Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

snipe Gallinago gallinago, a brownish bird with an unusually long bill, which accounts for very nearly a quarter of the average total length (just over 25 cm/10"). This enables it to probe for food in the mud of marshes and other watery haunts. The range of the species extends right round the globe in the northern hemisphere. Many but by no means all snipe migrate southwards for the winter.

There is not much of a snipe, since its average weight is only 120 g (4 oz), and shooting it for table use has declined, at least in Britain. It is often taken at the same time as woodcock. It is good to eat.