Monday, January 27, 2014

Chestnut-collared Longspur

As we suffer yet another series of bitterly cold winter days, I find myself searching my digital photo albums for species as yet not written about in this blog. One of these birds is the Chestnut-collared Longspur. The numbers of these grassland birds have declined with the disappearance of native prairies. Curiously, however, the species prefers disturbed grasslands, such as those created by fire or herds of buffalo.

This photo was taken in western South Dakota.  In the Dakotas, Chestnut-collared Longspurs are still often abundant. Their territories are often clumped near each other and the species is often double-brooded. They are socially monogamous, but  often engage in extra-pair copulations. Most extra-pair young occur in the second nest of the season (Hill and Gould 1997).

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