The Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds—Thick-billed Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii)

Professional Paper 1842-Y
By: , and 



The key to Thick-billed Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii) management is providing short, sparsely vegetated native grasslands of adequate size. Mixed-grass prairies can be made suitable for breeding Thick-billed Longspurs by implementing moderate-to-heavy or season-long grazing. Thick-billed Longspurs have been reported to use habitats with 5–42 centimeters (cm) average vegetation height, 3–7 cm visual obstruction reading, 15–67 percent grass cover, less than (<) 8 percent forb cover, <7 percent shrub cover, 2–60 percent bare ground, 10–63 percent litter cover, and <5 cm litter depth.

Suggested Citation

Shaffer, J.A., Igl, L.D., Johnson, D.H., Sondreal, M.L., Goldade, C.M., Rabie, P.A., Wooten, T.L., and Euliss, B.R., 2019, The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Thick-billed Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii) (ver. 1.1, March 2022), chap. Y of Johnson, D.H., Igl, L.D., Shaffer, J.A., and DeLong, J.P., eds., The effects of management practices on grassland birds: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1842, 10 p.,

ISSN: 2330-7102 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Capsule Statement
  • Breeding Range
  • Suitable Habitat
  • Area Requirements and Landscape Associations
  • Brood Parasitism by Cowbirds and Other Species
  • Breeding-Season Phenology and Site Fidelity
  • Species’ Response to Management
  • Management Recommendations from the Literature
  • References
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Thick-billed Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii)
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1842
Chapter Y
DOI 10.3133/pp1842Y
Edition Version 1.0: December 17, 2019; Version 1.1: March 31, 2022
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description iv, 10 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details