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Great Snipe | Gallinago media

The Great Snipe is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Scolopacidae bird family group which includes birds such as Snipes, Godwits, Curlews, Whimbrels, Shanks, Stints, Sandpipers, Ruff, Turnstones, Phalaropes.

The description for the Great Snipe (Latin name Gallinago media) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Gallinago media can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 285 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 342. You will find a picture of the Great Snipe on page 305.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Great Snipe between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Great Snipe has a height of 28 cms and weighs around 230 gms. The head is coloured black, brown while the bill is coloured brown. The Gallinago media has a black, white coloured throat, grey, green legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black, brown

Eyes are brown

Bill is brown

Legs are grey, green

Throat is black, white

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Great Snipe is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Great Snipe is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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