poetry and prose about place

spring chorus – snipe

with 4 comments

For the last two mornings, about 9:00, about one and a half hours after sunrise, I hear a song that is not a song. A winnowing ‘hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,’ like a repeated, trailing set of high pitched notes, echoes in the grey woods. This is the mating display and call of a snipe.  The amazing thing is, the call is not coming from the snipe’s throat, but from its feathers. As it flies, the air moving through the tail feathers makes the ‘call.’ To hear this sound, visit here.

The snipe is a bird of wetlands and marshes. It has a long bill and black, white and brown feathers. There is still lots of snow on the ground but this bird seems anxious to get on with the season.

The only other birds singing this morning were the crows and our neighbour’s rooster!


March 16 2019 'snipe' Jane Tims.jpg

Written by jane tims

March 16, 2019 at 7:21 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Neat sound. I’ve never heard one of these. Beautiful drawing too!

    Liked by 1 person


    March 19, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    • Hi Rebecca. Thanks. I wonder if they live in your area. Jane


      jane tims

      March 25, 2019 at 7:49 pm

      • The Wilson’s Snipe is a migrant and winter resident in Tennessee, mainly around wet areas. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one though.



        March 25, 2019 at 9:14 pm

      • The first time I heard a snipe I called an expert birder to tell them of my discovery … I was certain no one had ever heard the sound before!

        Liked by 1 person

        jane tims

        March 27, 2019 at 2:50 pm

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