Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Common Snipe

One of my favorite birds because of the beautiful sounds they make in the beaver bog.

The eyes are set far back on the head.

They continually poke the earth for grubs and worms and can swallow with their bill in the ground.

They have green legs!
The Wilson snipe, improperly called "jack snipe," but more properly called "English snipe," is one of our most popular game birds. Probably more snipe have been killed by sportsmen than any other game bird. it ranks ahead of all other shore birds and upland game birds except, possibly, the woodcock, ruffed grouse, and quail. When the startling cry of the snipe arouses the sportsman to instant action he realizes that he is up against a real gamey proposition. He must be a good shot indeed to make a creditable score against such quick erratic flyers. A tramp over the open meadows, brown, red, and golden in their autumn livery, with one or two good dogs quartering the ground in plain sight and with an occasional shot at a swiftly flying bird, is one of the delights of a crisp autumn day. The birds will lie closely on a calm day, but on a windy, blustering day they are restless and wild. It is well to hunt down wind as the birds usually rise against the wind and will fly towards and then quartering away from the shooter. When two men hunt along a narrow marsh, the man on the windward side will get most of the shooting.
Watch my video of the behavior of the snipe here. I have looked for an explanation of why it "puffs" but have not found any information.

When clicked, these photos will open, full size, in a new window.

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  1. Amazing and marvellous photos. And good info too.

  2. Really nice photographs and information. Your photos are really nice to see.

    Abraham Lincoln in Brookville

  3. Very pretty bird. What an amazing beak! I'd guess it's very good at finding insects in hiding.

  4. I have read bird books all my life and watched many wildlife films and your pictures of this Snipe are the best I've seen. I showed them to my mate Peter who as seen them many times and he was very impressed and agreed about how good these are.
    I have been trying to find out about the bobbing it dose.. I watched the video.. I have seen other birds that do this kind of thing. and most of them are waders. I am sure it is to disturb it prey... like little shock waves through the silt and mud. It's like watering your lawn.. worms will rise at the pattering of the water... I am sure it must help with feeding.
    Great post.. really got my interest and I have had 3 books out and went on google looking them up. Well worth the time as well.

  5. Andrée, you take the most incredible photographs. What truly amazes me is that you actually know the names of all the critters and plant life. Can you come to Georgia for a while to teach me all of mine?

    Barb, WillThink4Wine (aka Gandalf & Grayson's Mom & one of MyBellavia's SisterDears)

  6. Andree: I thought going on a snipe hunt was a joke. It's good to see one in the wild.

  7. A beatiful bird! That beak is AWESOME!


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