042 Greater Painted Snipe

The Greater Painted Snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) is 23-28 cm long attractive water bird. The female is more brightly colured and larger than the male - an unusual fact amongst birds. The female has red-brown head and neck, dark bronze-green upperparts with barring, distinct white patches around the eyes, long reddish downward-curving bill, long legs with partially webbed feet, and dark grey, white and gold wings. The male has a golden eye patch and comparatively paler and greyer overall appearance. Wetlands of the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Africa form the habitat of these birds. Their mat-like nests, constructed with water weed and well-concealed in marshy vegetation, are built on ground at the water’s edge. The females attract the males and pair up with several males during the breeding season. Once they lay the eggs, they leave them to be incubated by males and move on to mate with different males. Also, the males raise and feed the chicks until they are well-grown to be independent.