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Wild Ideas: Wilson's Snipe

Air rushing through a snipe’s tail feathers creates an otherworldly sound. And though the long tradition of “snipe hunt” pranks has convinced many people otherwise, Wilson’s snipe aren’t imaginary creatures.

Snipe are medium-size, pudgy shorebirds. Hunters with a shotgun, not a dupe with a sack, pursue them from November to mid-February. Snipe forage along wet fields, ditches, rivers and ponds. They slurp small prey such as insect larvae and worms from mud without having to remove their long bill from the soil.

The word “sniper” originates from early hunters’ attempts to harvest this bird despite its fast, erratic flight.

You can learn more about real snipe hunting in Arkansas by visiting agfc.com.

Join Kirsten Bartlow for Wild Ideas as she explores wildlife and conservation topics across Arkansas—from the Ozark Mountains to the Delta bayous.