photo by NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
L 10 1/2″ (27 cm).
Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)
Harsh “skipe” call given when flushed. On breeding grounds gives “wheet-wheet” notes.
Description: Sexes similar. A stocky bird with short legs and a long yellowish bill. Strongly striped head pattern. Mottled brown above; white below with barring on flanks and vertical streaking on throat and breast. Rusty tail. Distinctive rapid zigzagging flight when flushed.
Habitat: Marshes and other wetlands with areas of mudflats or mucky soil. Shoreline and emergent vegetation is preferred over more open areas.
Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant, and rare summer resident. Regular breeder in wet meadows in northern 2/3rds of the state. Overwinters in small numbers in unfrozen seep springs, especially in eastern Sandhills.
Field Notes: Usually only seen in flight or when flushed.
Fun Facts: The long bill of the Common Snipe is flexible, with sensory pits at the tip of the bill to be able to feel its prey in the mud.