Lapland Longspur 1/7/10

These sparrow-like birds breed all around the Arctic Circle, but in winter the North American populations migrate to the northern and midwestern US states. They aren’t very common in the east, and whenever I’ve spotted one it’s usually found in a flock of Snow Buntings or Horned Larks. However, this male I found by his lonesome on Seapoint foraging for seeds among the grasses at the back of the beach. Females are lighter and without any black in the throat, which in summer males turns solid black from the breast to the top of his head. But you’ll never likely see that unless you’re traveling to the high Arctic tundra. Their hind toes are elongated which is how they get their name, though in the UK they’re called Lapland Buntings.

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