Swinhoe's snipe

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Swinhoe's snipe
Gallinago megala.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Gallinago
Species: G. megala
Binomial name
Gallinago megala
Swinhoe, 1861

Swinhoe's snipe, Gallinago megala, also known as forest snipe or Chinese snipe, is a medium-sized (length 27–29 cm, wingspan 38–44 cm, weight 120 gm), long-billed, migratory wader.

The common name commemorates the British naturalist Robert Swinhoe.[2]


Identifiable as a Gallinago snipe by its cryptically patterned black, brown, buff and white plumage, but not easily distinguished from Latham's and pin-tailed snipe in the field. Commonly referred to as cho suekyung in South Korea.


Breeds mainly in central and southern Siberia and Mongolia. Entire population migrates and spends non-breeding season principally in eastern and southern India, Sri Lanka, south-eastern China, South-East Asia and New Guinea. Recorded on migration in eastern China, and occasionally Japan. Records in Australia mainly from the Top End of the Northern Territory and from north-western Western Australia.


Breeding habitat: forest glades and meadows. Non-breeding habitat: shallow freshwater wetlands of various kinds including paddy fields and sewage farms, with bare mud or shallow water for feeding, with nearby vegetation cover.


Mainly small invertebrates including earthworms, mollusks and insects.


Display flights and drumming by the males.


Because of wide range and no evidence of significant population decline, the species is assessed as being of Least Concern.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Gallinago megala". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael (2003). Whose Bird? Men and Women Commemorated in the Common Names of Birds. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 331–332. 

Further reading[edit]


  • Carey, Geoff and Urban Olsson (1995) Field Identification of Common, Wilson's, Pintail and Swinhoe's Snipes Birding World 8(5): 179-190