Country Birder... and Butterflies 

Lapland Longspur
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Lapland Longspur.  Winter 2009 was the first time I noticed a Lapland Longspur at the feeder.  Snowfall combined with severe cold brought many less common visitors to the feeders, including Horned Larks, Snow Buntings, and this Lapland Longspur.  According to online resources, the Lapland Longspur often moves in mixed flocks with the Horned Larks and Snow Buntings.  Like its traveling companions, this Lapland Longspur took advantage of the bird seed that had blown out of the feeder.  The birds breed in the Arctic tundra, and winter in southern Canada down through the southern United States.  If you want to attract some of these enjoyable winter visitors, make sure to scatter some seed on the ground in a large radius around the feeder, particularly when the ground is snow-covered.
Central Indiana - January 21, 2009
Lapland Longspur.  These birds are medium sparrow-sized, and not easily picked out among groups of common House Sparrows and other regular visitors of similar size and color.  The outstanding feature of the Lapland Longspur that I noticed was the buff-colored mask that runs from the eye line back to the neck, then down around under the check.  Immediately inside that buff-colored line is a darker brown/black border, that accentuates the cheek of this bird.  Also unique to this bird, in comparison to other birds it might be seen with, is the unique checker-board bib on its chest.
Central Indiana - January 29, 2009

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