Saturday, July 23, 2011

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago

All The Birds Of North America: Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago A retiring bird of marshes and other wetiands, the Common Snipe feeds chiefly on insects; it probes in soft mud with its long, sensitive bill, and can lift the upper mandible to grasp its food firmly. The Common Snipe performs an impressive display dive from 300 feet in the air; as it plunges earthward, its outer tail feathers vibrate and produce a hollow "winnowing" sound that sometimes can be heard for half a mile.

Identification Long-billed, slender, brownish shore bird; mottled upperparts and head have prominent buffy stripes; belly white, breast and flanks with heavy bars and spots. In flight, has long, pointed, dark wings.

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago Voice A sharp, grating scaip when flushed; a high wheet-wheet on breeding grounds.

Habitat Marshes, ponds, bogs; occasionally in salt marshes.

Range Breeds from Alaska east to Labrador, south to central California and Massachusetts; sometimes father south. Winters from southern part of breeding range to South America.

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