Despite feeding mainly on invertebrates such as insects, snails and earthworms, the greater painted-snipe is omnivorous and will also eat seeds, rice and a variety of grasses. Food is found by probing its long bill into soft mud or by searching underwater, making side to side head movements until it makes contact with, and grasps prey with its sensitive bill. Although primarily crepuscular, the greater painted-snipe occasionally forages at night (1) (2) (3).
In Africa, the greater painted-snipe breeds during, or shortly after, the rains, which occur from March to June in western Africa and August to November in southern Africa. A variation in breeding time occurs in Asia, ranging from July to April across the range. Although monogamous in a few regions, the female greater painted-snipe tends to breed with multiple males in a season. A nest is constructed of a thick mat of floating water weed, often close to that of other greater painted-snipe nests, and concealed from predators in thick, marshy vegetation close to the ground or on a low hummock. The nest is a shallow cup lined with stems and leaves and is often built up with interwoven plant material. Two to three eggs are laid which are incubated by the male for 15 to 21 days, as the female leaves to mate with a different male. After the eggs hatch, the male continues caring for the well-developed chicks which can walk, run, swim and find food shortly after hatching (2) (3).