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  • Writer's pictureS Santosh Kumar (sukubirder)

Braggart of Bharatpur: Common Snipe

Updated: Mar 27, 2023


Common Snipe
Common Snipe

(Nikon D5600, 200-500mm lens; 1/640, f/5.6, ISO500; hand-held)


Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) is a small, stocky Old World wader that breeds in the Palearctic realm and is sighted as a migratory bird in India during winters. Though inconspicuous because of its cryptic stripy and mottled brown plumage and skulking behaviour, it may be spotted probing wet, soft soil with its significantly long bill which has a specially adapted soft tip, laden with nerves, that can feel a worm in the depth, and open to gobble it up. During breeding season the male makes a unique ‘drumming’ sound resembling the bleat of a sheep during its aerial courtship display, as a result of its tail feathers vibrating in the wind. It is being hunted in Europe for food as well as for sport.

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