Nycticryphes semicollaris Vieillot, 1816, Paraguay. Monotypic. OTHER COMMON NAMES English: American painted snipe; French: Rhynchйe de Saint- Hilaire; German: WeiЯflecken- Goldschnepfe; Spanish: Aguatero Americano.
7.4–9.0 in (19–23 cm); 2.3–3.0 oz (65–86 g). Both sexes have a dark reddish brown head and neck, dark grayish brown and black upperparts and wings, the latter spotted white, and largely white underparts, pale eye patches, and a crown stripe. Females may tend to be larger and slightly brighter. Juvenile largely resembles adult.
Southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay to central Chile and central Argentina.
Lowland wetlands, including wet grasslands, estuaries, rivers and streams.
Solitary or in small groups. Chiefly crepuscular and partialy nocturnal. Largely sedentary, with some seasonal movements dictated by rainfall.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Omnivorous, probing mud or wading in shallow water in search of insects, larvae, crustaceans, seeds, etc.
Monogamous. Nests semi-colonially. Breeds July through February, according to local conditions. Lays two or three eggs in shallow cup of grasses and reeds, often surrounded by water. Incubation and fledging periods unknown, but both sexes involved in chick care.
Widespread, but usually uncommon or localized. Very few precise data concerning populations, but probably known from rather few protected areas. Presumably declining, especially in northeast Argentina, due to wetland drainage and conversion of grasslands to agriculture and forestry.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Highly prized by hunters in Argentina and Chile for its tender, tasty flesh, and often shot in the breeding season (at least formerly).
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