Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Alaska
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Alaska Project

Ecology of Smith's Longspurs in Northern Alaska

August 2007 - December 2015


Participating Agencies

  • National Park Service

The overall goal of this project is to contribute to conservation strategies for Smith’s Longspurs by further refining our knowledge of their breeding ecology in Alaska, using the unique availability of individually marked birds and baseline data at the Arctic Refuge. Our objectives are to (1) document natal and breeding site fidelity using resightings of individually banded birds, (2) estimate nest survival and analyze covariates that influence nest survival (e.g. habitat and temporal factors), and (3) continue to collect and analyze life history information to better understand breeding parameters such as breeding phenology, adult survival and movements, nesting chronology, habitat preferences, and nest site requirements.

Research Publications Publication Date
Wild, T. C., S. J. Kendall, N. Guldager, and A. N. Powell. 2015. Breeding habitat associations and predicted distribution of a tundra obligate, Smith's Longspur, in the face of changing climate. Condor 117: 3-17. DOI: 10.1650/CONDOR-14-77.1 2014-12-31
McFarland, H. R., S. Kendall, and A. N. Powell. Nest-site selection and nest success of an arctic-breeding passerine, Smith's Longspurs, in a changing climate. The Condor: Ecological Applications 119:85-97. DOI: 10.1650/CONDOR-16-87.1 2017-02-28
Craig, H.R., S. Kendall, T. Wild, and A. N. Powell. 2015. Dispersal and survival of a polygynandrous passerine. The Auk: Ornithological Advances 132:916-925, DOI: 10.1642/AUK-15-41.1 | Download 2015-10-31
Presentations Presentation Date
Craig, H., A. N. Powell, S. Kendall, and T. Wild. 2012. Effects of sex and age on survival of Smith's Longspurs in northern Alaska. 25 October. 15th Annual Alaska Bird Conference, Anchorage, AK. 2012-10-25
Craig, H., A. Powell, S. Kendall, and T. Wild. 2012. Annual survival of Smith’s Longspurs in Alaska. Poster, 5th North American Ornithological Conference, Vancouver, B.C. 2012-08-16
Craig, H., S. Kendall, and A. Powell. 2014. Reproductive success of Smith's Longspurs in Alaska's Brooks Range. 16th Alaska Bird Conference, Juneau, AK. 2014-12-10
McFarland, H., A. Will, and A. Powell. 2019. Geolocators and stable isotopes reveal the migratory route and overwintering locations of an arctic-breeding passerine. American Ornithological Society, Anchorage, Alaska. 2019-06-25
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Craig, H. R. 2015. Breeding ecology of Smith's Longspurs (Calcarius pictus) in the Brooks Range, Alaska. M.S. Thesis, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska. 77 pp. 2015-08-31