Common Snipe - Gallinago gallinago
The common snipe is a medium-sized wading bird with a long, straight, pointed black bill. It has a brown body with black bars, a striped head and back, and a white belly. The common snipe's legs are shorter than most wading birds' legs.
The common snipe breeds from Alaska to Newfoundland south to the mid-United States. It winters north from northern South America to British Columbia , the northern Gulf states and Virginia. It is also found in Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia.
The male arrives at the breeding grounds first and stakes out a territory. To attract a mate he flies and dives in the air and makes a loud drumming noise as air passes through his tail feathers. The female lays four eggs in a grass-lined depression in a grass tussock. The chicks hatch after 18-20 days and fledge when they are 19-20 days old.
The common snipe usually stays hidden in the grass, but if it is startled it bursts out from its cover and flies in a zig-zag pattern to evade predators.
Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Patrik Aberg