Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)


Wood Snipe (Gallinago nemoricola)


French: Bécassine des bois German: Nepalbekassine Spanish: Agachadiza del Himalaya

Gallinago nemoricola


, 1836,





Himalayas from NW India (Himachal Pradesh) through S & E Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and NE India (Arunachal Pradesh and extreme NE Assam) to SC China (W Sichuan); possibly also Pakistan. Winters in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, N & C Laos#R, N Vietnam and, rarely, N Thailand.

Descriptive notes

28–32 cm; 142–198 g; wingspan 46 cm. Large, dark, woodcock-like snipe with broad, rounded wings and barred underparts, extending to belly; plumage somewhat... read more


In display, mainly in half-light of dawn and dusk (more occasionally in daylight) and both on... read more


Woodlands (e.g. along streams) and dense tall herbage, especially at relatively high altitude... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly known. Worms, small aquatic insects and their larvae and seeds. Usually feeds singly.


Virtually unknown; nest apparently never discovered. Male performs aerial roding display (see Voice), but apparently never produces... read more


Probably partly sedentary, although many birds move down to lower altitudes after breeding season,... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. One of least known of all snipes and some historical (and even contemporary) records are almost certainly erroneous (see also Movements); believed to be very rare... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Wood Snipe (Gallinago nemoricola). 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 25 January 2020).