We examined microsite characteristics at 21 Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus) nests and land cover types in which they occurred in Wapusk National Park, Cape Churchill, Manitoba. Nests were located in four of six physiographic-vegetation land-cover types. Regardless of land-cover type, all but one nest was built on a pressure ridge or mound. Nests were built midway between the bottom and top of ridges or mounds with steeper slopes than was randomly available. Longspur nests had a distinctive southwest orientation (P < 0.001). Longspurs selected nest sites that consisted of comparatively greater amounts of shrub species and lesser amounts of moss than were randomly available. Nests were generally well concealed by vegetation (mean = 67.0%) and concealment was negatively associated with amount of graminoid species at the nest (P = 0.0005). Our nesting habitat data may facilitate a better understanding of breeding Lapland Longspur habitat requirements, and potential impacts of habitat degradation by increasing Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) populations in the study area.
Additional publication details
Microhabitat characteristics of Lapland Longspur, Calcarius lapponicus, nests at Cape Churchill, Manitoba