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A photo of a Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus)
Jack Snipe

Jack Snipe

Lymnocryptes minimus

The Jack Snipe, or Lymnocryptes minimus, presents as a small, stocky wader, the most diminutive of its kind. Its unique sternum sets it apart from other snipes and woodcocks, marking it as the sole representative of its genus.

Identification Tips

Adult Jack Snipes are notably smaller than their common snipe counterparts, with a shorter bill to match. They range from 18 to 25 cm in length, boast a wingspan of 30 to 41 cm, and weigh between 33 and 73 grams. Their upper bodies are mottled brown, while their undersides remain pale. A dark stripe adorns their eye, and their wings are pointed and narrow. In flight, one can discern yellow back stripes. On land, their distinctive bobbing movement is quite mesmerizing.

Habitat

These birds favor marshes, bogs, tundra, and wet meadows with short vegetation for their breeding grounds, which are found in northern Europe and Russia.

Distribution

Jack Snipes are migratory birds. Outside the breeding season, they can be found in Great Britain, along the coasts of Atlantic and Mediterranean Europe, in Africa, and as far as India.

Behaviour

Jack Snipes are known for their secretive nature in non-breeding areas, blending seamlessly into their environment. They are often only spotted when they are flushed out, flying quietly a short distance before disappearing back into the vegetation.

Feeding

In their quest for sustenance, Jack Snipes probe soft mud or pick up food by sight. Their diet primarily consists of insects and earthworms, supplemented by plant material.

Breeding

During courtship, the male Jack Snipe performs an aerial display, producing a sound reminiscent of a galloping horse. They are generally silent in the winter months. Nesting occurs in well-concealed ground locations, where they lay 3 to 4 eggs.

Conservation Status

The Jack Snipe is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating a stable population.

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Jack Snipe Fun Facts

Did you know?
The Jack Snipe is the smallest of all of the Snipe species.

Jack Snipes on Birda

Sightings

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A photo of a Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

Snipe

Gallinago gallinago
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