Date: 2/10/19 10:54 am
From: DJ Lauten and KACastelein <deweysage...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Do Wilson's Snipe have "recreational" sex?
Not that this sheds light on your topic, but we had  Snowy Plovers nest
scraping on Jan 31 2019 at Sutton Beach.   They do nest there.    It was
60F and sunny.    I bet they stopped trying now......

Dave Lauten

On 2/9/2019 5:53 PM, David Irons wrote:
> Now that I have your attention. Today, while birding at Commonwealth
> Lake Park in Beaverton, I observed a pair of Wilson's Snipe engaged in
> physical courtship and at least one instance of copulation. There are
> quite a few snipe (perhaps two dozen) wintering in the wetland area
> that borders the northern edge of the park and with the cold today a
> number of them were feeding out on margins of the flooded lawn near
> the play structures in the back of the park. This is the area where
> Sora (we saw one) and Virginia Rails (we had four in view at once)
> have been seen regularly feeding out in the open at the
> wet/semi-flooded margin of the lawn near the swing sets and climbing
> structure.
> I was quite surprised to see this pair copulate, as I have not heard
> any winnowing display flights during recent visits and I'm not sure if
> snipe even breed at this site. According to the species account in
> Birds of North America Online (a subscription site), males 'arrive' in
> the southern reaches of their breeding range 10-14 days ahead of
> females (usually early March). Females are then courted by several
> males and copulate with multiple males before a pair bond is fully
> established. It suggests that this pair bond is cemented when the
> female selects a nest site and starts laying eggs.
> On this date, copulation seems rather premature especially if these
> birds aren't going to nest at this location. All this begs the
> question, why would these birds be copulating now? Offhand, I can't
> recall ever seeing birds copulate outside what would be their normal
> breeding season.
> Dave Irons
> Beaverton, OR

Join us on Facebook!