Jack Snipe

Scientific name: Lymnocryptes minimus

Did you know: The Jack Snipe, often mistaken as the male of the common snipe due to its smaller size, is actually a distinct species with unique behaviours.

What Do Jack Snipes Look Like? (how to identify them)

Jack Snipes are smaller and more elusive than the common snipe, with distinct features. 

They exhibit a larger bill and a camouflaged plumage, helping them blend seamlessly into their environment. Their flight is notably different from snipes, flying low and dropping rapidly instead of zig-zagging and flying off high.

Differences Between Male And Female Jack Snipes

Male and female Jack Snipes look similar, with subtle differences. The female may have a slightly longer bill, while the male’s bill tends to be broader. Both sexes display a mottled brown and golden stripe pattern, perfect for camouflage in their wetland habitat.

What Do Jack Snipes Eat?

Jack Snipes primarily feed on insects, worms, and snails. They exhibit a unique ‘bouncing’ motion while foraging, resembling a spring-like movement, which is thought to disturb invertebrates, making them easier to catch.

Where Do Jack Snipes Live? (inc. migration info)

Jack Snipes are migratory birds, breeding in northern Europe and Russia’s marshes, bogs, tundra, and wet meadows. In winter, they migrate to Great Britain, Europe, Africa, and India, favouring wetlands and grasslands.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Jack Snipes)

Jack Snipes are mostly silent, except during courtship when the male performs an aerial display, emitting a sound similar to a galloping horse. This sound is a hallmark of their mating ritual and is seldom heard outside the breeding season.

Fun Jack Snipe Facts (kid friendly)

  • Jack Snipes can weigh between 35-73g, making them quite lightweight.
  • Their wingspan is between 38-42cm, smaller than many other waders.
  • They are considered a ‘Green’ conservation status, indicating a stable population.
  • You can find about 110,000 Jack Snipes wintering in the UK.
  • They have a unique ‘bobbing’ behaviour while searching for food.
  • Jack Snipes are known for their elusive nature, often staying hidden until the last moment.
  • They are smaller than common snipes, with a length of 17-19 cm.
  • Despite their name, Jack Snipes do not breed in the UK but are winter visitors.
  • They can be difficult to spot due to their excellent camouflage.
  • Jack Snipes are part of the sandpipers, snipes, and phalaropes family.

Jack Snipe Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile

Facts About The Jack Snipe

Diet: Insects, worms and snails.
Bird Family: Sandpipers, snipes and phalaropes
Length: 17-19cm
Wingspan: 38-42cm
Weight: 35-73g
Scientific Name: Lymnocryptes minimus

The Jack Snipe Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December