Greater painted-snipe

Looks no less than a renaissance masterpiece

Derek Keats

The Greater Painted-Snipe is a fascinating and distinctive wading bird species that captures the attention of birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts with its unique characteristics and behaviors. With its chubby appearance and striking plumage, this bird stands out as a charismatic inhabitant of tropical and subtropical wetlands across its range.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Greater Painted-Snipe is its fascinating breeding biology, which exhibits a remarkable reversal of typical avian gender roles. During the mating season, it is the female that displays brighter and more colorful plumage compared to the male, a phenomenon known as sexual dichromatism. This reversal of plumage brightness challenges traditional notions of avian sexual dimorphism and adds an interesting dimension to the species’ reproductive biology.

In terms of distribution, the Greater Painted-Snipe occupies a diverse range of wetland habitats, from the lowlands to elevations of up to 1.8 kilometers (5905 feet) in the Himalayas. While they can adapt to a variety of wetland environments, they tend to avoid dry areas and instead prefer sites that have recently flooded. This habitat preference underscores the species’ reliance on wetland ecosystems for foraging and breeding.

Speaking of foraging, the diet of the Greater Painted-Snipe is as diverse as its habitat preferences. These birds are opportunistic feeders, preying on a variety of invertebrates such as insects, snails, earthworms, and crustaceans. Additionally, they have been observed consuming plant materials like seeds, grains, and millet, demonstrating their ability to adapt their diet based on seasonal availability and resource abundance.

While Greater Painted-Snipes are primarily crepuscular, meaning they are most active during the dawn and dusk hours, they may also engage in nocturnal foraging behavior, especially under favorable conditions. Despite their solitary nature, they may occasionally be encountered in small groups or flocks, although large congregations are relatively rare.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2016
Non-Breeding
Angola
2016
Bangladesh
2016
Benin
2016
Botswana
2016
Brunei
2016
Burkina Faso
2016
Burundi
2016
Cambodia
2016
Cameroon
2016
Central Af. Rep.
2016
Chad
2016
China
2016
Congo-Brazzaville
2016
Côte D’ivoire
2016
East Timor
2016
Egypt
2016
Equatorial Guinea
2016
Non-Breeding
Eritrea
2016
Eswatini
2016
Ethiopia
2016
Gabon
2016
Gambia
2016
Ghana
2016
Guinea-Bissau
2016
Guinea
2016
Hong Kong
2016
India
2016
Indonesia
2016
Iran
2016
Non-Breeding
Iraq
2016
Non-Breeding
Israel
2016
Japan
2016
Jordan
2016
Non-Breeding
Kenya
2016
Korea
2016
Non-Breeding
Laos
2016
Lesotho
2016
Non-Breeding
Liberia
2016
Madagascar
2016
Malawi
2016
Malaysia
2016
Mali
2016
Mauritania
2016
Mozambique
2016
Myanmar
2016
Namibia
2016
Nepal
2016
Niger
2016
Nigeria
2016
Oman
2016
Non-Breeding
Pakistan
2016
Philippines
2016
Rwanda
2016
Senegal
2016
Sierra Leone
2016
Singapore
2016
Somalia
2016
South Africa
2016
South Sudan
2016
Sri Lanka
2016
Sudan
2016
Taiwan
2016
Tanzania
2016
Thailand
2016
Togo
2016
Uganda
2016
Vietnam
2016
Yemen
2016
Seasonality Uncertain
Zambia
2016
Zimbabwe
2016

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No