South American Painted-Snipe Nycticryphes semicollaris


The South American Painted-snipe is little known, and found only in the southern cone of South America. They are shy and largely nocturnal. When the right conditions exist they may be found in small groups. They are smaller than Gallinago snipe, fly up from the grass without making a sound, and have an almost bat-like flight. Painted-snipe prefer short grassy wetlands, with taller emergent vegetation nearby; as their preference is for rather shallow wetlands their habitat is ephemeral and these shorebirds disperse when conditions become too dry. Little is known about their breeding, except that two eggs is the norm and that they breed between the winter and spring depending on the location. The Old World member of this family is sex-role reversed and some information suggests that this species may be as well, although to a lesser extent; but confirmation of the breeding strategy is needed. True to the fact that so little is known about this species, its call has been described verbally (a wee oo) but it has not been recorded.

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Recommended Citation

South American Painted-Snipe (Nycticryphes semicollaris), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: