Documentation of Thick-billed Longspur

Observer Information

Reporter:  David Tonnessen  5230 Sevenoaks Drive,   Colorado Springs, CO  80919
Other Observers: 

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Thick-billed Longspur
First Date/Time:  10/12/2019 11:30:00 AM
Last Date/Time:  10/12/2019 12:30:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  30 min - an hour
County:  Teller
Specific Location:  Manitou Lake and Trout Creek
Number:  1
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Non-breeding


Lake shore

Description of the Bird

Longspur - structurally like an elongated sparrow with very long primaries. Flushed several times showing obsvious extensive white in tail feathers, with black through center and tips of rectrices creating a T-shape. Gave two-note rattle diagnostic of McCown's several times, as well as longer rattle much like SMLO or LALO twice. Plain tan-colored overall with faint black crescent in breast, and rust patch occaisionally visible in "shoulder" or scapulars. Somewhat large-billed for a longspur. See photos for more.

Similar Species Discussion

All other longspurs were automatically eliminated based on large amount of white in tail and two-note rattle call. Large bill, rusty spot in scapulars, extensively pale underparts with dark crescent in breast also helps eliminate other longspurs.

Resources Used


Previous Experience

Much experience with McCown's, Chestnut-collared and Lapland Longspurs.



Materials Available

Photographer: David Tonnessen

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

10/17/2019 12:43:00 PM
Click left or right edges of photos to move through all; click outside image to close

Location Map

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2) No specific coordinates are available but the location is mappable.
3) A generic location with no specific coordinates is mapped to the center of the reported county.

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