Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite
All are on their rounds to-night,—
In the wan moon’s silver ray
Thrives their helter-skelter play.                      – Joel Benton (1832–1911)

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “Lapland Longspur at Col Sam Smith Park: November 19, 2020

  1. Gloria James

    I’m always impressed by how different birds have adapted to their environment. The elongated claw on the Lapland Longspur must help the bird forage on the ground — getting a grip on pebbly terrain. Thanks for the photos.

    Reply

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