Imperial Snipe Gallinago imperialis

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Identification

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Hulking snipe of high-elevation elfin forest in the Andes. Large with a thick, drooping bill. Upperparts are black with bold cinnamon scaling; underparts are buff with black scaling, becoming paler on belly. It is larger, bulkier, and more brightly-colored than other high-Andean snipe. Shy and rarely seen; most likely encountered in dim, misty conditions when it may venture out onto a quiet trail. At display sites, birds fly overhead giving low, grating calls followed by a mechanical humming sound.

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