Victoria, Seychelles | June 11, 2016, Saturday @ 13:04 By: Sharon Meriton-Jean and Betymie Bonnelame
(Seychelles News Agency) - A student of the University of Seychelles has spotted for first time in the island nation a greater painted-snipe, a rare and unusual bird.
Catherina Onezia first saw the greater painted-snipe at Perseverance, a reclaimed island close to the centre of Mahe, the most populated island of the archipelago.
The species is a rarity among birds as the female is larger and has brighter coloured feathers than the male. Usually in the bird family, it is the opposite -- males are larger and more colourful than females.
“To spot a rarity I think it is up to chance, but if you have some special skills to spot elusive birds, then when you are on the field, you know what you are looking for,” Onezia told SNA.
It took the second sighting for Onezia to snap a photo of the species.
“When I spotted the bird, I knew straight away that it was a snipe and one that I hadn't spotted before. So, with camera in hand, we became the paparazzi and it (the bird) the unique superstar,” said Onezia.
This is the first time the greater painted-snipe has been seen in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. The species is characterised by its slightly downward curving bill used for probing preys in water and mud with long partly webbed feet adapted for walking in muddy areas.