and veers awkwardly left and right in zigzag flight. They seek food early in the morning and in late afternoon, and seem to be more active on cloudy days. Wilson's Snipe: This medium-sized sandpiper has brown and black mottled upperparts, buff striped back, white underparts, dark bars on sides and flanks, heavily streaked head, neck and breast, and yellow-green legs and feet. They use their long bills to probe deeply in the mud to find small animals. Feeds on insects and earthworms. Its cryptic coloration makes it almost impossible to detect until it bolts suddenly with a sharp scrat! One of the most distinctive sounds of Wilson's Snipe is a winnowing sound made by air rushing through its stiff outer tail feathers as it dives from high in its display flight. Haunting and eery in composition, the snipe's signature perhaps reflects human feelings towards the areas it inhabits: wetlands and bogs, marshes and swamps. This abundant and widespread species breeds throughout Canada and the northwestern United States and winters throughout the rest of the US all the way down to northern South America.To find Wilson's Snipe you'll have to journey to a wet, open habitat such as a marsh, pond, or flooded field, where they can hide in the short, thick vegetation. On breeding grounds, watch and listen for aerial flight display, which includes a rapid series of hoot-like noises produced by the outer tail feathers. Exceptionally long bill is used for probing into mud. Diet Wilson's Snipes eat insects, earthworms, and other creatures that burrow in wet soil. To begin discussing a Wilson's Snipe one must start with its call. The Wilson’s Snipe hugs the ground most of the time, usually in wet, shallow-pooled meadows. The genus name gallinago is New Latin for a woodcock or snipe from Latin gallina, "hen" and the suffix -ago, "resembling".The specific delicata is Latin for "dainty".. Similar in shape to American Woodcock but much darker, with brown markings on underparts and striped face. Of course, both of those field marks can pretty much only be seen in flight. Zigzag flight on takeoff, followed by direct flight with rapid wing beats. The Wilson’s Snipe has a global breeding population … These are marginal areas of little apparent use, though the snipe … Sibley points out the "broad white tips on secondaries" and "white bars on underwing coverts" of Common Snipe to differentiate it from Wilson's. Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicate)Wilson’s Snipe at Anchor Point wetland (Photo by Michelle Michaud) Photo by Robin Edwards General Information: The Wilson’s Snipe, a member of the Cholopacidae family, genus Gallinago, a common and widespread shorebird species, is not typically found along shorelines, but rather wetlands. Wilson's snipe (Gallinago delicata) is a small, stocky shorebird. Sexes are similar. Although the Wilson's Snipe generally migrates in flocks at night, during the day the birds scatter and usually feed alone. Plump, camouflaged shorebird that blends into wet meadows and marshy areas.