The Lesser Painted Snipe or South American Painted Snipe, Nycticryphes semicollaris, is a shorebird in the family Rostratulidae. There are two other species in its family, the Australian Painted Snipe and the Greater Painted Snipe.
Head and neck dark red-brown with a yellow stripe on the crown; upperparts dark grey-brown, spotted white; underparts white. Although the female may be slightly larger and brighter, in contrast to the two other species in the family, the Lesser Painted Snipe is not strongly sexually dimorphic. It has a relatively long, decurved, bill. It has webbed feet, also a difference from the other painted snipe. Measurements: 19"?23 cm in length; 65"?86 g in weight.
Distribution and habitat
The species is found in the southern third of South America, from southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay to Chile and Argentina. It inhabits lowland freshwater wetlands, including wet grasslands.
Omnivorous, feeding by probing in mud and shallow water for small animals and seeds, often at dusk.
Lesser Painted Snipes are monogamous and breed semi-colonially. The nest is a shallow cup on the ground in a wetland, with a clutch of 2-3 eggs. Breeding has been recorded mainly from July to February.
A hoarse, hissing "wee-oo" recorded from birds in captivity.
The Lesser Painted Snipe has traditionally been regarded as a desirable game-bird in Chile and Argentina and has been regularly hunted. It is an uncommon species in its wide range, and may be threatened by drainage of wetlands and other habitat degradation. However, there has been no documented significant decline in population and the species' conservation status remains at one of Least Concern.
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