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Drummond's Snipe

Drummond's Snipe

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

Birds of America

By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.


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[Common Snipe.]

[Capella gallinago.]


"THIS SNIPE," according to Dr. RICHARDSON, whose account of it I copy, "is common in the Fur Countries up to latitude 65 degrees, and is also found in the recesses of the Rocky Mountains. Its manners are in all respects similar to those of the European Snipes. It is intermediate in size between the Sc. major and gallinago; it has a much longer bill than the latter, and two more tail-feathers. Its head is divided by a pale central stripe, as in Sc. gallinule and major; its dorsal plumage more distinctly striped than that of the latter; and the outer tail-feather is a quarter of an inch shorter than that of S. Douglassi.

SCOLOPAX DRUMMONDII, Drummond's Snipe, Swains. and Rich. F. Bor. Amer.,vol. ii. p. 400.

DRUMMOND'S SNIPE, Scolopax Drummondii, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. v. p. 319.

"Fur Countries to lat. 55 degrees. Rocky Mountains."

"Description of a specimen killed on the Rocky Mountains. Colour:--Dorsal plumage and wings mostly brownish-black; the top of the head, scapulars, interscapulars, intermediate coverts, posterior greater ones, and tertiaries, reflecting green and mottled, or barred with yellowish-brown; this colour also forming stripes from the forehead to the nape, over the eyes to the sides of the neck, and more broadly on the exterior edges of the scapulars and interscapulars. Middle dorsal plumage and first quill fringed with white, and most of the wing-coverts and lesser quills tipped with the same. Shafts of the primaries deep brown; an inch of the first near its point whitish. Rump and tail-coverts rich greenish-black, with reddish-orange or ferruginous ends, crossed by a blackish subterminal line, and tipped with white; the three exterior pairs barred alternately with clove-brown and brownish-white, the white tips broader; the two intermediate pairs coloured nearly like the middle ones, but partly barred and tipped with white. Under plumage: A dark brown stripe on the lores, another under the ear. Sides of the head, front of the neck and breast pale wood-brown, with central spots of dark umber; the flanks, insides of the wings, and under tail-coverts, barred with black and white, which on the latter is tinged with brown. Belly white. Bill blackish towards its tip, dark wood-brown at the base.

"Form typical; one small fold of the epidermis at the upper base of the bill; tail rather long, graduated, the feathers decreasing a little in breadth as they are more exterior.

"Length to end of tail 11 1/2 inches; tail 2 10/12; wing 5 3/8; bill above 2 7/12, rictus 2 (6 1/2)/12; bare part of tibia 5/12; tarsus 1 3/12 middle toe 1 (3 1/4)/12, its nail 3/12; inner toe 11/12; hind toe 4/12, its nail 1/12."

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