Wilson's Snipe

Gallinago delicata

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Sandpipers (Scolopacidae)

Code 4

WISN

Code 6

GALDEL

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Wilson's Snipe has a signigicant range reaching up to roughly 10 million square kilometers. This bird breeds across Alaska and Canada as well as into California, Colorado, Wisconsin, northern Ohio, and southern Maine. It spends winters in southern Canada and all of the way south into Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. This species is normally found in wetlands, bogs, fens, swamps and in locations along the edges of wet fields and ditches and streams. The global population of this bird is estimated to be around 27 million individual birds. Currently, it is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. Due to this, population trends for the Wilson's Snipe have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Wilson's Snipe: Medium sandpiper, brown and black mottled upperparts, buff stripes on back. White underparts, dark bars on sides, flanks. Heavily streaked head, neck, breast. Yellow-green legs, feet. Formerly considered a subspecies of the Common Snipe, which has 14 tail feathers to the Wilson's 16.


Range and Habitat

Wilson's Snipe: Breeds in northern U.S. and Canada from subarctic Alaska east to Quebec and south to Oregon east to New England. Spends winters from California east to the Mid-Atlantic states south as far as northern South America and also in the West Indies. Prefers freshwater marshes and swamps, frequents open landscapes.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"wheat-wheat-wheat-wheat"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Wilson’s Snipe is an upland bird and is one of the few shorebirds that can still be hunted legally.
  • An elusive bird difficult to hunt, the snipe led to the use of the word sniper in terms of a sharpshooter in the early 19th century.
  • The male makes a sound (non-vocal) called winnowing that is used in courtship displays and in territory defense. Also called drumming or bleating, the sound is created in flight by vibrating outer tail feathers that are spread wide while the bird is diving.
  • A group of snipes has many collective nouns, including a "leash", "walk", "whisper", "winnowing", and "volley" of snipes.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Wilson's Snipe

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X