Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus)


French: Bécassine sourde German: Zwergschnepfe Spanish: Agachadiza chica

Scolopax minima


, 1764,

Christiansø, off Bornholm, Denmark




Subarctic, boreal and sub-boreal zones from NE Scandinavia to E Siberia; isolated populations in S Sweden, N Poland, N Belarus and irregularly in Baltic States. Winters from British Is S through W Europe and Mediterranean to N Afrotropics, and E through Asia Minor, Middle East, Azerbaijan, Iran, Afghanistan and India to S China, N Thailand and Vietnam.

Descriptive notes

17–19 cm; 28–106 g (mostly 35–73 g); wingspan 34–42 cm. Smallest snipe; large head, relatively short bill; narrow wings with white trailing edge.... read more


Display flight calls are three-parted, first a rapid but regular knocking “ogogogogogogogog...”... read more


Breeds in open marshes, floodplains and bogs, in forest tundra and northern taiga. In winter, found... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes adult and larval insects, annelids, small freshwater and terrestrial gastropods and sometimes seeds or other plant material.... read more


Nests May to early Sept. Probably monogamous; male performs switchback display flight, typically at dawn and dusk, but sometimes throughout... read more


Migratory. Both adults and young remain in, or close to, breeding area during moult, Aug–Sept... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). European population may number 500,000 birds, although numbers known or estimated to breed there much smaller, e.g. 28,000 pairs in... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 3 April 2020).