Great Snipe - Gallinago media
My fellow Field Museum volunteer Meera Lee Sethi is currently hiking through the wilds of Sweden at the Lake Ånnsjön Bird Observatory in the village of Handöl. She's there this summer working as a volunteer field assistant, banding (or "ringing" if you want to use the local lingo) Great Snipes. To cover travel expenses, Meera created a Kickstarter fundraiser. Her backers (of which I am one!) have been enjoying her updates and beautiful photographs from the field. Meera is also planning to release a book of essays called The Language of Birds. Some of the books, which will include my illustrations, will serve as gifts to her Kickstarter backers. During her time as a Field Museum volunteer, Meera has become a dedicated and skilled member of the zoology prep lab, and so it is really exciting to see her extend her knowledge and experience in this manner.
Check out Meera's excellent writing HERE.
Great Snipes are native to northern Europe, and are known for migrating enormous distances. They winter in Africa, and the males use leks to display to attract mates. They prefer marsh habitat, and forage like other birds of the genus Gallinago: by poking their long bills in to the mud via a sort of sewing motion. As with other snipe species, they can be hard to spot due to their cryptic plumage. All in all a very interesting species to be studying.
Best of luck, Meera!