A snipe is any of nearly 20 wading bird species in three genera in the family Scolopacidae. They are characterised by a very long slender bill and cryptic plumage. The Gallinago snipes have a nearly worldwide distribution, the Lymnocryptes Jack Snipe is restricted to Asia and Europe and the Coenocorypha snipes are found only in New Zealand. The three species of painted snipe are not closely related to the typical snipes, and are placed in their own family, the Rostratulidae.
The difficulties involved in hunting snipe gave rise to "sniper," referring to a skilled anti-personnel military sharpshooter.