Fun Greater Painted-snipe Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Dec 06, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Greater painted-snipe facts help to know about birds of the world.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

Are you fond of knowing about birds like the Eurasian tree sparrow? If yes, then you would surely like to know about the greater painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) bird that is found in the wetlands of Africa and Asia. This bird belongs to the Rostratulidae family and is known for its unique sexual dimorphism as the female is larger and has a darker plumage than males, and females have a dark head while males have pale head feathers. However, both females and males have a white stripe running down the middle of the head and have a long bill that helps the birds to catch prey from shallow water. Apart from its usual habitat of wetlands, the bird can also be at times seen in agricultural fields or lakes that have shallow water. These birds usually hunt in the dark or twilight and have good night vision.

Want to know more about the bird? Keep reading for interesting greater painted-snipe facts. For more relatable content, check out these lesser crested tern facts and common snipe facts for kids.

Greater Painted-Snipe Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a greater painted-snipe?

The greater painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) is a type of medium-sized wader bird species belonging to the family Rostratulidae. Another example of a wader bird species is the snowy egret.

What class of animal does a greater painted-snipe belong to?

The greater painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) belongs to the class Aves, and to the genus Rostratula.

How many greater painted-snipes are there in the world?

According to IUCN, the world population of the greater painted-snipes was thought to be around 36,000-1,000,000, but recently, the estimate has been brought down to 5,000 individuals, as the Australian painted-snipes were declared a different species.

Where does a greater painted-snipe live?

The greater painted-snipe range map stretches from Africa to southeast Asia. It can be found in places like Egypt, sub-Saharan Africa, India, China, Pakistan, south Japan, the Philippines, and southeast Russia.

What is a greater painted-snipe's habitat?

Greater painted-snipes are mainly found in habitats like wetlands, as well as in tropical and subtropical lowlands. These birds use their long neck and long bill to catch insects and other prey from shallow waters. It can also be found wading through rice fields, sewage pools, and around grassy islets. Sometimes the greater painted-snipes can also be found in more open grasslands.

Who do greater painted-snipes live with?

The greater painted-snipe is usually a solitary bird, but it can be seen in flocks, especially in areas where it participates in migration. During the breeding season, up to 20 nests can be seen in the same area at times.

How long does a greater painted-snipe live?

We are yet to know about the lifespan of this beautiful bird or any other family member such as the Australian painted-snipe.

How do they reproduce?

If you like birds, then you have to be interested in the reproduction of this species, as it is one of the birds of the world where the female exhibits polyandrous behavior during the mating season. The nest is built in shallow water that is densely covered with floating vegetation. Each clutch may contain two to five eggs and the male stays in the nest to incubate the eggs and raise the chicks. The breeding season of this bird varies according to the region. The chicks are covered in a buff or gray down and have a dark stripe running down the back.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the greater painted-snipe has the conservation status of Least Concern.

Greater Painted-Snipe Fun Facts

What do greater painted-snipes look like?

When it comes to the appearance of these beautiful birds, first we have to describe females because of their majestic look. Females are larger than the male birds and have darker brown plumage and longer wings with a distinct pattern. A bronze-green tinge can be seen on the back and wings of the female. The female has a white eyepatch along with a white breast and short tail.

Males have a more subdued plumage with shorter wings and feathers of ashy gray color, especially on the head and neck. The eye patch of the male is pale brown. These birds have a reddish-brown long bill along with grayish-yellow legs. Juveniles look similar to males but don't have a distinct division between the upper and the lower neck.

Greater painted-snipe facts are great for kids.

How cute are they?

These medium-sized birds look extremely cute because of their brown plumage and patterned wings.

How do they communicate?

The greater painted-snipe communicates with sound, especially during the breeding season. The female birds are able to make metallic sounds that can reach far distances, and you can mainly hear the sounds at night. During the breeding season, the birds also make a low-frequency sound to protect the nests from predators. This bird species also has good eyesight that helps it to hunt during the night and twilight.

How big is a greater painted-snipe?

The average body size range of the greater painted-snipe species is around 9-11 in (23-28 cm). Due to sexual dimorphism, the greater painted-snipe female is bigger than the male. The reddish egret is thrice their size.

How fast can a greater painted-snipe move?

We are yet to know about the flying or wading speed of this bird species.

How much does a greater painted-snipe weigh?

The average weight of the greater painted-snipes is around 3.2-7 oz (90-200 g) and the female tends to weigh more than the male.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and the female of this bird species. Interestingly, sex-role reversal is seen in this bird where the female birds are much larger than the male birds, and the male is the one to take care of the eggs and chicks.

What would you call a baby greater painted-snipe?

The babies of the greater painted-snipe are known as chicks.

What do they eat?

Greater painted-snipes have an omnivorous diet that mainly includes invertebrates like insects, snails, crustaceans, and earthworms, along with rice, millet, and grass. These birds may also feed on various seeds and hunt at night. You can find the birds wading through the water probing at the ground looking for food. It likes to hunt alone.

Are they dangerous?

No, this isn't a dangerous bird, and it prefers to stay out of human reach. But, if it senses danger, it can peck with its bill which might be unpleasant.

Would they make a good pet?

No, the greater painted-snipe is a wild bird, and you cannot keep it as a pet.

Did you know...

The female Rostratula benghalensis can mate with two to four males in a single breeding season. The female is the one to initiate the courtship.

The greater painted-snipe is one of the two birds in the genus Rostratula which also includes the Australian painted-snipe.

Can greater painted-snipes swim?

If the bird reaches deep water it may sometimes take a dip in the marshes, but most often the greater painted-snipe hunts by wading through shallow water with the help of its long legs.

The greater painted-snipe's call

The most notable thing about the greater painted-snipe is the calls made by the females which may sound metallic and jarring. This greater painted-snipe call can be heard for up to 0.6 mi (965.6 m), and it is similar to the sound made when we blow on an empty plastic bottle. 'Kek' and 'twick-twick' calls are also made by this bird.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these laughing gull surprising facts and little auk fun facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable painted stork coloring pages.

Second image by afsarnayakkan.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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