The Jacksnipe, or common snipe, is found 'round the world wherever there is dampness, mud and worms, and has entertained hunters and naturalists for many years.
It is a native bird which migrates south only when forced to by bad winter weather. It is very similar to many of the other snipe and shore birds and the hunter has to be very careful not to shoot birds that are protected. Because it is a migrator, it is itself protected by federal regulations modified by the various states in which the bird resides or travels. Many states do not have an open season on the bird.
For many years the jack, along with other shore birds was heading for a low point, and possible extinction. Much market hunting combined with extensive swamp drainage helped in large measure, to cause their downfall. In recent years they have been making a slow comeback until it has been possible to open the season on them in some states.
They are readily identified by their long bill, striped head and, when walking or standing, their long neck. Their habit of constantly tipping up in a nervous jerk is common to all the snipe tribe. Their movement on their long thin legs is fast and constant as they look for food along the banks, near the water and in the grassy muddy spots along lake shores, inlets and swamps.
Snipe are active mostly at dusk and dawn, flocking at these times to some extent. During the day they are relatively inactive and not too easy to locate.
When surprised they utter a rasping "escape, escape" blurping sound and usually utter it as they take off from the ground. Usually they are found by hunters in small bands, but take to the air, one or two at a time. They can be approached quite easily in the high grass.
They will make short flights ahead of the gunners to be easily put up again. About the third or fourth time they will rise too far ahead of the shooters.
They can be attracted by decoys made to their shape and size. Usually these are placed along a shoreline known to be visited by them at feeding times. When the flight passes over and sees the decoys they generally alight among them, look them over and start feeding, forgetting that they are there.
to return to lowland gamebirds from snipe click here
Most of the fantastic pictures of the various species of gamebirds on this website where taken by one man. If you wish to view more stunning pictures I recommend a visit to the website of Tom Grey.