Jack Snipe

Jack Snipe  Lymnocryptes  minimus


  • Lymnocryptes : Greek word limne – marsh; kruptos- hidden
  • Minimus : Latin word for Small, Least

Vernacular  Names: Hindi: Chhotachaha, Bi: Do lagain, Nepal: Chhotabharka, Guj: Nano garkhod, Nanipankhapunchgarkhod, Mar: ChotaPanlawa

Distribution inIndia:Widespread Winter visitor in India.

Description: Size of17-19cm, Wt. of 28–106 g; wingspan 34–42 cm.It is the smallest snipe in India. It has a large head, relatively short bill; narrow wings with white trailing edge. It has wedge-shaped tail and has purple and green gloss on black upperparts. The sexes are alike in plumage, but male is significantly larger in wing length, head length, skull length, bill depth, bill width and length of middle toe with claw, whereas females has longer bill.  The juvenile very similar to adult, but has white undertail-coverts with smaller and paler brown stripes.

Habitat:  It is found in breeding season in open marshes, floodplains and bogs, in forest tundra and northern taiga. It winters in brackish and freshwater habitats, moist and waterlogged, soft silty mud, margins of rivers, streams and inland spring-fed meadows.

Food Habits: It eats adult and larval insects, annelids, small freshwater and terrestrial gastropods and sometimes seeds or other plant material. It moves its body rhythmicallyup and down when probing in mud and also pecks prey items from surface. It is chiefly nocturnal or crepuscular. It usually feeds singly, sometimes in loose groups.

Breeding Habits:  They breed in May- Sept innorthern Europe and northern Russia.They are monogamous. Themale performs switchback display flight, typically at dawn and dusk, but sometimes throughout day. The nest is often on floating bogs, but sometimes on drier ground among bushes; lined with pieces of grass or leaves. They lay a clutch of 3-4 eggs with laying interval of one day. The incubation period is 21-24 days. The fledging period is 19-20 days. Both parents look after the chicks, the male usually takes care only of the first 2 chicks hatched.