Imperial Snipe Gallinago imperialis

  • © Philip Lutley Sclater

A large, dark snipe with a restricted Andean range in Ecuador and Peru (unrecorded in Ec. until 1990), the Imperial Snipe is rare and local near treeline in open, wet páramo habitats. It can be incredibly difficult to detect, requiring knowledge of its flight calls given predawn or at dusk. It has much darker and more rufescent upperparts than other snipes, devoid of pale streaking, and strongly banded underparts. In flight, it shows rounded wings lacking white markings, and a short, barred tail. Its distinctive flight display is announced with an extremely loud series of sharp notes, increasing in volume until giving double and triple notes, eventually slowing and fading out after about 10 seconds.

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© Andrew Spencer

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

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