Gallinago delicata - (Ord, 1825)
Wilson's Snipe
Synonym(s): Capella gallinago delicata (Ord, 1825)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Gallinago delicata (Ord, 1825) (TSN 726048)
French Common Names: bécassine de Wilson
Spanish Common Names: Agachona Común
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.103058
Element Code: ABNNF18030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Shorebirds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Charadriiformes Scolopacidae Gallinago
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 2002. Forty-third supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 119(3):897-906.
Concept Reference Code: A02AOU01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Gallinago delicata
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly considered conspecific with Old World G. gallinago (AOU 1998) because of overall morphological similarities, but separated by Banks et al. (2002) on the basis of differences in winnowing display sounds associated with differences in the tail feathers (Thonen 1969, Tuck 1972, Miller 1996). South American and African forms are now generally treated as distinct species as well (Banks et al. 2002). Has been placed in the genus Capella by some authors, but that name is regarded as invalid by most authorities (Banks and Browning 1995).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 10Oct2002
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widespread and abundant in North America.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5M (29Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5N), Alaska (S5B), Arizona (S1B,S4N), Arkansas (S4N), California (SNR), Colorado (S5), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (S2S3N), Florida (SNRN), Georgia (S5), Idaho (S3N,S4B), Illinois (S3), Indiana (S1S2B), Iowa (S2B,S5N), Kansas (S4N), Kentucky (S3S4N), Louisiana (S5N), Maine (S5B,S5N), Maryland (S2N), Massachusetts (S1S2B,S4N), Michigan (S4), Minnesota (SNRB), Mississippi (S5N), Missouri (SNRN), Montana (S5), Navajo Nation (S1S2N), Nebraska (S4), Nevada (S4), New Hampshire (S4B), New Jersey (S3S4), New Mexico (S2B,S5N), New York (S5B), North Carolina (S5N), North Dakota (SNRB), Ohio (S3), Oklahoma (S5N), Oregon (S4), Pennsylvania (S3B,S3N), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNRN), South Dakota (S3B), Tennessee (S4N), Texas (S5), Utah (S4B,S3N), Vermont (S5B), Virginia (SNRN), Washington (S4B,S5N), West Virginia (S3B,S3N), Wisconsin (S4B), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Alberta (S5B), British Columbia (S4S5B), Labrador (S5B,S5M), Manitoba (S5B), New Brunswick (S3S4B,S5M), Newfoundland Island (S5B,S5M), Northwest Territories (S5B), Nova Scotia (S3B), Nunavut (S5B,S5M), Ontario (S5B), Prince Edward Island (S3B), Quebec (S5), Saskatchewan (S5B,S5M), Yukon Territory (S5B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: northern Alaska east through southern Keewatin to Labrador, south to southern Alaska, central California, eastern Arizona, New Mexico (probably), Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, northern Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New England, and Maritime Provinces. NON-BREEDING: southern Alaska (rarely), southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Utah, central U.S., and Virginia south through Middle America and the West Indies to Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam, and Ecuador; casual or accidental in Hawaii, Bermuda, Greenland and Scotland (AOU 1998, Banks et al. 2002).

Number of Occurrences: > 300

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Morrison et al. (2001) estimated the total number in North America to be 2 million, with a range of 1-3 million, although this may still be an underestimate (R. Cannings, pers. comm.).

Short-term Trend Comments: Morrison (1993/1994) categorized the population trend in Canada as "stable?/decreasing?"

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: northern Alaska east through southern Keewatin to Labrador, south to southern Alaska, central California, eastern Arizona, New Mexico (probably), Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, northern Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New England, and Maritime Provinces. NON-BREEDING: southern Alaska (rarely), southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Utah, central U.S., and Virginia south through Middle America and the West Indies to Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam, and Ecuador; casual or accidental in Hawaii, Bermuda, Greenland and Scotland (AOU 1998, Banks et al. 2002).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Apache (04001)
CT Middlesex (09007)*, Tolland (09013)*
ID Ada (16001), Bear Lake (16007), Bingham (16011), Blaine (16013), Bonner (16017), Bonneville (16019), Boundary (16021), Camas (16025), Caribou (16029), Cassia (16031), Custer (16037), Fremont (16043), Gooding (16047), Jefferson (16051), Kootenai (16055), Latah (16057), Nez Perce (16069), Owyhee (16073), Shoshone (16079), Teton (16081)
IN Greene (18055), Lagrange (18087)
NE Banner (31007), Box Butte (31013), Brown (31017), Cherry (31031), Garden (31069), Garfield (31071), Grant (31075), Holt (31089), Keith (31101), Kimball (31105), Lancaster (31109), Lincoln (31111), Madison (31119), Morrill (31123), Rock (31149), Scotts Bluff (31157), Sheridan (31161), Sherman (31163), Sioux (31165)
NM San Juan (35045)
OH Carroll (39019), Columbiana (39029), Huron (39077), Lorain (39093), Lucas (39095), Portage (39133), Summit (39153), Trumbull (39155)
PA Bedford (42009), Bradford (42015), Erie (42049), Luzerne (42079), McKean (42083), Tioga (42117)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Lower Connecticut (01080205)+*, Shetucket (01100002)+*
02 Tioga (02050104)+, Upper Susquehanna-Tunkhannock (02050106)+, Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna (02050107)+, Raystown (02050303)+
04 St. Joseph (04050001)+, Ottawa-Stony (04100001)+, Lower Maumee (04100009)+, Huron-Vermilion (04100012)+, Black-Rocky (04110001)+, Cuyahoga (04110002)+, Grand (04110004)+
05 Upper Allegheny (05010001)+, French (05010004)+, Upper Ohio (05030101)+, Tuscarawas (05040001)+, Lower White (05120202)+
10 Upper Niobrara (10150003)+, Middle Niobrara (10150004)+, Snake (10150005)+, Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff (10180009)+, Pumpkin (10180013)+, Lower North Platte (10180014)+, Lower Lodgepole (10190016)+, Middle Platte-Buffalo (10200101)+, Salt (10200203)+, Upper Middle Loup (10210001)+, Dismal (10210002)+, Lower Middle Loup (10210003)+, Cedar (10210010)+, Upper Elkhorn (10220001)+
14 Middle San Juan (14080105)+, Chaco (14080106)+, Chinle (14080204)+
15 Little Colorado headwaters (15020001)+, San Francisco (15040004)+
16 Bear Lake (16010201)+
17 Lower Kootenai (17010104)+, Pend Oreille Lake (17010214)+, Upper Coeur D'alene (17010301)+, Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Lower Henrys (17040203)+, Teton (17040204)+, Willow (17040205)+, American Falls (17040206)+, Goose (17040211)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Big Lost (17040218)+, Camas (17040220)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, Upper Owyhee (17050104)+, Middle Owyhee (17050107)+, Jordan (17050108)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, Upper Salmon (17060201)+, Upper Middle Fork Salmon (17060205)+, Clearwater (17060306)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Clutch size usually 4. Incubation usually 17-20 days, by female. Young leave nest soon after hatching, tended by both parents in 2 separate groups, capable of sustained flight at about 20 days.
Ecology Comments: Nonbreeding: forages singly or in loose groups, usually roosts in flocks (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Arrives in northern breeding areas mostly in April-May (late May-early June in far north of nw. Canada), departs most of breeding range by October-December (Bent 1927) (by end of September in far north). North American breeders migrate as far as Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam, and Ecuador (AOU 1983). Resident populations in South America east of Andes south to Paraguay, west of Andes in Chile (Hilty and Brown 1986). Migrants arrive in Costa Rica mid- to late October, remain through March or April (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND, TEMPORARY POOL
Habitat Comments: ALL SEASONS: Wet grassy or marshy areas from tundra to temperate lowlands and hilly regions. NON-BREEDING: wet meadows, flooded fields, bogs, swamps, moorlands, and marshy banks of rivers and lakes. BREEDING: Nests in tussock of vegetation in or at edge of marsh, wet meadow, or bog.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats mostly insects (especially burrowing larvae), mollusks, crustaceans, and worms; sometimes also seeds of sedges and grasses. Probes into mud or soft soil, takes some food on surface.
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature Phenology: Circadian
Phenology Comments: Largely crepuscular in feeding, nocturnal in migration (Terres 1980).
Length: 27 centimeters
Weight: 128 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Shorebirds

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Feeding Area, Breeding Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Mapping Guidance: Breeding occurrences include nesting areas as well as foraging areas of nesting adults and broods. Because separations are based on nesting areas, the foraging areas of different occurrences may overlap if nesting birds are traveling to distant places to feed.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance pertains specifically to nesting areas, not to locations of dispersed foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap of more than 5 km are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas.

The separation distance is an arbitrary value; it is impractical to attempt to delineate shorebird occurrences on the basis of dispersal patterns or metapopulation dynamics. Foraging ranges of some nesting shorebird species (see following) may suggest use of a larger separation distance, but this likely would result in occurrences that are too large and less effective for conservation planning.

Separation distance based on larger 'typical' breeding home ranges with diameters of 1.5 to 3 kilometers. Semipalmated Plovers have breeding home ranges up to 3 square kilometers, i.e. a diameter of just under 2 kilometers (Nol and Blanken 1999). Red-necked Phalaropes have a core home range of 1-3 hectares, but occasionally travel 1.5 kilometers to feed (Rubega et al. 2000). Stilt Sandpipers can forage up to 8 kilometers from nest (Jehl 1973). Mountain Plovers have an average home range of 56.6 hectares (Knopf 1996) but broods typically move 1-2 kilometers shortly after hatching (Knopf and Rupert 1996).

Territories: Common Snipe, 6.4-28.6 hectares (Mueller 1999); Long-billed Dowitcher, 100-300 meter diameter (Johnsgard 1981); golden-plovers, average 10-59 hectares (Johnson and Connors 1996); Long-billed Curlew, 6-20 hectares (Johnsgard 1981).

Nesting densities: Black-bellied Plover, 0.3-2.3 pairs per square kilometer (44 ha per pair at latter density; Hussell and Page 1976, Parmelee et al. 1967); Marbled Godwit, maximum density 1 pair/32 hectares (Stewart and Kantrud 1972).

Foraging distances: Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, up to 13 kilometers from nest (Elphick and Tibbits 1998, Tibbits and Moskoff 1999).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1.5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a smaller 'typical' home ranges (see Separation Justification).
Date: 25Mar2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Subtype(s): Roost, Foraging concentration area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat (minimum can be reduced in the case of rarer species). Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 5 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging or roosting birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 15Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Roost, Winter Feeding Area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 5 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging or roosting birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 25Mar2004
Author: S. Cannings
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 23Mar1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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