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Great Snipe

Chris Packham presents the superbly camouflaged great snipe of Eastern Europe.

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Chris Packham presents the superbly camouflaged great snipe of Eastern Europe. A thin drizzle of tinkling notes mingled with rhythmic tapping drifts across a Polish marsh in spring a sign that great male snipes are displaying. Great snipe are wading birds with short legs and very long two-toned bills, which they use to probe bogs and wet ground for worms. Across much of Europe having newly returned from its sub-Saharan wintering grounds a number of northern and eastern European marshes, set stage as breeding sites for the larger, great snipe. They court females at traditional lekking or displaying grounds where several males vie for attention. Perched on a small mound, males gather at sunset to fan their white outer tail feathers, puff out their chests and produce a medley of very un-wader-like calls. The females, looking for a mate, are attracted to the dominant males at the centre of the lek.

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2 minutes

Last on

Last Wednesday 05:58

Great snipe (Gallinago media)

Webpage image courtesy of Erlend Haarlberg / naturepl.com.

NPL Ref 01389769 © Erlend Haarlberg / naturepl.com

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