African Snipe ( Gallinago nigripennis, family: Scolopacidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Ethiopian Snipe

african snipe kruger national park birds The African Snipe (Latin name Gallinago nigripennis) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 286 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 344 also a picture of the African Snipe on page 305. The African Snipe belongs to the family of birds classified as Scolopacidae.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the African Snipe was called the Ethiopian Snipe

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The African Snipe is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a rare summer resident

In terms of distribution of the African Snipe in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. African Snipe : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The African Snipe is a bird about the same size as a starling. The height of the African Snipe is about 29 cms and its weight is about 140 gms

You will find that the male African Snipe plumage and colours are different to that of the female African Snipe

  • Head is brown.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is brown.
  • Throat is black, white.
  • Back is black.
  • Legs are green.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The African Snipe feeds on the ground mainly



Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The African Snipe is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Gallinago nigripennis will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of African Snipe is to create the nest on water. The bird lays eggs which are grey in colour and number between 2

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for African Snipe are: wetlands

You will normally see the African Snipe by itself rather than in the company of birds of the same species.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Umnquduluthi

Zulu ... uNununde

Afrikaans ...Afrikaanse Snip

German ... Afrikanische Bekassine

Portuguese ... Narceja-africana

French ... Bcassine africaine

Dutch ... Afrikaanse Snip

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 286

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,