Buntings and New World Sparrows (Emberizidae)

Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus) - HBW 16, p. 503

French: Plectrophane lapon German: Spornammer Spanish: Escribano Lapón
Other common names: Lapland Bunting

Taxonomy: Fringilla lapponica Linnaeus, 1758, Lapland.
Molecular studies indicate that genus is basal to both the New World and the Old World emberizids, and closely related to Plectrophenax; has been suggested that these two genera and Rhynchophanes be placed in a separate family, Calcariidae. Geographical variation appears to be mainly clinal; proposed race subcalcaratus (described from Greenland) is treated as a synonym of nominate and kamtschaticus (E Kamchatka) as a synonym of coloratus. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • alascensis Ridgway, 1898 - breeds Pribilof Is, N & W Alaska (including St Lawrence I, Nunivak I, Aleutian Is, Kodiak I and Middleton I) and NW Canada (N Yukon and NW Northwest Territories); winters in extreme S Canada (S British Columbia) and USA (W Montana and S South Dakota S to NE California, N Arizona and N Texas, casually S to C California and E to Ohio).
  • lapponicus (Linnaeus, 1758) - breeds N Canada (S to C Nunavut, N Ontario, N Quebec and N Labrador) and W & S Greenland, and from W & N Fennoscandia E across N Siberia (including S third of Novaya Zemlya, New Siberian Is and Wrangel I) to Bering Strait; winters in USA (Colorado E to Wisconsin, S to N Texas, Tennessee and Delaware, casually Louisiana and Florida) and SE Canada (S Ontario, Vermont and C Nova Scotia), and in Palearctic on S North Sea shores, CE Europe and E across C Asia to Russian Altai, Mongolia and N China.
  • coloratus Ridgway, 1898 - breeds E Siberia around N portion of Shelekhova Gulf, on Kamchatka Peninsula and Commander Is; winters in E China S to R Yangtze (and occasionally Sakhalin I, Korea and Japan).