McCown's Longspur: Medium-sized sparrow with streaked gray upperparts, plain gray underparts, and darker breast. The head has a black crown, white face and throat, and a stout, heavy bill. White tail has diagnostic black inverted T. Wings have chestnut-brown bars. Black legs and feet.
Range and Habitat
McCown's Longspur: Breeds from Alberta and southwestern Manitoba south to Dakotas, Wyoming, and Colorado. Spends winters from Nebraska and Colorado southward. Found in shortgrass prairies, native grasslands, pastures, and agricultural areas.
The McCown's Longspur was named after Captain John P. McCown, an American army officer.
The name longspur refers to an elongated claw equivalent to a human's big toe.
These birds so dislike moisture that in wet seasons they may abandon areas where they normally are abundant.
A group of longspurs are collectively known as a "drive" of longspurs.
The McCown's Longspur has a large range, estimated globally at 680,000 square kilometers. Native to Mexico and the United States, this bird prefers grassland ecosystems, though it has been known to reside on arable farm land. The global population of this bird is estimated at 1,100,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of McCown's Longspur is Least Concern.