Habitat Selection By Fall Migrant Snipe in Southeastern Missouri

Microhabitat variables were measured at 79 locations used by migrant common snipe (Capella gallinago). The maximum water depth used was 27 mm. Snipes demonstrated diurnal rhythms of habitat selection, using wet sites with short vegetation during feeding periods, and dry sites with taller vegetation during nonfeeding periods. Lower vegetation densities were selected in late afternoon. During feeding periods, 67% of snipes were within 15 cm of a soil/water interface, but during midday, 69% were more than 5.0 m from water. Twenty-three plants were associated with snipe microhabitats, but snipes selected microhabitats because of water conditions and vegetation structure, not vegetation composition.

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