The Wilson's Snipe is a secretive, usually solitary bird of dense
freshwater marshes and brushy streamsides. During breeding season, they
are most often seen when disturbed, and flush in a quick, zig-zag flight.
However, they can be quite tame and approachable in migration through the state. The extremely long bill has a flexible tip which is used
to forage for prey as it probes in soft mud. They were formerly known as
the Common Snipe, but were split from a very similar Eurasian species after they
were found to be distinct.
marshes, brushy borders of ponds and streams.
Diet: Takes large numbers of insects, insect larvae, and
earthworms. Also crustaceans, mollusks, frogs, tadpoles, leeches, and some
Behavior: Uses its flexible and sensitive bill tip
to probe in mud, capturing food underground. Will also collect food
items from the ground, foliage, or the water's surface.
Nesting: May and June
"winnowing", a hooting trill in flight caused by vibrations of outer
Migration: Summers throughout much of Canada, Alaska, and the northern U.S. Winters
from the southern half of the United States all the way through South America.
Conervation Status: Widespread and fairly common, although its
secretive nature makes status somewhat unknown in areas. Loss of
habitat has hurt populations in some areas.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Wilson's Snipe
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Wilson's Snipe photos.