[TN-Bird] Smith's longspur (3), Short-eared owl(4); Montgomery Cty

  • From: Daniel Moss <dmoss5@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: TN Bird Listserve <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 00:34:23 -0500 (EST)

17 Feb 2010
Fort Campbell
Montgomery County, TN

This morning around 10:45 I ran across 4 Short-eared owls that were out 
foraging in the daylight - a rare treat. I was attempting to video them when I 
heard a rattling call overhead. This is the first time I've heard the rattling 
call of a longspur and immediately knew that it was a longspur. Three longspurs 
landed close by on the edge of a gravel road in a mixture of short grass, mud, 
and snow. 

The birds had brownish streaked backs, buffy chest and belly, white eye-rings, 
white outer tail feathers, 2 light wing bars, and some streaking on breast & 
flanks. I consulted the Sibley's bird guide and was leaning towards Smith's 
longspurs based upon the overall buffy appearance of the birds. I took some 
photos of the birds and also inadvertently recorded the rattling call on the 
video, which helped seal the identification. 

For any birders with a lot of experience with Smith's I would love to get your 

Daniel Moss
Clarksville, TN
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  • » [TN-Bird] Smith's longspur (3), Short-eared owl(4); Montgomery Cty - Daniel Moss