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Snipe Bird

Identification of Snipe Bird

Snipe Bird 1 Length: 25-27cm Wingspan: 44-47cm Call: "scaap!"

The Snipe bird is a cryptically plumaged bird, with a distinctive pattern of stripes, mottling and barring all over. The most obvious feature is a rather disproportionately long, bicolored bill, combined with rather short legs and a dumpy body. The head of Snipe bird is boldly striped with a very broad buffy-yellow supercilium and a black line between bill and eye. The large black eye looks high and to the rear of the head, giving it a unique expression. The crown is black with a buff central streak, and the mantle has thick straw-like yellow stripes. The underparts have a whitish ground colour with neat dark brown barring on the flanks and breast. In flight it shows a distinct white trailing edge to the secondary flight feathers. The sexes are similar. Juvenile birds show narrower bars on the upperparts and unbroken pale edges to the wing coverts.

Habitat of Snipe Bird

Snipe bird is relatively common throughout Britain, although declining, and breeds in damp grassy areas, boggy uplands and other wet and marshy areas. In winter it occurs more widely in various wetlands. It can often be seen probing its long bill deep into soft mud along wet edges, although it can be shy and well camouflaged, announcing its presence with a harsh call when flying up in rapid zig-zagging escape flight.

Song/call of Snipe Bird

Snipe Bird 2

Snipe Bird's rough "scaap!" flight call can be heard year-round, but on its breeding grounds it is much more vocal, sitting out on fence posts and making a loud rhythmic "chip-chip-chip-chip..." or "per-chip-per-chip-per-chip-per-chip" sound, lasting for 5-60 seconds and including 4 or 5 notes per second. This call can also be uttered in flight. In addition to these vocalizations, the male makes a remarkable drumming noise in a display flight, not dissimilar to the sound of the distant bleating of a sheep. Snipe bird can be seen over its breeding areas from March to June making continuous flights, diving steeply down at a 45 degree angle which causes the air to rush through the stiff and extended outer tail feathers, creating the distinctive drumming sound. This sound lasts typically for 1.5-3 seconds, although occasionally for longer.