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  • Writer's pictureS Santosh Kumar (sukubirder)

Braggart of Bharatpur: Greater Painted-snipe

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

A male Greater Painted-snipe
A male Greater Painted-snipe

(Nikon D5600, 200-500mm lens; 1/500, f/5.6, ISO125; hand-held)

Greater Painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) is a medium-sized, plump shorebird found residing in marshes across south Asia and Africa. Both sexes have a whitish, comma shaped patch around the eyes and white colour on the underparts which extends up as an arc over the shoulders. Reversed sexual dimorphism is evident in this bird as the female is bigger and more ostentatious, with bright chestnut brown head, neck and throat, green-tinged wings and a thick black band across the breast. Male has a more cryptic plumage with a dull brown head and upperparts that are patterned with orange and tan spots. This paler plumage is of survival advantage as it is the male who incubates and raises the young ones while the brightly coloured female does the courtship initiation, and may mate with more than one male.

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