Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 56

seemed unusual, we thought.
According to Terrestrial Vertebrates
of Pennsylvania: A Complete Guide to
Species of Conservation Concern, "successful overwintering (of Wilson's snipe)
in Pennsylvania is probably rare except
possibly in brackish marshes of the extreme southeastern portion of the state."
However, Gerald McWilliams and
Daniel Brauning write in The Birds of
Pennsylvania that winter records exist in
most years in the Ridge and Valley province and in southwestern Pennsylvania.
And a teenager who lives at the farm
where we saw the snipe told Bruce as
many as five Wilson's snipe had been
there every winter. Available water like the
small stream in the pasture, muddy ponds,
ditches, ephemeral pools, barnyard drainages, marshes, beaver ponds or spring
outlets match the wintering requirements
of Wilson's snipe.
Still, having heard the spoofing stories of snipe hunts, I was amused that,
while hunting for raptors, we found snipe
instead.
At one time, Wilson's snipe (Gallinago
delicata) was considered a subspecies of
the common snipe (Gallinago gallinago),
but, it was classified as its own species
in 2002 by the American Ornithologist
Union.
The bird is named for Alexander
Wilson, a Scottish immigrant and selftrained ornithologist and artist who lived
in Philadelphia and traveled throughout
the eastern United States, collecting and
studying birds.
Wilson earned the title "Father of
American Ornithology" for his ninevolume American Ornithology released
early in the 19th century.
The Wilson's snipe winters from the
5 6

southern United States through Central
America, and to Venezuela. It migrates
through Pennsylvania beginning in midMarch, moving in flocks on moonlit
nights - with the males migrating a week
or more ahead of the females.
It breeds in wetlands across northern
North America. Pennsylvania is near its
southern breeding range.
Wilson's snipe rarely breed here, but
when they do, the wetlands of northwestern Pennsylvania's Crawford, Lawrence,
Mercer and Erie counties are the likeliest
places.
Wilson's snipe seen in Pennsylvania
in mid-April through early June, could
be breeding birds.
And if birdwatchers are especially
lucky, they might observe the Wilson's
snipe's diving flight displays, when -
most commonly after sunset - they spread
their outermost tail feathers to make a
winnowing sound that reminds me of the
tremulous calls of eastern screech-owls.
Males most frequently display to
defend territories and attract mates, but
sometimes females also winnow.
They have an array of calls and displays as part of forming pairs, even flipping upside down during dives.
Once paired, they fly close together
with their wings held at 45 degrees in a
nuptial flight display.
A female has her choice of several
males, and will breed with a few of them.
She establishes a pair bond with one male
after she's chosen her nest site and has
begun to lay her eggs.
While a nest site isn't selected until
breeding has occurred, females begin
looking for nest sites as soon as they arrive
in their breeding areas, and will make several, shallow scrapes on wet areas where
nests could be located.
Once a site is chosen, the scrapes are



Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 45
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 65
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Cover4
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