Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Wilson's Snipe at the San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge
I may have a picture or two in the archives of a Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata), but I haven't gotten as far as identifying one yet, so this is a first. The Snipes are a mythical legend from my Boy Scout days of long ago. Our hazings were far less violent than any fraternities, and mostly consisted of "snipe hunts", going out in the darkness with a paper sack trying to convince the Tenderfoots that they could catch a snipe in their bags. I never suspected that the bird actually existed!
The Snipes are not uncommon, but they are shy and well-camouflaged, so are not seen all that often. With their incredibly long bill, they are obviously well-adapted for searching for tidbits in deep mud pools. Their eyes are set farther back in their heads, so they can in effect see threats coming from behind. Like your third-grade teachers, they have eyes on the back of their heads!