|Family: Calcariidae (Longspurs and Snow Buntings)
This handsome bird of shortgrass prairies, rangelands, and desert grasslands was once tightly associated with bison. As we lost so many of North America’s iconic prairie mammal, the longspurs started gravitating to other grazing mammals. Listed as endangered in Minnesota, it formerly bred in Minnesota’s far western counties from Jackson to Marshall, but now is found as a summer resident in Clay County only; it’s a rare spring and fall migrant in western counties and a vagrant elsewhere. The Chestnut-collared Longspur was very rare during the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas. I’ve seen it in Colorado but never photographed one.