Arelee is located within the Saskatoon Bird Area that is frequently surveyed by members of the Saskatoon Nature Society.
Unfortunately, Chestnut-collared Longspurs have declined badly due to loss of habitat. I don't believe that this species has been sighted for at least 5 years anywhere within the Saskatoon Bird Area. I suspect that you may need to travel to southwestern Saskatchewan to look for this species now. I suggest looking south of highway 1, the further south, the better your chances of finding them.
Smith's Longspur is a migrant that is very difficult bird to find in the Saskatoon Bird Area. My only sighting was a flock of migrating birds that flew past me while I was walking in a summer fallow field east of Saskatoon in 1973. I suspect that most Saskatchewan sightings are in the eastern half of the province. I know of no dependable location during spring migration anywhere in the province. You would need a lot of luck to find this species. You would have a better chance in the summer at Churchill, Manitoba where they nest.
] On Behalf Of Richard Tkachuck
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2014 7:00 AM
Subject: [Saskbirds] Returning to Arlee
This summer I will be returning to the Arlee area, a small town west of Saskatoon than almost does not exist anymore, to spread my Mother's ashes. I lived in the area over 60 years ago and have returned about every 10 to 15 years. In the interim I became a birder and on my last trip about 12 years ago took part in a Christmas bird count in Saskatoon.
While in the area, I would like to find two birds. Smith's and Chestnut-collared Longspurs. Is this a reasonable quest? Any suggestions as to where I might focus my efforts would be appreciated. When we were here last, we saw Sprague's Pipit and Le Conte's Sparrow with the help of this list.
Locke, New York
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