Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Solitary Snipe (Gallinago solitaria)


French: Bécassine solitaire German: Einsiedlerbekassine Spanish: Agachadiza solitaria

Gallinago solitaria


, 1831,



Validity of races uncertain. Two subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. s. solitaria Hodgson, 1831 – high mountains of C Asia in SC Siberia, Mongolia through Altai to NW China; winters in Tien Shan and Pamirs to Himalayas S to Pakistan and N India, and E to Myanmar.
  • G. s. japonica (Bonaparte, 1856) – mountains of SE Siberia and NE China (Heilongjiang), and from Stanovoy Mts through Dzhugdzhur and Kolymskiy Mts to Kamchatka; winters from Amurland and Sakhalin S to Korea, Japan and E China.
  • Descriptive notes

    29–31 cm; 126–227 g; wingspan 51–56 cm. Largest of Palearctic snipes, except G. nemoricola; large and heavy (flight often slower than other snipe... read more


    On breeding grounds, in display flight male gives distinctive and deep-sounding “chok-achocka”... read more


    Almost exclusively found at high altitudes, 1500–5000 m, well above treeline; river valleys,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes small snails, worms, beetles, insect larvae, flies. Feeds by probing in wet grass and mud. Whole body bobs up and down while... read more


    Very poorly known. Breeds late Jun to Aug. Nest a well-concealed depression in shrubs, sparsely surrounded or lined with dead rushes, grass... read more


    Partial migrant; generally moves only short distances. Some birds essentially sedentary, being... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Included in Russian Red Data Book, in category “insufficiently studied species”. Numbers generally appear to be low, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Solitary Snipe (Gallinago solitaria). 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 26 February 2020).