Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)


South Island Snipe (Coenocorypha iredalei)


French: Bécassine d’Iredale German: Stewartschnepfe Spanish: Chochita de la Stewart

Cœnocorypha aucklandica iredalei


, 1921,

Jacky Lee Island [off Stewart Island], New Zealand


Closely related to C. pusilla, with which sometimes considered conspecific, especially in the past. Until recently, considered conspecific with C. huegeli and C. aucklandica, but (on basis of literature and single intact specimen in NHMUK) differs from both in bold creamy and chocolate-coloured streaking on throat and breast, changing on mid-breast to a few rufous-buff feathers with mid-brown fringes, then on flanks to rather bold cream and chocolate-coloured scalloping, with mid-belly clear cream (3); much clearer markings on upperparts with bold narrow creamy fringes along outer edge of many feathers (3); more chestnut-tinged uppertail (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Little Moggy I, Big South Cape I and other small islands off Stewart I, New Zealand; in earlier times also on South I and Stewart I.

Became extinct on both South I and Stewart I following the occupation of New Zealand by Polynesians and the associated introduction of rats#R. Survived on at least nine small islands until 20th century, but was progressively extirpated as rats reached these, the last records coming from Big South Cape I and Pukeweka I in early 1964.

Descriptive notes

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Recommended citation

(2018). South Island Snipe (Coenocorypha iredalei). 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 18 November 2018).