Fuegian Snipe Gallinago stricklandii

  • © Fabrice Schmitt

Of all birds in South America’s Southern Cone, this is one of the least known. This large snipe appears to breed in exposed Fuegian islands with much bunchgrass, although this is surmised from dates of occurrence as nests have never been found. It may also breed in Patagonian peat swamps, but again, this is not confirmed. Various records well north into south-central Chile during the non-breeding season also suggest it is migratory, although no records in these now relatively well-watched areas exist for the last several decades! The lack of knowledge on this species is confounded by misidentifications of South American Snipe, particularly on the Falkland Islands where some South American Snipe are curiously darker than others. The Fuegian Snipe, which was formerly known as Strickland’s Snipe, is an entirely different animal. It is large, bulky, tame and has a long and almost “kiwi-like” bill that droops at the end. Much still needs to be learned about this fascinating shorebird. Even for well experienced and well-traveled southern cone birders, this remains as one of the most difficult species to find.

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Recommended Citation

Fuegian Snipe (Gallinago stricklandii), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: