Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Swinhoe's Snipe (Gallinago megala)


French: Bécassine de Swinhoe German: Waldbekassine Spanish: Agachadiza del Baikal

Gallinago megala


, 1861,

between Takoo and Beijing, north China




CS Siberia and N Mongolia; Amurland and Ussuriland. Winters from S & E India to E & S China and Taiwan, and S through Malay Peninsula, Philippines and Indonesia to New Guinea, Melanesia (E to Guadalcanal)#R and N Australia.

Descriptive notes

27–29 cm; 82–164 g; wingspan 38–50 cm. Medium-sized snipe, very similar to G. stenura and G. hardwickii; primaries project beyond tertials... read more


Display flight is accompanied by rasping, upturned “cheek-cheek-cheek...”, “kkhryu-kkhryu-... read more


In, or at margins of, deciduous or mixed open woodland, river valleys, and grassy localities near... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes earthworms, glow-worms, adult and larval insects, such as beetles and ants, terrestrial gastropods and seeds. Crepuscular and... read more


Lays May–Jul. Monogamous. Flight display usually solitary, but can apparently be performed by flock, flying in large circles above... read more


Strongly migratory. Post-breeding movement through Russia chiefly towards SE, then apparently via E... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Status uncertain due to confusion with other extremely similar species and secretive behaviour; total population probably numbers 25,... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Swinhoe's Snipe (Gallinago megala). 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 23 February 2020).