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Calcarius pictus

Calcarius pictus

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Cladus: Telluraves
Cladus: Australaves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Infraordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Passeroidea

Familia: Calcariidae
Genus: Calcarius
Species: Calcarius pictus

Calcarius pictus (Swainson, 1832)
Vernacular names
English: Smith's Longspur

Smith's longspur (Calcarius pictus) is a bird from the family Calcariidae, which also contains the other species of longspurs. A bird of open habitats, it breeds in northern Canada and Alaska, and winters in the southern United States. Primarily a ground-feeding seed-eater, it supplements its diet with insects in the summer.

1 Description
2 Distribution and habitat
3 Behavior
4 References
5 External links


These birds have short cone-shaped bills, streaked backs, and dark tails with white outer rectrices. In breeding state plumage (mostly formed by worn basic plumage), the male has a pumpkin-orange throat, nape, and underparts contrasting with an intricate black-and-white face pattern. The white lesser coverts are quite pronounced on a male in spring and early summer. Females and immatures have lightly streaked buffy underparts, dark crowns, brown wings with less obvious white lesser coverts, and a light-colored face. The tail is identical at all ages.[2]


Length: 5.9-6.7 in (15-17 cm)[3]
Weight: 0.7-1.1 oz (20-32 g)[3]
Wingspan: 25 cm[4]

Distribution and habitat

This bird breeds in open grassy areas near the tree line in northern Canada and Alaska. In winter, they congregate in open fields, including airports, in the south-central United States. Migration is elliptical, with northbound birds staging in Illinois in the spring and southbound birds flying over the Great Plains in the fall.[2]

These birds nest in small colonies; males do not defend territory. The female lays three to five eggs in a grass cup nest on the ground. Both males and females may have more than one mate. The parents, one female and possibly more than one male, feed the young birds.[2]

These birds forage on the ground, gathering in flocks outside of the nesting season. They mainly eat seeds, also eating insects in summer. Young birds are mainly fed insects.

The song is a sweet warble that is inflected at the end, somewhat reminiscent of the chestnut-sided warbler. The call is a dry rattle, like a shortened version of the call of a female brown-headed cowbird, noticeably drier than that of Lapland longspur.

Audubon named this bird after his friend Gideon B. Smith.

BirdLife International (2016). "Calcarius pictus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22721037A94695413. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22721037A94695413.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
Briskie, James V. 1993. Smith’s Longspur (Calcarius pictus). In The Birds of North America, No. 34. (A. Poole, P. Stettenheim, and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, DC: The American Ornithologists’ Union.
"Smith's Longspur Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology". Retrieved 2020-09-29.
"Smith's Longspur - BirdFellow Social Field Guide". Retrieved 2020-09-29.

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