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African Snipe - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Ethiopian Snipe

Photo by MybsPaarl Sewage Works, March 2005
Gallinago nigripennis


30-32 cm

  • Brown upperparts, head and neck, streaked and patterned with bold dark brown stripes.
  • Gold edges to the feathers form 'braces' down the back
  • White belly, though there is some brown barring on the flanks
  • Long pinkish-brown bill
  • Yellowish-olive to greenish-grey legs and feet

Sexes similar
Immatures have pale fringes on the wing coverts


Locally in highlands of eastern and southern Africa.
Western Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Swaziland




Wet mountain moorland and swamps.



It builds a saucer-shaped nest of dry grass in the drier areas of marshes, concealed in a dense tuft of grass or rushes.


It forages by pushing its long bill deep into the mud seeking insects and worms.


  1. Clements, James F. 2007. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2007. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801445019#Avibase
  2. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

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