Lapland Longspur

Lapland Longspur

The Lapland Longspur is a streaked bird, larger than most sparrows. Unlike many sparrows, which normally have unstreaked rumps and tails, the Lapland Longspur has streaks that extend from the back down to the tip of the tail. The male’s summer plumage is distinctive–a bold black face, crown, and throat, straw-colored bill, and white brow-line that curves down around in front of his wing. Females and males in non-breeding plumage look similar; they are streaky overall with chestnut on the wings and cheeks edged in black. All plumages have white outer tail feathers. The chestnut nape, visible in all adult plumages, is a good field mark, as well. Unlike most birds with different breeding and non-breeding plumages, longspurs molt only once a year. In the fall, they molt into non-breeding plumage. By spring, the outer tips of the feathers have worn off to reveal the breeding plumage underneath.