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Chestnut-collared longspur
(Calcarius ornatus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Calcariidae
Genus: Calcarius
Bechstein, 1802

See text.

The longspurs, genus Calcarius, are a group of birds in the family Calcariidae. The name refers to the long claw on the hind toe of each foot. The genus formerly included the thick-billed longspur, Rhyncophanes mccownii, which is now placed in a separate genus.

These 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. The male's breeding plumage is much brighter than his winter plumage. These birds gather in large flocks in winter. The longspurs are all found in North America; the Lapland longspur, or Lapland bunting, is also found in Europe and Asia.


The species are:

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Lapland Longspur - Calcarius lapponicus - Sportittlingur 3.jpg Calcarius lapponicus Lapland longspur, or Lapland bunting Arctic Europe and the Palearctic and in Canada and the northernmost United States
Smith's Longspur - first winter bird (8160073644).jpg Calcarius pictus Smith's longspur northern Canada and Alaska.
Chestnut-Collared Longspur - 2nd Maine Record.jpg Calcarius ornatus Chestnut-collared longspur central Canada and the north central United States

The genus name Calcarius is from Latin calcaria, "spurs".[1]


  1. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.