Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Swinhoe's snipe

Thai: นกปากซ่อมสวินโฮ, nok pak som Sawinho

Binomial name: Gallinago megala, Robert Swinhoe, 1861

Swinhoe's snipe, Gallinago megala, also known as forest snipe or Chinese snipe, is a medium-sized (length 27–29 cm, wingspan 38–44 cm, weight 120 gm), long-billed, migratory wader.

The common name commemorates the British naturalist Robert Swinhoe.


Identifiable as a Gallinago snipe by its cryptically patterned black, brown, buff and white plumage, but not easily distinguished from Latham's and pin-tailed snipe in the field. Commonly referred to as cho suekyung in South Korea.


Breeds mainly in central and southern Siberia and Mongolia. Entire population migrates and spends non-breeding season principally in eastern and southern India, Sri Lanka, south-eastern China, South-East Asia and New Guinea. Recorded on migration in eastern China, and occasionally Japan. Records in Australia mainly from the Top End of the Northern Territory and from north-western Western Australia.


Breeding habitat: forest glades and meadows. Non-breeding habitat: shallow freshwater wetlands of various kinds including paddy fields and sewage farms, with bare mud or shallow water for feeding, with nearby vegetation cover.


Mainly small invertebrates including earthworms, mollusks and insects.


Display flights and drumming by the males.


Because of wide range and no evidence of significant population decline, the species is assessed as being of Least Concern.

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Scientific classification

Gallinago megala

Common names

  • Thai: นกปากซ่อมสวินโฮ, nok pak som Sawinho

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Swinhoe's snipe, Gallinago megala in Thailand

Range map of Gallinago megala in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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