SNIPE, JACK. The haunts and food of this species (called also the Judcocs, the Gid, the Half Snipe), which does not weigh above two ounces, are the among us, and very difficult to be found, lying so close, as to hazard being trod on before it will rise ; its flight is never distant, and its motions, compared with the common snipe, altogether sluggish. The dimensions of the two, however, bear not the same proportion: the length of the snipe being thirteen inches; the jack-snipe, ten. The merlin (the smallest of the hawk tribe) is very destructive to snipes.
The Great or Solitary Snipe. Its size, as its scientific name (Scolopax media) implies, is about midway between the woodcock and common snipe : it is also distinguished by its bill being shorter and stronger than that of the latter; its belly and vent dusky white, barred with black, that of the common snipe white; the plumage on the back is darker; the tail has more red in it; the legs are of a darker green, not black, as described by Latham; and when sprung does not cry out. They are generally found in high stuff, such as reeds, flags, &c. They lie very close, and are not so quick on the wing as the other species. These birds abound in the Pontine Marshes, are frequently found in the swampy country of the south-west of France, near the shores of the Bay of Biscay, and breed in Sweden. The name which they are known by in France is La double Becassine." It is sometimes, though rarely, found in the marshes near the metropolis, on the banks of the Thames, and in the county of Norfolk. In August, 1831, a couple of these birds were shot within a few miles of Norwich, the male being of the extraordinary weight of ten ounces, the female eight ounces.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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