Snipe’s snag


I went looking for grizzlies, but found a snipe.

The Wilson’s Snipe is a secretive shorebird that probes the water’s edge to capture and eat invertebrate larvae. When approached, it flushes with a rapid and erratic flight. This is not a bird that wants to be noticed — it wants nothing to do with you.

A Wilson’s Snipe hides along the shore.

Yet, in late May for three years running, I have seen one perched prominently on a snag (and the same snag) next to a wetland. What prompts this abrupt change in behaviour from introvert to extravert?

On May 29, 2019, a Wilson’s Snipe perched prominently on a snag next to a wetland. 

Then on May, 23, 2020, the Wilson’s Snipe was chattering away from the same snag.

Again yesterday (May, 25, 2021) the snipe was back on the same snag.

What prompts a normally timid bird to become an extravert each May? The answer came from the Audubon Society, which explained:

The Wilson’s Snipe becomes more flamboyant in the breeding season, when it often yammers from atop a fencepost or dead tree.

Ah, this seems to a case of how a compulsion for courting can alter one’s behaviour.


This entry was posted in birds. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Snipe’s snag

  1. B says:

    ‘Twas ever thus…….

Comments are closed.