photo by Phil Swanson
L 6 1/4″ (16 cm).
Song or calls:
Dry rattle given on ground or at takeoff; drier and harder than that of Lapland Longspur. Does not have flight song as does Lapland Longspur.
Description: Brownish-black tail with white outer tail feathers; thinner bill than other longspurs. Breeding adult male has black-and-white patterned head; rich buff nape and underparts; and white shoulder patch that is often obscured. Back and wings are brown and sparrow-like. Breeding adult female and all winter plumages are duller overall and lack black markings on head; breast and sides have thin reddish-brown streaking.
Habitat: Migrants are found in open grassy plains and pastures. Prefers areas covered with thick, short grass.
Where in Nebraska: Rare to occasional spring and fall migrant and winter visitor in east-central Nebraska. Largest number of sightings from Adams and Webster Counties.
Field Notes: Longspurs get their name from the elongated claw on their hind toes; resembles that of larks.