Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

Because of its abrupt, zig-zag flight, the common snipe is a challenge to shoot and is therefore a favourite among hunters. It is one of the few shorebirds that can be legally hunted!


The common snipe breeds throughout Canada, except in the High Arctic, and throughout most of the northern United States. Year-round populations exist in the mid-west United States, and in southern British Columbia. Wintering migrants can be found along the western United States Pacific coastline, and throughout the southern and eastern United States, south of Pennsylvania. Wintering birds also travel deep into Mexico.

Breeding occurs in freshwater environments. For a complete species account, visit the Great Lakes section.