We examined diet composition of Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata) (n = 372) collected along the central Gulf Coast of Texas based solely on upper digestive tract contents. Food items included 11 invertebrate orders, one invertebrate class, and eight plant genera. Oligochaetes were the predominant food throughout the non-breeding period, but snipe consumed fewer (P = 0.021) earthworms in spring than in fall. Aquatic insects were frequently consumed by snipe and during spring represented approximately the same proportion of the diet as earthworms. Plant foods consisted almost entirely of seeds and comprised 9.7–26.8% of the diet throughout the non-breeding period. Wilson's Snipe consumed dipteran larvae more often during spring than fall (P = 0.056). Female snipe consumed crustaceans during spring (14.8%), while only trace amounts were found in the diet of male snipe. Differences in the diet of Wilson's Snipe between males and females were probably related to differences in habitat use as well as availability of invertebrates throughout the non-breeding period.
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Vol. 121 • No. 2