Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

The Common Snipe is a small bird, 10.5" (27cm), streaked with buffy-yellow and dark brown on top, while its underparts are white, with a buff-striped breast and barring on the sides. It has a striped face and head, with a very long, straight bill. Its long legs are olive-green in colour.

Common Snipes are seen either solitary, or in small groups. When flushed, its flight is a rapid zig-zag pattern and it flies far.

Common Snipes are mostly found at a waters edge, eating aquatic insects, worms, small crustaceans and mollusks. Due to the structure of their bill, they can open just the tip and eat underwater, without needing to raise their long bills from the bottom of the water. Occasionally, they also take seeds and small fruits.

The Common Snipe is a palaeartic migrant, visiting Kenya between October and March. It breeds from Central Africa, to as far north as the Arctic tundras. Largely seen in the western half of Kenya.

Extra Facts
The bill of the Common Snipe is 2.5" (6.5cm) long, nearly a quarter of its overall length.

Photographed in Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bird, common snipe, kenya, snipe, wildlife

Common Snipe ~ Feeding

Common Snipe feeding in a small pond on Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy.

Common Snipe ~ Wading

A Common Snipe wading through deep water in a stream, floating, leg raised.

Common Snipe ~ Walking

Common Snipe, walking beside a stream, leg raised.