Wilson's Snipe

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Scientific Information

Adult Wilson's Snipe in breeding plumage.
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) was only recently separated from the Eurasian Common Snipe. One of the most noticeable things about a Wilson’s Snipe is its display or winnowing used to attract mates and defend its territory. Interestingly, the female always lays a clutch of four eggs of which after hatching, the male will take the first two chicks and care for them and the female will care for the last two but will not have contact with each other after that point. Their bill is long and flexible and used to probe into the mud to find their prey. The tip of their bill can open without moving the base. Although very common to see them displaying, it is very difficult to find the on the ground as they blend in to their surroundings very well as you can see in the photo.

Community Information

Shishmaref

Name

Kikkiġiaqtuġik

Spoken Name

Relevant Site Information

It is not uncommon to see or hear several male Wilson's Snipes winnowing in the air as they attempt to attract a female. They arrive mid-May here and a few pairs will breed here. In the days of shaman, it was believed that these birds were used to mess around with people, even to kill. Elders would say that you should not look for them in the sky when they are winnowing.

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