Sparrowlike ground-dweller; crouches low to the ground and walks with pattering footsteps. Breeding male is gray with contrasting head pattern, black breast, and rufous patch on shoulder. Females and nonbreeding birds are much more subtle. Pale buffy overall with grayer nape, thick pink bill, and plain unstreaked underparts. In flight, note mostly white tail (even more so than Chestnut-collared Longspur). Often found in flocks, sometimes mixed with other longspurs or Horned Larks. Breeds in shortgrass prairies. Winters in similar shortgrass habitat or dirt fields.