Louisiana Ornithological Society’s
Chestnut-sided Longspur, Calcarius ornatus
Two – sex unknown.
Caddo Parish – Shreveport Airport
January 26, 2013
Jay V. Huner
428 Hickory Hill Drive
Boyce, LA 71409
Terry Davis and Jim Holmes
A number of people were present as this was a field trip for the LOS Winter Meeting. All saw/heard the birds but Terry Davis was the leader who identified the birds.
Early afternoon – overcast.
Mine – Zeiss 10 x 40 binoculars in good condition.
From 25 to several hundred yards.
Watched the bird on and off for about 15 minutes.
Short grass and bare ground in vicinity of main airport runways.
Birds were associated with a flock of Smith’s Longspurs but separate from them. The CNCLs flushed and flew with the SMLSs. They wheeled about the area flying several hundred yards and returning to the general area where they were flushed but landing 50 yards or so from the observers. The birds were “chased” several times in an effort to secure recordings – T. Davis – and decent looks.
These were non-descript streaked-brownish birds with white outer tail feathers but no one got decent definitive looks at the birds. They were smaller than the SMLSs.
The call as described by Jim Holmes was “kit-tal” given 3-4 times as the birds flushed. Several including Jim played CNSL song/call which confirmed the “kit-tal” as being that of CNSL.
Jim Holmes provides a detailed explanation as to why the conclusion was made that the birds were CNSLs as opposed to other longspurs. This was based on the calls as the birds flushed and comparison with other longspur calls on various recordings.
Terry Davis recorded the calls. The group deferred to Terry who felt getting recordings was more important than trying to get close enough for photos.
I have previously encountered Chestnut-sided Longspur in Colorado in March of 2006.
See Jim Holmes’ long form.