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Painted Snipes: Rostratulidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Greater Painted Snipe (rostratula Benghalensis): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, PAINTED SNIPES AND PEOPLE


Greater painted snipes are found in Africa, south Asia, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia. The South American painted snipe is found only in South America.

Painted snipes occur primarily in wetland habitats such as marshes. They can also be found in moist grasslands and along streams and rivers with vegetation along the banks. Some populations inhabit human-made environments, including rice fields. Both painted snipe species regularly move short distances to find appropriate wet habitats.

Painted snipes are omnivorous, taking in both plant and animal matter. Animals they eat include invertebrates, animals without a backbone, such as insects, snails, earthworms, and crustaceans. Plant matter includes items such as grass seeds and cultivated grains. Painted snipes forage, or search for food, by standing in mud or shallow water and sifting through water and soil with their spatula-shaped bills. Greater painted snipes forage primarily at dusk and at night.

Both painted snipe species have long been hunted for food and sport. Greater painted snipes fly slowly, however, and are often considered too easy a target.

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