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a genus of birds of the order Charadriiformes. The body is up to 30 cm long. The bill is very long and has tactile corpuscles at the end. (Members of the genus Gallinago feed on invertebrates, which they catch by digging their bill into soft soil.) The general coloration of males and females is similar: rusty-brown back with blackish markings, whitish breast and abdomen. There are 13 species, and they are found throughout the world except Australia, where they only winter. In the USSR there are six species: common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), pintail snipe (G. stenura), Latham’s snipe (G. hardwickii), and three species of great snipe. They rest in moist places and usually lay four brightly colored eggs. The numbers of the genus Gallinago are decreasing because of the draining of swamps. A courtship flight is characteristic, during which the birds of many species emit peculiar sounds similar to the bleating of sheep (these sounds result from the vibration of lateral rectrices). The birds are hunted for sport.