Wilson’s Snipe

The Wilson's Snipe is a small- to medium-sized bird with a white belly and mottled brown feathers along its body. They have a bill that is nearly the length of their body.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Gallinago delicata
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
1.5-10 Years
SIZE
10.5-12.5 ” | 0.12-0.3 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Priority Species
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Upland Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Wilson’s Snipe prefer wet marshes and flooded meadows that contain high insect activity. Sedges and some vegetation is important for coverage from predators and for nest sites. They stay away from heavily vegetated marshes with thick bushes and cattails.

  • Lakes and reservoirs
  • Marsh

Threats

  • Drought
  • Habitat Loss

Natural History

Wilson’s Snipe are a long-billed shorebird that are expert invertebrate hunters. They bury their bills into the mud and soil looking for larvae and worms. Snipes nest on the ground using sedges or cattails as coverage. Females tend to the eggs and young, but when the offspring are ready to fledge, they are split up. The male takes the two oldest fledglings with him, and the mother takes the younger fledglings. To protect fledglings or eggs, parents may fake injury and appear vulnerable to draw a predator away from the nest.

Fun Facts

A flock of Wilson's Snipe is called a wisp.