Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura)


French: Bécassine à queue pointue German: Spießbekassine Spanish: Agachadiza colirrara
Other common names: Pin-tailed Snipe

Scolopax stenura


, 1831,

Sunda Islands




NC & E Russia from Ural Mts through Siberia and Transbaikalia to Sea of Okhotsk. Winters from Indian Subcontinent and Maldives through Indochina to SE China and Taiwan, and S to Philippines and W Lesser Sundas; also found irregularly in small numbers in Saudi Arabia, E Africa and Aldabra Is, and NW Australia.

Descriptive notes

25–27 cm; 84–182 g; wingspan 44–47 cm. Medium-sized snipe, very similar to G. hardwickii and G. megala but primaries normally only just... read more


In breeding season, flight displays by males consist of an undulating flight (covering c. 200... read more


During and outside breeding season occurs in slightly drier areas than those favoured by G.... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes molluscs, insects and their larvae, earthworms, occasionally crustaceans, seeds and other plant matter. Feeds by probing in... read more


Lays late May to mid Jun. Presumably monogamous. Dazzling communal aerial display (called “tok”), in which flock of up to 15 males suddenly... read more


Migratory. Moves overland in broad front; crosses Pakistan and Iran, C Asia, Mongolia, Tibet, N... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Number in wintering grounds in Indian Subcontinent in order of 25,000–1,000,000 birds, and similar numbers in E & SE Asia.... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura). 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 24 February 2020).