Common Snipe - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Common Snipe - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Common Snipe - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Common Snipe - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Common Snipe
Gallinago gallinago

Shorebirds
Sandpipers and Snipes (Scolopacidae)

Size: Length: 27-29 cm

Description: This is another of those birds that are more commonly heard than seen. A common breeder in the Rockies, it has a long, orange bill with a black tip. The head and back are mottled reddish-brown. The underside is rusty. The face is dark, with several alternating streaks of brown and white. The short legs are yellow. Snipes have a curious method of attracting a mate. The males fly high into the sky, and then drop off into a dive. By leaving their tail feathers extended, they create a winnowing call that once heard, will never be forgotten. They probe for invertebrates like most other shorebirds, but unlike their long legged kin, they often cover very little territory. They may stand in place, pivoting in semi-circles to probe smaller areas. The nest is in a grass-lined depression on the ground, and may have a cover woven from grasses or sedges. The female does the majority of the incubation, and if flushed will feign injury to draw the intruder away from the nest. Very sensitive to disturbance, snipes will commonly abandon a clutch of eggs after even a single human intrusion.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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