Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wilson's Snipe

This Snipe belongs to Wilson. He saw it first and it belongs to him. If you look at a Wilson's Snipe, as with Wilson's Warbler, you have to pay a royalty.
These shorebirds are common enough throughout the U.S., though I would go so far as to add that they're only locally common. I spend lots of my birding time in marshy and riparian areas, but the only place I've seen Wilson's Snipes is that the Gilbert Water Ranch, where they are known to hang out in large numbers by mid-winter.

They have a very pleasing coloration. They have the white bellies and grey sides like many Sandpipers, but have the ruddy and brown coloration on their backs and heads that makes them look more like Curlews and Woodcocks. Their large beaks also make them especially stand out for a bird their size (about 10 inches). This is the first Wilson's I've seen this year and it was pretty far out on the mudflats. I expect to see more and up close in these next couple months.

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