Scientific name: Gallinago gallinago
A medium-sized wader, Snipe live in marshes, wet grassland and moorlands, where they nest in simple scrapes. They use their long, probing bill to find insects, earthworms and crustaceans in the mud, typically swallowing prey whole. During the breeding season, the males can be heard making a unique ‘drumming’ sound as their tail feathers vibrate in the wind during rapid descents in flight displays..
How to identify a Snipe?
Fairly unmistakeable. The larger woodcock is a bird of woodlands while the Snipe is found on grasslands and moorlands and is smaller with a shorter bill. Snipe are brown with an intricate pattern of black and gold stripes and bars and a stripy-brown and gold head. They have short, greyish-green legs and a very long, straight bill.
How can I help?
From 1982 to 2002 there was a 62% reduction in the number of breeding snipe in England and Wales – a significant decline mirrored in many of our wading birds.