This Eurasian species is nearly identical to Wilson's Snipe, and until recently was considered the same species. The two differ only in the pattern on the underside of the wing and by the number of tail feathers. Common Snipe shows extensive white on the underwing coverts and axillaries. These areas are uniformly barred gray on Wilson's. Common has white squared tips on the secondaries, creating a trailing edge on the inner wing. Wilson's has very thin white fringes to the secondaries. When the tail is spread, as during display flight, Common shows one wide outer tail feather separated from the rest of the tail. Wilson's shows two equally narrow outer feathers separated from the rest of the tail. The bill is long and straight, paler at the base. Upperparts are mottled dark brown and chestnut, with two sets of buffy stripes running down the back and with heavily barred tertials. The head shows a series of pale and dark stripes, beginning with a pale central crown stripe. Note the rusty orange coloring near the end of the tail. The underparts are white, with extensive streaking across the breast and dark barring down the sides and flanks.
Length: 27 (cm) Wingspan: 39 (cm)
Call is a repeated scape, or a two-syllable ski-ape. Winnowing sound of displaying male is lower in pitch than that of Wilson's Snipe.
Elaborate courtship flights at dusk produce "winnowing" sound.
Deeply probes mud with long bill.
Expanded Life History
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