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 Lapland Longspur

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Lapland Longspur.

Use the links below to view the Lapland Longspur reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Lapland Longspur sightings.
Lapland Longspur Archives Reports
Fall 2003 867
Spring 2003 1066
Winter 02-03 83
Fall 2002 211
Summer 2002 0
Spring 2002 52
Winter 01-02 92
Fall 2001 61
Summer 2001 0
Spring 2001 132
Winter 00-01 99
Fall 2000 67
Summer 2000 0
Spring 2000 391
Winter 00-99 5
Fall 1999 301
Spring/Summer 1999 0

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Lapland Longspur

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Lapland Longspur
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Lapland Longspur
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Calcarius lapponicus lapponicus (Linnaeus)
Lapland Longspur

Transient and occasional winter visitant in the Upper Peninsula; regular winter visitant in the Lower Peninsula, though rather uncommon in the southern counties. Exact status not known.

First recorded for Michigan by Kneeland (1857: 236).

FALL.-The Lapland Longspur is found in the Upper Peninsula from mid-September to mid-November, and arrives in the south between the last of September and early October.

Upper Peninsula.-N. A. Wood and A. Murie collected a number of specimens (U.M.M.Z.) on Isle Royale, September 28 and 30, 1929; F. M. Gaige saw 12 Lapland Longspurs at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, on September 13, and several small flocks on September 21, 1933. Trautman recorded 140 Longspurs near Ewen, Ontonagon County, on October 2, 1934; Ira N. Gabrielson saw 3 and collected 1 on September 25, 1936, in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, and S. S. Gregory, Jr., collected single specimens there on October 1, 1928, and October 9, 1924. At McMillan, Luce County, Bryens occasionally recorded individuals and groups before the middle of September (1 on September 10, 1930, and 46 on September 13, 2023) ; he has usually recorded considerable numbers in October (100 on October 4, 1939, and 600 on October 3, 2023).

Lower Peninsula.-Trautman reported numbers of Lapland Longspurs at Houghton Lake, Roscommon County, on several occasions; he saw 125 there on November 27, 1937, and 200 on November 6, 1938. In Newaygo County in 1938, G. A. Ammann saw 30 near Bitely on November 6, and 10 in Grant Township on October 30. N. A. Wood (1911: 100) noted 2 on Charity Island, Huron County, on September 30, October 2, and October 3, 1910; T. L. Hankinson reported the species in Ingham County on November 15, 2023 (Barrows, 1912: 487). A flock of 10 was seen at Portage Lake, Jackson County, by R. E. Olsen and several other observers October 28, 1934; in the vicinity of Battle Creek, Calhoun County, the species has been recorded by Walkinshaw on October 22 (1936) and October 30 (1938). L. W. Campbell (1940: 179-80) has found the birds numerous in the Toledo- Erie marsh area and reports regular arrival there during the last half of October.

WINTER.-The Lapland Longspur occurs in small numbers in the Upper Peninsula (usually less than 10 birds seen at a time), and in flocks of 50 to 400 individuals in the Lower Peninsula.

Upper Peninsula.-0. B. Warren (1894: 180) secured a specimen of the Lapland Longspur at Palmer, Marquette County, on January 22, 1894, the first winter record, he believed, for that part of Michigan. Bryens, who has observed considerable numbers of Longspurs at McMillan, Luce County, during the fall, has noted them only occasionally in winter; he saw 2 on January 10, 1932, and in 1939, 6 on February 10 and 11, 8 on February 12 and 13.

Lower Peninsula.-Winter records and specimens are lacking from north of Newaygo and Tuscola counties. In 1934 E. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker saw 100 Lapland Longspurs at Fish Point, Tuscola County, on February 18, and 50 near Vassar in the same county on February 25. Trautman secured a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) near Grant, Newaygo County, on February 11, 1935; A. D. Tinker and T. D. Hinshaw each collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) near Brighton, Livingston County, on February 17, 1935. On December 25, 1908, W. E. Praeger (1909: 30) recorded a flock of 75 near Kalamazoo, and W. Wilkowski, Jr., reported (Barrows, 1912:487) the Longspur as abundant there in December, 1902, and January, 1903. Observers have found the species in some numbers in the Ann Arbor area in recent years: L. D. Case saw 60 on January 5, 1936; R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker noted over 100 on February 2, 1936; and M. T. Sturgeon re- ported 35 on January 4, 1940. Swales (1903: 38) listed the species as a rare winter visitant in the Detroit area; J. Claire "Wood (1910: 41) saw 8 there on December 13, and 15 on December 15, and he collected several specimens (U.M.M.Z.) on January 2, 1910. L. W. Campbell (1940: 179-80) reported the Longspur a common winter visitant in the Toledo-Erie marsh area, where he has often seen flocks of 200 to 400 individuals.

SPRING.-The Longspur is recorded in considerable numbers during March and April in the Lower Peninsula and during April in the Upper Peninsula, the last individuals departing in late April and mid-May.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940: 210) reported main flight in the Toledo-Erie marsh area in mid-April. Near Belleville, Wayne County, B. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker saw over 300 Longspurs on March 7, 1937, and on the same date observed 200 near Ann Arbor. R. E. Olsen and T. H. "Weller noted a flock of 300 near Ann Arbor as late as April 13 (1934); and T. D. Hinshaw and Leonard Wing collected a number of specimens (U.M.M.Z.) there on April 21, 1934. Walkinshaw saw 2 Longspurs near Bellevue, Calhoun County, on April 6, 1941, and with H. A. Olsen saw 7 in Lee Township of the same county on April 19,1931. He also reported a flock of 150 near Capac, Sanilac County, on March 31 (Walkinshaw, 1941c; 63). G. A. Ammann listed the species as abundant at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, until May 18 in 1940, noting 500 on May 13 and 150 on May 17.

Upper Peninsula.-Bryens has generally observed first arrivals at McMillan, Luce County, in late March or early April; he reported 36 Long- spurs on March 28,1938, 2 on April 7,1940, and 1 on April 6, 1931. He has recorded considerable numbers in his area during April-60 on April 9, 1941, 70 on April 20, 1939; he has noted a few stragglers until late May, and in 1930 recorded 1 as late as June 1. In the western part of the peninsula, N. A. Wood (1933: 725) saw 2 Lapland Longspurs at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, on May 11, 1931, and Laurence Dayton re- ported the species from Isle Royale on May 18 and 19, 1937.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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