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Common snipe


Common name Common snipe
Scientific name Gallinago gallinago
Type Waterbirds
Status Wintering

Mid-sized wader (about 27 cm or 10.5 in), chubby, with a very long bill and relatively short legs. Brownish plumage in general. Marbled upperparts with cream coloured and yellowish longitudinal bands. Flanks with ocher stripes and a whitish belly. Head with very characteristic dark longitudinal bands. Fast, zigzag and sharp flight.


Wetlands, River and Riverside

Where it lives

Species linked to humid areas. Very demanding. It prefers inland wetlands with short and dense vegetation, waterlogged banks, rich soils and with flooded grasslands. During the wintering season also in coastal areas.

How it lives

Wintering bird and present during the migratory passage in the province of Malaga. The Common Snipe breeds in the center and north of Europe and in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. One annual laying in May of 2 to 5 eggs. Nest on the ground. Very discreet and crepuscular habits. It feeds on invertebrates extracted from the mud with its bill, which is long and very sensitive.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Species locally frequent in the province. Common on the banks of the main rivers of the province and in sweet and brackish inland wetlands. It can be watched in the Fuente de Piedra lagoon and in the Vélez and Guadalhorce rivers, for example (stages of the Great Path 2, 18 and 25). It has also been observed in the Guadaiza river.

Curious facts

The common name of this bird in Spanish ("agachadiza", meaning "down bender") refers to its habit of flexing its legs to feed, a behaviour that is rare in other waders. In fact, its popular name in Malaga is "agachaera", a variation of its Spanish common name. A ringed specimen in Malaga in the year 2000 was recovered three months later in Moldova, more than 3,800 kilometers (or 2,300 mi) away from the province.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration