African Snipe | Gallinago nigripennis
The African 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 African Snipe (Latin name Gallinago nigripennis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Gallinago nigripennis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 286 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 344. You will find a picture of the African 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.
This bird is known as Ethiopian Snipe in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the African Snipe between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The African Snipe is known in Afrikaans as Afrikaanse Snip.
The African Snipe has a height of 29 cms and weighs around 140 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured brown. The Gallinago nigripennis has a black, white coloured throat, green legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.
The male Gallinago nigripennis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.
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 brown
Eyes are brown
Bill is brown
Legs are green
Throat is black, white
Back is black
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 African Snipe is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 eggs and they are coloured grey.
The bird builds its nest above water as a means of protecting itself from predators and to be close to its main food source which includes fish, shrimp and frogs.
The African 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
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
The African Snipe is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.
It is also seen in flocks
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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