Hiding in plain sight – Wilson’s snipe

A Wilson’s snipe trying to hide in an open field. This is the way they do it in between vegetation as well, they lower themselves and stay very very still.

Short stocky legs, a very long think bill with a very sensitive tip, large eyes, and a rounded stocky body as well. Wilson’s Snipes are one of those birds you will instantly recognize when you encounter them. And that part is what is difficult, encountering them. Cause even with all their beautiful patterns and rufous colored tail feathers, they blend in so well with the vegetation they roam amongst that they might have invented the word camouflage in the bird world.

The bill is used to prod into the mud to find invertebrates and move their heads up and down like a machine while doing it. When they sense danger they will freeze on the spot and will blend seamlessly with the grasses and other vegetation on the edge of the water.

Wilson’s snipes can be found on Curacao during the fall migration and will arrive in huge numbers in the month of November. Most will continue their travels south but some will stay the winter months hiding along the edge of dams, freshwater ponds, and other areas which are wet. A good rainy season will provide the perfect habitat in dams and other waterways for these birds, and then more will overwinter on the island. Look for them by standing very still in a relatively hidden position and scan the vegetation with your binoculars. Wait for something to move to be able to distinguish this species or other marsh species.

Wilson’s SnipeAmerikaanse watersnipGallinago delicata

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