Red Deer River Naturalists

The Red Deer river Naturalists are a group dedicated to learning about and preserving natural history. They have regular programs with speakers and many field trips.


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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wilson Snipe

There seem to be many Wilson Snipe this spring. On a recent trip to Brooks, Alberta, we saw them sitting on fence posts and posing for the cameras. They are handsome birds with a lond straight bill and brownish markings on the feathers.
Several males were doing a "winnowing" flight to attract a mate. The sound is produced when the bird dives in flight. The air rushing past the outer tail feathers makes an errie sound.
Snipes like areas where there is standing water. You can see them walking along the mudflats or in shallow water as they scrounge for insects and worms. Sometimes earthworms form part of their diet.
The nest is on the ground. The nest is built by the female and is lined with grass, leaves, or moss.