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Imperial Snipe - BirdForum Opus

Gallinago imperialis


29-31 cm. A dark, large snipe, reminding a woodcock.

  • Very broad, rounded wings
  • Slightly drooping bill
  • No pale stripes on head and upperparts
  • Dark rufous chestnut and black barred upperparts
  • Breast mottled chestnut and ark brown
  • Strongly banded dark brown on whitish background on flanks and undertail-coverts
  • Primaries concealed by tertials when resting

Juveniles undescribed, possible sexual differences unknown.


Patchily distributed in the Andes from Ecuador to Peru. Old records from Colombia.
A poorly known and hard to find species, occuring at very low densities. Thought to be extinct for over 100 years but rediscovered in 1967.


This is a monotypic species.
Formerly placed in genus Chubbia.


Around the tree-line in bogs and damp elfin forest, also glades fringed with bamboo covered in Sphagnum mosses.
Occurs from 2745 to 3500 m.



Poorly known. Probably feeds on worms and arthropods.


Aerial display observed from July to August. No other information about breeding.


Probably a sedentary species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.2). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2015)

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