Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Latham's Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii)


French: Bécassine du Japon German: Japanbekassine Spanish: Agachadiza japonesa
Other common names: Japanese Snipe

Scolopax Hardwickii

J. E. Gray

, 1831,





E Primorskiy, S Sakhalin and S Kuril Is S to Hokkaido and N & C Honshu, and possibly Kyushu (S Japan). Winters in E Australia and Tasmania; perhaps also small numbers in New Guinea.

Descriptive notes

23–33 cm; 95–277 g; wingspan 48–54 cm. Extremely similar to G. megala and G. stenura, but larger, with proportionately long tail and wings... read more


Considered less vocal than G. gallinago or G. stenura; in display flight (30–40 m... read more


Breeding habitat consists of farmland, such as meadows, pastures, fallow fields, and areas of... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly earthworms, also beetles, cranefly larvae and pupae, spiders and freshly fallen seeds; occasionally molluscs, centipedes and isopods... read more


Lays May to early Jun. Display flights performed alone or in groups of 4–7 birds (i.e. lek-based system). Nests in scattered, single... read more


Strongly migratory. Migration route still a mystery; presumably flies from Japan to E Australia in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population c. 36,000 birds; estimated 27,400 birds breed on Hokkaido (1985), more than 500 pairs on Sakhalin (1989); non-... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Latham's Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii). 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 20 February 2020).