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Common Snipe - Gallinago gallinago

Baird's Sandpiper


 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Charadriiformes 
 Family: Scolopacidae 
 Genus:   Gallinago

ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern


Common SnipeThe common snipe is a medium-sized wading bird with a long, straight, pointed black bill. It has a brown body with black bars, a striped head and back, and a white belly. The common snipe's legs are shorter than most wading birds' legs.



mapThe common snipe breeds from Alaska to Newfoundland south to the mid-United States. It winters north from northern South America to British Columbia , the northern Gulf states and Virginia. It is also found in Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia.



Common SnipeCommon snipes are found in wet grassy areas of freshwater marshes, ponds, flooded meadows, fields, and occasionally, salt marshes.



The long, pointed bill of the common snipe helps it probe in the mud for snails, small crustaceans, insects, larvae, and earthworms. It also eats some plant matter.

Life Cycle

Common SnipeThe male arrives at the breeding grounds first and stakes out a territory. To attract a mate he flies and dives in the air and makes a loud drumming noise as air passes through his tail feathers. The female lays four eggs in a grass-lined depression in a grass tussock. The chicks hatch after 18-20 days and fledge when they are 19-20 days old.



The common snipe usually stays hidden in the grass, but if it is startled it bursts out from its cover and flies in a zig-zag pattern to evade predators.

Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Patrik Aberg cc logo