The Lapland Longspur also known as the Lapland Bunting is a robust bird, with a thick yellow seed-eater's bill. The summer male has a black head and throat, white eyestripe, chestnut nape, white underparts, and a heavily streaked black-grey back. Other plumages have a plainer orange-brown head, a browner back and chestnut nape and wing panels.


Habitat and Distribution

It breeds across Arctic Europe and Asia and in Canada and the northernmost USA. It is migratory, wintering in the Russian steppes, the southern USA, Northern Scandinavian arctic areas and down to coastal Southern Sweden, Denmark and Great Britain. It breeds in wet areas with birch or willow, and or bare mountains, and winters on cultivated land or coasts. The bird is often seen close to the tree line, and likes to feed in mixed-species flocks in winter.


Feeding

During the winter, the longspur feeds on seeds. They pick them on the ground, rarely feeding directly on plants. In the summer, they eat arthropods. The birds often catch insects in mid-air.


Breeding

The nest is on the ground. 2-4 eggs are laid.


Calls and Songs

The most common flight call is a hard `prrrrt` usually preceded by a more nasal `teeww`. When breeding, it also makes a softer `duyyeee` followed by a pause and a `triiiuuu`; both sounds alternate.