Nature Journal
with Photos

          
Wilson's Snipe Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
 
General Information
- Stocky, short-legged, pointed-winged shorebird
- Explosive takeoff when flushed, rapid zigzag flight
- Very long, straight bill
- Legs olive
- Head patterned with alternating dark and pale stripes
- Pale breast with darker spots and bars
- Strongly patterned back with several buffy,
  longitudinal stripes
- Rusty brown rump and tail visible in flight
- White belly, dark bars on flanks
- Upperwings dark, secondaries with white tips
- Found primarily in marshes and wet fields
- Sexes similar
- Juvenile similar to adult

Similar species
American Woodcock has a plain, buffy breast, rounded wings and a distinctive head pattern. Dowitchers are similar in size and shape but lack prominent crown and back stripes, and have a white rump and barred tail.
 
 
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