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Description of the Chestnut-collared Longspur


The Chestnut-collared Longspur varies in plumage in the course of a year, but has a white tail with a black triangle centered on the end and a pointed, seed-eating bill. Black belly, rufous nape, buffy throat.  Length: 6 in.  Wingspan: 11 in.

chestnut-collared longspur


Chestnut collared Longspur singing gb

Photograph © Glenn Bartley.


Female is drab brown with dark “ear patch, " indistinct streaking on flanks.


chestnut-collared longspur

Seasonal change in appearance

Winter males are substantially duller, resembling females, with just a trace of the reddish collar.


Juveniles resemble females.


Prairies and plains.


Seeds and insects.


Forages on the ground.


Breeds in the north-central plains of the U.S. and Canada and winters in the south-central plains of the U.S. and Mexico. Populations declining.

More information:

Bent Life History

Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Chestnut-collared Longspur.

Fun Facts

Chestnut-collared Longspurs prefer the short vegetation provided in grazed or mowed areas.

Males perform aerial song displays during the breeding season.


A fast warble, a two-note “kittle”, and rattles or buzzes are given


The nest is a grass cup on the ground near a plant or other object.

Number: 4-5.
Color: White with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
- Young hatch at 10-13 days.  
- Young fledge (leave the nest) in 10 days after hatching but remain with the adults for some time.