Notes on Common Snipe Wintering on Paynes Prairie, Florida

From the fall of 1967 through the winter of 1972-73, 2,365 common snipe (Capella gallinago) were banded on Paynes Prairie, a wetlands south of Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida. Cattle-grazed maiden-cane (Panicum hem1tomen) was the preferred cover for snipe. Fall migrants came in late-September. The wintering population stabilized from mid-November through lateFebruary. Spring departure began in mid-March; only a few stragglers remained on the study area after the middle of April. Snipe weighed an average of 100 g from October through March and 112 g in April. Band recoveries showed that the snipe returned each year to the same winter range. Only 0.4 percent of the birds recovered were shot by hunters confirming the relative under-exploitation of the species.

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