Wilson's Snipe

Gallinago delicata
Wilson's snipe have a long bill and bold head stripes/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

This shorebird can be seen all year in the Refuge and nests here. It prefers damp, boggy kinds of habitat. It is a small, stocky, wader that likes to forage in the mud for insects and earthworms. Wilson's snipe have long, straight bills and bold head stripes.  The names “sky goat” and “fantail snipe” come from the winnowing, made by the fanned-out tail feathers as the air flows over them.  The fantail causes the air to sound like the bleating of a goat. 

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Facts About Wilson's Snipe

Longest billed bird in the snipe family

The male performs “winnowing” displays during courtship

It is nicknamed the “sky goat” or “fantail snipe”