Gallinago gallinago   Linnaeus,  1758 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

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Size: Length 27 cm

The Common Snipe is a small to medium sized wading bird. Shorter legs and neck distinguish it from other waders. It is generally 26.7 cm long, with a long, straight, slender bill about 6.4 cm (2.5 inches) long. In flight the Snipe displays the long pointed wings characteristic of wading birds. The female typically weighs about 115 grams. The male snipe is larger, generally weighing about 130 grams.

Color: The adult snipe has a brown body that is striped with black. There is black stripes across the eyes, which are set back on the head, away from the bill. The adult has a black bill, and legs that are olive in color. The female of the species is similar in coloration to the male. The down of the juvenile snipe is marbled brown and black, which provides excellent camouflage. This down is striped with black and speckled with white. The legs of the young bird are grayish, and the bill is black.

Habitat: The Common Snipe can be found in open areas with enough low vegetation to provide cover. These areas include marshes, canals, stream banks, bogs, and wet meadows, and even Arctic tundra. Nests are generally a grass-lined hollows in wet meadows, or marsh.

Breeding season: It breeds from April to August. Nest- The nest is a shallow scrape positioned on dry ground in marshes, fens, swamps and bogs (e.g. on a mound or sedge tuft) in the cover of grass, rushes, sedge or sphagnum moss. The species nests in solitary territorial pairs at densities of between 10 and 38 or up to 110 pairs per kilometer.

Synonym (s)
Gallinago gallinago gallinago Ali & Ripley, 1969
Scolopax Gallinago Linnaeus, 1758
Capella gallinago (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common Name (s)
• Fantail Snipe (English)
• Common Snipe (English)
• Snipe (English)
• Chaha Chadheyi
• Kadakhocha (Bengali)
• Korakothi (Tamil)
• Muku puredi (Telugu)
• Garkhod (Gujrati)
• Pan lawa (Marathi)
• Chuntan kata,Chuntan kata, (Malayalam)
• Mor ullan, Ullan kuruvi (Tamil)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(The species is hunted for sport.
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(The species is threatened by habitat changes such as wetland drainage and grassland improvement (e.g. through drainage, inorganic fertilising and reseeding). Important migratory stop-over habitats in the Kaliningrad region of Russia are also threatened by petroleum pollution, wetland and flood-plain drainage, peat-extraction, reedbed mowing and burning, and abandonment and changing land management practices leading to scrub and reed overgrowth. The species suffers from lead poisoning as a result of ingesting lead shot deposited on wetlands, suffers nest predation by introduced mammals (e.g. European hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus) on islands.)
Threats:  Natural threats
(Susceptible to avian influenza so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus.)

Habitat:  Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Worms, insects, crustaceans, and mollusks, as well as occasional seeds and berries
Predator:  nest predation by introduced mammals (e.g. European hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus)
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram INDIA (Record: 08/1986-07/1987)
• Orissa, Mahanadi Estuary (Lat: 20.32) (Long: 86.75) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA (Record: 2003, 2008)
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 75.96) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.28) (Long: 76.31) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.66) (Long: 76.55) INDIA
• West Bengal, Bangaon, Ichhamati River INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Kerela, Kuttanad wetlands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Point Calimere (Lat: 10.3) (Long: 79.85) INDIA
• Arunachal Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Haryana, Kurukshetra INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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Page last updated on:2012-08-31

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