One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mainly Canadian songbird related to the buntings, with brownish plumage and a boldly marked head in the male.
Genus Calcarius, family Emberizidae (subfamily Emberizinae): three or four species
- ‘Burrowing arid short-eared owls, Baird's and LeConte's sparrows, chestnut-collared longspurs, and Sprague's pipits are often spotted as well as the western meadowlark, the Montana state bird.’
- ‘To address that, we experimentally parasitized longspur nests with real and wooden cowbird eggs to determine whether longspurs eject cowbird eggs.’
- ‘Long-billed curlews, burrowing owls, chestnut-collared and McCowan's longspurs summer in the park.’
- ‘Nests were checked every one to three days for evidence of rejection until an experimental egg was rejected or the longspur's eggs hatched.’
- ‘The record for numbers of notes in a stereotyped pattern might well go to some species of lark or longspur, or some other open-country bird whose songs often include scores of different notes.’
- ‘A similar ‘group hysteria,’ he adds, gripped hundreds of birders in California, who for days mistakenly took a skylark for a Smith's longspur.’
- ‘Nevertheless, the ejection of nonmimetic eggs by longspurs suggests they are physically capable of removing cowbird eggs, yet they accepted all cowbird eggs added to their nests.’
- ‘I noticed a burned field, and I hoped for longspurs.’
- ‘Some common shorebirds and seabirds in the Southern Arctic are the semi-palmated plover, northern phalarope, lapland longspur, parasitic jaeger, and semi-palmated plover.’
- ‘Unlike most birds with different breeding and non-breeding plumages, longspurs molt only once a year.’
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