Great Basin Naturalist


Our objective was to clarify the effects of 10 identified variables on snipe activity (winnowing and calling) by demonstrating correlations between the variables and snipe activity. We monitored snipe at 2 study areas in southwestern Montana and northwestern Wyoming at all hours of the day and night during the 1996 and 1997 breeding seasons. We measured 10 variables at established points along transects that were situated through the middle of each study site (8 study sites total). A total of 1200 monitoring periods were conducted throughout the course of this study. Effects of each factor on snipe activity were considered by examining general trends in each factor's graphical representation. Our results identified 6 factors (season, time of day, lunar cycle, solar radiation, wind speed, and temperature) that are associated with snipe activity. Snipe were most active early in the breeding season during 2 twilight periods during the first and last quarters of the lunar cycle. Low solar radiation levels, wind speeds, and temperatures were also most ideal conditions for snipe activity. All 6 factors should be considered when attempting to detect, survey, or estimate snipe populations.