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Swamp Spirits and Bog Birds

I am a swamp spirit. A fen fan. A Marsh maiden. And I like Bog birds.

Wilson’s Snipe

Snipe have mostly been invisible ghostly sounds to me. I hear male Snipe doing their display flights all spring and summer, their aerial dance is accompanied by tail feather music called winnowing. You can see their fancy tail feathers here. I sometimes see them as tiny fast and irratic dots in the distant sky but today I heard them singing so I went down to the swamp to look and 2 pairs were racing in and out of the Cat Tails and flying at high speeds through the rain.

Snipe are not actually forest ghosts like they pretend to be. Really they are bog birds. They wade in shallow water (their legs are very short) and dip their very long beaks in the mud. Their beaks are very sensitive to pressure and taste and they can feel and smell food moving in the mud. They suck insects and snails up their beaks like a straw.


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