Introducing the snipe, a flighty member of the sandpiper family

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Photo: Photo by Lise Lafond

The snipe is a fast-moving member of the sandpiper family. Easier to catch in flight with a camera than with a rifle! Hence the name, "sniper."

Looking out by the lake near our house recently, I observed a very special and beautiful sight. A flock of snipes were performing an aerial ballet.

The snipe has a round body, with a short neck and a long bill that looks too big for its body. This bill is very flexible and sensitive, and allows the snipe to hunt its food by feel while wading in mud flats.