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NIJLAND F & TIMMERMAN A (2017) Habitat choice of Common Snipes Gallinago gallinago staging in wet grasslands during spring and autumn migration. LIMOSA 90 (3): 118-127.

In the eighties of the last century, habitat choice of Common Snipes staging in grasslands was investigated during spring and autumn migration. Fields were visited to flush all snipes present, and habitat characteristics were described. The density of snipes generally increased with the wetness of the field, although (almost) no snipes occurred in completely flooded grasslands. Summer polders (grasslands that are flooded in winter) were wetter compared to winter polders (grasslands that never get flooded), especially in March and April. Indeed, summer polders contained more snipes than winter polders during spring migration. No such differences in density were found for autumn migration (AugustNovember). However, we found that habitat selection within fields varied between the polder types. In the relatively wet summer polders, 64% of the snipes were found on the fields and 32% along trenches and ditches. Instead, in the relatively dry winter polders, 24% of the snipes were found on the fields and 64% along trenches and ditches. When comparing the characteristics of the exact locations where snipes were found with the characteristics of the whole field, it appeared that snipes chose spots that were relatively wet, uneven, and with a moderately high and heterogeneous vegetation. Mowing or grazing by cattle did not affect the density of snipes, but only the distribution within fields as mown or grazed fields were relatively dry.

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limosa 90.3 2017
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