Snipe Hunting May Be A Joke But The Snipe Bird Is Not
I don't remember when I first heard of 'Snipe Hunting.' But I do remember being a part of this silly false activity from time to time. Usually, it surfaced out of a gathering, camping out with friends and or co-workers after having one too many cold beverages and setting up one or more in our group who had never heard of going on a Snipe Hunt.
Spoiler alert for those who do not know what it is, and it may be different for others, we would do our best to convince one or more persons in our group that we plan on going on a Snipe hunt, but it can only happen at night, hand them a bag to catch the elusive Snipe, come up with a certain sound that a Snipe would make and describe what a Snipe looks like.
Then, someone in our group would sneak off, hide behind a tree, and when the unsuspecting person passed by, jump out and scare the heck out of the person. We'd all get a good laugh and life would continue to be good.
Stupid, but all in good fun, I guess. Even the website Blackfire has step by step instructions for executing a Snipe Hunt. Do you remember the Snipe Hunt episode on the NBC TV sitcom 'Cheers' from season 3 in 1985? It's hilarious. Check it out below and then keep reading about the real Snipe.
According to Wikipedia, this crazy stunt has been around since the mid-1800s. I guess we just never really grow up. But aside from the fake Snipe Hunt, there really is a Snipe bird. Several types of them actually. Brittanica.com notes there are "...any of about 20 species belonging to the shorebird family Scolopacidae (order Charadriiformes.)
For example, the website All About Birds describes a Wilson Snipe as a plump, long-billed bird that is among the most widespread shorebirds in North America. They can reach speeds up to 60 miles an hour. The Wilson Snipe feeds on insect larvae, worms, and other invertebrate prey.
There is also a Common Snipe. eBird.org from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology notes that " Inhabits a wide range of wetland habitats, from damp meadows to saltmarshes." The website also states that the Common Snipe is often elusive "until flushed, when it usually rises from fairly close range with a rough rasping call."
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